Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha
Mathura, India September 1, 2002
Today is very auspicious. Last night Nanda Baba and Yasoda had a very beautiful son, and they were so happy. Vasudeva and Devaki also had a son, in jail, and they also became happy, but not as happy as they could have been - because there were guards. Who were the guards? Demons on the caliber of Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura, Canura, Mustika, Sala, Kosala, and so many others. And even now Janma-Bhumi is like a jail. Due to the intensified situation due to terrorists all over the world, and especially in India and Pakistan, there are many guards there during Janmastami. You cannot enter the temple without those guards checking whatever you have; they will even look in your bead bag to see if there is a bomb inside. I had been going for sixty years, but this year I did not go.
So, Vasudeva and Devaki were very happy, but they could not do anything for Krsna. They wanted to donate 10,000 cows, and jewels, and many other valuable paraphernalia, but they could not do so because they had nothing. They were in prison and did not have a farthing.
On the other hand, Nanda Baba and Yasoda had everything. Nanda Baba donated hundreds of thousands of cows. He donated as many cows as he had, and only the calves remained with him. After some time those calves became cows, and at the same time, one year later, when Nanda Baba again celebrated Krsna's birthday, he again donated hundreds of thousands. He donated what he had, keeping nothing in the house for himself. Yasoda also thought, "All my ornaments and jewels, and everything else that I own, should be donated." In this way, Nanda Baba and Yasoda gave away everything they had, and God only knows from where so many jewels and so much wealth were coming. The supply was endless - unlimited - and that is why Nanda Baba's treasury was always full. This very great miracle was possible because Krsna had come.
jayati te 'dhikam janmana vrajah
srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate
[The gopis said: O beloved, Your birth in the land of Vraja has made it exceedingly glorious, and thus Indira, the goddess of fortune, always resides here. It is only for Your sake that we, Your devoted servants, maintain our lives. We have been searching everywhere for You, so please show Yourself to us. (SB10.31.1)]
Indira - Laksmi devi - the goddess of all fortune, wealth, and opulence, was brooming in the kunjas and everywhere else in Vrndavana. She was also brooming in the house of Nanda Baba, and therefore unlimited wealth was present there. Everyone was receiving charity, and at last there was no one left to accept charity. All were fully satisfied.
Even demigods came, in the form of gopas and gopis, and they were also taking donations. They told Yasoda, "O Mother Yasoda, O Nanda Baba, I have come to give you badhai, good wishes and congratulations. You should give me something because I am singing and dancing. You should donate something to me, for the benefit of your son."
All the demigods had come, including Brahma and Sankara, and there was great happiness everywhere - because the goddess of fortune and wealth was present. What was she doing? She was brooming and decorating the kunjas and all other places in Vraja.
It was a great fortune that on this next day, when Nanda Baba was celebrating the birth of his son, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja appeared in this world. This was not an ordinary thing. Exalted devotees come on these special days. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, known in his youth as Abhaya Carana Prabhu, was not an ordinary person. .
Now others should give their glorification. [See Endnote #4]
First of all, you should know that Om Visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja's glorification is understood by his pranama mantra - gaura-vani-pracarine. Most of the ISKCON leaders never gave any importance to his acceptance of sannyasa. They thought that this is an ordinary thing or that it has no use or that it is a formality. They thought only that because Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura had given him the order, he was able to preach in Western countries; but if he had not taken sannyasa from our Gurudeva, could he have preached over the whole world as he had done? He could not have done so. Though he was ordered by his spiritual master, had he not taken sannyasa, he could not have performed his miracle. So there is great importance in sannyasa - not only for preaching, but also for bhajana. The highest greed for bhajana is in sannyasa. Gopi-bhava comes by sannyasa mantra, not by another. The sannyasa mantra is not less than gopala-mantra. In fact, we give even more importance to our sannyasa mantra than our gopala-mantra. [See Endnote #1]So it is not a formality only.
The second thing is that once, in this hall (at the Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha), many ISKCON leaders were present. They were glorifying him by so many means and ways. But I told the devotees - and this brought about a big revolution - that Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja had not come only to preach vaidhi-bhakti and perform kirtana of Hare Krsna Hare Krsna here and there. This was important, but it was not his primary reason for coming to this world. It was secondary. As stated in Caitanya Caritamrta, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu preached sankirtana everywhere, but this was gauna, secondary. What was primary? Sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi.1.6 and 4.230); anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4). [See Endnotes #2 AND #3] This was the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Srila Rupa Gosvami has fulfilled that mission - the heart's desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja did not come only to preach Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna here and there. His primary goal was to preach the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that Rupa Gosvami fulfilled. He wanted to express all these things, but there was no time to do so fully. I also want to express this. As I have explained to you in so many places, his main mission was to preach radha-dasya, as taught by Srila Rupa Gosvami and Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. He wanted to fully explain the madanakhya-bhava of Srimati Radhika, but Krsna called him and said, "You have preached the glories of the Hare Krsna mantra everywhere, and you have established that Krsna is not an ordinary cowherd boy; He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead." He established this everywhere, and so many westerners accepted his words.
In a very short time he translated so many authentic books, like Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Caitanya-caritamrta, Nectar of Instruction, and many others. I think he published more than a hundred books. He preached his mission everywhere in the world in just a couple of years. He made hippies happy. All were hippies, and now you are happy. He used to say that India is lame and Western countries, especially America, are blind. But they can perform so many important things if they help each other. The lame person will sit on the shoulder of the blind person, and the blind person will carry him. Otherwise, both will fall off the road and they will be finished. Srila Swami Maharaja used to say, "My head office is in Bombay, my place of sadhana-bhajana is Navadvipa/Mayapura, and my eternal home is in Vrndavana."
In his last days his physical health was not good, and at last he returned to India - to Vrndavana. He wanted to go to Govardhana and Radha Kunda, but his disciples could not understand him. I know, however, that he is eternally there.
Now we will offer puspanjali (the offering of flowers, representing the disciples' hearts and hearts' aspirations) at his lotus feet. And after that we will take paran (breaking of the fast).
Transcriber and editor: Vicitra dasi
Ass't editor: Syamarani dasi
[Endnote #1 - This does not apply to ladies. There is no need for them to take sannyasa. They receive gopal-mantra, which is as powerful as the sannyasa mantra.]
[Endnote #2 - Srila Prabhupada writes in his introduction to Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila ch.4:
"In this chapter of the epic Caitanya-caritamrta, Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has stressed that Lord Caitanya appeared for three principal purposes of His own. The first purpose was to relish the position of Srimati Radharani, who is the prime reciprocator of transcendental love of Sri Krsna. Lord Krsna is the reservoir of transcendental loving transactions with Srimati Radharani. The subject of those loving transactions is the Lord Himself, and Radharani is the object. Thus the subject, the Lord, wanted to relish the loving mellow in the position of the object, Radharani.
"The second reason for His appearance was to understand the transcendental mellow of Himself. Lord Krsna is all sweetness. Radharani's attraction for Krsna is sublime, and to experience that attraction and understand the transcendental sweetness of Himself, He accepted the mentality of Radharani.
"The third reason that Lord Caitanya appeared was to enjoy the bliss tasted by Radharani. The Lord thought that undoubtedly Radharani enjoyed His company and He enjoyed the company of Radharani, but the exchange of transcendental mellow between the spiritual couple was more pleasing to Srimati Radharani than to Sri Krsna. Radharani felt more transcendental pleasure in the company of Krsna than He could understand without taking Her position, but for Sri Krsna to enjoy in the position of Srimati Radharani was impossible because that position was completely foreign to Him. Krsna is the transcendental male, and Radharani is the transcendental female. Therefore, to know the transcendental pleasure of loving Krsna, Lord Krsna Himself appeared as Lord Caitanya, accepting the emotions and bodily luster of Srimati Radharani.
"Lord Caitanya appeared in order to fulfill these confidential desires, and also to preach the special significance of chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare and to answer the call of Advaita Prabhu. These were secondary reasons.
"Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was the principal figure among Lord Caitanya's confidential devotees. The records of his diary have revealed these confidential purposes of the Lord. These revelations have been confirmed by the statements of Srila Rupa Gosvami in his various prayers and poems.
"This chapter also specifically describes the difference between lust and love. The transactions of Krsna and Radha are completely different from material lust. Therefore the author has very clearly distinguished between them."
Endnote 2 continued: Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami writes:
"I have given the essential meaning of the fourth verse: this incarnation [Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu] descends to propagate the chanting of the holy name and spread love of God." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi.4.5)
"Although this is true, this is but the external reason for the Lord's incarnation. Please hear one other reason - the confidential reason - for the Lord's appearance. (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi.4.6)
In the Third Chapter, fourth verse, it has been clearly said that Lord Caitanya appeared in order to distribute love of Krsna and the chanting of His transcendental holy name, Hare Krsna. That was the secondary purpose of Lord Caitanya's appearance. The real reason is different, as we shall see in this chapter."
"The scriptures proclaim that Lord Krsna previously descended to take away the burden of the earth." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 4.7)
"To take away this burden, however, is not the work of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The maintainer, Lord Visnu, is the one who protects the universe." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi.4.8)
"But the time to lift the burden of the world mixed with the time for Lord Krsna's incarnation." (Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 4.9)]
[Endnote #3 - Mayavadis, aparadhis, ordinary devotees, and various kinds of advanced devotees may also chant Hare Krsna. To give nama aparadha and nama abhasa and even Vaikuntha suddha-nama was the primary reason for Mahaprabhu's descent. Srila Maharaja is saying here that for the fortunate jivas, Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the acaryas in the line of Sri Rupa Gosvami also taught harinama, but mixed with gopi-prema. That was their specialty, and this was also the aim of Srila Prabhupada's mission. -Syamarani dasi]
[Endnote #4, glorification by others, transcribe by Vicitri dasi
[Prem-prayojan das:] I was never blessed with the good fortune to have the darsana or the association of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. I never met with him or heard from him, but I have heard some words from the lotus lips of our Gurudeva, and I think that seeing through the ears from the Vaisnavas is more important than seeing through the eyes. On the basis of whatever I have gathered by the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva, I will try to speak one or two words in glorification of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja received diksa, initiation, from nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. This is very, very significant. Upon receiving diksa from his Gurudeva, we see that he had the pastime of gradually trying very, very hard to follow the order of his Gurudeva. What was that? To preach all over the world, especially in the English language. So even when he was in his household life, a grhastha, he used to write so many articles. His talent for writing articles was highly respected and recognized by his god-brothers. Thus, he was appointed editor-in-chief of Sri Gaudiya Patrika (in Bengali) and Sri Bhagavat Patrika (in Hindi), the monthly journals of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and he contributed many powerful articles.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura departed from this world in 1937, and in 1940, on Aksaya Trithiya, Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda, along with his seniormost god-brother, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, he took part in the founding of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. His signature is there as one of the first trustees of Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. We see that immediately after the disappearance of his Gurudeva, he came in the anugatya of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. Along with Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, Sri Abhaya Caranaravinda and the other god-brothers cooperated together to push on the mission of their spiritual master. He never considered that the mission of his spiritual master was the institution of Sri Gaudiya Math, but rather - namaste sarasvati deve gaura-vani-pracarine - the mission of his spiritual master was 'gaura-vani-pracarine'. The mission was to explain, to follow and preach gaura-vani, the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
Once I remember Srila Gurudeva was explaining what it means when we are glorifying Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja by the phrase 'gaura-vani-pracarine.' Srila Swami Maharaja himself gave this verse to his disciples, so it is very significant. This phrase 'gaura-vani-pracarine' refers especially to the message that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given in His Siksastakam (6):
vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada
tava nama-grahane bhavisyati
Srila Gurudeva explained that Srila Swami Maharaja came to give this - that one should chant, and with melted heart, weeping, Oh, when will that day come when my eyes will be decorated with tears of love, when my hair will stand on end, and my voice will be choked, gad-gad, completely overwhelmed with emotion, chanting Your names?
Then Srila Gurudeva gave an example. Once Krsna came to meet with Srimati Radhika, but Krsna had made some offenses. Radhika had been doing mana, but now She could no longer tolerate this separation from Krsna. She wanted to look at Him, speak with Him, and embrace Him. But at once, Lalita Sakhi was standing over Her in a very strict mood, and telling Radhika, Don't look at Krsna. Don't speak with Him. He will take advantage of You. Because She wanted to give up Her mana but Lalita Sakhi was controlling Her, She began to cry. Tears were coming from Her eyes. At that time, Her dasis began to feel the same heart's moods as Radhika. As Radhika was crying, tears were also coming from their eyes. Srila Gurudeva said, This is 'nayanam galad-asru-dharaya vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira'. This verse is not only applicable after prolongued separation, but there and then, being with Radhika and being with Krsna also, upon chanting, remembering and realizing this pastime, tears will come from our eyes. Srila Gurudeva said, This is 'gaura-vani-pracarine'.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja came to give the same message that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu implanted from His own heart into the heart of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada; the same message taught by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and all of our Guru-varga. Srila Prabhupada came in this world to give this.
We can see that it is very significant that after receiving sannyasa from Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja went to do bhajana. Where? In Seva Kunja. This Seva Kunja is the heart of Vrndavana and the heart of the rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnavas. There he was doing his bhajana right next to the samadhi and bhajana kutira of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada. At those times, our Gurupada-padma would go there and associate with him, and they would have hari katha together. At that time Srila Swami Maharaja told our Gurudeva, "I will go to the West and preach there. I don't know if there will be anything to eat there." Srila Prabhupada did not know what it was like in the West. When he arrived there, he used to write letters to Srila Gurudeva and tell him, "Oh, this place is very strange. Everyone has cars and they have to drive a hundred miles to go to work on a highway with five lanes." In this way, he was amazed by the atmosphere.
However, before going there, he did not know what it was like. He thought perhaps there was no food there, but he said, I don't care. And he told our Gurudeva, "If I have to do it, I will make a hostel and I will serve meat. Anyone can come. I will serve tea and meat to encourage them to come. And I will tell them the message of Bhagavad Gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam." This shows how strong his determination was to preach the message of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura all over the world. While he was in Sri Radha-Damodara, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada appeared to Srila Prabhupada in a dream and told him, "Now is the time for you to go." Historically, it was a very perfect time, a great opportunity. It was 1965; 1966 was about to come - a very big revolution was going on in the consciousness, hearts and minds of all the young people of the world. Many of the educated young people were leaving their homes and trying to find spiritual life. So at that time, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada directly ordered Srila Swami Maharaja, "Now is the time to go."
Srila Swami Maharaja left with nothing - no money, no man-power, nothing. And he came on a boat, undergoing great difficulties to reach the West. Why? To carry out the order of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. That crossing on the steamship was very difficult. There were huge storms and during the storm he had two heart attacks. It was as if he was about to leave this world. Srila Swami Maharaja himself told that at that time he had a dream - he saw that Krsna and all Dasa Avataras had come. They were pulling the boat through the water and bringing it to America. Why? Because Krsna and all Avataras were behind Srila Swami Maharaja, and they wanted to take him there because there was something very important that he had to do.
When he arrived in America, for one year he was trying to preach, but not very much seemed to be happening. He had hardly any followers. He had even typed the Bhagavad-Gita and commentary by hand and his manuscript and typewriter were stolen. He had nothing. You can see in his diary, he would write, "Today I have only 250 grams of dal left in my bag." And the next day, he had nothing, and in his diary he wrote, "Today I have fasted because I have no money and nothing to eat. He was in a completely poverty-stricken condition, trying again and again." Despite having nothing to eat, he kept going and kept going. Then one day he came to Tompkins Square Park in New York only with kartalas - no mrdanga player, no harmonium player, nothing. Standing beneath the tree in Tompkins Square Park, he began to chant, Sri Krsna Caitanya Prabhu Nityananda Sri Advaita Gadadhara Srivasdi Gaura Bhakta Vrnda. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
And like a miracle, and he told later when he came back to India for the first time that thousands of worms began to crawl out from the stool. Upon his arrival in India, there was no one to meet him - no one. There was only one person - our Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja was there at the airport to meet him. He came to Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti and he was telling some god brothers and especially all the disciples of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaja, You cannot believe it. I began to chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, and you know, worms never leave stool. If they fall out by accident, they will quickly crawl back. But I began to chant the maha-mantra, and so many people, addicted to drugs, addicted to sex, all types of intoxication and meat-eating, began to emerge. These worms - first one, then two, then five, then twenty, and now hundreds and hundreds of worms are crawling out of the stool and putting on tilaka and kanti mala.
As Srila Swami Maharaja was telling this, he began to cry out of compassion for all the jivas of the world. At that time, all the members of the Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti were struck with wonder and they began to cry, remembering:
sri-krsna-caitanya-daya karaha vicara
vicara karile citte pabe camatkara
(CC Adi 8.15).
If one will deliberate on the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, then his heart will be struck with wonder. One must be amazed. Thus, Srila Swami Maharaja began his preaching in a very simple way. In a few years only, he preached all over the world. But after 12 years of preaching, he returned to Vrndavana, where he was completely absorbed. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja was a very rasika Vaisnava. He would request our Gurudeva to please come and help, but Srila Gurudeva was busy serving his Gurudeva in Mathura. I have heard from others, from Srila Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja, to whom Srila Prabhupada wrote, Please come and be with me. Even on one occasion, when he invited Srila Sridhara Maharaja to come to Mayapura, he showed him the property and said, Please come and be with me. Srila Sridhara Maharaja replied, I am old. I cannot go up the stairs. Srila Swami Maharaja said, I will install an elevator for you. We will make an elevator right here to take you up to the roof.
So he was always praying and feeling separation from his god brothers and others. Why? Because he had no one to talk to and reveal his heart. Who was qualified to understand his moods? Srila Prabhupada used to sing before class every day:
jaya radha-madhava kunja-bihari
I have heard from our Gurudeva about the purport of 'yamuna-tira-vanacari'? Krsna is meeting with Radhika, but She is not entirely satisfied. She also wants Krsna to meet with Her sakhis. So Radhika is taking Krsna by the hand to so many kunjas on the bank of Yamuna and bringing Him to meet with Lalita, Visakha and others to enjoy sweet pastimes together. Srila Swami Maharaja would sing this kirtana for the pleasure of Radha and Krsna and to impart this mood to the hearts of the devotees. But, in his own words, he had no one to speak to. Who could understand his mood? Some of you may have seen Srila Swami Maharaja when he was singing this song 'Jaya Radha-Madhava, he would go into samadhi; he would begin to cry and become unconscious for a long time. After some time, when he came back into sense, he would just look at his disciples and tell them, Chant Hare Krsna and be happy!
In his final days when Srila Swami Maharaja was in Vrndavana, he told his disciples, "Bring a bullock cart. Put me on a bullock cart. I want to go to Govardhana. I want to be in Govardhana. But they did not understand and they told him, If you go on a bullock cart, your health is so bad, you will leave this world, so we cannot do this to you." But this was his desire. I have heard from the lotus lips of Srila Gurudeva that when Srila Swami Maharaja was telling his disciples, "Put me on a bullock cart and let me go to Govardhana," then what was his mood?
pramada-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
racayati nava-yunor dvandvam asminn amandam
iti kila kalanartham lagnakas tad-dvayor me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana! tvam
As Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in his final days was praying, "O Giriraja Maharaja, O Govardhana, I know that Radha and Krsna are performing their sweet keli-vilasa in the secret caves and kunjas of Govardhana. Because you are the witness of Their sweet pastimes, you have the power to benedict me with the same vision. Please give your mercy to me. Kindly give me eternal residence at Govardhana, especially at Radha Kunda so that I may serve the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna in Their pastimes at Radha Kunda and Govardhana, under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari." This was his mood. This is actually the glory of Srila Swami Maharaja - that he was rupanuga, that he was absorbed in the service of the lotus feet of Radha and Krsna in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvamipada, following in the footsteps and guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari. The mysteries of Srila Swami Maharaja are so great that I cannot understand them, but whatever I have heard from the lotus lips of Srila Gurudeva and other rasika Vaisnavas, I have tried to convey.
Srila Gurudeva has just explained that on Nandotsava, on behalf of Krsna, Nanda Maharaja exhausted his entire treasury. He gave everything. Similarly, on this day Nandotsava, Krsna wanted to give to the world His best donation; He wanted to give everything. What was that?
anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-sriyam
So on this day Krsna gave His best donation. He gave Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja, to distribute service to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika to the whole world.