May 28, 2009
[Devotee:] Sometimes disciples think that the guru cannot understand what is going on. Is this due to yogamaya? Or, is the guru testing the disciple?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yogamaya is not present in this world; only mahamaya is here. Yogamaya only serves in eternal, transcendental situations – Krsna’s pastimes with His associates in His abode. When the demon Kamsa wanted to hold Yogamaya in his hands, She manifested as her shadow, mahamaya.* On the other hand, when She was in the hands of the devotee Vasudeva Maharaja, She was Yogamaya herself.
[Devotee:] So I understand from what you just said that the disciple is influenced by mahamaya.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes.
[Devotee:] In Vrndavana, there is so much spontaneous love for Krsna, whereas in Dvaraka He is treated like a king. Is there a large difference in the degree of love for Krsna in Vrndavana and Dvaraka?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No one can be very close to Krsna in Dvaraka. The devotees must stand far away from Him, offer obeisances, and utter prayers. In Vrndavana, on the other hand, everyone freely mingles with Krsna, embracing Him and playing and joking with Him.
[Devotee:] Thank you for coming to this planet.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Why are you thanking me? Thank Krsna. Krsna has sent me.
[Devotee:] Srila Gurudeva, how many sets of clothing should a brahmacari have?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] As few as possible; he should have only two or three sets of clothing. Minimize everything; do not try to engage in sense gratification. It will be better for you to minimize as much as you can.
[Ramacandra dasa (Badger):] Srila Gurudeva, can you speak a little bit on the importance of book distribution?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] By distributing books, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached all over the world. His books went from house to house, to forests and mountains, to all cities, hotels, and bookstores. I also want my disciples to distribute books in the same way. They should reach every house – all over the world. I want to thank you for distributing so many books.
[Devotee:] At which stage in one’s spiritual progress is the jiva free from false ego?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Even at the stage of bhava-bhakti (wherein transcendental emotions begin to sprout), a touch of false ego is there. After that, when one attains prema (pure love for Krsna), all kinds of anarthas (thoughts and activities unfavorable to bhakti) completely disappear, including false ego.
[Ramacandra dasa (Delhi):] It is said in the Srimad-Bhagavatam that Siva is the guru of Janaka Maharaja. Is his guru Sada-siva or Rudra-siva?)
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Sada-siva.
[Devotee:] It is said in the scriptures that Lord Caitanya came to give the yuga-dharma (religious process for the age of Kali) for the entire world. But it is also said that most people who come to His disciplic line are in madhurya-rasa, the transcendental mellow of conjugal love, or sakhya-rasa, the mellow of fraternal love. There seems to be some conflict between these two points.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] When Caitanya Mahaprabhu came, the associates of all His incarnations like Rama and Nrsimha also came. But those who followed the instructions of Caitanya Mahaprabhu were all in madhurya-rasa. All other rasas – dasya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship) and vatsalya (parental love) - are included in madhurya-rasa.
Those who are attracted to dasya-rasa will have dasya-rasa. In a bank, you can only claim the amount of money that you have deposited, but there are many thousands of people who have deposited so much. In other words, although devotees in all rasas were enriched by Mahaprabhu’s appearance and pastimes, almost all of His personal associates were in madhurya-rasa.
[Vrajendra-nandana dasa:] Regarding the associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu who are also eternal associates of incarnations like Lord Nrsimhadeva or Ramacandra, do they not taste the Vraja mood when they come in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s association?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No, never. They taste only that only that mood which is their constitutional property.
[*Endnote: After Vasudeva bound himself with iron shackles as before, all the doors of the prison house closed by the influence of Yogamaya, who then began crying as a newborn child, This crying awakened the doorkeepers, who immediately informed Kamsa that a child had been born to Devaki. Upon hearing this news, Kamsa appeared with great force in the maternity room, and in spite of Devaki's pleas that the child be saved, the demon forcibly snatched the child from Devaki's hands and dashed the child against a rock. Unfortunately for Kamsa, however, the newborn child slipped away from his hands, rose above his head and appeared as the eight-armed form of Durga. Durga then told Kamsa, "The enemy you contemplate has taken birth somewhere else. Therefore your plan to persecute all the children will prove futile." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.4 Summary by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada)]