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[Srila Narayana Maharaja and his party sent 3 days in Brisbane, Australia towards the end of February. Each morning, devotees would come from near and far to the place of Srila Maharaja's temporary residence, the home of Prakash dasa Adhikari and Karuna devi dasi, to attend Mangala arati, prayers in glorification of Vrndavana, and Tulasi parikrama. While they were completing their circumambulation of Srimati Tulasi devi, Srila Maharaja would leave with a few devotees for his half-hour morning japa walk. One morning, just after returning from his walk, he sat down on the sofa, surrounded by disciples who had been singing morning bhajanas. That auspicious day was Ekadasi, and Srila Maharaja therefore requested the devotees to sing, "Suddha Bhakata Carana Renu." Then, seeing that no one was able to sing that bhajana without the help of the songbook, Srila Maharaja told them that they should know all the bhajanas by heart, without having to read from a book. Otherwise, they would not be able to understand the deep meanings of the prayers. He then began to explain the song, and the following is a transcription of that explanation.]
madhava-tithi, bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori, krsna-basoti, basoti boli', parama adare bori
["I very carefully observe the holy days like Ekadasi and Janmastami for they are the mother of devotion. Krsna stays in these tithis, so by honoring them we can easily achieve Him. By deeply respecting Krsna's lila-sthana (pastime places), they will give me their blessings." (Suddha-Bhakata by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, verse 2)]
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What is Madhava-tithi?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why is Janmastami not called Madhava-tithi? Why are Gaura-tithi or other holy days not called Madhava-tithi?
For Krsna, Ekadasi is superior even to Janmastami. For the benefit of all jivas, Krsna Himself became Madhava-tithi. He thought, 'All are forgetting Me, and they are suffering in this world. How can I bring them to Goloka? There is no way for them, as they are so fallen and helpless." He therefore became Ekadasi-tithi. Ekadasi-tithi is like a time period. How did he become this tithi? All transcendental time is Krsna Himself, and therefore this transcendental time is also Him. Ekadasi-tithi is not only a time, however. For example, Srimati Radhika is a manifestation of Krsna. She came from the left side of His body and became Radhika. Similarly, Krsna Himself became Ekadasi, and that is why 'madhava-tithi, bhakti-janani.' If anyone follows Ekadasi, bhakti will come to him. Conversely, if anyone neglects Ekadasi, he will never attain that rare status.
Continually drinking juices, lassis (as sold in Indian shops), and milk, and eating kilos of mangos and other fruit throughout the day, in the name of Ekadasi, is not Ekadasi. Take only what you require to maintain your life so that you can very easily chant.
In this way, Krsna has become Ekadasi-tithi. He wants to liberate from this world those who follow Ekadasi, and He wants to bring them to their services in Goloka.
Madhava-tithi bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori. Jatane means carefully. There is no question of neglecting Ekadasi. You'll have to serve Ekadasi like Krsna. Just as our disciplic gurus have followed it, we should try to do so.
Krsna-basoti, basoti boli', parama adare bori. Krsna-basoti, basoti boli. Wherever there is Ekadasi, there is Krsna. Krsna is always present where Ekadasi devi is present, because Ekadasi is Krsna Himself. Parama adare bori. We should observe Ekadasi with such respect and honor that by such following bhakti will come at once.
gaura amara, je-saba sthane, koralo bhramana range se-saba sthana, heribo ami, pranayi-bhakata-sange
["In the company of pranayi (intimate, beloved) devotees, I will go to all the places that Mahaprabhu joyfully visited." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 3)]
What should we do on that day? Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu walked and danced throughout the nine islands of Navadvipa. He went to Pani-hati and Santipura, and on the way He visited so many other places. Then He went to Puri, and from Puri He went to Godavari-tata and met Raya Ramananda. From there He went here and there, again came to Puri and from Puri He went to Vrndavana. On the way to Vrndavana He went to Jarikanda, Kasi, Varanasi, and Prayaga, and on His way back He traveled to still more places. Pranayi-bhakata-sange. I will go to these places with 'pranayi-bhakata,' those who have a high class of love and affection for Krsna and Mahaprabhu, and I will ask them, "What is this place? What did Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu do here?"
mrdanga badya, sunite mana, abasara sada jace, gaura-bihita, kirtana suni', anande hrdoya nace
["My mind is always anxious to hear the mrdanga play. When I hear Mahaprabhu's kirtana, my heart dances in joy." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 4)]
When I hear the 'dik dik tan' of the mrdanga, I will dance, totally absorbed. When will that time come when, along with gaura-bhaktas, krsna-bhaktas, I will dance to the sounds of the mrdangas and karatalas? When will I follow Srivasa Pandita and his brothers in his kirtana-rasa-mandala?
Gaura-bihita, kirtana suni. Caitanya Mahaprabhu liked the very loud and sweet kirtanas of Raya Ramananda and Svarupa Damodara, as well as those of Narottama dasa Thakura, Syamananda Prabhu, Srinivasa Acarya, Govinda dasa, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, and many other pure devotes like them. When will I hear their kirtanas, my heart dances in joy.
jugala-murti, dekhiya mora, parama-ananda hoya prasada-seba, korite hoya, sakala prapanca jaya
["I feel the highest bliss upon seeing the deity forms of the Divine Couple. Their prasada enables one to conquer the five elements." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 5)]
Jugala-murti dekhiya mora. When I see the devotees, quickly I become full of joy. Prasada-seva. We should not eat and run, thinking, like monkeys, "Oh, I should take prasadam before they come; otherwise they will divide it." Such thinking is not bhakti. Prasada-seva. We should serve prasada. Nama-seva, Vaisnava-seva, Thakura-seva. We should serve the holy name, the Vaisnavas and Thakurji. Sakala prapanca jaya. By prasada-seva I will become victorious over prapanca, material existence, and all my material desires will easily vanish.
je-dina grhe, bhajana dekhi, grhete goloka bhaya carana-sidhu, dekhiya ganga, sukha sa sima paya
["My home is transformed into Goloka Vrndavana when I see Sri Radha-Krsna's worship being performed there. When the Ganga sees the glories of the caranamrta of pure Vaisnavas, her happiness knows no bounds." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 6)]
Bhajana dekhi. This is bhajana. Grhete goloka bhaja. Now Goloka has come here. Where there is Thakurji and kirtana, that place is Goloka. We should try to make all places like Goloka Vrndavana. Carana-sidhu, dekhiya ganga, sukha sa sima paya. Like Ekadasi, Ganga is krsna-priya, and she comes from the water that washes the feet of Krsna. She is always pure and she makes everyone else pure. When I see Ganga, I experience boundless happiness; I cannot say what kind of happiness comes by this. Especially when I go to Navadvipa and see the ghata at which Caitanya Mahaprabhu used to take bath, the ghata at which He defeated Kesava Kasimira, and the ghata at which He jumped into the Ganges, and cried out in the night, "O Krsna, O Krsna," crossed to the other side, and took the renounced order, so many moods enter my heart.
tulasi dekhi', juraya prana, madhava-tosani jani', gaura-priya, saka-sevane, jivana sarthaka mani
["When I see Tulasi, my heart becomes cool and soft, because she is a source of happiness for Madhava. Saka (22 varieties or green leaves) is very dear to Mahaprabhu. He is very pleased with saka-seva, so when I honor it, my life becomes successful." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 7)]
Tulasi dekhi, juraya prana. There is no equivalent English word to explain juraya prana. Tulasi devi always serves Madhava. When I see Tulasi devi my heart becomes cool. All material desires disappear, and my heart becomes cool because I remember Krsna, Mahaprabhu, and all His associates. Madhava-tosani jani. Gaura-priya, saka-sevane. Gaura-priya saka. The spinach-like vegetable, saka, is very dear to Mahaprabhu, more so than all delicious foods.
bhakativinoda, krsna-bhajane, anukula paya jaha prati-dibase, parama-sukhe, swikara koroye taha
["Everything that is favorable for krsna-bhajana, Bhaktivinoda happily accepts every day." (Suddha-Bhakata, verse 8)]
Bhaktivinoda thinks that there are favorable for bhakti, He honors them all with strong faith and he will quickly kick out those things that are unfavorable. O Madhava-tithi, and Ekadasi, please be merciful to us.
Transcriber and typist: Radhika dasi Editor: Syamarani dasi