Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Cessnock, Australia: Feb. 27th 2002 (eve)

[Dear Maharaja's, Prabhu's, and Didi's,
Dandavat pranama. Jaya Sri Guru and Gauranga.

You'd really have to have been there to catch the subtleties of the humor of this scene, but something is better than nothing: The following transcription is an excerpt from Srila Maharaja's last evening class in Cessnock, Australia. In that class, attended by over 200 devotees from Australia and abroad, Srila Maharaja called on some of the devotees to speak on the conclusions of bhakti, by explaining important slokas.

This transcription is an example of how a sincere disciple happily and humbly accepts sad-guru's affectionate public chastisements and tries to improve in his bhakti. As the housewife teaches her daughter-in-law by teaching her daughter, Srila Narayana Maharaja was teaching all his followers how to preach authoritatively, by teaching his disciple, Radhanatha dasa Brahmacari.

Your aspiring servant, Syamarani dasi]

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should try to follow. If you follow, krsna-bhakti may come very soon. Hearing alone will not help. Try to remember the meaning of this sloka, and then follow. What is the first sloka of Manah-siksa?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gurau gosthe gostalayisu.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] First stand up and do pranama. Follow the etiquette. I don't know when you will have intelligence. You will have to come again in the womb of your mother, then be born, and then you may learn something.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Only one more birth?

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] No, no. I don't know how many births you will have to take.

[Radhanatha dasa:]

gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane
sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitara-
maye svantar bhratas catubhir abhiyace dhrta-padah

["O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop sublime and incessant rati for Sri Gurudeva, Sri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, your diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Kisora-Kisori, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the eternally youthful divine couple of Vraja." (Sri Manah-siksa, verse one, by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)]

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Speak more clearly. Gurau gosthe.

[Radhanatha dasa:] gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane, sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane, sada dambham hitva kuru ratim

[Srila Narayana Maharaja (now responding to the devotees in the audience who were trying to help by supplying some of the words of the verse):] Don't teach him. He knows it better than you. (Now responding to Radhanatha dasa who was laughing because the other devotees began laughing.) First you should laugh for one hour, and then speak.

[Radhanatha dasa:] This verse is from Manah-siksa. Do you want the explanation also?

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should say this sloka again, slowly.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Again? gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane,
sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane, sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitara-maye svantar bhratas catubhir.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Abhiyace.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Abhiyace. This verse was written by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] The purpose of your speaking is not for preaching to others. It is for you yourself. It is for me, and for others, but it is especially for you.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is instructing us and praying to his mind, "O my dear brother mind, if you want to serve the Divine Couple, then first you should develop apurva ratim, unprecedented and very deep rati, attraction, for seven things. First is gurau, which means diksa-guru padapadma and then siksa-guru padapadma. Sri guru carane rati ei sei uttama gati. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is first uttering the word gurau, because without developing deep attraction and faith in the feet of diksa-guru and siksa-guru, there is no question of developing attraction and faith in the other six. Gurau gosthe gostalayisu. Gosthe means the residents of Vraja Mandala. Vraja Mandala is non-different from Gaura Mandala. Sri gauda-mandala bhumi jeba jane cintamani. One should develop intense attraction for the residents of Vraja. That means the residents.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Where?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Of Navadvipa dhama.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Vraja in codasi krosa (the 84 square-mile area of Vraja Mandala).

[Radhanatha dasa:] Codasi krosa Vraja Mandala.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] So where?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Navadvipa dhama is also in Vrndavana dhama.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] But where in Vrndavana?

[Radhanatha dasa:] That Goloka Vrndavana also.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] That is bogus.

[Radhanatha dasa:] The ragatmika devotees of Vraja Mandala.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] In this Vrndavana. In prakata Vrndavana (Vrndavana manifest in this world). You nor anyone else can enter Goloka Vrndavana. Where should one go if he wants to live in Vraja Mandala? Where should he go? Should he go to Adi Bhadri? Or Kedarnatha? (Adi Bhadri is the source of Bhadri located in the Himalayas. Although it is in Vrndavana, it is the place where one can have darsana of Bhadri-Narayana, Nara-Narayana Rsi, Kuvera, Uddhava, and others.)

[Radhanatha dasa:] One should live in the codasi krosa (the 84 square mile area) of Vraja Mandala

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Where?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Specifically with rasika Vaisnavas. Wherever they are, that place is Vraja Mandala.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] That is bogus. Where?

[Radhanatha dasa (responding to devotees calling out different places):] Radha Kunda is best.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] More?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Seva kunja, that is also a nice place.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Not Nandagaon?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Nandagaon, no problem.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Varsana?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Varsana is also very good.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Bhandivana.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Nice, no problem.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Where in Navadvipa? In Kuliyagrama?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Anywhere in the Gaura Mandala.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Where? Where?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Many places are there. Devananda Gaudiya Matha is there in Koladvipa. Then there is Navadvipa, Mayapura.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why don't you say in Antardvipa, in Mayapura? In Radha-kunda-tata in Campahata, and in so many other places. In Govardhana. Where is that? It is in Koladvipa.

[Radhanatha dasa:] That is the holy abode, and we are experiencing this our own self. Once we get to the holy dhama of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu, of Sri Radha-Krsna, bhajana is very easy there for us. Everything is favorable there. Just by touching the dust of the dhama, bhajana will automatically come.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Have you realized this? Or are you simply speaking words with your mouth?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Something has been realized.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Don't speak like this. You should say instead, "Our superiors have said this."

[Radhanatha dasa:] But in the holy dhama it is very easy to chant and remember.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] So you should say, "Our guru-varga (disciplic succession) has said this." "Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and others like him have said this, or written this." Don't say that it is your own experience; otherwise you will achieve nothing.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is recommending that the sadhaka should take shelter of the dhama, the holy abode. Many people think that Srila Rupa Gosvamipada said that one can be anywhere and remember Vrndavana - but this is for the liberated soul. The Gurus and Vaisnavas have especially established mathas and asramas in the dhama, where the sadhaka can go and practice bhajana. Then one will easily make so much advancement, especially in Sri Navadvipa dhama. The sadhaka can take shelter there, and very easily become free from all types of material desires and offences. One should not live in the dhama without association of pure and rasika Vaisnavas. If any of Srila Gour-Govinda Maharaja's disciples would go to Vraja Mandala, he would say, "Oh, you went to Vrndavana? What did you see? Did Radha and Krsna say anything to you?"

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should only discuss the meaning, Don't run here and there.

[Radhanatha dasa:] One should associate with gostalayisu, which means those persons.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Gostalayisu?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gosthe gostalayisu.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What is the meaning of gosthe?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gosthe means the dhama.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] No.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Residents of the dhama.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Go.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Go means go: cows, gopis.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should explain it properly. I should not have to explain everything. That place is called gostha where the go (cows and calves), gopas, gopis, Krsna, Balarama, Nanda Baba, and all their associates reside.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gosthe. Sthe means.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] This sthi-sthiti is where they.

[Radhanatha dasa:] are situated; the residents.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] And gostalayisu?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gostalayisu means the residents of the dhama. For example, we know there are the ragatmika devotees, but as Guru Maharaja was saying, they are very far away from us. Who is an actual Vrajavasi? Of course we should not disrespect those people who have taken birth in the dharma; they have very great amount of sukrti.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Go on; explain gostalayisu.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Gostalayisu are residents - those people who, by their svarupa and by their bhava, are the actual residents of the holy dhama. This does not only apply to someone who has only taken birth in the dhama, but to someone who has mood in their heart.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Who are gostalayisu?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Vaisnavas.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why don't you say, "Nanda Baba, Yasoda Maiya, Sridama, Sudama, the gopis, and the many cows?" They are gostalayisu.

[Radhanatha dasa:] And also the sadhaka?

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] And also those who are following - like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami. They are all gostalayisu.

[Radhanatha dasa:] One meaning of gostalayisu is the ragatmika-jana in Goloka Vrndavana, and it also applies to those devotees who are doing bhajana in the dhama and who have realised their svarupa and are tasting bhava. Not only someone who was born in the dhama. For example Kamsa was also.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] And if one is born in the dhama and possesses all these qualities, should you neglect him?

[Radhanatha dasa:] No, he is also a pure soul. Gurau gosthe gostalayisu sujane bhusura-gane. Sujane means those Vaisnavas who may be from other sampradayas. There are four sampradayas. Devotees of these sampradayas might not be Gaudiya Vaisnavas, but do not neglect them and do not mistreat them or make aparadha to their lotus feet.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Because bhakti will be destroyed by that thing.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Why should we give them honor?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Because they are also Vaisnavas.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] How are they Vaisnavas?

[Radhanatha dasa:] They are chanting the holy name and practicing the nine processes of devotion.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should say that Rama, Nrsimhadeva, and Narayana are not different from Krsna. If those in other bona fide sampradayas are worshiping Narayana or Rama, they are also Vaisnavas; so we should not neglect them.

[Radhanatha dasa:] And sujane bhusura-gane.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Not only should we not neglect them; we should give them proper honor and respect - rati. And then?

[Radhanatha dasa:] And then, lastly, bhusura-gane. That means those brahmanas who reside in the dhama. Sastra has said that in Kali-yuga, raksasas take birth in brahmana families; but we should not apply this to all brahmanas. Definitely in the dhama there are very many pure souls; they are residents of the dhama, they are following all types of rules and regulations, and they take bath three times daily in the Yamuna. So how can you neglect them? They are also very powerful, and by their blessings one can also attain some.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Even if they are not one pointed, if they worship demigods like Mahadeva or others, but they have some affection for Krsna, they should be honored. Don't criticize them.

[Radhanatha dasa:] For example, we see that many persons of the caturvedi community come to our Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, and Guru Maharaja especially, and all Vaisnavas, give them so much respect. They always give them a nice place for sitting and taking prasadam, because they are residents of the dhama.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Not in Vrndavana?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Vrndavana also; in Vraja Mandala. Sva-mantre means the ten types of mantras given to men and the nine types of mantras given to ladies. Sva-mantra means the diksa-mantras.

[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] Nine mantras for the ladies? What nine mantras?

[Radhanatha dasa:] The ladies do not take the brahma-gayatri.

[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] That's eight.

[Radhanatha dasa:] Also the maha-mantra.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Don't say all these things. There may be a dispute if you speak like this, and the wrong conception may come. You should only speak about the seven diksa-mantras.

[Radhanatha dasa:] One should chant those diksa-mantras received from the lotus feet his diksa-guru with great respect, after taking bath and putting on fresh tilaka and cloth.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What should one do if he cannot take bath? Has it been written in any book that one should take bath?

[Radhanatha dasa:] If one is sick, or if the weather is very cold, then one can take bath by mantra and by acamana, but one should always try to take bath.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] It is not necessary. It depends on them.

[Radhanatha dasa:] One should chant those mantras with a fixed mind, on a clean asana. In the morning we should face east and with a very straight.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] From where have you dragged the clean asana? And if one has no asana, what should he do?

[Radhanatha dasa:] Then he should procure one. He should get one.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Will he come to you to get one?

[Radhanatha dasa:] We should have one asana and one arcana cup.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] If someone has no asana, then what he should do? How will Sukadeva Gosvami and Rupa Gosvami and the other Gosvamis take an asana here and there?

[Radhanatha dasa:] They have no need to chant diksa-mantras. They are liberated.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Oh, very good. (devotees laugh)

[Radhanatha dasa:] One should chant with a very fixed mind. For example, we hear from Vaisnavas that if the rascal mind wanders here and there while we chant this mantra, then we should again chant the mantra ten more times, again ten more times, again ten more times. Then the mind will become afraid and will become very fixed. Guru Maharaja says that chanting this gayatri-mantra in the morning is the most important part of our sadhana-bhajana. Guru Maharaja always says we should never miss. With fixed mind and heart, chant these mantras given by Gurupadapadma.

Then last and most importantly, sva-mantre namni. That means the sixteen word, thirty-two syllable Hare Krsna maha-mantra received from Gurupadapadma. By developing rati to those first six, one will then develop taste in harinama. Guru Maharaja says that one should chant harinama not less than sixty-four rounds a day. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura said that for a person who does not chant sixty-four rounds, Caitanya Mahaprabhu will not accept his offering. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is giving the instruction that one should leave aside all types of false ego. Sada dambham hitva kuru. "I am great brahmacari," "I am this," "I am that," "I am very good speaker," "I am an expert cook." One should leave all false ego and develop apurva ratim, unprecedented, uninterrupted, unbroken, unmotivated attraction for these seven things.

[Madhava Maharaja translates some of the above statement in Bengali for Srila Maharaja.]

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] From where did you get your explanations?

[Radhanatha dasa:] I'd rather not say.

[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Try to read more deeply the explanations that I have given in that book, Manah-siksa.

With the kind permission of Radhanatha dasa Brahmacari
Transcriber: Radha Kunda dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typist: Radhika dasi