[Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Gaudiya Matha
Los Angeles, California: June 12, 2005]
My dear sons and daughters: we have only a one-day program here in Los Angeles, but I have told some things in our San Diego class two days ago. I've come to tell you that you should not be weak.
As I’ve explained before, the aim and object of our sadhana and bhajana is gopi-prema, and it is the supreme goal of life. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura expressed Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu opinion about the goal of life in his prayer:
aradhyo bhagavan vrajesa-tanayas tad-dhama vrndavanam
ramya kacid upasana vraja-vadhu-vargena ya kalpita
srimad-bhagavatam pramanam-amalam prema pumartho mahan
sri-caitanya mahaprabhor-matam-idam tatradaro nah parah
["Vrajendra-nandana Sri Krsna and His transcendental abode Sri Vrndavana-dhama are my worshipable objects. The most excellent method of worshipping Krsna is that adopted by the gopa-ramanis, the young wives of Vraja. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the flawless and most authoritative scripture, and Krsna-prema is the fifth and highest achievement of human life beyond dharma, artha, kama, and moksa. This is the opinion of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We have supreme regard for this conclusion. We have no inclination or respect for any other, cheating opinions."Sri Caitanaya Mahaprabhu is Sri Krsna Himself. Krsna is Vrajendra-nandana (the son of Nanda Maharaja, the King of Vraja), Yasoda-nandana (the son of Yasoda-devi) and Radha-kanta (the beloved of Sri Radha). He is supreme – as He is our supreme only in Vrndavana, so our worshipful deity is also Vrndavana-dhama. That Krsna who is not in Vrndavana but in Dvaraka and other places is honorable, but He is not the ultimate goal of our life. The process adopted by the gopis, which is written about in Srimad-bhagavatam, is parakiya-bhava (the mood of paramour love). Parakiya-bhava, the love of the gopis for Krsna, is the highest love. Within parakiya-bhava, individual spirit souls can achieve the service of Srimati Radhika as Her maidservant, under the guidance of Rupa Manjari. I have clarified this in my classes.
(Quoted in Srila Narayana Maharaja’s Summary of Siksastakam, p 117, 118)]
We should begin our development from the smallest fraction of bhakti, which is sraddha (faith). We should not think that we are already raganuga and have attained our siddha-deha (spiritual body).
In all scriptures it is stated that devotion to the Lord begins from devotion to guru. All prayers begin from devotion to guru and then come to our guru-varga (disciplic succession), such as Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Svarupa Damodara, and Raya Ramananda.
vande ham sri guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri gurun vaisnavams ca
sri rupam sagrajatam saha gana raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam
sadvaitam savadhutam parijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam
sri-radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri-visakhanvitams ca
["I offer pranamas to the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva (who includes sri diksa-guru and bhajana-siksa-guru), guru-varga (our entire disciplic succession) and all other Vaisnavas, to Sri Rupa Gosvami, his elder brother Sri Sanatana Gosvami, Sri Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Jiva Gosvami and their associates, to Sri Advatia Prabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His associates, and to the lotus feet of Sri Radha and Krsna accompanied by Sri Lalita and Visakha and all the other sakhis."]Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written in Manah-siksa (verse 1):
gurau gosthe gosthalayisu sujane bhusura-gane
sva-mantre sri-namni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-sarane
sada dambham hitva kuru ratim apurvam atitaram
aye svantar bhratas catubhir abhyiyace dhrta padah
["O my dear brother, my foolish mind! Taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop sublime and incessant rati for Sri Gurudeva, Sri Vraja-dhama, the residents of Vraja, the Vaisnavas, the brahmanas, your diksa-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Kisora-Kisore, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the eternally youthful couple of Vraja."]Begin from gurudeva; this beginning is the strong root. If this understanding is in any devotee's heart, then the prema-kalpa-taru (the tree that will fulfill all our spiritual desires) will sprout. If there is no foundation, that tree will not sprout. Follow all the devotional principles. Don’t be worried for your maintenance of life. Surrender and depend on Krsna.
atma-nivedana, tuwa pade kari', hainu parama sukhi
dukha dure gela, cinta na rahila, caudike ananda dekhi
[O My Lord, since I have permanently surrendered my soul at Your lotus feet, I have become supremely joyful. All my sufferings and sorrows have gone far away, and no more anxieties remain in my mind. I see only bliss everywhere in all four directions."We should completely surrender – but to whom? Krsna is not easily available here and there, so we should surrender to Krsna’s representative. Krsna is causelessly merciful. From the beginning of creation, He has been sending gurus – from Brahma up to now – and He will continue to send gurus to the end of creation. As soon as there will be no Vaisnava on this Earth, this world will be finished. So first surrender to guru. Always follow the instructions of our guru-parampara, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Krsna and especially Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.
(Atma-Nivedana, verse 1)]
I am telling you all this in brief, because I cannot tell more than this in one day. If you want to hear more, come to Badger for one week; and if you cannot come to Badger, then come to India for one month for Vraja Mandala parikrama.
In the above-mentioned Manah-siksa prayer, gurau refers to both siksa-guru and diksa-guru. In Hindi and in Sanskrit there are three numbers: singular, dual and plural. It is dual here: siksa guru and diksa guru.
You should know one thing. The rasatmika-rupa of brahma-gayatri is kama-gayatri. Rasatmika-rupa means that when the brahma gayatri is mature, it transforms and becomes kama-gayatri, in which all Vraja-rasa in relation to Radha-Krsna exists. Rasatmika means full of Vraja-rasa, and especially parakiya-bhakti-rasa. Ladies should not think that they are bereft of brahma-gayatri. They have the rasatmika-rupa of brahma-gayatri. Also the rasatmika-rupa of omkar is klim, with four relations. If one's utterance of om will mature, om will be transferred into klim. Om om hari tat sat and – if this matures, it transfers into klim.(*See Endnote 1)
If you want to have krsna-prema – such wonderful prema – then do not criticize anyone, even if that person is wretched. Let him be what he is – do not criticize him, otherwise that bad quality will come in you. Even if a person has a loose character and is lusty, don't keep this idea in your heart; otherwise lust will come in your heart. Especially do not criticize Vaisnavas. A Vaisnava who is still conditioned may somehow be derailed, but he will again come in line. We should forget his faults. Moreover, regarding the pure devotee it is stated in Upadesamrta:
drstaih svabhava-janitair vapusas ca dosair
na prakrtatvam iha bhakta janasya pasyet
gangambhasam na khalu budbuda-phena-pankair
brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nira-dharmaih
["Devotees situated in this material world should not be viewed with material vision; in other words one should not consider them to be ordinary conditioned souls. The imperfections visible in their natures, such as birth in a low caste, harshness, lethargy, and so forth, and the imperfections visible in their bodies, such as ugly features, disease deformities and so on, are precisely like the appearance of bubbles, foam and mud in the Ganges. Despite such apparent pollution in the water of the Ganges, she retains her nature as liquefied transcendence. Similarly, the self-realized Vaisnavas always exist on the transcendental plane and one should not attribute defects to them."Whoever is giving a lecture – either myself or yourself – must totally follow the principles of devotion. Simply speaking will not do; your learning and theoretical knowledge will do nothing if you are not following.
(Upadeshamrta, verse 6)]
This morning I discussed this verse:
nayam atma pravacanena labhyo
na medhaya na bahudha srutena
yam evaisa vrnute tena labhyas
tasyaisa atma vivrnute tanum svam
["One cannot become self-realized simply by having an academic education, by presenting lectures in an erudite way (pravacanena labhyo), or by being an intelligent scientist who discovers many wonderful things. One cannot understand Krsna unless one is graced by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Only one who has surrendered to a pure devotee of Krsna and taken the dust of his lotus feet can understand Krsna."Srila Rupa Gosvami performed his bhajana in Vrndavana. One day while he was in Seva-kunja (where Sri Radha-Damodara temple is presently located) and remembering asta-kaliya-lila (the daily pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna), a lame devotee named Kanja Krsnadasa came to meet with him. Somehow walking with the help of a stick, Kanja Krsnadasa went with great honor to see Srila Rupa Gosvami. When he reached there he saw that Rupa Gosvami was laughing – not looking at him, yet laughing. He became angry and turned back, thinking, “I am lame, and that is why he was laughing. He didn’t talk to me; he simply laughed at my lameness.” When he was fully out of sight, Srila Rupa Gosvami’s trance broke and he considered, “Why is my trance disturbed?” He became very restless and upset.
(Katha Upanisad 1.2.23)]
Srila Sanatana Gosvami arrived just then and Srila Rupa Gosvami asked him, "O my dear Gurudeva and brother, why has my trance and remembrance of Krsna’s pastimes stopped?” Srila Sanatana Gosvami began to think, and he replied, "It may be that you have somehow insulted a Vaisnava. I will discover what happened." He ordered Srila Jiva Gosvami, who was at that time just a boy, "Go and invite all the Vaisnavas to accept prasadam here." Jiva Gosvami invited all the Vaisnavas, and they all accepted his invitation. Every one of them was very happy, thinking, "We are all going to Rupa and Sanatana to take prasadam." However, when Jiva Gosvami went to Kanja Krsnadasa, that very same lame person, he became angry and refused. He said, “I will not go, because he was laughing at my lameness. I will not go.”
Jiva Gosvami returned to Sanatana Gosvami and told him what had happened, and Sanatana Gosvami understood, "that this was the root." He then told Rupa Gosvami to beg forgiveness from Kanja Krsnadasa and somehow please him.
Rupa Gosvami then found Kanja Krsnadasa and told him, “I have unknowingly committed an offense to you. Please excuse me.” Kanja Krsnadasa's heart melted and he said, “Were you laughing to see me?" Rupa Gosvami replied, "When you came to me I was laughing because I was thinking of a pastime of Sri Krsna. In the pastime, Krsna's funny brahmana friend Madhumangala told Him, 'If You give Your flute and peacock feather to me, then no one will give any sweets to you. They will all come to Me.' Krsna at once decorated Madhumangala with His peacock feather and flute. In the meantime, the giant horse-demon Kesi came, loudly roaring. He saw Madhumangala and thought, 'Here is Krsna'. With his two hind legs he made a kicking motion with great force. Simply he air created by this kicking motion blew Madhumangala far away.
"Madhumangala at once gave back Krsna's flute and peacock feather and said, 'I will not keep this. If I do, all the demons will come to me.'"*[See endnote 2]
Srila Rupa Gosvami concluded, "I was seeing this pastime and laughing. I was not laughing at you.”
Kanja Krsnadasa then fell at the feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami. They both became happy and went to where the feast was going to be held. Then everyone took prasadam.
This pastime of Srila Rupa Gosvami took place only for teaching us. Srila Rupa Gosvami is a siddha, a self-realized soul. He cannot commit any offense, either unknowingly or knowingly. We can commit offenses though. We are bound to do so. Be careful of this. Don't criticize any Vaisnava. Give respect to others. If you want to do bhajana, you must respect your seniors, and if you are senior, you must have love and affection for juniors. In this way you can preach the mission of our guru-parampara.
krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
["One should mentally honor the devotee who chants the holy name of Lord Krsna, one should offer humble obeisances to the devotee who has undergone spiritual initiation and is engaged in worshiping the Deity, and one should associate with and faithfully serve that Pure devotee who is advanced in undeviated devotional service and whose heart is completely devoid of the propensity to criticize others."This is an important instruction for us to follow.
(Upadesamrta, verse 5)]
Why are you quarreling? If you follow this instruction, all problems will go away. We should love each other, even when there is a difference of opinion. Laksmana did not always have the same opinion as Lord Rama. Also, although Baladeva Prabhu is not different from Sri Krsna, he was not always in one opinion with Him. He wanted his sister Subhadra to be married to Duryodhana, and Krsna wanted her to marry Arujna. Still, they loved each other.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja and I were often arguing about philosophy. I would speak a philosophical point, he would defeat my arguments, and then I would defeat his arguments; but we respected each other and had so much love for each other. Though there may be a difference of opinion, don’t criticize or quarrel – then everything will be okay. Your sadhana and bhajana will be okay.
The essence of all the teachings of Srila Rupa Gosvami is as follows:
smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram
["The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one’s full time—twenty-four hours a day—in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord’s divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one’s tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja and serve Krsna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord’s beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service."Srila Rupa Gosvami has discovered and collected many statements from different authentic scriptures, and he explained all the rules and regulations in his books – from Sri Upadesamrta to Ujuvalla-nilamani. He explained the meanings of prema-tattva, vilasa-tattva (the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna), radha-tattva (the established truths of the principle of Sri Radha) and all other conclusive truths – and in the end he gave this verse. You should understand and follow what we have discussed here.
(Upadesamrta, verse 8)]
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has instructed us to take prasadam up to the neck, to dance and to sing with devotees, and for that purpose we have established this Los Angeles center. This preaching center is in a critical position; I want you to help it. I want a center like this. The location is very good. It is the center of town – near the beach and airport. Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in America and in the world, and it has come from angels (Los Angeles) – this is very important. Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja held Ratha-yatra here. Preachers will come here from all over the world.
This center is struggling and lacking money. I want that it should be saved – and you can save it in a moment. We want a very ideal school for children to be here very soon, so that all devotee children can study the Vedas. Sripad Avadhuta Maharaja will be staying here, and he will always be available. All will come and be respected here; and from here we should preach all over the world.
drstva kumudvantam akhanda-mandalamSri Krsna took His flute. It was evening time, the moon was golden and full, and it was coming from the very reddish eastern horizon. Purva-disa, the eastern direction, is like the moon's beloved. It was as though, by his rays which are like his hands, the moon took a large quantity of red coloring and decorated the face of the eastern direction. Remembering this, Krsna at once placed His flute upon His lips, and jagau kalam, played a very sweet tune.
vanam ca tat-komala-gobhi ranjitam
jagau kalam vama-drsam manoharam
(Srimad-bhagavatam 10. 29.3)
What was that tune? It is written in klim, the seed mantra. Each gopi thought that Krsna was calling her. Radha, Lalita and all others thought, "He is calling me only, no one else." The essence of gopal-mantra is the seed klim. How? Kalam, (translated here as 'sweetly') is a combination of the two Sanskrit letters ka + la. The fourth letter of the Sanskrit alphabet is called vama-drsam (translated in this verse as 'the girls who had charming eyes'). As the English alphabet begins with a, b, c, d, the Sanskrit alphabet begins: a,aa,i,ii. So the fouth letter, ii, or long i, is called vama-drsam. Grammar is also here - the essence of grammar. 'Ka' and 'la,' combined with ii, becomes kli. (Secret Truths of the Bhagavatam)]
[*Endnote 2: (from Essence of All Advice, chapter 7) Madhumangala once came to Krsna and said, “All the gopis come with so many preparations. They give all these things and so much honor to You, and they give nothing to us. Everything is always only for You.
I know why this is so. It is because You wear that yellow chadar, You hold a sweet-sounding flute, and You wear a peacock feather on Your head. Anyone can take these things and appear more beautiful and more honorable to others. It is only because of these three things that You look so beautiful and attract everyone. You can take my cloth and give me Yours. Give me Your flute and take my buffalo horn. You should also give me Your peacock feather. Then we will see that all gopis will love me more, and they will give me rasagula, pera, burfi and all other delicious sweets. They will give me so many things, like makhan and misri (a butter and sugar preparation). No one will ask for You; everyone will come to me.” Krsna began to smile and said, “We should test this. Let us exchange our clothes.”
A devotee is chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, and all these moods are coming in his mind. He sees them exchanging their clothes.
Krsna gave His flute and peacock feather to Madhumangala, and He Himself took Madhumangala’s clothes. At that time a very big horse, the Kesi demon, came. He was whinnying so loudly that the whole of Vraja was upset. Everyone was afraid and wondering whether a storm had come. All the dust of Vraja went up in the sky. Everything was covered by deep darkness, and everyone was afraid. No one could imagine what was happening and Krsna was now nowhere to be found. Only Madhumangala was there. Kesi was searching for Krsna, who had gone some distance away.
Kamsa had told Kesi, “You should go and at once kill Krsna.” Kesi said, “I don’t know what Krsna looks like. How can I recognize Him?” Kamsa replied, “Oh, you will very easily know Him. If someone is wearing a yellow cloth around His neck and a yellow dhoti below, if He is holding a flute to His lips, if He is wearing a peacock feather on His hair and if He has a somewhat blackish complexion, you should know that He is Krsna.”
Madhumangala was also somewhat blackish. He had exchanged his dress with Krsna and was now looking just like Him, with the flute, peacock feather and yellow cloth. From very far off Kesi spotted him and thought, “Oh, there is Krsna.” But Madhumangala was not that Krsna. Kesi saw him and began to whinny and jump very high. He jumped from far away and reached that brahmana boy, desiring to kill him. Simply the air moving from Kesi’s tail caused Madhumangala to fall flat on the earth! Madhumangala began to roll on the ground and call out, “Arey baba!” Do you know what ‘arey baba’ means? It means, “O father, father, father.” “O mother, save me! O God, save me!” Madhumangala threw Sri Krsna’s flute far away, he dropped the peacock feather here and the yellow cloth there, and he was rolling on the ground. It was Madhumangala’s greatest fortune that Kesi’s legs could not reach him; otherwise, what would be his destination?
Madhumangala then began to fly away from there, but luckily Krsna was very nearby. Sri Krsna caught hold of that brahmana boy and said, “You may keep My clothes for one or two days more.”
Madhumangala replied, “No, no, I don’t want to. Take all Your things.” He gave everything back to Krsna and added, “And give me my belongings.”
Krsna said, “No, no. I will not give them to you.”
“Oh, you must give them to me. Otherwise I will be killed. I was practically finished, but luckily, just in the nick of time I was saved. God has saved me. So I will take my things. I don’t want any ladhus or anything else!”
The devotee is remembering this and smiling. Who? That devotee who is chanting Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare. Why is he laughing? No one knows why he is laughing, but he had gotten some taste in seeing these pastimes.]
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