jueves, 16 de junio de 2011

Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Śloka 5

Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Śloka 5

New Braja, 19 May 1997

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: What are the special characteristics in the writings of Śrīla rūpa Gosvāmī?

Devotee: Śrīla rūpa Gosvāmī fully understood the internal mood and desire of Śrī caitanya Mahāprabhu to taste the moods of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and his writings specifically expressed all of these pastimes of rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. he expounded upon what was there in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and expanded upon that by his own internal realisations, and he also presented to the world the science of bhakti-rasa. He provided all the ingredients the devotees require to go deeply into experiencing this bhakti-rasa.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Very good. But because of my poor knowledge of English, I am not expressing my real intention in my question. The point I want to express is that whatever rūpa Gosvāmī has written, he has first practiced himself and then realised it. He has not written anything which he has not practiced, fully realised, and established in his life. He has practiced everything first. Beginning from Nectar of Instruction—vāco vegam, Bhakti-Rasāmṛta-Sindhu and Ujjvala-Nīlamaṇi, he has practiced everything in his life perfectly. then after realizing the truth, he wrote his books. But for us, when we write books, this is not the case.

Can you tell from your realisation that Kṛṣṇa’s name and Kṛṣṇa are the same thing?
By chanting the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, we will be happy in this life and in future lives. have you practiced and realised this?

Yet we want to write books, so many volumes—volumes and volumes.

For example, take the five Pāṇḍavas and the hundred sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra—Duryodhana and all. Altogether Droṇācārya had one hundred and five students. Droṇācārya was highly qualified in archery and also in all the Vedas and Upaniṣads. He knew all the śāstras and he used to teach them to his students. One day he gave them an assignment to practice speaking the truth. They were to meditate on this and then come back the next day.

Duryodhana told him:

“Oh, I have already learned this. This is not such a difficult or complicated philosophy. I already practice this.”

“No. You should go and deeply think about this and come back tomorrow.”

The next day they all assembled. Droṇācārya asked Duryodhana, “Do you remember what I asked?”

“Yes, yes, so well. You told us to speak the truth.”

“No. You have not remembered.”

Droṇācārya asked the others:

“In this class, is there anyone else who has not understood or remembered this instruction?”

Only one hand came up.

Whose hand was that?


“I have not realised it practically in my life, so it is not possible for me to speak the truth.”

“oh, then you alone will be able to realise it, but for the others it will be very hard.”

The specialty of rūpa Gosvāmī is that no word and letter he has written can be changed. No one can ever change it. Once Sanātana Gosvāmī was reading one of Rūpa’s poems, and he found what he thought was a mistake. He ordered rūpa:

“You should correct this.”

What was that?

Veṇī vyālāṇganā phaṇām.

Rūpa Gosvāmī had described Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s veṇī, braid, as a very poisonous, black snake—a female snake, because the female becomes furious very quickly and is easily moved to attack. Male snakes do not become furious so easily. So he was describing that her braid was waving in the air, veṇī vyālāṇganā phaṇām.

Sanātana Gosvāmī asked:

“Why did you use this word?
Vyālā means serpent, black snake. why did you use this word?”

Being the elder brother and guru, Sanātana Gosvāmī advised:

“You should correct it.”

Then very humbly rūpa Gosvāmī replied:

“Brother, I think that it would be better if you correct it. I will rely on you to do it.”

Sanātana Gosvāmī was intensely searching here and there for an alternative word that would be very smooth and sweet. He was giving his mind and heart to this matter but he could not think of anything, so he decided, “Acchā, I will do it tomorrow.” They were staying at rādhā-kuṇḍa at that time in separate cottages. As he was returning to his own cottage, he was attracted by the sight of a very beautiful kadamba tree. Hanging from the branches of this tree were four ropes holding a magnificent swing. On the swing was sitting a very beautiful village girl, but like a normal Indian girl. She was not so extraordinary and some other girls were there singing a sweet song and pushing the swing.

From far away Sanātana Gosvāmī saw that some very poisonous she-snakes were waving here and there in the air behind the head of that beautiful girl. The bottom of her braid was also moving back and forth. He at once ran towards her calling, “O lālī, o lālī, o lālī.” Lālī means darling girl. “O lālī, serpents are there in your hair. Be careful and he took his stick to remove those snakes. But when he came nearer, the girl smiled and at once vanished with all her sakhīs and everything. Only the tree was there, no swing, nothing else. Then he realised that rūpa Gosvāmī, having had the same vision, had written the full truth. There was not any word or even a letter to be corrected. His work is “as it is,” just like Gīta As It Is. He had practiced and realised what he had written.

But we write volumes and volumes on so many topics, even while not having practiced or realised anything. We will write about Śukadeva Gosvāmī, and at the same time have four girlfriends. Or a girl will produce so many books, but having four boyfriends. We are uncontrolled in our eating and speaking, but yet we think we are qualified to write. But Rūpa Gosvāmī has never written anything which he has not practiced.

Apprehending the truth, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja never spoke anything which he had not realised. But we cannot know Kṛṣṇa by material consciousness. Spiritual truth can be realised only by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa himself. In the Mahābhārata war, Kṛṣṇa told Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja to shout loudly that Aśvatthāmā was dead. But Yudhiṣṭhira said:

“I have not realised that he is dead. I am seeing that he is fighting here.

How can I say this?”

Kṛṣṇa was repeatedly telling him to say this, but he would not. After that, Kṛṣṇa told Bhīmasena to kill an elephant named Aśvatthāmā, and he did. Then Kṛṣṇa asked Yudhiṣṭhira:

“Now, can you say it?”

He replied:

“No. I can tell only that Aśvatthāmā the elephant is dead, only the elephant.”

“Then you should announce loudly that ‘Aśvatthāmā is dead, aśvatthāmā the elephant.’”

He began to shout very loudly:

“Aśvatthāmā is dead,”

And as soon as he finished this part of the sentence, Kṛṣṇa at once told Bhīma, arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva to blow their five conchshells very loudly so that no one could hear:

“Aśvatthāmā the elephant.”

Only “aśvatthāmā is dead” could be heard.

Until that time, Yudhiṣṭhira’s chariot never rode on the earth; it was always levitating. But at this time his chariot came down to the earth because he had made a very big offense in disobeying Kṛṣṇa.

Kṛṣṇa had already shown arjuna that everyone would be killed; all were within the teeth of death. All bodies were killed, but not the ātmā—it never dies. So Yudhiṣṭhira had made an offense. We should try to obey Kṛṣṇa, śāstra and guru. Otherwise, we cannot realise this truth.

I think that all truths in this world are lies.

What is your name?
Please tell truly, what is your name?

Devotee: Paramahaṁsa.


It is not true. The name of your ātmā is not Paramahaṁsa, or the name of the five elements which comprise your body with which you identify. Water and air have no name, so actually it is all false. We cannot speak a word of truth in this world.

So rūpa Gosvāmī’s specialty was that whatever he said from beginning to end was realised first. Like Vyāsadeva, he saw everything while in samādhi. He realised, and then he wrote. In Kali-yuga we don’t do this. We take something from here and there, from this author and that one, and we put it all together and win the Nobel prize. So we should try to realise what we say. However, as a peon we can quote from the teachings of our Gurudeva and śāstra and have very strong faith in these.

Now let us come back to the text. Yesterday what were we reading text 5. Perhaps we are on page 50. Swāmījī has described the symptoms of the kaniṣṭha-, madhyama- and uttama-adhikārī.

Can you tell something about all three?
Do you remember?

Devotee: Kaniṣṭha-adhikārī. Primarily he has a vision that Kṛṣṇa, God, is in the temple, and I can see him if I go to the temple only, elsewhere not. And neither does he recognize who is a bhakta, who is not a bhakta, who is innocent, who is guilty. He doesn’t see gradations. So he is a lower-class devotee.

Madhyama means he has conviction of the existence of Kṛṣṇa as God, but the scriptural backing is not complete. He is not fully learned in the science, not śāstra-vit. Also, the madhyama-adhikārī sees different grades of devotees. He sees the innocent person, and to that person he preaches. He sees the guilty or non-devotee, the atheist, and he avoids that person. He sees his peer as a friend and is intimate and friendly with him, and then he sees the higher adhikārī, the advanced mahā-bhāgavata, as worshipable and serves his every wish.

The uttama-adhikārī is a mahā-bhāgavata who sees Kṛṣṇa everywhere. He sees everything happening according to Kṛṣṇa’s plan and everybody acting as kṛṣṇa-bhakta. He does not discriminate between different levels. He has only the highest vision of pure devotion, and everywhere he sees that.

So the beginning adhikārī, the kaniṣṭha, cannot discriminate because of ignorance. the highest adhikārī, mahā-bhāgavata, does not discriminate because of pure bhakti. But in the middle, the madhyama-adhikārī sees the different levels and can discriminate for preaching purposes.


Devotee: Also, it is explained in Caitanya Caritāmṛta that according to faith one can understand the different devotees.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Swāmījī has described this. We will read it afterwards.

Go on.

Devotee: For the kaniṣṭha it is stated:

yāhāra komala-śraddhā, se ‘kaniṣṭha’ jana,
krame krame teṅho bhakta haibe ‘uttama’
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Mad. 22.69).

He has komala-śraddhā, soft and pliable faith.


Soft is so good.

Devotees: Delicate. Weak.


Devotee: Yes. It is weak, it waivers. When one comes in contact with someone who may present some opposing argument, his faith becomes weak. But krame teṅho bhakta haibe ‘uttama’—by proper association, by sādhu-saṅga with high-class devotees, then krame krame, step by step, one ultimately can come to the platform of uttama.

Then next is madhyama. It is stated that the madhyama bhakta has full faith, and he is mahā-bhāgyavān, very fortunate.



śāstra-yukti nāhi jāne dṛḍha śraddhāvān
‘madhyama-adhikārī’ sei mahā-bhāgyavān
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 22.67)

His understanding of śāstra is not on the level of the uttama-mahā-bhāgavata.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: He does not know śāstra perfectly. He knows it to some extent. That which he knows, he knows well but not perfectly. He has only partial understanding, but dṛḍha śraddhāvān.

Again what am I saying?

Devotee: Śāstra-yukti nāhi jāne dṛḍha śraddhāvān.

His understanding of śāstra is not perfect, but he has dṛḍha śraddhāvān, very strong faith.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: In other words, he can be defeated in arguments. But his śraddhā, his honour for Kṛṣṇa, his belief in guru, śāstra and Bhagavān is so strong that he will not give up his worshiping, chanting, remembering or anything. He is firmly established in his practices.

Acchā. Then?

Devotee: So dṛḍha śraddhāvān. He is firmly established; he is fixed up.


Like haridāsa Ṭhākura. he was beaten in twenty-two market places, but he never said, “O Allah! O Huḍā!” No.

“Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare, Hare Rāma,
Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.”

He never stopped chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Khaṇḍa-khaṇḍa hai deha jāya yadi prāṇa
(Caitanya-bhāgavata Ādi 16.94).

“Even if someone cuts me in lākhas and lākhas of pieces, I cannot change my habit of chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

Like prahlāda Mahārāja—his śraddhā and his siddhānta, established truth, were both so strong.

Devotee: So such a devotee is mahā-bhāgyavān. He is greatly fortunate.


Devotee: And then the uttama-adhikārī. He has prauḍha śraddhā, that is, deep faith. The madhyama-adhikārī has firm faith but the uttama-bhāgavata has very, very deep faith, which is fully realised.


Śāstra-yukte sunipuṇa.

What is the meaning of sunipuṇa?

Devotee: He has fully realised the Vedic conclusions, the śāstric conclusions, he is very expert and he is...

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Realised, with realisation and his śraddhā is also very strong.

Devotee: And he is able to convince all others by śāstric arguments and reasoning.


And thirdly, anyone?

Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda also mentions that sometimes the uttama-adhikārī will come down to the madhyama-adhikārī platform.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: It is true. Uttama-adhikārī comes to the middle stage and then he becomes guru. An uttama-adhikārī always sees that all are serving Kṛṣṇa, but he alone is not serving. Therefore he cannot teach anything.


Like Śrīmatī rādhikā. She is sitting on the top level of prema but thinking:

“Oh, this deer is serving Kṛṣṇa so much. I cannot serve like him. These clouds are serving Kṛṣṇa, but I cannot.”

Like this.

What is the next way to distinguish a devotee’s adhikāra?

Caitanya Mahāprabhu has told three ways. We have described two.

You can tell one more?

Devotee: Kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, it was described yesterday that he thinks, “I am worshiping the Deities, only God.”

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: No, no, not this. One’s stage depends first on śraddhā, not name. According to one’s śraddhā he is kaniṣṭha, madhyama or uttama.

What is told in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam?

Prākṛta madhyama uttama.

Secondly it depends on one’s realisation of śāstra, and thirdly it depends on chanting of the name, especially in Kali-yuga. We should honour those who are chanting only one name as kaniṣṭha.

Yāṅra mukhe śuni eka-bāra kṛṣṇa-nāma.

Even if he is uttering the name only once, whether he is dīkṣita or not, initiated or not, no harm. he is to be honoured.

Secondly, those who are always chanting continuously are madhyama-adhikārī and that person whose sight automatically awakens kṛṣṇa-nāma in our heart is uttama—like haridāsa Ṭhākura.

So many people saw him and were inspired to chant:

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare,
Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare

Only by seeing him. He was uttama-bhāgavata, a very great personality, and he inspired people in this way.

Swāmījī has spoken all these things here. So now you should read on.

“One should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions”—page 52 bottom.

Devotee reads: One should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions. Nor should one accept a spiritual master just to make a fashionable show of spiritual life.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: What is the meaning of “one should not accept a spiritual master without following his instructions”?

Devotee: Without putting yourself at his lotus feet, taking his every word as life and soul, and following with all energy.


Devotee: One should not see the spiritual master as a show bottle, boasting that he has accepted a spiritual master, just to show off.


“My spiritual master is so high, so I am also high.”

This will not do. You will have to practice and obey him. If you are not obeying his instructions, then you are like a show bottle. We have realised this fact.

“I am disciple of Maunī Bābā, he never speaks anything, only he writes.” or, “I am the disciple of Vaṁśī dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, living under a cart. So renounced I am and, like my Guru, I also smoke a hookah (water pipe).”

No, this will not do. We must follow our guru’s inner motives, not imitating externals.

Vaṁśī dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was a paramahaṁsa. He was not subject to rules and regulations. He may have smoked a hookah and kept fish bones outside his door to keep worldly people away so that his solitary bhajana would not be disturbed. We cannot even know all the reasons why he smoked a hookah or did anything else.

But we will have to practice sādhana, trying to catch the inner mood. Not that one should accept a spiritual master to make a fashionable show of spiritual life. Those who have done this are certainly bound to fall. They are already fallen, even without doing anything improper. But outwardly we will see that after some days they will give up the practice of chanting the name. Only wearing tilaka, neck-beads and saffron cloth, looking like a devotee, will not suffice. It indicates something, but not everything. Those persons who take on the external dress but do not obey the orders of gurudeva are sahajiyā.

Yesterday we read in Swāmījī’s book, “one must be jijñāsu (inquisitive).”

what is the meaning of jijñāsu?

Can you tell a similar Śloka from Gītā?


tad viddhi praṇipātena
paripraśnena sevayā
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Yes. You should all know these facts. If you are not jijñāsu, then you cannot gain anything. You must be serving, thinking about your Gurudeva’s teachings, and reading the books thoroughly. Then some questions will come in your mind. If you are thinking deeply, reading thoroughly and hearing from him, a paripraśna will come.

what is the meaning of paripraśna?

Devotee: Inquiry.

What is the meaning?

Devotee: Submissive inquiry. Submissive question.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Having full faith in his guru. After serving him, asking:

“If I am qualified, please mercifully answer my question.”

Like this. Then we can know something.

Why do we want to know?

To become established in the truth, to realise the facts.

Go on.

Devotee reads: One must be jijñāsu, very much inquisitive to learn from the bona fide spiritual master. The inquiries one makes should strictly pertain to transcendental science (jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam). The word uttamam refers to that which is above material knowledge. 

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: What is the symptom of uttama-adhikārī?
Do you remember?

Uttama-adhikārī from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.

Devotee: He sees that all living entities are equal. He has non-dual vision; he is able to see all living entities as parts and parcels of Kṛṣṇa. He does not discriminate. He sees all living entities equally.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: No, not like this. This does not mean that all are equal— some are fat, some young, some beautiful, and also in Vaikuṇṭha. Some are ladies, some are gentlemen, some are friends, mothers, animals, cows....

Devotee: He sees:

sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ paśyed
bhagavad-bhāvam ātmanaḥ
bhūtāni bhagavaty ātmany
eṣa bhāgavatottamaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. 11.2.45)

He sees within all living entities their relationship with the Supreme lord. And bhūtāni. He sees always the living entities, the lord and the jīva. He has the highest love for Kṛṣṇa and he sees that all living entities have that same love for Kṛṣṇa as himself, even if they don’t
have it.

Like the gopīs saw the trees, the birds and the clouds having the same love for Kṛṣṇa that they have. But they think: “I don’t have such love.”

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Yes. But here is the meaning, like Prahlāda Mahārāja. He is tattva-jñānī. Kṛṣṇa is the highest tattva, advaya-jñāna-parama-tattva.

Vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jñānam advayam.

Kṛṣṇa is advaya-jñāna-para-tattva. Here an uttama-adhikārī devotee sees his own worshipable deity in each living entity, and he sees that all are related to Kṛṣṇa in the same way as he is.


Sarva-bhūteṣu, in all living entities paśyed, he sees, bhagavad bhāvam, the relationship to Kṛṣṇa. Ātmanaḥ, of myself.

Devotee: Bhāvam means relationship?

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Yes. Bhagavad-bhāvam. The bhāva of Kṛṣṇa, that relationship which he himself has with Kṛṣṇa, he sees in everyone. If he is situated in sakhya-rasa, he will think, “Oh, all are friends of Kṛṣṇa.” And if he is situated in mādhurya-rasa, “Oh, all are gopīs. All are serving Kṛṣṇa like gopīs.” Kṛṣṇa is gopī-jana-vallabha. If the devotee feels his own relationship, then everywhere he will see that all are like this. A cheater sees all others as cheaters; a thief sees that all are thieves; a lusty person sees that all are lusty. If a brother and sister are going together in a car, a lusty person will think, “Oh, they are very lusty, very wicked persons. They are going in the car somewhere.” He will not consider that they may be brother and sister. “Oh, as lovers they are going.” In this way he thinks. So, the uttama-mahā-bhāgavata sees his own mood towards Kṛṣṇa in all.

And second line, bhagavad-bhāvam ātmanaḥ bhūtāni bhagavaty ātmany. He is seeing that all are related to Kṛṣṇa in his same mood and here he sees the same Kṛṣṇa is in everyone.


Sarva-bhūteṣu yaḥ paśyed bhagavad-bhāvam ātmanah.

His iṣṭa-deva is everywhere. All the living entities are in Kṛṣṇa and next, in all living entities he sees the same Kṛṣṇa. First he sees everyone in Kṛṣṇa, and within all he sees Kṛṣṇa.

But what does he see?

Ātmani bhāvam.

Devotees: His own mood.


Understand now?

He is uttama-adhikārī. If you have an uttama-adhikārī like this, you should serve him fully, putting your head and everything at his feet.

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate
(Padyāvalī 14, quoted in CC. Mad. 8.70)

[Intelligence which is infused with taste for kṛṣṇa-bhakti cannot be had even by pious activity performed in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price—intense greed to obtain it. If it is available, purchase it without delay at any cost!]

This bhāva-bhakti cannot be achieved only by past impressions or in the association of general sādhus, general devotees. It will be achieved only by the association of Rāya rāmānanda, Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rūpa Gosvāmī, and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī—association like this. Swāmījī has clarified all these things.

Read more. “out of many such Vaiṣṇavas....”

Where we are?

Devotee reads: We’re at the bottom of page 52.
Uttamam refers to that which is above material knowledge. Tama means “the darkness of this material world,” and ut means “transcendental.” Generally people are very interested in inquiring about mundane subject matters....


Devotee: Mundane subject matters?

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Yes, like “Kindly marry my girl to that person.

Can you look at my palms?
What is in my future?
Will I be rich?
Will I gain some wealth?”

Like this.

And, “He has acted against me. what should I do?
Should I take revenge?
What should I do?”

We are asking all these silly worldly questions.

“How are you?”
“I am so well. But are you well?”

We don’t practice Vaiṣṇava etiquette, ask any Vaiṣṇava theory, or think, “I am so wretched. how can I progress?”

These questions we don’t ask.


Devotee reads: But when one has lost such interest and is simply interested in transcendental subject matters, he is quite fit for being initiated. 


Again you should repeat.

Devotee reads: But when one has lost such interest and is simply interested in transcendental subject matters, he is quite fit for being initiated.


Devotee: When one has lost interest in all of the material topics of this world, and he is interested in divya-jñāna, then at that time he has some qualification for dīkṣā, initiation.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: But we see that nowadays many are not accepting this. Devotees may canvass for new members, especially trying to attract anyone who is rich, very beautiful, coming in an aristocratic family, or so learned. “oh, come on, come on.” they send a special representative to enlist such persons by hook or crook, because in the future they can help in so many ways. But this is not proper motivation.

In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.21) it is written:

Tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijñāsuḥ śreya uttamam.

Same thing. Those who have realised that worldly life is not good, who want to cross the ocean of birth and death, sorrows and suffering, and realise kṛṣṇa-prema should seek a good guru. This is the process and Swāmījī is explaining it. But sometimes we overlook important aspects of the process, and that is why insincere devotees fall down. Even many who took the renounced order had no firm belief in all these things. But those who have given up worldly desires and want to develop their kṛṣṇa-prema, or perhaps are just looking for happiness in this world and the next, are qualified to have initiation. They can realise this ātmā and Paramātmā.

Next, go on.

Devotee reads: When one is actually initiated by the bona fide spiritual master and when he seriously engages in the service of the lord, he should be accepted as a madhyama-adhikārī. The chanting of the holy names of Kṛṣṇa is so sublime that if one chants the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra offenselessly, carefully avoiding the ten offenses, he can certainly be gradually elevated to the point of understanding that there is no difference between the holy name of the lord and the lord himself.


We are conditioned souls, so how can we realise?

But it is possible.

Where does the spirit to serve Kṛṣṇa come from?

By the grace of Kṛṣṇa, guru comes to us. We cannot go to guru. So this spirit comes from Kṛṣṇa in the heart of gurudeva, and then to us. Kṛṣṇa is so merciful. We see that to maintain one’s life a person has to labour hard from morning to night and even in the night there are so many problems. But for devotees like haridāsa Ṭhākura, who was always chanting three lākhas harināma, there are no problems at all. So many people used to bring him delicious food, but he accepted very little. They would also bring him clothes and so many tasteful things, but he never took them. He never hankered for these things.

We know that Kṛṣṇa gives his mercy. We are chanting the name and the whole world is keeping their head on our feet.


A devotee thinks, “It is not due to any ability I may have. But I am chanting harināma. Thus all are serving me and placing so much faith in me. The whole world is coming.”


Swāmījī realised this. In a very short time he preached over the whole world and everyone was coming to him.

How was he able to preach?

Kṛṣṇa did it. So nāma and nāmī are the same thing. Sometimes the mercy of nāma is superior to nāmī. When a devotee becomes madhyama-adhikārī, he realises a little something as he gradually goes up, he will realise so much more. For example, haridāsa Ṭhākura was never afraid of death. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was also like this—no concern for death. Death was threatening, but they were never afraid. Mahārāja Ambarīṣa was worried only for Durvāsā, not for himself and when Durvāsā saw that death was coming, that cakra Sudarśana was following him, he fled. But he didn’t realise that this cakra Sudarśana was everywhere. Wherever he went, cakra followed him. Everywhere! He could not protect himself, and Ambarīṣa Mahārāja knew this fact. Nāma and nāmī are the same. So if a devotee realises this, he will not fall down. He will always be absorbed in chanting the name and he will realise pade pade (step by step).

ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇaṁ
śreyaḥ-kairava-candrikā-vitaraṇaṁ vidyā-vadhū-jīvanam
ānandāmbudhi-vardhanaṁ prati-padaṁ pūrṇāmṛtāsvādanaṁ

He will realise the mercy of Kṛṣṇa and he will see that nāma is himself divine Kṛṣṇa. he will play with that name. He will see all of the pastimes in him, everything.


He will realise all these things.

Then. Go on, go on.

Devotee reads: One who has reached such an understanding....

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: You should all realise this fact. If you are kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, no harm. According to your faith you should realise something, that he is always protecting and inspiring you. You should know, “Gurudeva has given me Kṛṣṇa himself.” and if he is madhyama-adhikārī, he is seeing so many more things. And the uttama-adhikārī is seeing that Kṛṣṇa is playing, the name is playing. Everything is there. The whole of Vraja, all kinds of rasa and all kinds of powers are in nāma.

nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis
tatrārpitā niyamitaḥ smaraṇe na kālaḥ
etādṛśī tava kṛpā bhagavan mamāpi
durdaivam īdṛśam ihājani nānurāgaḥ

So beautiful is the name! It is Kṛṣṇa himself, having all his qualities. “But I am so wretched that I have no taste for him.” So try to weep with tears, folding your hands, and then you will realise all these things. This is the process of taking harināma.

Devotee reads: One who has reached such an understanding should be very much respected by neophyte devotees. One should know for certain that without chanting the holy name of the lord offenselessly, one cannot be a proper candidate for advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Swāmījī has always encouraged everyone to advance: “one should not remain a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī.” he is saying punaḥ punaḥ, again and again, “Do not stay in one stage, try to advance.” Don’t think that Kṛṣṇa will come if we remain only on the beginning level. “We are the head of the society for supporting cows, milking and serving them. This service alone will take us to Goloka-Vṛndāvana and award us the highest affection of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.” No! It will only make some sukṛti, spiritual merit. From there you will have to associate with Vaiṣṇavas and take initiation from an authorised guru. After that you will practice sādhana, and all kinds of anarthas will go. Next niṣṭhā will come, then ruci, āsakti and gradually your bhakti will develop.

But by serving a bona fide rasika, tattva-jña, bhāvuka bhakta, like Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāya Rāmānanda, at once āsakti will come, or ruci with greed. This will be due to past sukṛti. Then he will have the association of a very advanced rasika Vaiṣṇava. He will not take any ordinary Guru, but he will select someone who is rasika in our line of Rūpa Gosvāmī. He will not accept someone blindly. He will deliberate and listen for some time and when he will be convinced, then he will surrender to him. This association is everything, like with śikṣā-guru, he may or may not take initiation.

Do you know who was the guru of Svarūpa Dāmodara?

He was a Māyāvādī brahmacārī. Svarūpa Dāmodara had gone to Kāśī, but really he was not a Māyāvādī. He was the associate of Bāla Gaura, Gauracandra. He had been the friend of Caitanya Mahāprabhu from babyhood. He was a resident of Navadvīpa and was the bosom friend of Gauracandra. He only played a role, going to Kāśī and taking initiation from a Māyāvādī sannyāsī. We can study his character and decide. Caitanya Mahāprabhu was not a Māyāvādī sannyāsī, even though he had taken sannyāsa from a renowned Māyāvādī sannyāsī, Keśava Bhāratī. So don’t be satisfied with external appearances.

Devotee reads: In Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta it is said:

yāhāra komala śraddhā, se ‘kaniṣṭha’ jana
krame krame teṅho bhakta haibe ‘uttama’
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta. Madhya 22.69)

 “One whose faith is soft and pliable is called a neophyte, but by gradually following the process, he will rise to the platform of a first-class devotee.”

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Ah, we have explained this. Only one stanza you should read. Page 54, from beginning.

Devotee reads: People in the western countries cannot concentrate for long periods while chanting on beads. Therefore the minimum number of rounds is prescribed.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Why has he told that you should chant only sixteen rounds?
He is giving the answer here. what is he saying?

Devotee reads: The people in the western countries cannot concentrate for long periods while chanting on beads.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: But they can do worship for two, three hours. There is nothing to meditate or concentrate on, so they can do it. As a fashion they can go on the streets, jumping, dancing, singing very loudly and very affectionately. No harm. Twenty-four hours they can do this. But when you tell them, “Please sit down, keep your back straight and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Don’t look around. See Kṛṣṇa everywhere and chant Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa,” they can do this only for ten minutes and then they will start looking around. They are bound to and if they can sit for twenty minutes, then they will sigh, stand up and will walk while chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa very fast.

Then if someone comes along, they will start conversing, “Oh, come on, come on. How are you?

Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.”

This is not the process. So Swāmījī has said to chant sixteen rounds because the westerners are busy, very busy.

Busy doing what?

Making so many things, making money, making so many material arrangements. They are making bombs to destroy the whole world in a second. In this way they are so busy.

Devotee reads: Therefore the minimum number of rounds is prescribed. However, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura used to say that unless one chants at least sixty-four rounds of japa (one hundred thousand names), he is considered fallen (patita).

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Yes. Kṛṣṇa does not accept any offering if we are not chanting sixty-four rounds. So we should chant with quality. “O Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa.” like this.

Where is my beloved Kṛṣṇa?
Where is Nanda-nandana?
Where is Yaśodā-nandana?
Where is Rādhā-ramaṇa?”

Weeping and chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, seeing Kṛṣṇa somewhere in the bushes, we will at once run to catch hold of him. But Kṛṣṇa is so naughty. He goes one, two feet behind, and sometimes here and there. He comes very near and then disappears. Then the devotee falls flat on the earth, rolling down:

“O Kṛṣṇa, where have You gone, where have You gone?”

Chanting like this, Kṛṣṇa will certainly come. This is the process Swāmījī has described.

Devotee: According to his calculation, practically every one of us is
fallen, but because we are trying....

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: After some days we see that someone has fallen, he has left harināma, he has left all these bhakti activities, and has again become involved in all worldly affairs. But someone who has tolerance will never give up. Gradually they will develop. They will do sixteen rounds, after that thirty-two, then forty-eight, and after that sixty-four. Even then they will not be satisfied, and will try to chant two lākhas, three lākhas! after that they will chant pure, śuddha-nāma. This is the process of doing harināma.

What is he telling?

Devotee reads: But because we are trying to serve the Supreme lord with all seriousness and without duplicity, we can expect the mercy of lord Śrī caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is famous as patita-pāvana, the deliverer of the fallen.

ŚRĪLA BHAKTIVEDĀNTA NĀRĀYAṆA MAHĀRĀJA: Swāmījī realises our position so he has given us some concession, especially for western devotees, because they are always engaged in worldly affairs. So he has set a net and enticed us—if we will chant sixteen rounds even, we will be happy here now and there in the future. He has set a lovely trap for us. After that, we will gradually develop some taste and will not have to be told anything, and even after completing three lākhas, still we will not be satisfied! “Oh, there is no kṛṣṇa-prema here.” And we will always be weeping, lamenting, and praying:

nayanaṁ galad-aśru-dhārayā
vadanaṁ gadgada-ruddhayā girā
pulakair nicitaṁ vapuḥ kadā,
tava nāma-grahaṇe bhaviṣyati
(Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka 6)

[O prabhu! when will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears?
When will my voice choke up?
and when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstasy as I chant Your holy name?]

And we can pray like this:

na prema-gandho’sti darāpi me harau
krandāmi saubhāgya-bharaṁ prakāśitum
vaṁśī-vilāsy-anana-lokanam vinā
vibharmi yat prāṇa-pataṇgakān vṛthā
(CC. Madhya 2.45)

“Oh, I do not have even a little smell of prema for hari. I am crying to make a show of my good fortune. Fish that are taken out of the water at once die, without doubt. I am not seeing my beloved Kṛṣṇa, who plays upon his flute, but still I am alive. Dhik mām, dhik mām, fie on me, fie on me.” thus, we will go on chanting and remembering.

Gaura premānande!

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