Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
(A Lecture on Raya Ramananda Samvad)
Holland: June 29, 2002
I offer my millions of obeisances unto the lotus feet of my paramaradhyadeva gurupadapadma Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. I offer the same millions of humble obeisances at the lotus feet my siksa-guru, Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. I also offer the same obeisances to our whole guru-parampara.
I'm very happy and satisfied that many devotees from various countries have assembled here in order to hear, and to develop their Krsna consciousness. It was also the desire of my siksa-guru, Srila Swami Maharaja, that devotees would come together to hear. It is very difficult to gather twenty, or even ten devotees together in the Western countries, and therefore I am very happy to see that so many have come. The management here is so expert that no one has complained. Also, I know that devotees are very humble, and that even if there were anything wrong, they would not complain. That is the nature of devotees.
I am only repeating the words of the acaryas in my guru-parampara, who are themselves under the guidance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu is none other than the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, and Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatana Gosvami, and the entire guru-parampara are under his guidance.
You should have the strong belief that my words and teachings are non-different from the words and teachings of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. Several persons say that there are many differences in our teachings. Yes, there are many differences; but only in the sense that I am not as learned as he is, and my English pronunciation and also my words are not exactly the same as his. However, even if my choice of words is sometimes different, my siddhanta and mood are the same as his.
In my classes, I have sometimes discussed truths that Srila Swami Maharaja could not tell his disciples - because at that time they were not qualified to understand them. He had translated and commented on those truths in his books, but he generally did not discuss them in public meetings. But now, many years have past and those disciples must have become more qualified. Their Krsna consciousness has developed, and the same teachings will not be sufficient for them. Therefore, more advanced hari-katha should be given. The teachings for class one students will not be sufficient for the students of MA. A student does not remain in the same class.
My teachings are the same as those of Srila Swami Maharaja. There may be some difference in my choice of words, or in my pronunciation, but our teachings are the same. Whatever I have written in my books, Srila Swami Maharaja has also written in his books - in books such as 'Bhagavad-gita As It Is.' My translation and commentary on Bhagavad-gita is a sequel to his. They are the same, but I am giving something more than he could give at the time. He did not extensively explain certain aspects of the philosophy at the time because he knew that his disciples would not be able to understand. Srila Swami Maharaja has taken the ideas of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, and I have taken the ideas of the Gurudeva of Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. There is no difference between our teachings; all of my books are in the same line as his.
If someone wants to say that he is "Prabhupada-anuga", that he is only obedient to his Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, he should know that Srila Swami Maharaja, your Prabhupada, accepted our entire guru-parampara. He never said anything that was in any way different from the teachings of our Srila Rupa Gosvami or Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or from any of the teachings coming down the line from our guru-parampara. He preached in Western countries, and therefore he has simply translated many books and their commentaries into English and he has also added his own commentary.
Krsna consciousness existed before him. It first descended from Krsna to Brahma, then to Narada, Vyasadeva, Sukadeva Gosvami, Madhavendra Puri, Isvara Puripada, Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvami and so on. They are all ISKCON; they are the real ISKCON, just as he is. If one has fallen down, that person was never in the real ISKCON. Never. A real ISKCON member cannot fall down; he cannot deviate. You should become members of Krsna consciousness in the real sense. To obey me is to obey the teachings of your Prabhupada and our guru-parampara. Thus, in a very short time you will come to realize all those teachings, and then you will be ISKCON members; there is no doubt about this.
Our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti sannyasis have never fallen. I have strong belief in this, as I have seen our Gurudeva's sannyasis; none of them have ever become deviated. And, only in a very exceptional case has any of Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura's sannyasa disciples fallen. Those who cannot fall are the real ISKCON. You should give proper respect to our guru-parampara, and also to the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami.
We have no consideration of cast and creed; we are all in the family of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Advaita Acarya. If the name of an institution is different, there is no harm in that; still we are in one family. Those who have accepted Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu, and are doing bhajana of Krsna and Radhika, are in one family. Don't dishonor them; give them proper respect. Even if that person is a kanistha-adhikari (materialistic or third-class devotee), there is no harm; always try to give proper respect.
There are four ways of dealing in a madhyama-adhikari (middle or second-class devotee). He has prema for Krsna and he has three kinds of behavior towards the devotees. He offers dandavat pranama to those who are superior to him and respects them as siksa-gurus. He gives proper respect to those who are equal to him, like a friend. And, he gives his association and tries to help those who are junior to him and those who are kanistha-adhikari, without consideration of cast and creed.
Always try to chant the holy name and don't be weak. This is also the teaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. You should remember and meditate, three times daily, on the diksa mantras given to you by your Gurudeva: guru-mantra, guru-gayatri, gaura-mantra, gaura-gayatri, krsna-mantra, kama-gayatri, panca-tattva mantra, and hari-nama. Never think they are useless. Like Krsna, they are very powerful. The krsna-mantra (gopal-mantra) is exactly like Gopal, who is Kisora-Krsna Himself. Kama-gayatri is more superior, and it came to Brahma from the flute of Krsna. Try to be punctual and utter the gayatri-mantras without fail three times daily, at the proper times, and you will gradually come to realize your relationship with Krsna.
Try to develop a very thick and eternal relationship with Krsna. That relationship is revealed in the gopal-mantra, and it is a very secret thing. You cannot develop Krsna consciousness without such a relationship. Krsna should think, "Oh, this devotee has a thick relationship with Me," and that thick relation should first be with Radhika. If Krsna knows, "She is the dasi of My most beloved Radhika," He becomes theirs. There is no doubt about this at all.
The Vedas say that Krsna only belongs to those who are serving Radhika. He will hear about their service to Her, and He will at once give His whole heart to them. He becomes their property. Therefore, try to obey.
We have been discussing the dialogue that took place between Sri Raya Ramananda and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, from Raya Ramananda Samvad (Cc Madhya 8), and for the past week I have spoken only up to dasya-rasa. Relationships in Vraja begin from sakhya-rasa (friendship). Dasya is also present there, but it is not prominent and it is not pure dasya. It is mixed with sakhya, vatsalya, or madhurya. Today we will begin our discussion from sakhya-rasa. The sakhas are eternally attached to Krsna with love and affection, and they can even take foodstuffs from their own mouths and place it into His mouth. They never have any consideration other than their absorption in their very thick relationship with Him.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu glorifies the means to attain that relationship - Sri Krsna sankirtana:
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamrtasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krsna-sankirtanam
["Let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the holy name of Krsna alone, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence. Sri-krsna-sankirtana diffuses the soothing rays of bhava which causes the white lotus of good fortune for the jivas to bloom. The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is here compared to a wife. It continuously expands the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to taste nectar at every step. The holy name of Sri Krsna thoroughly cleanses and cools the self, one's nature and determination, as well as the body both internal and external." (Sri Siksastakam, verse 1]
When one is properly initiated by a bona fide guru and has a thick relationship with Krsna, seven symptoms will appear as a result of his chanting. These symptoms will become manifest especially when he is in the process of giving up all kinds of anarthas, which are unfavorable for bhakti. Be very strict in your determination to give up anarthas, and simultaneously you should firmly accept that which is favorable for bhakti. Whatever you do, do to please Krsna and give up anything that is not pleasing to Him. But begin with service to your gurudeva. Accept that which is favorable for his service and forever give up anything that is unfavorable.
Mother Yasoda loves Krsna, and her love is superior to that of Mother Kausalya, Mother Aditi, and all other mothers. When Kausalya gave birth to Rama, she saw that He was four handed. He carried sanka, cakra, gada, and padma, and He looked like a youth of sixteen years. Kausalya folded her palms and began to pray, "You are Svayam Bhagavan. You are Visnu." Mother Yasoda's love was so high, even higher than the love of Nanda Baba. Mother Yasoda can chastise Krsna and say, "Don't come on my lap; I will not give you my breast milk." You can see how lovely is this relationship, and your relationship with Krsna should also be transcendental, eternal, and very thick.
In Dama-bandana-lila, Krsna wept as Mother Yasoda tied Him to the grinding mortar. Up until that moment, no one in history had ever bound Him, but Mother Yasoda did so. The sakhas wanted to untie Him, but they could not. Nanda Baba also wanted to untie Him, and he was able to do so. This shows the superiority of vatsalya-rasa (parental love for Krsna), but it is not as great as madhurya-rasa. When Mother Yasoda went into Krsna's room at night, He pretended to be asleep. He wanted her to go away so that He could meet with the gopis. This is the superiority of the gopis' love. Their love and affection is totally for Krsna. Mother Yasoda also has love and affection for Nanda Baba, and she has many duties, but the gopis have nothing to do. They have left their husbands; they have left everything. They only have one pointed love and affection for Krsna.
Krsna's queen Rukmini has ten sons and one daughter, and therefore her love and affection is divided into twelve parts. Krsna only receives one twelfth of her love. When she was first married to Him, she gave Him her total love, but after she gave birth to her first child Pradyumna, her love became divided. Then, when more children were born, her love became still more divided. The Queens of Dvaraka cannot fully love Krsna, but the gopis, who also have husbands, could easily reject them and give their full love to Krsna. They left everyone, even their mothers and fathers, and they have no love and affection for anyone other than Krsna. Krsna Himself has therefore said:
na paraye ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara geha srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhuna
["I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are (VERY) difficult to break. Therefore, please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation." (SB 10.32.22)]
Krsna told the gopis, "O gopis, your love and affection for Me is selfless; you live only to please Me." If Krsna tells the gopis, "You can take any boon from Me," they will say, "We want Your service." Krsna will then be still more indebted to them. He cannot repay them, and He Himself has admitted this.
Why did Krsna send Uddhava to Vraja? He did so because He was grievously suffering. He was in Mathura, without association, and He was suffering from loneliness there. Although there were so many young queens, friends, and family members in Mathura, Krsna would weep bitterly on His bed at night. He could not tell anyone what was in His heart. Weeping, He thought, "I was once admitted in the school of Vraja. The principal was Srimati Radhika, and Lalita and Visakha were heads of the department; and they all used to teach Me love and affection."
It is stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47 that only those who have perfectly learned the two and half letters of "prema" - pa and ma are whole, and ra is half - are actually considered learned. In English there is a four-letter word - "love" - but actually there is no word in the English language that defines the transcendental emotions of prema. It can only be described in Sanskrit, Hindi, or Bengali.
Krsna is the embodiment of prema. Ramacandra is also abundant in prema, but Krsna is more complete than Him. Krsna is the most complete in prema. Ramacandra has love for all, especially for His wife, Sita, but He gave her up when she was accused of doing something wrong. Actually, Sita did not do anything wrong. Ravana forcibly took her away to Lanka and kept her there, and in doing so he touched her body; so she was not at fault. Nevertheless, Ramacandra had her exiled because of this; not for one or two months, but for the rest of her life. I do not agree with Rama. I cannot.
You can see that everyone in the whole of Vraja, like Jatila, Kutila, Abhimanyu, and all the rival gopis were against Radhika. They said that She was not a chaste lady, but still Krsna accepted Her. In fact, He never left any of the gopis.
Assuming the form of a mother, Putana went to Vraja to cheat Krsna. However, instead of killing Him, she was liberated by Him. Actually, He not only liberated her; He gave her a position, like a mother, in Goloka. How kind He is! Like Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura, and all the asuras also went to Vraja with the intention to kill Him, but He also gave them liberation and other good positions. If this is so, how will Krsna repay Yasoda who has served Him without any self-interest? Pondering this, Brahma considered, "I cannot fathom what benediction He will give to Yasoda, and also to His cowherd and other friends. And especially, what will He give to the gopis?" Later, Brahma's curiosity was somewhat satisfied when he heard that Krsna admitted, "I cannot repay the gopis."
Krsna was thinking, "I should send Uddhava to Vraja, where he can be admitted into the school of the gopis and thus learn something about their moods." Shortly after, when Uddhava arrived there, the gopis wanted to test whether or not he was qualified to be admitted to their school. Were his marks good? What exams had he passed? They thought, "If he is a good student, we will accept him into our university; otherwise we will not allow him to enter." But Uddhava failed the exam and the gopis declared, "Uddhava is not qualified to be admitted into our college." They rejected him, but nevertheless the scent of their love and affection had entered him. He now realized how high-class was the love of Nanda Baba and Yasoda, and even more so, how high was the love and affection of the gopis. He thought, "I have never seen love like this anywhere." It is not written about in the Vedas, Puranas, or any other Vedic literature. So high-class was their love for Krsna.
The gopis can do anything for Krsna. If He is made happy by their abuses, they will abuse Him at once. Sita cannot abuse Ramacandra, nor can His mother and other associates abuse Him. Rukmini and Satyabhama are always in fear of upsetting Krsna, and they used to approach Him with folded palms.
Once, pretending to be ill, Krsna told Narada, "I'm sick. I have a headache. If any devotees will give Me their foot-dust, only then will I be cured." Narada then went to see Rukmini and Satyabhama in Dvaraka and begged them, "Please give your foot dust." Puzzled, the Queens asked, "Why do you want our footdust?" Narada replied, "Krsna is sick. He has a headache. He has asked for the foot dust of His devotees. He will rub it here and there on His body, and He will thus be cured." The Queens asked, "Why don't you give your own foot dust? You are a high-class devotee, so you should give your own footdust. How can we give our footdust to Krsna, the Lord of lords? He is our husband. We cannot give our footdust to be placed on His head."
When Narada returned to Krsna, he repeated what the Queens had said, and Krsna replied, "I have no hope of being saved; I will die. But there is one thing that you can do. You can go to the gopis. Yes, fly to Vrndavana at once and ask the gopis if they can give their footdust."
Narada immediately left, and upon arriving in Vrndavana he saw the gopis and told them, "Krsna has a headache, and He will die at once if a remedy is not given to Him." The gopis asked him, "What do you want? What can we do?" Narada answered, "Krsna said that if any devotees can give the dust of their lotus feet, He will quickly be revived." Millions of gopis at once began to take the dust from their feet, and when there was no dust left, they collected dust from elsewhere. Now there was abundant dust, and they gave it to Narada. He asked them, "Aren't you afraid that you will go to hell?" The gopis replied, "If Krsna's headache is cured, we don't mind going to hell." Narada happily took that dust and returned to Dvaraka. Krsna then touched the dust and, rubbing the footdust of the gopis on His head, He instantly became cured.
What became of that dust? It is kept at a place known as gopi-talaw, the pond of the gopis. Even today, gopi-candan is collected from there, at that pond, and that is the clay we apply on our bodies as tilaka every day. We apply the gopis' footdust.
The gopis can give anything to Krsna, and they can do anything for Krsna. They can be naked for Him, or at other times, to please Him, they can stamp His head with the red color dye from their feet. No one else but the gopis can ever do this. The gopis alone can do everything, and this was one example of their high class of love.
Mahaprabhu continued speaking to Raya Ramananda, "I'm satisfied. There is nothing above the love of the gopis. But I want to ask one thing. Among the gopis, who is the most beloved of Krsna?" Raya Ramananda answered, "Srimati Radhika is the highest and most beloved gopi." Mahaprabhu then asked, "If Radhika is the most beloved of Krsna, then why did He secretly steal Her away at the time of rasa? Why didn't He openly take Her?"
Krsna had taken Radhika away from rasa-lila in a secret way, and after She left He disappeared as well, following Her. He had actually wanted this, so that He could meet with Her alone in a secluded place, and there He took Her on His lap. Radhika then told Him, "I cannot walk now."
Why did She behave in this way? She was thinking, "The gopis are my life. I am like a creeper, and the manjaris, flowers, and leaves of that creeper are my gopis. I don't want to meet with Krsna without them." She wanted to wait for the gopis. This was the reason She did not leave that place with Krsna.
But Krsna was thinking, "All the gopis will come here, and when they see Us together alone, they will become envious of Radhika." Not wishing for this to happen, He disappeared from that place, and upon His doing so, Radhika fainted. When the gopis arrived there and saw that Radhika was alone, they thought, "Krsna has left us, but He has also left Radhika. Now we are equal. Thus, feeling themselves on an equal level with Her, their envy subsided and they began to pacify Her.
In this instance, Krsna had secretly stolen Radhika from the rasa-lila arena. Mahaprabhu then gave the example of Vasanti springtime) rasa, which was written about by Jayadeva Gosvami. At the time of Vasanti rasa, Srimati Radhika became angry, (in a sulky mood), and She began to leave the rasa dance. Then, giving up all the other gopis, Krsna openly followed Her. This act of Krsna establishes the prominence of Radhika. Why is She the topmost? Prema has many levels: mahabhava, rudha, adhirudha, mohana, modana and madana. Madana is manifest only in Radhika, whereas the prema of Candravali and her gopis reaches to the stage of mahabhava and rudha. Adhirudha is only in the gopis in Radhika's group, like Lalita, Visakha, and the rest of Radhika's eight principle sakhis, whereas madana, the topmost moods (MOOD) in both meeting and in separation, is only manifest in Radhika. Not even Krsna has madana, and therefore Radhika's love and affection is the highest of all.
After speaking in this way, Caitanya Mahaprabhu revealed Himself as Rasaraja Mahabhava, and seeing this form, Raya Ramananda fainted and began to roll on the earth. What was so special about this form? Ramananda Raya had personally seen both Radhika and Krsna in Krsna's pastimes, (because he is Visakha Sakhi in those pastimes), but now, in this form, he saw that each and every limb of Radhika was covered by each limb of Krsna, and the body of Krsna was covered with the golden complexion of Srimati Radhika. And still, even though He was covered by that golden complexion, some black luster from His body was showing through. Raya Ramananda had never before seen this form. This means that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Radhika covered by all the limbs of Krsna, who is covered by the complexion of Radhika. Krsna's beauty is nilamani-kanti, which means it has the beauty and luster of a sapphire pearl. This beautiful luster was covered with a golden luster, and the combined beauty of the two is Rasaraja-Mahabhava.
Krsna is Rasaraja and Radhika is Mahabhava. Here, Rasaraja and Mahabhava are combined, and Raya Ramananda fainted when he saw that form.
This siddhanta is the top-most in any history or in any Vedic literature, and it has not even been revealed in Srimad Bhagavatam. I know that you cannot understand this elevated mood, but something of it will gradually come to you.
Suppose you are trying to take bath, at the same time all the water is draining out. Still, some of the water touches your body and you feel somewhat refreshed. Similarly, even if you do not fully understand what I am telling you, some thing will nevertheless come to you. Somewhat of a seed of greed to attain this mood will come to you, and it will become a treasure for you in the future. You should try to become very bold and strong, and try to follow my teachings. Actually, these are not my teachings, they are the teachings of my Gurudeva and the guru-parampara.
My abundant blessing to you all, especially to those of you who have assembled here from countries all over the world. I pray that Krsna, Mahaprabhu, and Radhika will sprinkle Their mercy upon you so that you will very soon develop your Krsna consciousness and become pure devotees. Try to become stronger; don't be weak under any condition. Many problems may come, but be bold enough to keep your feet on the head of all problems. If you do so, Krsna will always be very merciful to you. Always remember Prahlada Maharaja, whose his father gave him many problems. Try to remember Haridasa Thakura, who was beaten in 22 market places, whose flesh and muscle were thus torn apart, and who still continued chanting, "Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare." Try to Become very fixed, and determined to follow the teachings of the previous acaryas.
Transcriber: Sulata dasi
Editors: Syamarani dasi and Premavati dasi
Typists: Radhika dasi and Ananga Manjari dasi