Singapore: Feb 19, 2002 ( date may be different)
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Originally, at the time of Mahaprabhu, there were five pancikas, but Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and my Gurudeva later introduced seven: Panca-tattva-pancika and Upasya-pancika, aradhana of the supreme worshipable Deities. Upasya-pancika includes Gadadhara, Mahaprabhu, Krsna, Radhika, and Guru.*1 [see extra notes after lecture]
If disciples worship their Gurudeva, but they have no respect for the guru-parampara, they are bogus, and Guru will not accept their worship. Nowadays this is going on, and that is why the so-called gurus are falling down. They think there is no need for the guru-parampara. They say, "Only my Gurudeva! Gurudeva! Gurudeva!" Who is your Gurudeva, and from where did he come? From where did he receive his knowledge? They should know this, but they do not. They think, "My Gurudeva is the first Guru and the last Guru." If a disciple has no connection with the guru-parampara, he is actually an offender to his own Gurudeva. Although Srila Swami Maharaja taught this principle, many ISKCON disciples never learned them.
Srila Swami Maharaja accepted the guru-parampara, and especially the bhagavat-parampara introduced by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. I clearly answered all misconceptions that arose in Vrndavana, and other places in this regard, and I have silenced those who are against Srila Prabhupada's version. We should follow our guru-parampara. Without guru-parampara we cannot do anything. We should follow Vyasadeva and his parampara: Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami, Suta Gosvami, Madhvacarya, and after that Madhavendra Puri, then Nityananda Prabhu, and then Isvara Puri, Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami, Sanatana Gosvami, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Narottama Thakura, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Try to give proper honor to all Gurus. If you do not do so, you are not a real disciple and you will never be able to develop your Krsna consciousness. Our Guru Maharaja established this understanding in various places.
Every day, for three days, ten or twelve thousand people were assembled and participated in one of my Guru Maharaja Vyasapuja celebration, and on the first day of that function a very wealthy person distributed prasadam to all. He told my Guru Maharaja, "I want to take initiation from you." Guru Maharaja replied, "You must follow the four regulative principles." He said, "I will!" Up to that time he was still smoking his golden hukka with the help of a long water pipe, but he said, "From today I am stopping. I will never take it again." Guru Maharaja brought a barber to shave him, and he prepared a hukka, gave it to that wealthy person, whose age was more than 84 years, and ordered him, "You should make this vow: 'This will be the last time I take the hukka.'" That wealthy man took the hukka, offered pranama to it, and said, "Oh, I will not even take it this last time," He then broke it and threw it away.
My Guru Maharaja became very happy and initiated him, along with his wife, daughter, sister, son and all the other members of his large family. As in our Navadvipa parikrama, over 50 persons were cooking kichari full with many vegetables, and thousands were taking prasadam throughout the day. Each year Guru Maharaja went to new places, preaching and observing Vyasapuja. I've never seen such a bold person as him.
Guru Maharaja once went to Mali in Assam, with six or seven sannyasis and ten or eleven brahmacaris from here and there, and they traveled everywhere by foot. Mali is a very large village where a majority of the residents worship Krsna (but do not accept His vigraha), and they also eat meat, fish, eggs, and other abominable foodstuffs. Although there are only 12 Cantos in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, they have made a '13th Canto' that recommends eating meat, fish, and eggs, and they follow that.*2 Also, they only worship Krsna; not Radhika.
A huge public meeting was arranged for Guru Maharaja to speak there, and thousands attended. At that time there were no microphones, but my Guru Maharaja spoke very loudly. Speaking like a lion, he told everyone to worship both Radha and Krsna - not Krsna alone. He told them that without Radharani, Krsna is like zero, and he gave many examples of this principle from sastra. He also told them that according to sastra, the Krsna-worship of those who take meat, fish, and wine comes to nothing. Their so-called worship is bogus. He said that we cannot accept the new sastra they have introduced as authentic. The Srimad-Bhagavatam given by Srila Vyasadeva is authentic, and we should try to follow that. We should follow Brahma-sutra, which states, "sakti saktimator-abhedya." But they do not follow this. Guru Maharaja then told them that the mouths of those who take eggs, meat, fish, and wine are not mouths; they are like drains in which urine and stool passes through. Hearing this, as well as his glorification of the suddha-bhakti preached by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, some members of the audience became upset and shouted, "You should prove that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme God Himself. Why is He worshiped? Where is His name in the Vedas?! If His name were mentioned in the Vedas, we would have accepted Him."
Guru Maharaja then ordered Trivikrama Maharaja to read the evidence. Trivikrama Maharaja read all the evidential slokas, and he began to speak like a lion. However, although he gave evidence after evidence, they did not recognize or accept what he said. When asked if they had evidence, those members of the audience replied, "The world is our evidence," and they began to throw stones. In the meantime, all of the villagers who favored us were ready to fight, and the opponents saw that so many of the party were behind us, they became pacified. Guru Maharaja told them, "What can you do with sticks and stones? If you want to discuss things in a proper way, you can come." Thus, he used to preach strongly all over Assam. Like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he was ready to do everything for preaching the Truth, and I learned all of these things from him.
Some members of the 'Nimbarka Sampradaya' in Vrndavana once wrote something very much against Mahaprabhu. They wrote that Mahaprabhu had been defeated by Kesava Kasmiri, and that Kesava Kasmiri then initiated Him into the gopal-mantra and the upasana of Radha and Krsna. I saw their article, and when my Guru Maharaja returned to Mathura from Navadvipa, I showed it to him and he became very red with anger.
Guru Maharaja immediately said, "I will take the pen and defeat them!" and he began his debate with them in Bengali. He wrote that Nimbarka is not a real person; he is zero. A devotee by the name of Nimbarka never took birth in India. At the time of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Jiva Gosvami, there was no person named Nimbarka, and yet they say that he lived at the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates. Srila Jiva Gosvami has not mentioned such an acarya. He mentioned all others, like Ramanujacarya and Madhvacarya, but he did not speak or write in any authentic book that there was a person named Nimbarka. We accept Nimbaditya, who lived at the time of Srila Vyasadeva, but there is no mention of Nimbarka Acarya.*3
Guru Maharaja gave evidence, defeating them, and I published this in our Bhagavat Patrika. The office directors of the Sudarsana journal at once became upset, and they approached a very high-class lawyer in court. They wanted to file a suit against our Guru Maharaja for two lakhs Rs. They sent a notice through their lawyer and our Gurudeva responded personally without any legal representation. He himself was so qualified in these matters that many personalities used to come to him for legal advice. He wrote, "What I have written, I have written correctly, and I will prove this in court and everywhere on the basis of evidence supported by sastra." That statement was offered to the court. Their advocate then told them, "He is a very powerful person; and he has money also. Don't go into that hole to look for a snake that will come and bite you. Don't disturb him. Be silent." And they remained absolutely silent.
There were once some Radha-kunda babaji's who were against Srila Prabhupada, because Srila Prabhupada had often said that they were sahajiya. Although they are in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and although they worshiped Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda prabhu and read all the books about them, these Radha-kunda babajis always criticized Prabhupada. They would say, "He is like a tattva-vadi. He has nothing to do with rasa. We are very rasika and he is nothing in comparison. We take the mango and he takes only the seed. Only tattva, tattva." Hearing of this, our Guru Maharaja became very angry.
A sisya is one who does the mano'bhista-seva of his Gurudeva: Sri caitanya mano'bhistam stapitam yena bhutale svayam rupa mahyam dadati sva-padantikam. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's mano'bhista (innermost desire) was established by Srila Rupa Gosvami. If Srila Rupa Gosvami had not done this, we could not have known the identity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, or even of Radha and Krsna. Similarly, Guru Maharaja knew the mano'bhista of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada, and if anyone criticized him, he would at once become like a lion.
Guru Maharaja then wrote an article and published it in Gaudiya Patrika, defeating the sahajiya, sakhi bekhi, and other philosophies, and it created a davanala, forest fire. I translated his writing into Hindi and published it in the Bhagavat Patrika. The sahajiyas filed a court case against him, and I personally requested Guru Maharaja, "This is a pressing issue. Please accept our Godbrother who is a very high-class high court advocate." Our Guru Maharaja accepted him as the advocate, and when he went to the court and began to present the case, all were impressed. The opponents went to the district judge and said, "We want to compromise," but our Guru Maharaja replied that the word compromise was not in his book. He said that they should accept that they did wrong. The judge was somewhat favorable to them, but there was no way to help them, so he begged pardon of our Gurudeva, who replied, "They should come and apologize and then I will pardon them. They should state that they will never again write as they did." They came and apologized.
He was very bold, and sometimes he had four or five court cases at a time. Without court cases we cannot have love and affection: Once, when Krsna went to meet with Candravali, and Lalita filed a court case, in the court of Radhika. Radhika then summoned Krsna, as well as Lalita, and also Candravali's group. The case came to the court, and Srimati Radhika was like the court judge. Lalita pleaded for Srimati Radhika, Madhumangala for Krsna, and others for Candravali, and in this way the court case was going on. At last, Krsna and Candravali were defeated, and Lalita told Krsna, "You should write a statement and sign it, saying, 'I am a servant of Srimati Radhika.' You should write, 'I will never do this again. I will be faithful to Radhika!'" Krsna then wrote: "I am a servant of Srimati Radhika. I am Her dasa. I will never again betray Her." This was signed in court and given to Srimati Radhika.
Our Guru Maharaja used to love to tell this story, and especially to advocates, and the members of his audience felt that they had never heard or seen a person like him before. I also went to court many times as an advocate, even though I am a sannyasi.I handled about twelve court cases in Mathura, and we won all twelve. So I am His disciple for court case's also.
[Krsna Bhajana dasa:] There was a court case against ISKCON, where Srila Prabhupada's children were suing ISKCON for the rights of inheritance. They wanted to take all his ISKCON properties. Without you going all the way from Mathura to Bombay to testify in court on behalf of ISKCON, they would have lost. You told the court, "I was present at His sannyasa ceremony. He left all the world behind him, and he has no more connection with it."
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I myself performed the fire sacrifice, wrapped his danda, and executed all duties required.
You should know that guru-nistha is the backbone of bhakti. If there is no nistha for Guru, there is no bhakti. Why does Gurudeva come? He comes to help those persons who have forgotten Krsna. Krsna comes for this, Rama comes for this, and Gurudeva comes for this. Gurudeva is the power of Krsna, and he comes to preach that same mission. Those who do not know anything will go to the school of Sankara who preached against bhakti, saying, "I myself am Brahma!" They do not even know the ABC's of bhakti. They do not accept Srimati-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita, and therefore we should not have any connection with them - even as a formality. We should try to follow our guru-parampara. If there is no guru-nistha, there is no bhakti at all.
Our Guru Maharaja is an example of guru-nistha, and he took his life in his hands for his Gurudeva. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was doing Navadvipa parikrama, with the murtis of Sri Sri Guru-Gauranga and Gandharvika-Giridhari on an elephant, and followed by thousands of devotees from different parts of India. When he came into Navadvipa town, the so-called brhamanas and caste gosvamis of Kuliya Navadvipa attacked, throwing bricks, stones, hot water, and soda bottles at him. They wanted to kill Srila Prabhupada, and they surrounded him and his devotees in the midst of the town. When they attacked, all of the pilgrims and sannyasi and brahmacari disciples of Srila Prabhupada ran away forgetting everything, but our Guru Maharaja remained with Srila Prabhupada. Our Guru Maharaja knew a devotee family, the members of which were not pure devotees, but were sympathetic to the Gaudiya Matha. Guru Maharaja took Srila Prabhupada and entered their house, and there he took his sannyasa clothing and gave him his white clothing. He took his sannyasa danda and dressed in all his saffron cloth, and by that Srila Prabhupada was giving Guru Maharaja sannyasa. Prabhupada, now disguised in white, was very easily sent to Mayapura, the police arrived, and later our Guru Maharaja also reached Mayapura safely, still dressed as a sannyasi.
Guru Maharaja acted in this exemplary manner on many occasions. That is why he was empowered to preach everywhere, and that is why he is preaching throughout the world even today. Srila Prabhupada wanted to send Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to preach, and after the departure of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja came to see Guru Maharaja. They were bosom friends, and our Guru Maharaja gave him sannyasa. After that he went to the Western countries and preached everywhere in a couple of years. He declared in a sloka:
vairagya-vidya-nija-bhakti-yogam apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
sri-kesava-bhakti-prajnana-nama krpambudhir yas tam aham prapadye
["I did not want to accept this sannyasa order, but this Godbrother forced me. He said, 'You must.' He forcefully made me drink this medicine. Krpambudhi. He did this favor to me because he was an ocean of mercy. So we offer our obeisances to the Vaisnavas, the representatives of the Lord, they are so kind. They bring the ocean of mercy for distribution to the suffering humanity. So I am offering my respectful obeisances unto His Holiness Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja." (Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada on the disappearance of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, 1968)]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna with the intrinsic mood and the golden beauty of Srimati Radhika. Internally His mood is that of Radhika, and externally His bodily color is that of Radhika, and thus He became Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sacinandana Gaurahari. In Puri and Navadvipa He was always calling out, "O, Krsna! O, Krsna! Where should I go? My heart is burning? My heart is broken. O Krsna, where should I go?" He used to cry out in this way, especially in the Gambhira. This is bhajana.
If you have no absorption in or attachment for Krsna and Mahaprabhu, you are not doing bhajana. First be attached to Gurudeva, and then you can be attached to Mahaprabhu and Radha-Krsna. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to weep continually, rolling down on the earth, out of external consciousness, and this is called vipralambha-bhava. Srila Rupa Gosvami wrote about this, as did Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja wrote the Caitanya-caritamrta - full with all Mahaprabhu's separation moods. By weeping, Mahaprabhu used to wet everyone around Him with His tears. He would rub His face against the walls of Gambhira, and He used to sing so many songs of vipralambha bhava. If a person loves someone, he will experience a mood of separation regarding that loved one. If there is no love and affection, from where will separation come? When Mahaprabhu, Gadadhara Pandita, Svarupa Damodara and Ramananda Raya passed from this world, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami came to Vrndavana to give up his life. Rupa and Sanatana Gosvami treated him as their younger god-brother and they began to help him; otherwise he would have jumped into the Yamuna or he would have jumped from Govardhana Hill. Later, when Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami passed into that world, he entered in a severe separation mood. This mood, under the guidance of rupanuga Vaisnavas, this is the highest mood for a sadhaka.
[Brajanatha dasa:] Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and our paramgurudeva were so much against the babajis, especially because they are against Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Why is it that so many devotees become victims of the babajis traps?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] The sahajiya Vaisnavas make bhajana seem easy. They say that even if you are a male, you should dress yourself as a lady and keep many ladies with you while you do bhajana. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was very bold and he used to expose this, and that is why they were against him. Then, after the passing of great souls like Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja there were still more bad influences. Nowadays the 'rtvik' philosophy has become popular, and I saw a person in Hawaii who has thousands of disciples and at the same time engages in so many bogus activities.
[Brajanatha dasa:] In South America there are thousands of babaji followers. They want to have a shortcut and cheapen sadhana-bhajana. They want to jump to the top of the tree.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] That is why Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura re-introduced the brahmacari and sannyasa asramas. He wanted to engage devotees in practically following Upadesamrta and Manah-siksa, and our Guru Maharaja totally followed Srila Prabhupada.
Transcriber: Krsna Bhajana dasa
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typist: Radhika dasi
Endnote *1 [From the biography of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja written by Srila Narayana Maharaja (p.188): "Sri Vyasadeva is worshipped properly in the Vaisnava Sapradaya. All tridandi-sannyasis should accept the example of the vyasa-puja celebrated by Sripad Janardana Maharaja. Nowadays, we see that, in the name of Vyasa-puja, so-called gurus everywhere accept puspanjali and arcanjali offered to their own feet and they hear and accept praise given to them by their own disciples. However, those who only accept puspanjali and arcanjali offered to their own feet and who do not follow Sri Vyasa-puja-paddhati (which was collected by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada and edited and developed by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) are not actually performing Vyasa-puja. On Vyasa-puja day an acarya will worship guru, guru-parampara and upasya. According to this puja-paddhati, on that day one should worship the following:
"1) guru-pancaka (Sri Guru, Parmaguru, Paramesthiguru, Paratparguru, Paramparatparguru); 2) acarya-pancaka (Sri Sukadeva, Ramanuja, Madhva, Visnusvami, Nimbaditya); 3) vyasa-pancaka (Sri Vedavyasa, Pail, Vaisampayana, Jaimini, Sumanta); 4) sanakadi-pancaka (Sri Sanak, Sanatkumara, Sanatana, Sanandana, Visvaksena); 5) krsna-pancaka (Sri Krsna, Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha); 6) upasya-pancaka (Sri Radhika, Krsna, Gaura, Gadadhara, Sri Gurudeva); and 7) panca-tattva (Sri Krsna Caitanya, Nityananda, Advaita Acarya, Gadadhara, Srivasa).
"It is the supreme duty of Sri Gaudiya Sarasvata Vaisnavas to follow the Vyasa-puja-paddhati used by Srila Prabhupada."
(p.137) "In the month of February 1952, Sri Sri Vyasa-puja was celebrated with great festivities for three days, from Maghi Krsna Trtiya to Maghi Pancami, at Sri Uddharana Gaudiya Matha in Chunchura. On Srila Guru Maharaja's appearance day, he gave valuable instructions in response to the greetings and puspanjali of the Vaisnavas. He said, "Tridandi-sannyasis should perform Sri Gurupuja on their own appearance days. With this Guru-puja it is also necessary together to worship the guru-parampara, Sri Radhika-Krsna Yugala and Sacinandana Sri Gaurahari and His associates. Vyasa-puja, guru-puja, acarya-puja and upasya-puja are different names for the same tattva (category of a concept). The word krsna-pancaka does not mean five types of krsna-puja, rather it is a puja whose objects are Krsna's five manifestations (prakasa or vilasa).
"Srila Prabhupada collected the book Vyasa-puja-paddhati from Sri Govardhana Matha in Puri. Srila Gurudeva also collected the same paddhati from Brahma Matha in Pushkar and Sarda Matha of Gomatidvarka. He published Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's revised and modified edition in the third issue of the fourth year of Sri Gaudiya Patrika. To this day, all the mathas of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and especially the original matha, Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Navadvipa, celebrate vyasa-puja according to this paddhati."]
Endnote *2 [They do not acknowledge Sri Vyasadeva's Srimad-Bhagavatam as authoritative, but rather favor the modern Bhagavatpothi, written in Assamese by Hankaradeva.]
Endnote *3 [Catuhsana (the four Kumaras) have accepted this Nimbaditya Acarya as their sampradaya-acarya in the age of Kali. However, Nimbarka Swami is a completely different person.]