Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
March 14, 2003
[16,000 devotees from East and West gathered for the five day Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama during Gaura Purnima festival this year. Most of the classes given by Srila Narayana Maharaja and other acaryas and sannyasis were in Bengali and Hindi; because the Western devotees were in the minority. Therefore, out of compassion for them, at 5pm on March 14 Srila Narayana Maharaja came up to the roof of the Gurukula building of Sri Devananda Gaudiya Matha (located across the river from Mayapura), and held a special darsana in English. The following is a transcription:]
Do you have any complaints or problems? When I go to your countries, you look after me in such a way that I am in wonder; I cannot repay you for that. Now you have come here, but we are not able to look after you fully. I know that it is a very big gathering - a gathering that extends all the way from here to Champahati. It is a very good gathering and I think on the last day of the parikrama its members will extend from here to Mayapura. We cannot look after you well. You are very merciful, so please do not take our offenses.
We are discussing many subject matters in our classes, and I want them to be translated in all languages, especially English. If any Russians are present they can also translate, and the Chinese and others can also do so. You should not be deprived of our classes.
[Padmanabha Maharaja:] I was thinking of one suggestion today. So many beautiful lectures are being given, and even if we get a verbal translation it is not complete. I was thinking there could be a program started. Your lectures go on internet, so it would be valuable for us to have these Hindi and Bengali lectures translated completely, directly from Hindi cassette recordings, because there is so much siddhanta in them. The class you gave in Champahati
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I think I have already given some of these same classes in English in Brazil, Germany and Australia. Still I told something new in Samudra Ghar.
[Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja:] Every time you speak it is new and ever-fresh, with new realizations.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] In that case I think that all these classes should be translated, and everyone should be benefited by them.
I want to know how many devotees have come, whether they are grhastha or brahmacari doesn't matter.
[Tunga Vidya dasi:] Not everybody has registered yet, so we do not have the exact number.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I want that you all enlist your names, whether you have paid the registration fees or not, so I can know the actual number of devotees who have come from Western and Eastern countries. I want to know this. You have come from so far away and spent so much money; so I want you to be benefited from our classes and everything else taking place here.
I know that you are wealthy persons, so you can help in our projects, such as in Mayapura, here and at Govardhana. We want to publish great quantities of books, and also to make Mayapura ideal. I think most of the Western and Eastern devotees may be there when it is completed, and sometimes we can begin our parikrama from there.
I want to make a proposal to you all. Then, if you sanction or approve this proposal, it can be enacted. My age is now gradually becoming older. I can no longer travel everywhere, especially to far away countries like Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Africa. My doctors tell me to lessen my travels. Therefore, I want that some of the more qualified devotees should be given sannyasa. I am very happy that Padmanabha Maharaja, Asrama Maharaja, Aranya Maharaja, and Bhaktisar Maharaja are doing well. I do not want any devotee taking the renounced order to fall down. I want that, until their death, they should be very strong and preach our mission - even after I leave. They should never be weak. They should think, "Our Gurudeva is present in our hearts. Our Gurudeva has never left us."
You must do this. Guru never dies. You can see this in Nityananda prabhu - Baladeva prabhu - that Guru never dies. I want that after I leave, our mission should go on; our preaching should be continued.
We have established some preaching centers in Birmingham and other places, and I want them to run very well. Regarding Australia, for many years I wanted that some land be purchased in Murwillumbah, and that all the Australian devotees help and make that place very ideal. Australia is now undefeated in cricket, and all are attracted. In fact, Australia is a prominent country in so many ways. I am very sorry, however, that up until now we could not do anything there. I therefore request that all the Australian senior devotees, like Lila-Suka prabhu, Vraja-vallabha prabhu, Mahaprabhu prabhu, and Premananda prabhu to help. All of them are very qualified. If they want to do so, we could establish a very good preaching center there. They should be very strong. I have heard that a piece of land has been purchased in Murwillumbah, so we should all assist to establish a center there. Please give this message to all there - that I want to see a center there.
We now also have centers in Los Angeles, Nigeria and Washington, and they should be prominent. Good matha (temple) commanders should be established there, and also in Sao Paolo, Brazil. There are seven brahmacaris present now in Sao Paolo, and their temple is in the center of town.
I told you that now I cannot travel to so many places, especially to far-away countries. I will have to go to Houston for my check-up, to Badger, and to Hawaii to take rest. On the way I may stop at some other places, and then it may be that I will have to stay in Vrndavana - in Gopinatha Bhavan and sometimes in Govardhana at our new center - and sometimes, during the summer and winter seasons I will have to go here or there.
I therefore want to give the renounced order to very qualified persons who will not fall down. I will not give it to all of them at the same tome. I will give it gradually, and at present one, two, or three, if the devotees will allow. I have selected two for this year, and if you select more, I will consider them as well. I think Radhanatha prabhu is now doing very well. He is preaching in many countries and he knows siddhanta. I want him to be more humble and to give respect to all. This is the first quality. If one is not humble and has insufficient guru-nistha, he is not qualified. He should be steady - not weak. Generally, when praise comes he thinks, "Okay, very good!" and if anyone criticizes him he thinks, "Oh, my God!" You should not be like this. Be always humble - this is the qualification. If you will allow me to give sannyasa to Radhanatha prabhu and Ananta-Krsna prabhu of Russia, I will do so. If you do not allow it, then I will have to wait - but I want to give it to them at some point.
You will all decide. I do not want to be a monarch or a leader like Hitler - a dictator. I want to be humble and to obey you all. I think that every sannyasi should be most humble and follow:
trnad api sunicena
taror api sahisnuna
kirtaniyah sada harih
["One can chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking himself lower than the straw in the street. One should be more tolerant than the tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige and ready to offer all respects to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly." (Siksastaka 3)]
[Srila Maharaja asks for opinions, and after hearing them he continues:]
There should be no type of worldly attachment for family, wealth or reputation in a sannyasi. That attachment will be like a tail, and that attachment can come on his head and cause a very big problem. And then all will laugh at me - at what I selected.
There is no question of prestige here, and there is no consideration of whether one is senior or junior. Anyone may laugh and say, "He is junior, and he has taken sannyasa?!" I sometimes hear this, but it should not be so. We were like babies - myself, Srila Vamana Maharaja and Srila Trivikrama Maharaja - and especially myself. There were so many senior Vaisnavas - god-brothers of my Gurudeva - yet he selected only us three. I want that we follow our guru-varga.
[Sripada Ashram Maharaja asks about protection of sannyasis by being closer to their Gurudeva, and Srila Narayana Maharaja replies:]
We asked the same question to our Gurudeva. We told him that we were not qualified and that we had heard about all the disciples of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura who were highly qualified and learned. They knew all siddhanta, they were poets, and they had all good qualities; we had nothing. He then told us, "Do not take this judgment into your own hands. Judgment should be placed in my hand." You cannot be qualified in millions of lives on your own, but if Guru wants, and inspires, then all qualification may come in a moment. So depend on this.
If you want to be closer, then I think that being closer by heart is more important than being closer by body. All devotees should be closer to my heart than to my body. Krsna was very far away from the gopis, yet He used to tell them, "I am always with you. You think that I was sometimes there in your dreams, in your trance and in a sphurti, but I was really there." Krsna was there with them. Similarly, if you promise to be steady and strong in preaching, Krsna will arrange all things and Guru will inspire you.
To be qualified for sannyasa, one will have to be very steady and strong, honoring all Vaisnavas and being humble like a blade of grass and tolerant like a tree. If a sannyasi does not give proper honor to Vaisnavas, he is not qualified. There may be so much lacking in him, but if he follows trnad api and gives proper honor to others, he may still be qualified. I have very rarely seen problems in the devotees of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, but about 90 percent of those who took sannyasa from Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja have had problems. I do not want to repeat this, so we should be careful. I know that Atul Krsna prabhu is most qualified, knowing more Sanskrit and siddhanta than anyone but, I want to wait one or two years. There are so many who are qualified, but I want to look after them first. They should behave as sannyasis from now on, and then they will automatically become qualified.
When we were brahmacaris, our Guru Maharaja used to send us preaching in many places. At that time I did not know Bengali, so I traveled from village to village in Bengal speaking 'kichari', a mixture of Bengali and Hindi. I used to speak, and all used to hear me. This is also true with Sripad Vana Maharaja. He is traveling more than me, going to almost all countries, and all are hearing. Why is this? It is because he has guru-nistha, and he is very polite and humble. When he speaks, he tells his audience, "My Gurudeva has told this." So we should try to be like him. I think that favorable qualities will come to many of them, and they will preach my mission throughout the world.
I am indebted to Krsna Bhajana prabhu. He is helping me more than anyone in my publication work, distribution of books, preaching, construction department, and in all other ways; and he has given me his entire wealth. He even helps me as a doctor. I decided to take him on my tour in the place of my doctor. Still, I want something more. I am not satisfied yet, but I think he may satisfy me.
Ananta-Krsna prabhu is the main cause of the preaching in Russia. He invited us and inspired us to go to Russia. He has helped so much, and he is qualified. Still, I want something more. There may be so many obstacles and problems in life, but be steady and strong. Problems may come like a storm, like terrible rainfall and cold, but a sannyasi should be very strong. I think that Ananta-Krsna prabhu and Radhanatha prabhu should go to each devotee, whether he is a family person or sannyasi, and they should pray to him, "Please allow me to take sannyasa, so that I can serve with all my energy, mind, heart, body and soul." If they are praying and all are favorable, we will decide what to do. Regarding others, we will think about it. It is not a matter of prestige; gradually you should be qualified for this.
In this matter I will take advice from all, and then I will decide. If allowed, I will give sannyasa on Gaura-purnima day and then the next day I will perform the samskara (fire yajna). There are three more candidates who will take sannyasa. Two are from Godruma, where we went yesterday. Their Gurudeva has left this universe, and they came to me crying bitterly and telling me that their Gurudeva ordered them to take sannyasa from Narayana Maharaja. We have all decided to give them sannyasa. And there is one devotee from Mathura (from Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha).
I want that on the day after tomorrow we discuss our program for my future preaching and book publication and distribution. I think that before I come here, the prominent leaders should discuss what to do. You should have a meeting and discuss how to preach, how to distribute books, how to publish our books, and also my program.
I think that Jadurani is a sannyasini. She is qualified in preaching, and in distributing my books and all my classes everywhere in the world. She is also very humble, but very strong. She wants that all should work hard like her, but it is impossible. [Srila Maharaja directs his attention now to Jadurani:] So you should be merciful to them. Speak to them with sweet words. You should take some help, and you should help with our publication and everything else.
Transcriber: Vasanti dasi
Typist: Anita dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi