Come with me now to Godruma in Navadvipa Dhama, where Sannyasi Thakura asks a question to his guru, Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja. He told him, "For a long time I have heard of the pre-eminence of dharma. On numerous occasions I have asked the question to many people, 'What is dharma?' And, it is a cause of distress to me that those peoples' answers contradict each other. So please tell me, what is the true constitutional dharma of the jivas, and why do different teachers explain the nature of dharma in such diverse ways? If dharma is one, why don't all learned teachers cultivate that universal dharma which is one without a second?"
Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja replied, "Religion is one, and that religion is love and affection for the Supreme Lord. Only this love and affection is real Vaisnava-dharma, Sanatana-dharma, or Bhagavad-dharma. This sometimes transforms, however, as water transforms into ice, or fog, or steam. When it becomes ice, one can throw it at anyone and it will cause injury, but water will not do so. Similarly, love for Krsna, the intrinsic mood of the jiva, has now been transformed. Now we love each other, or we love dogs, cats, our own bodies, or boyfriends and girlfriends, and this is called anitya-dharma. That love originally comes from Goloka Vrndavana. That love is in the heart of jivas, but now it has been transformed, as water transforms into ice when the temperature is low. Due to maya, our real dharma, prema for Krsna, has now been transformed and changed, and now we are 'loving' each other. In this world, 'love' is perverted and has become lust, but in its pure stage, it is love and affection for Krsna and it comes from the hearts of the gopis and Vrajavasis.
Paramahamsa Babaji Maharaja quoted Caitanya-caritamrta:
jivera 'svarupa' haya – krsnera 'nitya-dasa'We are eternally Krsna dasa, servants of Krsna, but now we are Krsna bhuli; we have forgotten Him. The words 'krsna bhuli' are used here. It means 'the jiva forgets Krsna', but what does this actually mean? It seems to mean that the jiva was once engaged in Krsna's service, but now he has forgotten that service. Actually, this is not true. This is not the meaning. There is defect in worldly languages. They are not perfect, and therefore they cannot purely express what is the nature of our svarupa (constitutional form). To clarify the meaning of 'krsna bhuli', Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami writes in the next line, "krsnera 'tatastha'sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakasa.'"
krsnera 'tatastha'sakti' 'bhedabheda-prakasa' suryamsa-kirana, yaiche agni-jvala-caya svabhavika krsnera tina-prakara 'sakti' haya
["It is the living entity's constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Krsna has three varieties of energy."
(Cc Madhya 20.108-109)]
krsna bhuli' sei jiva anadi-bahirmukha
ataeva maya tare deya samsara-duhkha
["Forgetting Krsna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore, the illusory energy (maya) gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence."
(Cc Madhya 20.117)]
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has clearly explained all these truths. You should very carefully note this down in your heart and on your paper. He took his understanding from Srila Sanatana Gosvami's Srimad-Bhagavatam and from Sri Jiva Gosvami's Sat-sandarpa, and then he wrote:
[Pundarika dasa reads from Jaiva Dharma, Chapter Sixteen:] "Innumerable jivas appear from Sri Baladeva Prabhu to serve Vrndavana-vihari Sri Krsna as His eternal associates in Goloka Vrndavana, and others appear from Sri Sankarsana to serve the Lord of Vaikuntha, Sri Narayana, in the spiritual sky. Eternally relishing rasa, engaged in the service of their worshipable Lord, they always remain fixed in their constitutional position. They always strive to please Bhagavan, and are always favorable to Him. By virtue of the spiritual sakti, they have the strength to stay fixed in their devotion, and they have no connection with the material energy. In fact, they are unaware that there is a deluding energy called maya. Since they reside in the spiritual world, maya stays far from them and does not affect them at all. Always absorbed in the bliss of serving their worshipable Lord, they are eternally liberated and are free from material happiness and distress. Their life is love alone, and they are not even conscious of misery, death or fear."
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] They are all liberated. They don't know what is maya and what is this material world. Who knows? We know. We have come from tatastha-sakti, from a manifestation of Baladeva Prabhu called Karanabdisayi Visnu, who is situated on the marginal line, in the Karanabdhi (Causal Ocean). The jivas are not coming to this world from Goloka Vrndavana, nor are they coming from Vaikuntha. They are coming form the marginal line, from the glance of Karanabdhisayi Visnu. Among them, those who look towards Vaikuntha are liberated, and they go there at once without delay. Conversely, those who look toward this world will come here.
Jivas are independent because Krsna has made them so. This independence is like a special jewel, and the jivas can use it properly or misuse it. If they using it well, they will quickly go towards Vaikuntha, and if they misuse it they will have to suffer.
Here is an example. If you have a sharp sword or knife and you drop some very small and round mustard seeds on it so that they falls in the middle of the sword, some will fall over to one side and some will fall to the other. The jiva has got some independence to go here or there. This is not the fault of Krsna, but rather it is their independence to look here and there. If they look towards Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana, Yogamaya will at once help them and they will go there. On the other hand, those who look towards the material world will be attracted by Mahamaya. Krsna is not at fault here.
You cannot understand this in your present stage, but when you come in our stage, then you will realize something. At present you should chant, follow your guru, and follow all these teachings. Don't conclude that the jivas have come from Goloka. Although Srila Swami Maharaja never said that the jivas fell from Goloka, some of his disciples try to prove that he has said the opposite. But I know the truth. He has told me, and it is also in sastra. Srimati Syamarani dasi has collected so many of Srila Swami Maharaja words, confirming that he never accepted that the jivas came from Goloka Vrndavana.
na tad bhasayate suryoGoloka is such a dhama that there is no maya. Rather, only Yogamaya is there. A person who is seriously chanting, remembering and following, passes through the stages of sraddha, nistha, ruci, asakti, and prema, after a long, long, long time. If he has gone to Goloka Vrndavana Dhama and is serving Krsna, there is no chance at all to fall down. There is no example at all in the Vedas, Upanisads, or any other scriptures.
na sasanko na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante
tad dhama paramam mama
"That supreme abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by fire or electricity. Those who reach it never return to this material world."
Srila Gour-Govinda Swami used to say very boldly that those who wear big kanti-mala and chant, "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna," at the same time being duplicitous, hypocritical and critical, are kali-cela, disciples of Kali. They are not Vaisnavas because they have none of the symptom of a Vaisnava. Such persons think that they can vote to determine siddhanta or to determine who is acarya or guru. This is totally against Vaisnava law. Experts are experts. Guru is guru.
Who made Srila Swami Maharaja guru? Has Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura made him acarya? Has he given him a certificate saying, "After me you will be acarya, and you will do such and such"? It's ones own service that makes one acarya or guru. There was no duplicity in him, and he was very kind and merciful to all. He realized this fact and he served like that. Similarly, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has not made our Guru Maharaja an acarya. He did not tell him, "After me, you shall be acarya," but still he has become a very famous acarya – strong like a lion. Those who serve their Gurudeva properly will become acarya. Who made Sri Sukadeva Gosvami acarya? Who made Sri Jiva Gosvami acarya? Who made Srila Gour-Govinda Maharaja acarya? Who made Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura acarya? Has Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja told him, "After me you should be acarya"? Those who serve their gurus properly, following the footprints of our guru-parampara and especially of Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, will automatically be recognized throughout the world as acarya.
It would be quite absurd to think that liberated souls in Goloka Vrndavana can ever be covered by maya. You should have strong faith that the jivas did not fall from there. They have come from the marginal point. They have come from Karanabdhisayi Visnu and from tatastha-sakti. Jiva himself is tatastha-sakti.
[Srimati Syamarani dasi:] Throughout Srila Prabhupada's books he confirms Srila Gurudeva's statements that the jiva never fell from Goloka Vrndavana. In the First Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam, first chapter, first verse, last line, it's stated:
dhamna svena sada nirasta-kuhakam satyam param dhimahiSrila Vyasadeva says, "I meditate on that Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, who eternally resides in His own abode which forever free from the illusory representations of this material world. This means that at no time is there any amount of maya in Krsna's abode. In the Third Canto Srimad-Bhagavatam, in the history of Jaya and Vijaya, Pariksit Maharaja asks Sukadeva Gosvami, "How is it possible that Jaya and Vijaya could have fallen down from that realm? I don't believe it." Any pure devotee will not believe it. Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport of the Seventh Canto, Chapter 1 (Text 35), "Therefore it is to be understood that when Jaya and Vijaya descended to this material world, they came because there was something to be done for the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Otherwise it is a fact that no one falls from Vaikuntha." Jaya and Vijaya had a desire to please the Lord. All the associates of the Lord have only one desire: to give Him pleasure.
Lord Narayana has a desire to enjoy vira-rasa, the mood or humor of chivalry. But who will He fight with in Vaikuntha? Everyone there worships Him in awe and reverence. Jaya and Vijaya were desiring, "We should do something to fulfill this desire." Then, knowing that they had that desire to please Him, Lord Narayana called on Yogamaya to arrange for the four Kumaras to come and for the gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya to be cursed to come to the material world as demons. Actually, they never came here and became demons. Only a part of them manifested in this world in order to give the Lord pleasure. Bhagavan came in the form of Lord Nrsimhadeva and Lord Varaha to fight with their manifestations, and the complete and original Jaya and Vijaya remained in Vaikuntha as gatekeepers.
In Prabhupada's translation of Caitanya-caritamrta, Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sanatana Gosvami that there are two kinds of living entities. Those who are eternal associates of the Lord have never seen the material world, and those who are conditioned jivas, who have come to this material world, have never yet seen that world. Mahaprabhu made a distinction between the two. He said that apart from one, there is the other.
'nitya-mukta' – nitya krsna-carane unmukhaCaitanya Mahaprabhu also explained to Sri Sanatana Gosvami that beyond the Viraja river, which is the dividing point between the material and spiritual worlds, there is no maya, what to speak of in the Vaikuntha planets or in the highest planet, Goloka Vrndavana.
'krsna-parisada' nama, bhunje seva-sukha
"Those who are eternally liberated are always awake to Krsna consciousness, and they render transcendental loving service at the feet of Lord Krsna. They are to be considered eternal associates of Krsna, and they are eternally enjoying the transcendental bliss of serving Krsna."
(Cc Madhya 22.11)
'nitya-bandha' – krsna haite nitya-bahirmukha
'nitya-samsara', bhunje narakadi duhkha
"Apart from the ever-liberated devotees, there are the conditioned souls, who always turn away from the service of the Lord. They are perpetually conditioned in this material world and are subjected to the material tribulations brought about by different bodily forms in hellish conditions."
(Cc Madhya 22.12)
karanabdhi-pare mayara nitya avasthiti virajara pare paravyome nahi gati "The Viraja, or Causal Ocean, is the border between the spiritual and the material world. The material energy is situated on one shore of that ocean, and it cannot enter onto the other shore, which is the spiritual sky."It's not that this is a new teaching or something that is hidden deep in Caitanya-caritamrta. I joined Prabhupada in New York in October, 1966, and two months later I heard him speak this same thing in his morning class. [Dec. 17, 1966: Karanabdhi-pare. Just on the other side of the Causal Ocean, this material energy is situated. Virajara pare paravyome nahi gati. And this material energy has no entrance in the spiritual kingdom.
(Cc Madhya 20.269)
Now, the description of the spiritual world is that there is no rajas-tamah. These modes of passion and modes of ignorance is not there. Suddha-sattva. Suddha-sattva means simply goodness, pure goodness, without any tinge of passion and ignorance. So pravartate yatra rajas tamas tayoh sattvam ca misram na ca kala-vikramah. There is no mixed goodness; simply goodness. And na ca kala-vikramah: And there is no influence of time. This is the description of the spiritual world: There is no modes of passion, and there is no modes of ignorance, and there is no influence of time." That means there is simply pure goodness. And in pure goodness we can understand our constitutional position: we can understand what is God, what is creation, everything.]
Srila Gurudeva often quotes a verse from Bhagavad-gita, as does Prabhupada. In his translation and commentary of Bhagavad-gita, Prabhupada writes that when one experiences a higher taste, he leaves the lower taste.
visaya vinivartanteOne gives up lower engagements when he experiences a higher taste. Even in the stage of ruci, taste, one has no desire for material pleasures. In asakti, in bhava, what to speak of prema, and what to speak of the devotees who are enraptured, enjoying the pleasures of Goloka Vrndavana; there is no desire for such mundane pleasures. Krsna says in the Gita that one who takes shelter of His spiritual energy is free from maya. That spiritual energy is Yogamaya, and Yogamaya is an expansion of Srimati Radhika. For one who serves Radha and Krsna, there is no question of every having the desire to come to this material world.
rasa-varjam raso 'py asya
param drstva nivartate
["The embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, though the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness."
Someone wrote Prabhupada a letter and asked, "Did we ever see Krsna?" Prabhupada replied, "Yes, we saw Krsna, just as the child was with the father before coming out of the mother's womb."
["Regarding your second question, have the conditioned souls ever seen Krsna? Were they with the Lord before being conditioned by the desire to lord it over material nature? Yes, the conditioned souls are parts and parcels of the Lord and thus they were with Krsna before being conditioned. Just as the child must have seen his father because the father places the child in the womb of the mother, similarly each soul has seen Krsna or the Supreme Father."In other words, he was saying that we never saw Krsna. We were with Krsna because we came from Krsna – from His tatastha-sakti. That person who came out of his mother's womb never actually associated with the father previously. Later on he meets his father.
(Letter to Jagadisa, Los Angeles, 25 April, 1970)]
[Gokula dasa:] Actually, within ISKCON there was two or three [Srila Narayana Maharaja:] I know. I have read them. Srila Swami Maharaja sometimes gave baby food to babies. When I give a baby medicine like quinine, I tell him, "Baby, baby, it is very sweet." I'm telling him something that is not true so that I can give him the medicine. Similarly, Srila Swami Maharaja has written to someone who was very low in bhakti. A letter cannot always be proof. What Srila Swami Maharaja has written in Caitanya-caritamrta and in his Gita and Bhagavata explanation is authentic. These are proofs. He can write something else for a little baby, but it is not proof.
[Gokula dasa:] Srila Gour-Govinda Maharaja said that he was doing it to encourage them. Otherwise
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, certainly. Someone may say that Citraketu Maharaja fell down, and this is proof that the jiva fell from Goloka. Actually, however, he has never fallen down. He is a liberated soul. He came to see his friend, Sankara Mahadeva, when Sankara was sitting naked with the very beautiful Uma Parvati on His lap. Citraketu began joking with him, because a friend can joke with another friend when both on the same level. Citraketu Maharaja was not less than Sankara. He was Sankara's god-brother, and fully liberated. He told him, "What are you doing? You're quite naked, and at the same time you're taking this beautiful young lady on your lap. What will everyone think?" He was laughing, and Sankara was also smiling, but Parvati could not tolerate his joking statements. She at once cursed him, saying, "You should become a demon."
Sankara became upset and told Parvati, "You have done wrong. He is a liberated soul. Whether he is in this world, or here or there, he will be a devotee. He cannot be transformed at all. He has the power to resist your curse, but see how humble he is; because he is a Vaisnava. He is beyond hankering and lamentation, and therefore he tolerated your words and accepted your curse. If he wished, he could have also cursed you; but he did not do so."
Citraketu Maharaja willingly came to establish this truth – that whether a devotee is in this world or in hell, he will glorify his Prabhu and give instructions to all to serve Krsna. It was for this reason that, for a very short time, he became the demon Vrtrasura. When he was in the body of that demon, his enemy, Indra, was in great wonder, thinking, "How can I kill him? He's telling me, 'Kill me. I cannot serve my Prabhu in this body. So kill me,' but I cannot." Even Indra's thunderbolt failed.
ajata-paksa iva mataram khagahThis is a highly elevated verse. Here, Vrtrasura's mood to serve Krsna is like that of the gopis. By this prayer, Srila Vyasadeva and Sukadeva Gosvami have glorified the love and affection of gopis. So Citraketu Maharaja did not fall from Goloka Vrndavana. He came only to establish these truths.
stanyam yatha vatsatarah ksudh-artah
priyam priyeva vyusitam visanna
mano 'ravindaksa didrksate tvam
["O lotus-eyed Lord, as baby birds that have not yet developed their wings always look for their mother to return and feed them, as small calves tied with ropes await anxiously the time of milking, when they will be allowed to drink the milk of their mothers, or as a morose wife whose husband is away from home always longs for him to return so that she can satisfy him in all respects, I always yearn for the opportunity to render direct service unto You."
When Jaya and Vijaya became demons for three births, they were still Jaya and Vijaya. They remained there in Vaikuntha and their manifestations came here to act like demons. Jaya and Vijaya can have so many forms, just as Yasoda has unlimited forms, and just as Krsna has so many forms in Vaikuntha, in Dvaraka, and here and there. There are lakhs of universes, in each universe there is one Vrndavana, and Krsna is there in Vrndavana. We cannot imagine this. Brahma has said that a person may be able to count the stars in the sky and the sands on the earth, but he will not be able to glorify the sweet pastimes of Krsna.
It is absurd to think that any jiva can fall from Goloka Vrndavana. Any liberated soul can come with Krsna to assist in His pastimes, as Sridama and Subala do. Krsna sends them here only to help the rebellious souls.
Try to remember Krsna and follow this doctrine: God is one, there is one religion, and that religion is love and affection for the Supreme Lord Krsna.
[Devotee:] You said that Krsna's associates go with Him to the innumerable universes and they have so many expansions. Does that also apply to the sadhana-siddha jiva? In other words, if we ever become perfect, do we also go to all those places, all those universes, at the same time, along with Krsna?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] If you will be perfect like them, then you can go. A perfect devotee, one who always remembers the asta-kaliya-lila of Radha and Krsna, will go to Goloka Vrndavana. Those who always worship Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu, always remembering Their pastimes, will go to Svetadvipa. Those who remember both Gauranga and Radha-Krsna and want to serve both, have two svarupas, and they go to both places. There are so many universes, and there is Svetadvipa and Vrndavana. Such perfect and liberated souls will be in all these places.
[Radhanatha dasa:] Citraketu Maharaja was initiated with a sankarsana-mantra. How would he be able to have a mood like the gopis?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] If by taking mantra from my Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktiprajnana Kesava Maharaja, I can have this, then why, by taking the mantra from Baladeva Prabhu, would one not be like the gopis?
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] Baladeva Prabhu is the undivided guru-tattva.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] It may be that he did not have that at first, but later on he may have attained it. Narada Muni gave him the mantra. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat-Kumara were originally jnani-bhaktas, but later they began chanting and remembering asta-kaliya-lila and now they are gurus of asta-kaliya-lila. How can you say they are still jnani-bhaktas? It may be that they are real Vrajabasis. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat-Kumara have so many forms, as do Subala and Sridama, and they also have forms like the gopis. Otherwise, how would they be able to teach the truths about the gopis to Narada Gosvami? Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, and Sanat-kumara have explained their asta-kaliya-lila to Narada. They are the gurus of Narada. If they don't know about that lila and they are not practicing that meditation and service, how can they explain it to Narada? Don't have any doubt in this.
Transcribers: Yamuna dasi, Madhuri dasi, and Vrndavanesvari dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
Typist: Radhika dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa