Vrndavana: August 12, 2003
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[This year, 2006, the appearance day of Sri Baladeva is August 9. On the warm summer evening at Sri Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, Srila Narayana Maharaja gave a short talk on Baladeva's glories, and that will come to you soon. In the meantime, kindly accept this class, given a couple of years ago, wherein he discussed many of the same points:]
Lord Sri Krsna appeared as Sri Baladeva Prabhu, to give instructions on how to serve Himself. As one may massage his feet by his own hands, so Baladeva is Krsna Himself, in the form of the supreme Guru, to teach others how to serve His lotus feet. They are one, but there is a slight difference in their forms; Krsna is black and Baladeva is white, and Krsna carries a flute whereas Baladeva carries a buffalo horn. Because Baladeva teaches service to Krsna, he is called akanda-guru-tattva, the complete and undivided principle of Guru.
When Sri Baladeva killed the donkey-shaped demon named Denukasura, He showed that only Guru can remove our ignorance. When he killed the demon Pralambasura, he showed that only the bona fide Guru can remove our hypocrisy and tendency towards political diplomacy. During the battle of Kuruksetra, when Bhima was fighting with Duryodhana, Bhima "cheated", according to the codes of a ksatriya, by striking Duryodhana on his thigh. Baladeva became angry because Duryodhana was his disciple. However, when he understood that Bhima had gotten the indication from Krsna to do what he did, Baladeva didn’t say anything and simply left to go on pilgrimage.
While on pilgrimage He went to Naimisaranya, where Romaharsana was speaking the Puranas to 88,000 sages. The sages all stood up to show him respect and honor, but Romaharsana did not; he did not even fold his palms. Lord Baladeva is the personification of religion, and He wanted to establish the religious etiquette between Guru and disciple. If one tries to teach others and at the same time is offensive to the bona fide Guru, he is destroyed. Romaharsana was a prominent disciple of Srila Vyasadeva, who’s Guru is Sri Baladeva Prabhu.
Sri Baladeva touched Romaharsana with a piece of kusa grass and he immediately died. The sages lamented and asked, "Who will speak the Puranas?" Baladeva replied, "Don't worry. I can bring him back to life." They said, "No, what you have done is proper, but we need a speaker." Baladeva then called for Romaharsana's son Ugrasrava, and blessed him to be the speaker. Ugra means tenacious and srava means hearing. Because Ugrasrava was blessed by Baladeva Prabhu, he had a great capacity for hearing hari-katha.
In Rama-lila there was a gorilla named Dvivida, who performed profuse service to Rama. He helped build the bridge to Lanka and he helped in the war against Ravana. Although he was devoted to Rama, he was offensive to Laksmana, Rama's younger brother, who is a manifestation of Baladeva and is therefore a manifestation of akanda-guru-tattva. Dvivida gorilla was against Laksmana, and during krsna-lila, he was also against Sri Baladeva Prabhu. If one is against asraya-bhagavan (Sri Krsna in the form of His servant), then visaya-bhagavan (Krsna as the Supreme Enjoyer) will not protect or forgive him. The only fruit of that person's offense to Guru is his destruction by the club and plow of Baladeva Prabhu.
If there is no guru-bhakti, life is useless. Guru-nistha (steady faith in Guru) is the backbone of bhakti, and without it life has no use. Suppose a person comes to you, speaks hari-katha, and then says, "Come with me; I will take you to a bona fide Guru.” If you then you go to that Guru and receive the initiation mantras, can you ever repay that person who brought you? Even if that person is a kanistha-adhikari, the third class of Vaisnava, if he is telling you what is bhakti and you are not grateful, you lose your bhakti. Is it possible to repay the debt accrued for receiving transcendental knowledge? Even if your teacher is kanistha, it is an offence not to repay him – and what to speak if he is an uttama-maha-bhagavata, a bona fide Guru who is a manifestation of Krsna, and he is looking after you. If you go against him, Sri Krsna will create a hell worse than anything He has already made, and that hell will be waiting for you. If one offends a bona fide Guru, millions upon millions of his future lives are lost and wasted.
If a person rejects a bona fide Guru, don’t maintain any friendship with him. This is not a laughing matter. If you keep association with karmis, jnanis and yogis, even those in the dress of Vaisnavas, you will lose your bhakti very quickly. Don't praise them and don't criticize them, or you will lose your bhakti. Don't associate by body or mind. Criticizing them is to associate by the mind. Keep such persons out of your mind; otherwise you will very quickly get their qualities. If you throw water on an electric wire, the electrified water will splash back on you and you will get electrocuted. So don't criticize even one who is offensive to Guru. If you associate with those who are offensive or sinful, their qualities will reflect in your own heart. So be careful.
Don't associate with them, even in dreams. If anyone is against Guru, don't even see his shadow; otherwise your bhakti will not manifest for millions upon millions of lives. Bhakti can only manifest by Guru's mercy. With this consideration, move on in life.
This evening we will again sit together and discuss the tattva of Sri Baladeva Prabhu.
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Proofreader: BV Vaikhanas Maharaja