Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
Report from Mexico City Program, May 24 to May 28, 2002
[This first report was submitted by Vasanti dasi and Krsnamayi dasi:]
Over one hundred devotees from Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Panama, the US, Australia, and Europe congregated to hear from Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja in Mexico City, from May 24 to May 28, 2002. Coincidentally, on the same date that Srila Prabhupada arrived in Mexico City 30 years ago, Srila Maharaja arrived there in May of this year.
Srila Narayana Maharaja stayed at the two-story home of Durlabha dasa. Regular morning programs were held at his home, and evening programs were held at a large hall around the corner. The street front of the house's outdoor terrace was lined with big trees and fragrant flowers, creating a peaceful environment, and reminding the visiting devotees of India. During the days Srila Maharaja spent a lot of his time translating the commentaries of our previous acaryas on Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, and at night he gave classes.
After mangala-arati on May 26th, Srila Maharaja went on his usual morning walk to the same park where Srila Prabhupada had walked, and when he returned from his walk he gave a brief address. In that address he said, " In three days I cannot give you all I have brought from Vrndavana. I want to inspire you. I want to give you so many things." He called on a few devotees to explain the definition of bhakti, and then he said from the beginning we should know how to follow the path of bhakti, because if we don't know, how can we follow? He then explained about jiva-tattva and krsna-tattva. He said, "Everyone should know his own spiritual identity: 'Who am I?' This is very important to know. Everything is in our soul. Our constitutional position, and all qualities and moods are there, but we have to develop them."
After class, a Mexican disciple of Srila Prabhupada who was organizing the ISKCON festival, invited us all to go on harinama sankirtana - to the same park where Srila Prabhupada took his walks. Over one hundred devotees were in a bus as they waited to leave for harinama, and Srila Maharaja waved from his window, blessing us on our way. Then, once we arrived at the park, the Srila Prabhupada murti and a Diety of Mahaprabhu from the ISKCON temple led the way.
Later that day Srila Narayana Maharaja went to ISKCON and spoke about Srila Prabhupada, and several devotees from ISKCON came that evening to hear from Srila Narayana Maharaja.
In his evening class, Srila Narayana Maharaja said, "Last night you heard about Prahlada Maharaja, how he was born, how he was a strong devotee, and how he had a spiritual guru like Narada Muni. I want you all to be like Prahlada Maharaja. How is this possible? You must know the process of how to chant, how to remember. You should especially know jiva-tattva, krsna-tattva, radha-tattva, maya-tattva, and bhakti-tattva. Then you can perform bhakti, otherwise you cannot. Especially, we should know who you really are. Some devotees have wrong conception of jiva-tattva. You must know true conception."
Srila Maharaja then spoke on Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Dasa Mula Siksa and said, "In guru-parampara, what is accepted to be truth is only that truth which was told by the Supreme Lord Himself. Proof cannot be a mundane thing. Can you prove who is your mother or father? You cannot. You can only ask your mother or father. You are not an eyewitness, and therefore it is impossible to see who are your parents by your own endeavor. Similarly, our guru-parampara has accepted only the words of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, as proof of the Absolute Truth, and as proof of what is right and wrong. The guru-parampara tells us that this proof, and what is proven, is given in Dasa Mula Siksa-in nine points. We must know these nine points to do bhajana."
Srila Maharaja also explained, "I want you to understand that Absolute Truth in an easy way, and so I will explain this very simply. We accept Krsna as Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are so many names of God, the Father of Jesus Christ, like Allah and Jehovah. There are not two Gods. The Supreme Lord is one without a second. In different languages, and in different countries, people call the same Lord by different names.
The conception of the Supreme Lord should be perfect, otherwise it is not a true conception. The Supreme Lord must have a form, He must be merciful, and humble, and he must be stronger than anyone. Krsna is very sweet, He has a charming form, and He can attract anyone with His flute, peacock feather, beautiful cows, and His associates. There is no comparison to Him anywhere. He is all-compassionate, and when you call Him, He will come with the form you called. He also has so many pastimes.
In the Bible it is said that God created man in His own image, so he must have a form. But the Bible has described neither His form nor His pastimes. We are told by the Bible that He is our maintainer and protector, but the Bhagavad-gita has shown how Krsna protects the Pandavas. The evidence is there.
All is within Him. If we will pray to Him from the core of our heart, He many come and give His darsana, and He will play with you. He will act like a father, a mother, or a friend, and He will play with you like a family member. All good qualities are in Him, the Supreme Lord; otherwise they would not exist here in the material world. Putana witch came to Krsna to kill Him with poison. Because she had taken the form of a mother, Krsna gave her an eternal position like a mother. How wonderful and merciful He is! We have not heard about Allah doing this.
[This second report was spoken by Sripad Brajanatha dasa Adhikari at the commencement of one of Srila Maharaja's classes in Birmingham, England in June:]
Upon the arrival of Srila Maharaja in Mexico City, many local and foreign devotees met him with a wonderful reception.
[Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja:] Everyone was especially happy because I arrived in Mexico on the same day that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja had arrived 30 years earlier.
[Brajanatha dasa:] Coincidentally, (as is true in most cities visited by Srila Maharaja) the ISKCON leaders had organized a big festival, practically right next door to the place where our program was held, and they had invited ISKCON devotees from all over Mexico to come to Mexico City for their festival.
[Srila Maharaja:] Citsukananda (one of Srila Prabhupada's senior-most preacher disciples and one of Prabhupada's first disciples to preach and make devotees in Spanish-speaking countries) reminded me that he was present at the time Srila Swami Maharaja left this world in 1977, and that he had assisted me that day. He had escorted me to Srila Swami Maharaja's bedside that day. Among hearing many other requests of your Prabhupada, Citsukananda heard him say, "You should help all my devotees. I have brought them, but because of their lack of qualification I could not fully train them." He also heard him tell me, "With your own hand, you should give me Samadhi." Citsukananda told me that this is why he is so inspired to assist me now.
[Brajanatha dasa:] Citsukananda prabhu was instrumental in Srila Maharaja's visit to the Mexico City ISKCON temple, although the ISKCON leaders tried at all costs to ensure that the visit would not take place. The devotees there were very wonderful, and they invited all of us to accompany them on Nagara-sankirtana through the very park in which Srila Prabhupada used to walk in the mornings. Then, at the end of nagara-sankirtana, Citsukananda prabhu, present on behalf of ISKCON, announced, "I don't care if they kick me out of ISKCON. Srila Narayana Maharaja must come to the Mexico City temple."
Sure enough, that afternoon we all accompanied Srila Maharaja to the temple, and we assembled in the room that Srila Prabhupada had previously used as his quarters. Citsukananda prabhu spoke a few words, and then Srila Maharaja spoke of the wonderful history of how Srila Prabhupada had requested him to help, and how he had placed Srila Prabhupada's transcendental body in Samadhi. Expressing his appreciation, Citsukananda said, "If it wasn't for Srila Narayana Maharaja we would have no father. Prabhupada is our father, and it was Srila Narayana Maharaja who was the main inspiration of him taking sannyasa. Of course, Srila Prabhupada was sent by Krsna from the spiritual world to help all the souls that he helped, but Srila Maharaja was Krsna's instrument in Srila Prabhupada accepting sannyasa from Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja (the diksa guru of Srila Narayana Maharaja). If it were not for him, we would not have that transcendental relationship. " Then, addressing Srila Maharaja directly he said, "Without you, we would be fatherless. We are so appreciative of you and we want to help in all ways."
From that day on, Citsukananda prabhu came to all of Srila Maharaja's Mexico City programs.