Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Srila Narayana Maharaja giving class in Los Angeles

Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Gaudiya Matha
Los Angeles, California: June 10, 2005
Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

We have been discussing Raya Ramananda Samvad, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s discussions with Srila Raya Ramananda. Now Mahaprabhu told him:

prabhu kahe,--“pada sloka sadhyera nirnaya”
raya kahe,--“sva-dharmacarane visnu-bhakti haya”

[Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu ordered Ramananda Raya, “Recite a verse from the revealed scriptures concerning the ultimate goal of life.” Ramananda replied, “If one executes the prescribed duties of his social position, he awakens his original Krsna consciousness.” (Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.57)]

“Raya Ramanada, quote a verse regarding the goal of life.” Why is Mahaprabhu telling Raya Ramananda to quote a verse? He did not simply ask, “What is the goal of life?” He said, “I want to know that what you are telling is in line with the Vedic scriptures – with the Vedas, the Upanisads, the Puranas and especially Srimad-Bhagavatam. Please give references from scriptures. Without that, I will not accept your conclusions.” Raya Ramananda replied: “sva-dharmacarane visnu-bhakti haya”. We should all know what is the aim and object of our life. Without knowing this, we are like animals. Then, after knowing the goal, we should engage in the proper process to attain it.

What is the goal of our life? We all want happiness. Is there anyone here who wants to suffer? Do you want suffering? If so, then come here; I will help you commit suicide. Why would you not want this? It is suffering, to be sure.

Actually no one wants to suffer, and that is why the Vedas say, ‘sarve sukhino bhavantu’ – everyone should be happy. We want to be happy, but what we think with this material mind is not really happiness. In wealth, in position, in family life, out of family life, real happiness is not what we think. What is real happiness? Sri Krsna is Love. God is Love, Love is God. Lord Sri Krsna is ‘ananda-svarupa’ , the embodiment of happiness. He is ‘sad-cid-ananda-svarupa’ , the embodiment of eternity, infinite knowledge and unfathomable bliss. “Vijnanam anandam brahma – the supreme reality is divine knowledge and bliss.” (Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad 3.9.34) He is ‘anandamaya’ , made of pleasure. He is not only ‘ananda’ . He is certainly ‘ananda’ Himself, but He is also ‘anandamaya’ , that personality who is made of unlimited pleasure. And we, the living entities, are His part and parcels.

Ananda is the quality of happiness. It is abstract. Anandamaya, on the other hand, means He who enjoys plenty of ananda and gives plenty of ananda. Srila Vyasadeva has therefore referred to Krsna as anandamaya ‘bhyasat’. [*See Endnote]

Sankaracarya said, “Oh, how can it be? Impossible! He is ananda only; not anandamaya. Perhaps Vyasadeva was somewhat mistaken or wrong in his Brahma-sutra.” Sankaracarya could not reconcile why Srila Vyasadeva wrote anandamaya ‘bhyasat.

If you want to be happy, you will have to be absorbed in anandamaya abhyasat. You will have to remember, chant, and hear about the sweet pastimes of Sri Krsna. In that way you can be truly happy; otherwise you cannot be happy at all.

Unfortunately, the conditioned soul thinks differently:

nityartidena vittena
ka pritih sadhitais calaih

[“Wealth is a perpetual source of distress, it is most difficult to acquire, and it is virtual death for the soul. What satisfaction does one actually gain from his wealth? Similarly, how can one gain ultimate or permanent happiness from one’s so-called home, children, relatives and domestic animals, which are all maintained by one’s hard-earned money?” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.19)]

We want to collect money and wealth, and we think that we cannot survive without it. This is wrong. ‘Nityartidena’ . You are very worried if you have no money or wealth, and if too much money comes, there will be quarrels. Others will shoot you and take that money from you.

I know a married man who had a very beautiful wife and very beautiful children. Due to his love for them, he wrote a document stating that everything he owned belonged to his wife. Then he went to India, and in the meantime that lady became involved with another man. She took his entire house, his entire property, his children and everything else he possessed. That man began to weep, “What to do?”

Then he married another lady. Again, due to his love and affection for her and also to prevent his first wife from taking all his money, he assigned everything he had to the name of his second wife. He also did it to conceal his accounts, so that he could avoid paying taxes to the government. With a motive to cheat, he wrote that everything he possessed was the property of his wife. Then he went to do some service, and in the meantime that lady also got involved with another man and married him; and she took all his wealth, house and property.

I told him to come with me and remain with me, but he did not accept my offer. He will again do some job. He will again marry any lady.

Such persons will not come in this devotional line, and they will not absorb themselves in Sri Krsna – the personification of ananda. If you are really chanting Sri Krsna’ s name with all your heart, then ananda - unfathomable happiness – will surely come. It is stated in Srimad Bhagavatam:

vasudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogah prayojitah
janayaty asu vairagyam
jnanam ca yad ahaitukam

[“By rendering devotional service unto the Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.7)]

Everything good will come. All knowledge will surely come, and also detachment from this world will come. But I am worried. Why is detachment not coming to you, even though you are chanting Sri Krsna’s names? Many of you have had the association of pure devotees for several years, and still you do not want to be a sannyasi? Why? You want to marry again? You are mad now. I have come also to discuss these topics with you – to remind you that you cannot be happy without surrendering to Krsna.

“Wealth is a perpetual source of distress, it is most difficult to acquire, and it is virtual death for the soul. What satisfaction does one actually gain from his wealth? Similarly, how can one gain ultimate or permanent happiness from one’s so-called home, children, relatives and domestic animals, which are all maintained by one’s hard-earned money?” (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.19)

This is the cause of death – which ultimately means falling down from divine love and Krsna Consciousness. If you have too much wealth, a dacoit may come and kill you. There are many dacoits in India, ready to shoot the sadhus who are doing bhajana here and there in the forests. These sadhus keep the donations they receive, in their worn and torn quilts. The dacoits come and ask them, “Do you have anything?” They reply, “Oh, I have nothing.” Then the dacoits search them and find the small donation – and shoot them dead.

So in the end, your collection of wealth, your wife, your children, your house, property, dogs, animals, gardens and everything else will not make you happy. Only chanting, remembering and meditating on Sri Krsna will make you happy. This happiness is the goal of life (‘prayojana’ ). Happiness means Sri Krsna Himself. He is happiness itself, and He is full of happiness. How can you achieve that happiness? The only process is the process of bhakti, as defined by Srila Rupa Gosvami:

anyabhilasita sunyam
jnana karmadi anavritam
anukulyena krsnanusilnam
bhaktir uttama

[“The cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna, or in other words the uninterrupted flow of service to Sri Krsna, performed through all endeavours of the body, mind and speech, and through the _expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhavas), which is not covered by jnana (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward-seeking activity), and which is devoid of all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Sri Krsna, is called uttama-bhakti, pure devotional service.” (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.1.11)]

This will certainly give you happiness. Nityananda Prabhu holds his hand up high and promises:

yathestam re bhratah! kuru hari-hari-dhvanam anisam
tato vah samsarambudhi-tarana-dayo mayi laget
idam bahu-sphotair atati ratayan yah pratigrham
bhaje nityanandam bhajana-taru-kandam niravadhi

[“I perpetually worship Sri Nityananda Prabhu, the root of the tree of pure devotion to Lord Krsna. Wandering around Bengal he approached the door of every home, and with upraised arms he exclaimed, ‘O Brothers! Without inhibition all of you together, continuously chant the holy names of Krsna ’ Hare Krsna. If you do so, I will take the responsibility to deliver you from the ocean of material existence.”(Sri Nityanandastakam, text 5)]

He proclaims, “Chant and remember Sri Krsna, and if you are not happy by that engagement, I am responsible.” I am also telling you all, that you should chant and remember Krsna. Give up all your worries and hankering; chant and remember Sri Krsna. You must be happy, otherwise I am responsible.

Param-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja taught this process, and those who obey him will be happy. On the other hand, those who did not follow him fell down from the line of devotion. Now they are even drinking wine, smoking, eating meat and engaging in other abominable activities. So you must try to fully follow this process.

Happiness is our ‘sadhya’, our goal of live. Lord Krsna is not our goal, but service to Him and love for Him is our goal. Service in what way? There is service as a menial servant, as a friend and as a parent, but these are not complete. These services will not completely please Sri Krsna. If you want to be happy, then make Sri Krsna happy. Whatever you do, do it to please Krsna, and still better is to please his dear ones. Among His dear ones, Srimati Radhika is His most dear. You should have this understanding: if you can make Srimati Radhika happy, you must become happy. That is the purport of this verse, and we will explain more tomorrow. Is there any drama?

[Srila Narayana Maharaja continues after the drama performed by small children:] Very good play. Small children. They produced the sweet pastimes of Lord Krsna and Sri Radha meeting. My blessings to them. In the future they should understand what is love, especially the love of the gopis. Now they cannot understand, but in the future they may. My blessings.

[*Endnote – “And if we understand properly about Krsna’s activities, then ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhih—we reach to the platform of ananda-cinmaya-rasa. Because we are seeking after ananda, bliss... That is the information from the Vedanta-sutra. Anandamaya abhyasat. We living entities, we are by nature blissful, seeking after happiness.“(Srila Prabhupada Lectures – Mayapur, March 29, 1975)]

[“In the Vedanta-sutra it is said, anandamayo ’bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). The Supreme Person is always joyful, abhyasat, naturally.“(Srila Prabhupada Lectures, Hyderabad, November 29, 1972)]

[“Happiness is the nature of the spirit, as stated in the Vedanta-sutras: anandamayo ’bhyasat—the spirit is by nature full of happiness. Happiness in spiritual nature always increases in volume with a new phase of appreciation; there is no question of decreasing the bliss. Such unalloyed spiritual bliss is nowhere to be found within the orbit of the material universe, including the Janaloka planets, or, for that matter, the Maharloka or Satyaloka planets, because even Lord Brahma is subject to the laws of fruitive actions and the law of birth and death.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.6.18 purport)]

Transcriber and typist: Janaki dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Proofreader: Vasanti dasi