gauḍa-braja-jane, bheda nā dekhibo
hoibo baraja-bāsī dhāmera svarūpa,
sphuribe nayane, hoibo rādhāra dāsī

"I will see no difference between the inhabitants of Vraja Bhūmī and those of Navadvīpa, and I will be transformed into a resident of Vraja. The true nature of the Lord's abode will manifest itself to my eyes, and I will become a maidservant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī." (TSOBT, p 54)

In one song, his Siddhī-lālasā, from his Śaraṇāgati, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura aspires for that pure vision of the Dhāma. Otherwise it may appear quite ordinary to us, like a jungle. The purity of the Ganges water is only perceived by those who have proper faith or śraddhā. Otherwise to others eyes it is ordinary water. The same applies to the Deity, or Śrī-Mūrtti. One may think that the Śrī-Mūrti of Lord Jagannātha in Purī appears to be a somewhat awkward figure. His arms seem incomplete, His feet are not visible, His eyes are enormous. Yet Mahāprabhu stood before Him for hours, shedding tears. No one could move Him from that place. What did Mahāprabhu see in that Figure, and what is He to our eyes? So according to the depth of vision of our inner eye we can come to that plane of the Dhāma, the Deity, and the purifying Ganges water. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 5-6) + (see also śloka 444)

gaurādeśāc ca vṛndā-vipinam iha parikramya nīlācalaṁ yo
gatvā kāvyāmṛtaiḥ svair vraja-yuva-yugala-krīdanārthaiḥ prakāmam
rāmananda-svarūpādibhir api kavibhis tarpayāmāsa gauraṁ
sa śrī-rūpaḥ kadā māṁ nija-pada-rajasābhūṣitaṁ saṁvidhatte

Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī is the mine of the most precious treasure, the leader of the associates of Lord Caitanya (the Divine Succession being known as the Rūpānuga Sampradāya, 'the followers of Śrī Rūpa'). In the company of his brothers, he was resplendent in (the province of) Gauḍa, causing the fervent twin bumblebees in the form of the lotus eyes of Śrī Caitanyadeva to drink nectar, as the Lord's lotus feet moved on the pretext of visiting Vṛndāvana. When will that Śrīmad Rūpa Prabhu grace me with the dust of his holy feet?" (SSPJ p 210)

"When, on the order of Śrī Gaurāṅga, Śrī Rūpa visited Śrī Purośottama kṣetra, after completing the circumambulation of Śrī Vraja Maṇḍala, he highly gratified Śrī Caitanyadeva and the sagacious devotee assembly headed by Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara and Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya, by his ambrosial poetry on the pastimes of the Divine Couple of Vraja, when will that Śrīmad Rūpa Prabhu grace me with the dust of his lotus feet?" (SBRBM, p 41)

This is one of ten verses composed by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī, to describe and honour the exalted contribution of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī in the world of intimate loving service. The ten verses are known as Śrīmad Rūpa-pada-rajaḥ Prārthanā Daśakam - Aspiring for the Dust of Śrīmad Rūpa Goswāmī's Lotus Feet. This verse is # 7, and there are two others in this book, ślokas 214 & 272.

gaurāṅgaika-gatir vrajāśritamatiḥ śrī gauradhāma sthitiḥ
sachāstraikavṛtiḥ kusaṅga viratirduḥsthabyathā-niṣkṛtiḥ
śrī rūpaik-ratiḥ sanātana-natiḥ śrī jīvatejasthatiḥ
śrī siddhānta sarasvatī guruvaru gaudīya-goṣṭhīpatiḥ

Another stanza in his praise, "gaurāṅgaika-gatir," where the only end of his life was Śrī Gaurāṅga, "aika-gatir," only! The only object of his life was Śrī Gaurāṅga. "vrajāśrītamatih," The mental God took cover from the vraja-rasa - your most beloved Dayita dāsa, at present, who is our Gurudeva! Please recommend my admission in the list of his servitors permanently, be gracious enough to do that. In this way, the poem was appreciated by Prabhupāda (Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Goswāmī Prabhupāda) and four others also. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Gaura-Haribol! This is also composed by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī. (SGG ) + (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 12)

gaurāṅgera duti pada,
yāra dhana-sampada,
se jāne bhakati-rasa-sāra
gaurāṅgera madhura-līlā,
yāra karṇe praveśilā,
hṛdaya nirmala bhelo tāra

ye gaurāṅgera nāma laya,
tāra haya premadaya,
tāre muin yai balihari
gaurāṅga-guṇete jhure,
nitya-līlā tāre sphure,
sejana bhakati-adhikāri

gaurāṅgera saṅgi-gaṇe,
nitya siddha kori māne
se yāya vrajendra-suta-pāśa
yebā jāne cintāmaṇi,
tāra haya vraja bhūme vāsa

se tarange yebā ḍube,
gṛhe vā vanete thāke,
'hā gaurāṅga' bo'le ḍāke
narottamo māge tāra saṅga

Whoever possesses the great treasure of the lotus feet of Gaurāṅga actually knows the essence of devotional ecstasy. As he hears the nectarean līlā of Lord Gaurāṅga he becomes fully purified. He becomes absorbed in Gaurāṅga's Holy Name and divine loving ecstasy awakens in his heart. I congratulate him on such valuable success saying: "Bravo! You are credited with excellence." As he cries remembering the qualities and glories of Śrī Gaurāṅga, the nitya-līlā of the Divine Couple is revealed in his heart and he is understood to be a qualified devotee who has attained pure devotional ecstasy.

As he deeply understands and honours the intimate associates of Śrī Gaurāṅga as eternally liberated souls, he also gradually becomes liberated and ultimately attains the intimate association of the son of Nanda Mahārāja. As he feels at heart that the holy land of Śrī Gaura Maṇḍala is made of touchstone and enters into that consciousness, he resides on the transcendental plane of Vraja.

As he dives deep into the infinite ocean of devotional ecstasy of Gaura, he becomes an intimate servitor of the Divine Couple Śrī Rādhā Madhava. Whether living in householder life or a life of holy renunciation, Narottama dāsa always prays for the blessed association and grace of such pure devotees who are ever engaged in praying to Śrī Gaurāṅga, the personification of ecstatic love of Kṛṣṇa, calling out His Holy Name in spontaneous rapture of devotional love." (P ) + (SOTVA, p 75-80) + (SBRBM, p 7-8)

gaura-vāg-vigrahaṁ vande,
gaurāṅgaṁ gaura-vaibhavam

"I make my obeisances unto the Deity, Gaura-Sarasvatī - the personified message of the Golden Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu - whose bodily lustre is of a beautiful golden hue, like that of the selfsame Lord Gaurasundara; who is the personal expansion of that supreme Lord Gaurahari; who is always intoxicated by preaching the message of that Golden Lord; and whose divine beauty blooms in the revelation of Lord Gaurāṅga's mercy potency." (SSPJ, p 2)

(This is the fundamental meaning of the verse. Within the scope of the Sanskrit language, various expanded purports may be drawn from the original).

"I make my obeisances unto the Deity, Gaura-Sarasvatī, the personified message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. As the extended self of the golden Lord he is endowed with the same bodily lustre, and being always intoxicated by preaching Śrī Gaurāṅga's message he reveals the beauty of the Lord's divine mercy." (ARO, p 10)

gharera bāhire daṇḍe śatabāra,
tile tile uṭhe base
elāiyā veṇī bakṣa pare ṭāni,
kabhu kānde kabhu hāse

"Śrī Rādhikā cannot patiently stay in Her opulent, gorgeous palace which has become like a desolate prison to Her. In great anticipation She paces in and out of Her room again and again looking down the path with intense longing, just to catch a glimpse of Kṛṣṇa. With surging desire and devotional attraction to be with Her beloved, She sometimes sits, sometimes stands, sometimes gazes out, and absently plays with Her hair. In delightful hope and despair She laughs then cries in utter restlessness." (Candi dāsa) (SBRBM, p 37)

gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ

In the transcendental realm, everyone is our friend. They will come to help us, to make us understand that devotional service is beautiful, and that Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the best form of life. Our aspiration and purity of purpose is to be valued; not our external position. The recruiters from that side will consider our purity of purpose, not so much our present position and capacity. And although apparently it seems that we are going to be slaves, the result is just the opposite. If you can accept such an attitude of surrender and slavery, then He who can never be conquered will be conquered. Friends will come and help you, the sadhus will come and make you understand that we should become slaves, that Kṛṣṇa likes His slaves very much. He is the master of slaves, and sometimes He wants to become the slave of His slaves (gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ). This is the key to success, and we can achieve the highest gain through this attitude.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Rāmānanda Rāya: "Yes, this is true. The unconquerable is conquered by surrender. We can capture Him. I accept this as the beginning plane of divine love: by giving we can get as much as we risk. As much as we risk to give ourselves, so much we can demand from that unconquerable infinite. I accept this as the beginning of śuddha-bhakti, pure devotional service. But go further."

Rāmānanda Rāya explained that from there pure devotional service develops in a crude form, in a general way, and when it is more mature, it must take the shape of śānta (neutrality), dāsya (servitorship), sakhya (friendship), vātsalya (paternal affection, and mādhurya rasa (conjugal love). (TSFSK, p 140-141) + (SSPJ, p 115) + (see also śloka 306)

rūpākhyakāṁ mañjarikāṁ bhaje'ham

"I worship Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī whose beautiful bodily complexion discredits the golden colour of gorocanā. Wearing a dress made of fine cloth resembling peacock feathers representing her colourful devotional character, she delightfully engages in the service of Śrī Rādhikā's lotus feet." (DCP, 294-297,299) + (SBRBM, p 42)

govinda-vallabhe rādhe,
prārthaye tvām ahaṁ sadā
tvadīyam iti jānātu,
govindo māṁ tvayā saha

"O Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the dearest of Lord Govinda, this is always my request to You - please let Lord Govinda, along with Yourself, consider me to be one of Your assistants." (AP, p 70)

This prayer is found in the Acana Paddhati, which comes from Gopal Bhaṭṭa Goswāmī's edition of the Hari-bhakti-vilāsa. From there it has sprung through him. It is there in the śāstra, which is an eternal flow of a particular current of knowledge. Everything is eternal in Vaikuṇṭha and Goloka. Just as the sun comes up and goes down, appears and disappears, the thought is eternal and sometimes appears and sometimes disappears.

In this verse, govinda-vallabhe rādhe, there is a sudden turn. Kṛṣṇa says to His devotee: "Oh, do you want an intimate relationship with Me? It is not to be found within My department. You will have to go to another department. Go then to the department of Rādhikā." Then, at once, the devotee's thought is transferred towards that side. All his energy is monopolised there. It is Her monopoly. "Your inner quest is not to be found within My department," Kṛṣṇa says. "You'll have to go elsewhere and file a petition there." And with this inspiration, at once the devotee puts his petition to Rādhārāṇī: govinda-vallabhe rādhe: "O, Śrī Rādhe, Your master and sustainer is Govinda. He is the Lord of Your heart." Govinda means: "He who can give fulfilment to all our senses."

With our senses we can feel perception as well as knowledge. Govinda is the master who gives fulfilment to all our channels of perception. "Govinda is Your Lord. But just the opposite is also true. You are mistress of the heart of Govinda, the Supreme Master. Is it not? You are queen of the heart of Govinda. I have been directed to come to You with my petition. Please enlist my name in Your department and admit me as a servitor in Your group." (SGAHG, p 145-147) + (see also śloka 397)

grāmya-kathā nā śunibe,
grāmya-vārtā nā kahibe
bhāla nā khāibe āra
bhāla nā paribe
amānī mānada haṣā
kṛṣṇa-nāma sadā la'be
vraje rādhā-kṛṣṇa-sevā
mānase karibe

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu told Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī: "Don't indulge in worldly talk, don't hear worldly talk. Try your best to avoid mundane matters. Don't eat delicious dishes, but take whatever ordinary food may come of its own accord; and don't dress luxuriously. Always try to take the Name of Kṛṣṇa with the attitude of giving respect to others, without expecting respect from anyone. Be humble, but never aspire after respectful dealings from others. In this way, try to take the Name of Kṛṣṇa constantly. And within, try to serve Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana. Mentally, be in Vṛndāvana rendering Service to Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-līlā." (C-c, Antya-līlā, 6.236-7 )

Svarūpa Dāmodara was the dearmost attendant of Mahāprabhu, and a very good scholar as well. Raghunātha was also a scholar, we find that he later left the world beautiful poetry in Sanskrit. Mahāprabhu gave Raghunātha over to the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara, saying: "I request Svarūpa Dāmodara to take your charge, and he will advise you what will be necessary for your devotional life."

But suddenly one day, Raghunātha approached Mahāprabhu: "Why have You managed to take me out of my house, and what is my best benefit? If You please tell me in Your own words, my heart will be satisfied."

Mahāprabhu said: "I have given you over to the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara. He is more qualified than even Myself. Still, if you want to hear something directly from Me, then I say in brief: grāmya-kathā nā śunibe, grāmya-vārttā nā kahibe."

Mahāprabhu told Raghunātha that this was the essence of His advice to him. Then, He again took Raghunātha's hand and offered it to the hand of Svarūpa Dāmodara. He said: "I am giving you to the charge of Svarūpa Dāmodara. He is the best Spiritual Teacher. He will take care of you."

After Raghunātha's arrival in Purī, Mahāprabhu stayed there continuously for sixteen years. Raghunātha lived for sixteen years continuously in the association of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara. After They disappeared from this world, Raghunātha Dāsa, disgusted with his future prospect, left Purī and went to Vṛndāvana to finish his life, thinking: "I have what is to be had; now I only want to see Vṛndāvana Dhāma once, and then I shall leave this body by jumping from the highest peak of Govardhana."

With this idea Raghunātha went to Vṛndāvana, but when he came into contact with Rūpa Goswāmī and Sanātana Goswāmī there, he saw another vision, a dream of a new life, he found the beginning of a new life. Then he found: "Although Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Svarūpa Dāmodara have departed, disappeared from my physical eyes, they are living here in Rūpa and Sanātana, within their activities, in their preaching tendency. Mahāprabhu has not departed, He is here, as living as anything, in them."

Mahāprabhu delegated Rūpa and Sanātana with the power to preserve the Devotional Current they had received from Him, and to present it in a new light. They were asked to prove by drawing upon different Scriptures that Mahāprabhu's Teachings are the very gist and purpose of all the Scriptures. As in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15): vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyo - (see also śloka 548)

So, Mahāprabhu said: "Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute. With the help of the different Scriptures and historical references - by all means possible - try to prove that Kṛṣṇa is Svayaṁ Bhagavān, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and that Vraja-līlā, Vṛndāvana-līlā, is the highest achievement."

The two brothers had already begun that work when Raghunātha came into their association, and he found: "Oh, Mahāprabhu is here." He abandoned and rejected the idea of finishing his life and leaving the world, and joined Rūpa and Sanātana as their disciple, and with new vigour he began to serve in Vṛndāvana. Mahāprabhu had already ordered Sanātana Goswāmī: "My followers are very poor and helpless. You'll have to look after them whenever they come to Vṛndāvana. You'll have to be the caretaker of all My disciples that come to Vṛndāvana." So Raghunātha came to Sanātana Goswāmī, and Sanātana took care of him.

Raghunātha was so self-forgetful that one day as he was sitting on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa and taking the Name, a tiger came just beside him to drink water, but Raghunātha paid no attention. Suddenly, Sanātana Goswāmī came upon the scene. He was astonished. Up until then Raghunātha had lived under the shade of a tree, but Sanātana said: "Please construct a hut to live in. Don't disregard my request - I entreat you to do this." Then from that time he managed to construct a small dwelling and stay there. His abnegation, vairāgya, was incomparable. Sanātana, Rūpa, and all the Goswāmīs' indifference to worldly enjoyment was extreme, but Raghunātha's abnegation surpassed all.

When he was in Purī, sometimes he would beg Prasādam at the gate of the Jagannātha Temple, and sometimes he would take Prasādam at a chatram or free kitchen where rich men distribute Prasādam for beggars. But then he thought: "I am taking what is due to others' karma."

The unsold Jagannātha Prasādam is given to the cows of Jagannātha Purī. But when it becomes so stale that it emits a bad odour, even the cows cannot eat it. So now Raghunātha would wash that Prasādam with sufficient water, and adding a little salt he would eat that. Mahāprabhu heard about this, and one day when Raghunātha was taking that Prasādam Mahāprabhu approached and suddenly took some and ate it. He said: "Oh, I have tasted many times the Prasādam of Jagannātha, but such sweet Prasādam I have never taken anywhere!"

So, what is the taste in Prasādam ? It is not mundane. Raghunātha had such intense faith in Prasādam that he lived on apparently rotten things with a little salt - and he was the son of a family of kingly opulence. So much indifference was in him. And in his last days in Vṛndāvana, he would pass each day taking only one pot of ghol, buttermilk. This is not possible for a man of flesh and blood. Great souls like the Goswāmī's are really personalities come down from the other world, and so it was possible for them to show the ideal of abnegation. It is not possible for ordinary humans of flesh and blood to observe such a degree of abnegation without dying. But the Goswāmī's created the standard and ideal by such vairāgya.

At the same time, Raghunātha studied Rūpa Goswāmī's presentation of the highest type of rasa or devotional sentiment - madhura-rasa. Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī appreciated the acme of Divine Service, the culminating point of Divine Service - Rādhā-dāsya, which is Servitude unto Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He has given us the understanding of our highest aspiration, and he is admitted as the prayojana-ācārya, the guru who has shown us what is the highest aim of our life, prayojana-tattva, the ultimate destination.

Śrīla Sanātana Goswāmī is generally conceived of by his successors as the Ācārya of sambandha-jñāna. sambandha refers to 'what is what' - 'what is my position in the spiritual heirarchy.' That was explained most clearly by Śrīla Sanātana Goswāmī. And abhidheya - what we should cultivate in order to attain to our objective - was mainly given by Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. He taught us how we can attain fulfilment of our life in the Domain of Love. And what is particularly the highest point of our attainment, or prayojana, was very vividly shown by Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī.

In his Vilapa Kusum Anjali (102), there is a famous śloka which is a direct prayer to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. It expresses a particular type of hope which is so sweet and reassuring that it is compared with an unlimited ocean of nectar. That is Rādhā-dāsya. Our best fulfilment is in the Service of Śrī Rādhā, because only She can fully attract the Grace of Kṛṣṇa. She is the other Half who can draw the maximum rasa, Ecstasy, from Kṛṣṇa - in quantity as well as in quality. Those who are serving Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī get the highest type of qualitative rasa from Kṛṣṇa in reciprocation for their Service. That cannot be had through any other channel. Service that comes through Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is of the highest quality, so Her Service should be our summum bonum of life. This was announced clearly by Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī who is considered to be prayojana-ācārya, the guide to show us our highest fulfilment of life. (see also śloka 51) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 122-7)

gṛhe bā vanete thāke,
'hā gaurāṅga' bo'le ḍāke

Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura says: "It is not necessary that one become a mendicant or give up his family life and society. One can remain wherever he finds it suitable, whether as a householder, as a brahmacārī, as a vānaprastha, or as a sannyāsī." (SOTVA, p 79) + (see also śloka 156)

It doesn't matter much whether one is a householder or a sannyāsī, How much he has intensely engaged himself in the service of the Lord, that is to be seen. A gṛhastha may even be above a sannyāsī. During the time of Mahāprabhu, so many gṛhastha devotees were there, but the real spirit is all Gaurāṅga. (GOD, p 22)

gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhūsuragane
svamantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe
sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarā
maye svāntarbhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ

"O mind - my brother! I fall at your feet and implore you: 'Give up all pride and always taste ecstatic love while remembering the divine guide, the holy abode of Vṛndāvana, the cowherds and milkmaids of Vraja, the loving devotees of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the gods on earth or pure brāhmaṇas, the Gāyatrī mantra, the holy Names of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the divine youthful couple of Vraja, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govindasundara." (MS )

When Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura went to Vṛndāvana in the early 1930's, he rode in a motorcar. In those days, this was unheard of for a saint. One day, a priest insulted him by deprecating the position of Śrīla Rāghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī, the preceptor of our highest conception spiritual achievement. He boasted: "We are not only residents of the holy land, but members of the caste of high priests (brāhmaṇas ). Therefore we can offer our benedictions to Dāsa Goswāmī. He was born in a low-class family, and he himself asked such a benediction from us."

Of course, in great humility, Dāsa Goswāmī once prayed (in Manaḥ-śikṣā ): gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhūsuragane.

That priest remarked: "We are residents of the holy abode of Vṛndāvana, and brāhmaṇas as well, so we are in a position to give benedictions to Rāghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī."

Upon hearing these words, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura, who was at Rādhā-kuṇḍa at the time, began fasting. He remarked: "I have to hear this? This fellow is under the control of lust, anger, and greed, and he says that he can show his grace to Dāsa Goswāmī, the most respected preceptor in our line! And I am to hear that?" Without retaliating against his remarks, he decided to fast.

We also stopped eating, and our whole camp began fasting. Then a local gentleman who came to know that the whole camp was fasting managed to find the blasphemous priest and bring him to our Guru Mahārāja. That priest begged to be pardoned. Our Guru Mahārāja was satisfied and, after showing him some respect, finally broke his fast.

At that time someone told our Guru Mahārāja: "They are all ignorant fools. Why should you be so much affected by his words? You should have ignored it."

Our Guru Mahārāja said: "If I were an ordinary bābājī and heard such a remark, I could simply cover my ears and go away. But I am playing the part of an ācārya, one who teaches by example. What justification do I have for riding in a motorcar if I do not oppose such remarks against my gurudeva?"

Repeatedly he used this expression: "Why am I driving a motorcar here in Vṛndāvana?" He said: "Had I been a niṣkiṣcana bābājī, a saint living in seclusion and wearing only a loincloth, I would have given no opposition to this man. To save myself, I would simply leave the place and go elsewhere. But because I am riding in a big motorcar in the post of an ācārya, a teacher, I must defend the dignity of the great devotees. I have accepted this charge and can't evade these circumstances. I must face it and do everything in my power that such things may not go on undetected or unopposed." (TGVODL, p 115-7) + (SSPJ, p 50)

guror apy avaliptasya,
kāryākāryam ajānataḥ
parityāgo vidhīyate

"A guru who is addicted to sensual pleasure and polluted by vice, who is ignorant and who has no power to discriminate between right and wrong, or who is not on the path of śuddha-bhakti must be abandoned." (M, U -179.25)

If the guru was at first a sincere disciple of his spiritual master, and now as a result of some offences he is being neglected by his guru, he may be led astray for some time. But he may return to the standard again. Still, it is said in the Mahābhārata: guror apy avaliptasya. "A guru who does not know what is to be done and what is not to be done, who has left the path of devotional service, should be abandoned." This is found in Bhiṣma's statement in the Mahābhārata. Bhiṣma is one of the twelve mahājanas (authorities on devotional service), and this is his statement to his astra-guru (weapon-master), Paraśurāma.

Jīva Goswāmī says that if the guru goes astray he should be abandoned, but there may be circumstances where, by the inconceivable desire of Kṛṣṇa, the guru may go astray for a time and then come back again. In that case, the disciple should wait for some time. It is very unfortunate for the disciple when such things happen. You will find this elaborately dealt with in the Harināma-cintāmaṇi of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. If a son leaves home and disobeys his father, the father may be indifferent to him; he may exclude him from the will. If, however, the son returns after some time and is again obedient, then he may collect his inheritance. In a similar way, a spiritual master may disobey his guru, and then his guru may be indifferent to him for some time, but again if he sets himself right, he will not be disinherited. This is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.30), api cet sudurācāro - (see śloka 42). So we should not deal very abruptly with these unfortunate incidents, but we should wait and see. Everything must be done judiciously.

In trying to understand the relationships between guru and godbrother and guru and disciple, we will find very subtle points of sentiment. Just as when Kṛṣṇa entered into the arena of Kaṁsa, He appeared differently to different persons, the disciples will have one view of their guru and his godbrothers will have another view and disposition. The disciples of a genuine guru will see their guru as being with Kṛṣṇa, but that may not be seen to his godbrothers. In mādhurya-rasa, Kṛṣṇa is seen in one way, and in vatsalya-rasa, Mother Yaśoda sees Him in another way. The servants will see Him in another way. The ṛṣis like Gargamuni will see Him in another way. As Kṛṣṇa likes to show Himself, He will be seen.

You may see the guru in your own way, but still, you'll have to behave in such a way that the newcomer's faith will not be disturbed. The newcomers should always be encouraged, because it is very difficult for a fallen soul to collect his faith and regard and offer it to the guru. On the other hand, I may have my own conception about my godbrother. I may foster that within my heart. As much as possible I should try not to disturb his disciples. If, unfortunately, an ācārya falls, and proves himself to be lacking in that capacity, then if that comes to a sufficient degree, some steps may be taken; we may have to take some unhappy action. But let God save us from that disastrous condition. That should be our feeling.

Otherwise, as long as possible, the rank should be respected. Both the relative and the absolute consideration go side by side. The disciples should be encouraged by the relative consideration mostly. And godbrothers will have more feel for the absolute consideration. But still, they shouldn't disturb the newcomers in their premier position. Even if your think the person performing the function of ācārya is lower in qualification (adhikāra ) than you, still you should formally give some special honour to him because he is in that position. The son may be the judge, and the father may be the lawyer, but the father must give respect to the son. He must give respect to the chair. So that kind of adjustment should be kept in the mission. When you are alone, the ācārya brother and his non-ācārya brother can mix freely. You can give a slap to his face. But when publicly amongst his disciples, you must show that sort of behaviour. Respectful conduct should be publicly maintained to keep up the peace of the mission. (SGAHG, p 81-3) + (see also ślokas 15 & 168)

guru-gaṇa-śire punaḥ
śobha pāya śata-guṇa

"All desirable objects, when offered to our gurus, become glorified one hundredfold, as Their crown-jewels." (SOTGOD, v 1, p xvii) + (see also ślokas 167 & 464)

guru-gaurave garvvita dhanya morā
"Blessed are we in Śrī Gurudeva's bounty;
His divine treasure is our pride and glory."

Conditioned souls as we are, it is an honest fact that we have nothing to boast about. Yet, when we feel we are bereft, we are reminded of this poetic line, and we realise that our true wealth really is: guru-gaurave garvvita dhanya morā. With this conception, all our hopes, all our prospects, our honour, our good name - everything will become as brilliant as the early morning sun. (guru-gaṇa-śire punaḥ - see also śloka 166). In the presence of the self-effulgent sun we can never feel ourselves to be destitute. (SOTGOD, v 1, p xvii)

gurur na sa syāt sva jano na sa syāt,
pitā na sa syāj jananī na sā syāt
daivaṁ na tat syān na patiś ca sa syān,
na mocayed yaḥ samupeta mṛtyum

Ṛṣabhadeva says: "Even a spiritual master, relative, parent, husband, or demigod who cannot save us from repeated birth and death should be abandoned at once." (S-B, 5.5.18)

One who cannot save other souls from the world of impending death - that is, one who cannot teach the path of devotion - he cannot be a teacher, although he may be called 'guru'; he cannot be a relative - he is not worthy of the designation; he cannot be a father - he is not qualified to beget a son; she cannot be a mother - she should not bear a child; he cannot be a god - the demigods who cannot deliver others from material bondage are not entitled to accept worship from human society; and he cannot be a husband - his hand is not fit to accept in marriage. (SSPJ, p 58)

There is nation consciousness and God consciousness; society consciousness and God consciousness. God consciousness is absolute. If society consciousness hinders the development of God consciousness, it should be left behind. This is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: gurur na sa syāt sva jano na sa syāt: "Even a spiritual master, relative, parent, husband, or demigod who cannot save us from repeated birth and death should be abandoned at once." What to speak of ordinary things, even the guru, may have to be abandoned. One may even have to give up one's own spiritual guide, as in the case of Bali Mahārāja, or one's relatives, as in the case of Vibhiṣana. In the case of Prahlāda, his father had to be given up, and in the case of Bharata Mahārāja, it was his mother. In the case of Khatvanga Mahārāja, he left the demigods, and in the case of the yajña patnis, (the wives of the brāhmaṇas ) they left their husbands in the endeavour to reach the Absolute Personality.

We need society only to help us. If our affinity to the society keeps us down, then that should be given up, and we must march on. There is the absolute consideration and the relative consideration. When they come into clash, the relative must be given up, and the absolute should be accepted. If my inner voice, my spiritual conscience decides that this sort of company cannot really help me, then I will be under painful necessity to give them up, and to run towards my destination, wherever my spiritual conscience guides me. Any other course will be hypocrisy, and it will check my real progress. (see also śloka 307) + (SGAHG, p 44)

guru-rūpa-hariṁ gauraṁ,
nityaṁ naumi navadvīpe,

"Perpetually do I sing the glories of Lord Gaurāṅga, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Hari, embraced by the heart and halo of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and who has descended as the Divine Master. In this holy abode of Śrī Navadvīpa Dhāma, He is absorbed in the pastimes of profusely chanting the oly Names, dancing in ecstasy." (SSPJ, p 2-3)

"I offer my eternal obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hari embraced by the loving sentiment and effulgent complexion of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Appearing as the Supreme Divine Master in the holy abode of Śrī Navadvīpa Dhāma, He is absorbed in the pastimes of chanting the Holy Name and dancing in ecstasy." (ARO, p 10)

hā nātha ramaṇa preṣṭha,
kvāsi mahā-bhuja
dāsyās te kṛpaṇāyā me,
sakhe darśaya sannidhim

Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī says: "O Lord, My loving consort and dearmost hero, where are You? I am Your poor maidservant, please come to Me." (SSPJ, p 136)

"O beloved Lord, O loving consort, O giver of pleasure, O dearmost hero, where are You? I am Your poor maidservant who is feeling completely lost and empty without You, please bring Me close to You." (SBRBM, p 28)

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa
kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma
rāma rāma hare hare
prabhu kahe kahilām ei mahāmaṇtra
ihā japa giyā save kariyā nirvvarndha
ihā haite sarva-siddhi haibe savāra
sarvākṣaṇa bala ithe vidhi nāhi āra

Śrīman Mahāprabhu said: "Thus I spoke this Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-Mantra, which is the most effective means of bringing divine benefit in the life of the jīva souls. Go home and chant this holy mantram with all devotion. Everyone will attain all perfection by the grace of this magnanimous mantra. Therefore, chant and remember it all the time regardless of any rules and regulations." (C-B, Mad-23, 76-78) + (SBRBM, p 16)

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma
Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

This revealed meaning is composed of the spontaneous responses between the Divine Couple (Mahābhāva and Rasarāja) during an intimate pastime as They address each other.

"Hare - O My beloved Rādhe.

Kṛṣṇa - O My beloved Kṛṣṇa

Hare - O My beloved Queen, You instantly steal away My heart by Your super excellent exquisite beauty and devotional qualities.

Kṛṣṇa - O all attractive one, You irresistibly attract My heart and soul by Your ever excelling beauty and ambrosial nature.

Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa - O dearmost object of My devotion, personified love ecstasy Kṛṣṇa, please keep on attracting Me towards You more and more intimately.

Hare Hare - O dearest Goddess, object of My love Rādhe, please take away My heart more and more by Your intimate love."

"Hare - O Rādhe, My dearest beloved.

Rāma- O reservoir and giver of nectarean pleasure, Kṛṣṇa.

Hare - O beautiful Goddess Rādhe, You please capture My heart.

Rāma - O Kṛṣṇa Lord of My life, please take My body, mind and heart, and enjoy Me to Your utmost satisfaction.

Rāma Rāma - O Rāma, giver of pleasure and ecstasy, My dearest beloved, Kṛṣṇa, please flood My heart with nectarean pleasure by enjoying Me eternally.

Hare Hare - O Hare, take Me more deeply into the core of Your devoted heart, and make Me eternally relish Your transcendental love, the all fulfilling ambrosia of My life." (SBRBM, p 21)

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

The real importance of the Name is not to be found merely in the arrangement of its syllables, but in the deep meaning within that divine sound. Some scholars argue that in the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, Lord Brahmā says that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is properly pronounced only when the Name of Rāma precedes the Name of Kṛṣṇa: "Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare / Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare." In the Kali-santaraṇa Upaniṣad, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is given in that way. But to say that the Name of Rāma must precede the Name of Kṛṣṇa in the mantra is a superficial understanding. It is said that because it comes from the Upaniṣads, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is a Vedic mantra, and therefore, because the ordinary people may not have any entrance into Vedic mantras, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu readjusted this mantra by reversing the order of the words. In that way, it is said: the concern that it is a Vedic mantra is thereby cancelled, and so Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave it to all without breaching the injunctions of the Vedas. Some devotees in Uttar Pradesh who have great affection for Śrī Caitanyadeva like to give this opinion.

But our faith is that the mention of "Hare Rāma" first is only superficial. It concerns the idea that since the Rāma avatāra appeared first and the Kṛṣṇa avatāra afterwards, the Name of Rāma, "Hare Rāma," should come first in the mahā-mantra. A deeper reading will consider that when two similar things are connected together, the priority will be ordered not on the basis of historical precedent, but in consideration of the most highly developed conception. The Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa is higher than the Holy Name of Rāma. This is mentioned in the Purāṇas: three Names of Rāma equal one Name of Kṛṣṇa. The Name of Kṛṣṇa is superior to the Name of Rāma. Where the two are connected together, the first position should be given to the one that is superior. Therefore, the Name of Kṛṣṇa must come first in the mahā-mantra.

This is one point. Another point is that within the eternal plane, everything is moving in a cyclic order. In an eternal cycle, which is first and which is next cannot be ascertained, and so, in the eternal plane of līlā, it cannot be determined whether Kṛṣṇa is before Rāma or Rāma is before Kṛṣṇa. So from that consideration also, since the Names of Kṛṣṇa and Rāma are eternal and unrelated to any historical event, we may begin the mantra from any place. But above these considerations, our sampradāya has given another, higher consideration. A deeper understanding will reveal that the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is not at all concerned with rāma-līlā.

In the Name of Rāma within the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇāvas will find Rādhā-rāmana-Rāma. That means "Kṛṣṇa, who gives pleasure (rāman ) to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī." In our conception, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is wholesale Kṛṣṇa consciousness, not Rāma consciousness.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's highest conception of things is always Svayam Bhagavān, Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Rādhā-Govinda-līlā. That is the real purpose of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's advent and teachings. In that consideration, the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra does not mention the Rāma-līlā of Āyodhya at all. There is no connection with that in the highest conception of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra.

And the inner conception of the mantra is responsible for our spiritual attainment. When one pronounces the Name Rāma, if he means Dāsarāthi Rāma, his attraction will take him there, to Āyodhya; if he means Pārasūrāma, he will be attracted to another place. And if Rāma means Rādhā-rāmana Rāma, he will go to Goloka. The inner conception of the devotee will guide him to his destination.

My original name was Rāmendra Candra. When I was given initiation, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura gave me the name Rāmendra Sundara. I asked him: "What is the meaning of Rāmendra?" He told me: "In our consideration, Rāma does not mean Dāsarāthi Rāma or Lord Rāmacandra, the son of King Dāsarātha. It means Rādhā-rāmana-Rāma - Kṛṣṇa, the lover of Rādhārāṇī."

The Name "Hare" may also mean different things according to one's conception. That the meaning of the word Hare in the mantra is taken to mean Rādhārāṇī is also determined according to the spiritual development or qualification (ādhikāra ) of the chanter. When one is firmly established in conceiving of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the background of everything - when one finds Svayam Rūpa, the original form of Godhead, underlying all sorts of conception of all things good - then only will he find that sort of meaning and nothings else.

For the beginners, the word "Hare" in the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra can be conceived to mean Hari. That is one meaning. It may also mean Nṛsiṁhadeva. And just as "Rāma" can mean Dāsarāthi Rāma, "Kṛṣṇa" may refer to different types of Kṛṣṇa. There is also a Kṛṣṇa in Vaikuṇṭha, where the vaibhāvas, or extensions of the Lord, number twenty-four. In Vaikuṇṭha, first there is Nārāyana, and then four extensions: Vāsudeva, Śankārṣana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. Each of these four has five agents, making twenty-four in all. One of these is the Kṛṣṇa of Vaikuṇṭha, then there is the Kṛṣṇa of Dwārakā, and the Kṛṣṇa of Mathurā.

In this way there are various conceptions of Kṛṣṇa. But the highest conception of Kṛṣṇa is Kṛṣṇa in Vṛndāvana: Rādhā-Govinda. When one cannot remove himself from that plane, he will conceive of divinity only as Hari-Harā. He will see nothing else but Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Those who are completely and perfectly installed in madhura-rasa - who have the highest kind of divine vision - cannot come down from that plane. If they do, it is only for the interest of Rādhā-Govinda. In that case, the devotee may go anywhere, but his real interest is under lock and key in Vṛndāvana. Only on behalf of the service of Rādhā-Govinda will a devotee leave Vṛndāvana.

For those who are followers of the Vṛndāvana line, "Hare" in the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra can only mean Harā: Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Harā means "Rādhā, who can even snatch the attention of Kṛṣṇa, Hari." The word harana means "to steal." One who can steal the mind of He who is most expert in stealing - who can steal even the mind of Kṛṣṇa - She is Harā. Stealing in its highest capacity is shown by Rādhārāṇī. And "Kṛṣṇa" means "He who is most attractive in the absolute sense." They are both represented in the mantra.

The followers of the rūpānūgā sampradāya can never deviate from that consciousness in their chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. And with this conception, they go on with the service of Hari-Harā, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. They absorb themselves in rādhā dāsyam. They cannot think of anything else but that. And once having fully attained that plane, they can never come down from that level, from the interest of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. They cannot allow themselves to be out of that circle.

That is the position of our highest aspiration, and according to a devotee's ādhikāra, or spiritual qualification, that sort of meaning will be awakened in one's mind, discovered by sādhana. At that time the covering of the heart will be removed and divine love will spontaneously spring up from the fountain of the heart as the inner function of the soul. (LSFTLS, p 91-94)

nirāṣrayaṁ māṁ jagadīsa rakṣa

"O Hari, captivator of heart by Your unique divine loveliness, beauty and glory.

O Murārī Madhu Kaitavari, the destroyer of Mura, Madhu and Kaitava who represent demoniac consciousness of different patterns, inauspiciousness and evil.

O Gopāla, the protector, nurturer and maintainer of the universal creation.

O Govinda, giver of delight to the heart and senses.

O Mukunda, giver of blissful liberation.

O Śaure, the supreme almighty.

O Yajñeśa, the exclusively worshippable object of all auspicious spiritual sacrifices and devotional endeavours.

O Nārāyaṇa, the eternal shelter of the universe and all life.

O Kṛṣṇa, the all attractive reservoir of pleasure and ecstasy.

O Viṣṇu, the all pervading supreme personality. The preserver and maintainer of the whole creation.

O Jagadīśa, the supreme creator, controller and enjoyer of the entire universe. I have no other shelter but You. Please protect me, maintain and nurture me in the ambrosial embrace of Your shelter."

(SBRBM, p 17)

hatvāpi sa imāḹ lokān
na hanti na nibadhyate

"One who acts in that plane of reality may destroy thousands of universes, but he does not do anything. He is acting in the transcendental plane." (B-g, 18.17) (SEOC, p 131) + (see also śloka 42)

he kṛṣṇa dvārakānātha
he gopījana - ballabha
dāsyāste kṛpanāyāyā
sakhe darśaya sannidhiṁ

"O all attractive Lord Kṛṣṇa, O king of Dvārakā, O beloved Lord of the gopīs, please kindly appear before me, Your maidservant. O beloved friend, I am in great need of Your mercy at this time." (M ) + (SBRBM, p 25)

heloddhūnita-khedayā viśadayā pronmīlad āmodayā
śāmyac-chāstra-vivādayā rasadayā cittārpitonmādayā
śaśvad-bhaktivinodayā śamadayā mādhuryya-maryyādayā
śrī-caitanya-dayānidhe tava dayā bhūyād amandodayā

"O ocean of mercy, Śrī Caitanya - that mercy which effortlessly dispels all lamentation; that mercy within which absolute purity resides; that mercy within which supreme ecstasy is revealed (overshadowing all else); that mercy which ends all scriptural debates by its appearance; that mercy which charms all directions by its pastimes of divine love - by its absolute sweetness may that all-expansive mercy of Yours, the bestower of all goodness, awaken in our hearts." (SCN)

After Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu took sannyāsa, He wandered throughout South India, and conquered the religious conceptions there. At Benares, Svarūpa Dāmodara also wanted to take sannyāsa, but the function was half-done. When the Lord arrived at Purī, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara became as though mad, and with his sannyāsa-function half-completed he ran to Purī. His name was Puruṣottama, and his brahmacārī name was Svarūpa Ānanda. So, with this name still, he ran to Purī, like a madman, to see his guardian and friend, his everything. He greeted Śrī Caitanyadeva with this śloka: heloddhūnita-khedayā viśadayā pronmīlad āmodayā.

Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara fell at the feet of Śrī Caitanyadeva with this śloka on his lips.

"O ocean of mercy, Śrī Caitanyadeva, let Your grace be distributed to one and all. You are the ocean of grace - let that grace be distributed to one and all. It is the grace which once begun never comes to end in any other wave; it will never produce any bad thing thereafter. Your dayā, Your mercy, is of such quality that if anyone gets a particle of it, then in no time that mercy will eliminate any bad position. Mando means "bad position," so amandodayā is such dayā that won't bring inauspiciousness at any time."

Like a mad friend fallen at His feet, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara sang this śloka to Śrī Caitanyadeva. In the line of instruction from Śrī Caitanyadeva, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara is first, then Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī and Śrī Sanātana Goswāmī: (viśvambhara priyaṅkara, śrī-svarūpa-dāmodara, śrī-goswāmī rūpa-sanātana - see śloka 278). Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara's position is such.

In Vṛndāvana, in Vraja-līlā he is known as Lalitā Śakhī. Bhūyād means āśīrvāda, blessings; "I bestow my blessings to one and all; one and all may get the blessings of Śrī Caitanyadeva." A hint of the particular standard of Śrīmatī Lalitā Devī's service has been given by Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī in śloka 391. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 196-7)

heno nitāi vine bhāi
rādhā kṛṣṇa pāite nāi

Our foundation must be solid and proper. Then the structure should be erected. Otherwise the whole thing will go down (heno nitāi vine bhāi rādhā kṛṣṇa pāite nāi ). We can get a solid foundation from Nityānanda Prabhu. (MS ) + (SOTVA, p 83-6) + (SGAHG, p 29) + (see also śloka 343)

By the grace of Nityānanda Prabhu we can receive the grace of Mahāprabhu. There is no other alternative for us, the fallen souls, especially for the beginners. heno nitāi vine bhāi rādhā kṛṣṇa pāite nāi - by the grace of Nityānanda we shall receive the grace of Gaurāṅga and by the grace Gaurāṅga we shall receive the grace of Rādhā-Govinda. That is the general way - the grand trunk road that was even foretold by Lord Brahmā (see also śloka 243) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 21) + (see also śloka 343)

The grace of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu presupposes some selection, but Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu's grace has no selection. He gives His grace to whoever He comes across. Nityānanda Prabhu is so magnanimous that He saves whoever He comes across on His way. His mercy is so raw, undiscriminating, and broad. Nityānanda Prabhu is most benevolent. Mahāprabhu has a sort of discrimination, but Nityānanda Prabhu does not care for any discrimination whatsoever. Whether one is a fit or unfit candidate, he is still counted as worthy. Such is His mercy.

Never dare to approach Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, neglecting the grace of Lord Nityānanda (heno nitāi vine bhāi rādhā kṛṣṇa pāite nāi ). So, our revered Śrīpāda Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja laid stress on Nityānanda Prabhu. Nityānanda Prabhu is Lord Balarāma. Nityānanda Prabhu's grace is stressed for the fallen; His grace is real wealth for them because discrimination has hardly a place in it. Although not much, we nonetheless find some sort of discrimination in the magnanimity of Lord Gaurāṅga. But Nityānanda Prabhu is more generous. So first go to Nityānanda Prabhu, and by His grace you will go to Mahāprabhu. And by the grace of Mahāprabhu you will easily reach Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda in Vṛndāvana. This is the way shown to us. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 190) + (see also ślokas 343 & 601)

he nātha he ramā-nātha,
magnam uddhara govinda,
gokulaṁ vṛjinārṇavat

"O My beloved Master, owner, protector and maintainer! O beloved Master of the Goddess of fortune! O Master of Vraja! O destroyer of all suffering! Govinda kindly lift Your Gokula out of the ocean of distress in which it is drowning." (S-B, 10.47.52) + (SBRBM, p 27)

he rādhā dvārakā-nātha,
he gopī-jana-vallabha

Draupadī, in her most dangerous moment, she is also remembering Gopalānandana in Mahābhārata. When Gopalānandana comes to see the gopīs, He becomes the maximum generous - covers everything under our affection. All affection, all affectionate...Gopalānandana means all-affectionate. Everything comes within the boundary of His affection. It means no one can avoid it. But to reach that standard, that is difficult. Uddhava says: "I want to be one of the shrubs, the blades of grass in this place so that I can naturally have the feet-dust of these supernatural young damsels, these divine damsels." Our internal aim is towards that high thing, and externally, we shall try to stick to the general service of the Lord." (M ) + (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 2)

hṛdaye nābhya nujñāto

One's own feeling is the guarantee as to whether he is making real progress or not. hṛdaye nābhya nujñāto. He will receive approval from his own heart that he is making real progress. Otherwise, a man may be coaxingly taken in a particular direction only to feel frustration after some time, but such a transaction is not genuine - it is false, a hoax. In the name of religion so many such things do go on, like a trade, but that does not mean that real realisation and real emancipation do not exist. hṛdaye nābhya nujñāto - the ultimate guarantee is the approval of your own heart: "Yes. Really this is what I want. From the inner most core of my heart I feel the desire to dance to find that such progress is possible." (HC, p 16-7)

It is not that all action and all progress takes place only in the realm of death. Progress is not limited just to darkness and ignorance, but if you really participate in positive progress you will be able to feel what real progress is. hṛdaye nābhya nujñāto. You will feel and conceive the progress with your inner approval, your heart's approval. It is not that some bogus hope has been given and you will be taken into a foreign land to be murdered, tortured, mistreated, etc. There is no question of that. (MS, 2.1 ) + (HC, p 22) + (see also ślokas 93 & 554)

icchā-dvesa samutthena,
dvandva-mohena bhārata
sarva-bhūtāni saṁmohaṁ,
sarge yānti parantapa

"O Arjuna, chastiser of the enemy, from the very beginning of the universal creation, all forms of life are overwhelmed by ignorance born of duality based on happiness and unhappiness, which has its origin in desire and abhorrence of sensual predilection." (B-g, 7.27)

The first position of a soul in the material world will be like that of Brahmā, the creator. Then his karma may take him to the body of a beast like a tiger, where he is surrounded with a tigerish mentality, or to the body of a tree or creeper, where different impressions may surround him. In this way, one is involved in action and reaction. In the brahmajyoti we are equipoised in the marginal potency as an infinite number of pinpoints of spiritual rays, electrons of consciousness. Consciousness means endowed with free will, for without free will no consciousness can be conceived. An atomic pinpoint of consciousness has very meagre free will, and by misuse of their free will some jīvas have taken their chance in the material world. They refused to submit to the supreme authority; they wanted to dominate. So, with this germinal idea of domination, the jīva enters into the world of exploitation.

In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.27 ) it is stated: icchā-dvesa samutthena: "Two principles in a crude form awaken in the jīva: hatred and desire. Then, gradually the soul comes down to mingle with the mundane world." At first, sympathy and apathy develop in a crude form, just as when a sprout springs up with two leaves. And gradually these two things help us to dive deep into this mundane world. Upon retiring from the world of exploitation, the soul may return to his former position in the brahmajyoti as spirit. But, if the soul has gathered the tendency of dedication through his previous devotional activities, he does not stop there; he pierces through the brahmajyoti and goes towards Vaikuṇṭha. Why has the soul come to the world of exploitation, and not the world of dedication? That should be attributed to his innate choice. (This is substantiated in the Gītā, 5.14 - see śloka 312) + (TSFSK, p 36-7)

idaṁ bhāgavataṁ nāma,
purāṇaṁ brahma-sammitam
adhītavān dvāparādau,
pitur dvaipāyanād aham

"At the end of Dvāpara-yuga, I studied this Mahā-Purāṇa Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam from my father, Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Dvaipāyana Vyāsa. I conceive that to be the highest standard of education and you are the fittest man to receive it. Therefore I shall deliver it to you." (S-B, 2.1.8)

Saying this, Śrīla Śukadeva Goswāmī began the talk of Bhāgavatam for Mahārāja Parīkṣit. And there he gave the principle of Kṛṣṇa consciousness that harmonises all classes. To receive descending spiritual nowledge in this way is the method of the deductive school. And the nature of such fit recipients is described as nirmmatsara - they are free from jealousy. Those who are suffering the disease of jealousy cannot tolerate anyone holding a higher position than themselves. They cannot tolerate the merit of others. "I am the best. None can be greater than me." This is their disease (matsara ).

But the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is for those who are free from the disease of such a mean egoistic feeling. The students that come forward to read the Bhāgavatam must be of such character that they have conquered that mean egoistic sentiment of considering oneself to be all-in-all. When that sort of mean, egoistic feeling is removed, one will be fit to study Bhāgavatam, and they will successfully imbibe the teachings herein and make a great and inconceivably divine improvement in their life.

Vedyaṁ vāstavam atra vastu śivadam: (S-B, 1.1.2 - see also śloka 126), "I am not dealing with an imaginary concoction. This is vāstava-vastu, a realistic thought which death and mortality cannot challenge. I am dealing with such a thing here. The whole world you are living in is unreal, but what I am dealing with here is the only reality. The realistic thought is not unreal. You are suffering from the mania of unreality. Tāpatrayon-mūlanam: and your disease will be wholesale cured. The disease and its effect - your suffering - will be uprooted to the extreme." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 152-3)

imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ,
proktavān aham avyayam
vivasvān manave prāha,
manur ikṣvākave' bravīt

evaṁ paramparā-prāptam,
imaṁ rājarṣayo viduḥ
sa kāleneha mahatā,
yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa

The Supreme Lord said: "Previously I instructed the sun-god Sūrya (Vivasvān) in this imperishable scientific knowledge, which is achieved by selfless action. Sūrya, the presiding deity of the sun, delivered it to his son Vaivasvata Manu, exactly as he had heard it from Me. Thereafter, Manu instructed the same knowledge to his son Ikṣvāku. O conqueror of the enemy, in this way, the saintly kings such as Nimi, Janaka, and others, learned this path of knowledge through divine succession. From the beginning of time, I am giving My tidings to others, transmitting the truth that I am the goal through this system of disciplic succession, generation after generation. Presently, due to the influence of this material world and the passage of time, the current is damaged, and this teaching appears to be almost completely lost." (B-g, 4.1-2)

"First I instructed the sun-god Sūrya in this knowledge, and from Sūrya it passed to Manu, and from Manu to Ikṣvāku; so from the beginning of time, I am giving My tidings to others, transmitting the truth that I am the goal through this system of disciplic succession, generation after generation." (LSFTLS, p V11) + (see also ślokas 4 & 216)

sa kāleneha mahatā, yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa - "The current is damaged by the influence of this material world." (SGAHG, p 106)

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur,
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ
manasas tu parā buddhir,
buddher yaḥ paratas tu saḥ

"The learned proclaim that the senses are superior to inert objects, the mind is superior to the senses, and the faculty of resolute intelligence is superior to the mind. And he who is superior to the intelligence is the soul himself." (B-g, 3.42)

Soul is nearby. We can try to find out what the soul is if we can eliminate the material elements. This is the process of the Upaniṣads and it is mentioned in the Bhagavad-gītā, indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur. First we are to understand that our senses are primary. If my senses are removed, the entire world of our experience is nothing to me. Only through my senses can I be aware of the existence of the outside world. Minus senses, eyes, ears, no world is apparent to me.

Then, above the senses is the mind. What is the mind? The mind deals with acceptance and rejection: saṅkalpa vikalpa. In other words, the mind thinks: "I want this, I don't want that." It deals with attachment and hatred. The mind determines who is enemy and who is friend, 'this is mine, that's yours'. If we want to understand the mind we have to look within, to enquire within. What is that element in me that seeks friends and avoids enemies? Where is he? Sometimes the mind is apparent; then other times it is hiding. I must find out where the mind exists; of what substance is it composed? By analysis I can understand what aspect of my inner self is the mind. Then, having some idea of what the mind is, I may analyse that part of me which deals with reason, the intelligence. Where is the intelligence? When the mind demands something, the intelligence says: "Don't take that, don't eat that." By introspection, I may look within and find out: What is that principle in me which reasons? Where is that fine thing? What is its nature, its substance, its existence? We shall try in our introspection to find it out, substantially.

If that is possible, then the next step will take us to the soul. What is that soul which makes possible the intelligence, the reason by which we act, which prompts the mind to want, and also gives our senses the power to connect with things? What is that spark of knowledge? Where is that soul within me? What position does it hold? I want to see it face to face. Then in this way we can evaporate like lightning all the misconceptions of body and mind. By finding the soul through introspection, we may experience the lightning touch of realisation.

At that time, the whole world will be turned in a diametrically different line, and we shall see things differently: "Oh, this material life is undesirable! These senses are enemies in the garb of friends. If I confront them now, they say that I may have an honourable friendship with them, and that without them I can't live. But it is all a hoax. From a realisation of the soul, from the point of that wonderful knowledge, one may come to see the ocean of knowledge. One may begin to see what is in the subjective area, and hanker for how to come in connection with that divine realm. At that time, the very trend of one's life will be changed, and a total change will come in our search, and our standard of prospect in life. And our search will take a concrete shape in devotion. In this way, we must begin our search after the higher sphere. And how to enter there?

It is the opposite of this plane of exploitation. In Milton's Paradise Lost, Satan said: "It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven." But we shall experience just the opposite: "It is better to serve in heaven than to reign in hell." To serve in heaven is highly superior than to reign in hell.

The question of energy and power is important in the mortal world, but in the constant and eternal world, this sort of energy has no value. That plane is composed of eternal substance. It is not like this troubling plane which is always breaking, always disappearing, always disappointing, and full of treachery. That divine plane is constant. Life goes on there without any need of food, rest, or medicine. There is no need of the labour to earn bread in that higher realm. All these things are not necessary in a plane of reality where everything is permanent and of eternal value. All these problems which are making us madly busy are easily eliminated in one stroke. That is the nature of that plane. And if we realise that we are members of that plane, then the question becomes what to do? How to approach the higher realm? That will be our problem. We cannot force our entry there; we must be granted a visa. We cannot master that finer realm - we must allow ourselves to be utilised by it. In other words we must come to the position of slavery. We shall have to realise that mastership here in the mortal world is a curse, and the slavery in that higher world is a boon.

And the Bhāgavatam (see śloka 327) will help us in our progressive march towards that higher plane. (SEOC, p 40-42)

The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam says that there are fourteen planetary systems, and yet when we see the sky at night we see so many stars and planets, it seems that the number is unlimited. Those fourteen worlds are not only of this physical type, but range from physical to subtle. Creation stems from consciousness, towards matter. The gradation from matter up to consciousness is progressively finer and finer - the gap between matter and soul. To fill the gap from gross to subtle, there is a progression of more and more subtle planes that finally vanish in the conscious area. The gradation from jaḍa to cetana, from matter to spirit, or from unconsciousness to consciousness, occurs in so many steps, fine, finer, finest. It is to be conceived of in this way. Bhūr-, Bhuvar-, Svar-, Mahar-, Janar-, Tapar-, Satya-loka, then Virajā, then Brahmaloka or Brahman. In Brahman, we find the real existence of the soul. From Virajā downwards is the area of this material consciousness.

In Bhagavad-gītā we find: indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur, indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ. In brief, four stages of mundane elements in the middle are given here. First is matter, second is the senses, third is the mind and fourth is judiciousness or reason. Finally, there is the soul. But in more elaborate detail, there are also seven subdivisions of Bhūr, etc., up to Satya-loka. In this line, the soul is found in Brahman. paratas tu saḥ. The word saḥ refers to Brahman. Matter may also be subdivided as stone, water, heat, gas, ether, etc. In one word it is matter, but one will also find subdivision of matter from gross to subtle. In stone one will find earth, coal, wood, maybe gold or silver. But all these elements are felt by the senses, and thus the senses are superior to all the gradations of matter. Then there is the faculty of thinking or impulse: 'I want this, I don't want that.' But further, the faculty of judiciousness, reason or intelligence is superior: 'No, don't want that, it will produce a certain bad effect in you'; and so on. Even more subtle than the intelligence is citta (consciousness), which is not mentioned in Gītā; further is ahaṅkāra (ego), and finally the realm of the soul. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 86-7)

Lord Kṛṣṇa has recommended in Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā how one can conquer kāma, lust, by regulating the senses. He advises us to become acquainted with the nature of the soul, then all the problems caused by kāma will be turned into ashes.

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur,
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ.

Lust is not easily accessible, but is hidden. We cannot easily trace where he lives, but he comes suddenly and, after looting, disappears. But we are told here that really he lives in the intelligence, the mind and the senses. To conquer that lust we are to regulate the senses, but in order to do so we first have to analyse what the senses are and what is their position, and then, what is the position of the internal king of the senses, the mind. After that we are to analyse what is the intrinsic position of the buddhi, the faculty of reason, judgement and intelligence. Then, with the help of reason, we are to try to find out what is in the background of that faculty of reason, of judgement and of decision making. In the background is a pencil-thin ray whose nature is diametrically opposite to the world of experience. In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam an example is given that in the night a cloud may cover the moon. Though the cloud obscures the moon, still the cloud can only be seen by the light of the moon.

na rarājoḍupaśchana,
svajyotsnā bhāsitairghanaiḥ
ahaṁ matyā bhāsitayā,
svabhāsā puruṣo jyathā

In this example the soul is likened to the moon and the ahaṅkāra is likened to cloud cover. The sense-consciousness, the mind and the intelligence have all combined to form a system, ahaṅkāra, which has covered the soul. But they are seen, and it is possible for them to act, only because there is light - the light of the soul, the moon. So by the help of our reason we must try to perceive what is above reason, and we shall come to see that it is the ātmā, the soul. In this way we may have some direct connection with the ātmā, or at least some conception, however vague, of its existence and nature. At that time our whole material aspiration will turn into trash and within ourselves we will be able to conquer all the charms of this world. The Lord' advice in Śrīmad-Bhagavad-gītā is to somehow or other try to obtain understanding of the true nature of our own ātmā. We are really of such a superior nature and hold a noble, dignified position in the higher plane; but lust and so many base things have come to entrap us.

Raso 'py asya, paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
(B-g, 2.59 - see śloka 561)

indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur,
indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ.
(B-g, 3.42-43)

Our senses are superior in comparison to all the things we experience around us. Suppose we were devoid of all our senses of touch, sight, hearing and so on, then we would have no conception of anything external. The world would mean nothing to us.

Then again, the central figure of all the senses is the mind. Someone may call but we may find: "He was calling me? Oh, I was unconscious: I was unmindful and did not hear. I have my senses but because I was unmindful I did not hear or see him." So the mind is in the centre. And the mind had two functions, saṅkalpa-vikalpa -"I want this, I don't want that - I don't want that, I want this." This is mainly the function of the mind.

Then comes the buddhi, intelligence. From the mind we are to go up to the buddhi, the reason. What is that? Discrimination. "Oh, my mind wants that, but it will bring such a reaction, so don't go to do it." The buddhi, the intelligence or faculty of judgement will give the warning: "Don't go. Don't listen to what the mind says; don't obey him." That is the intelligence.

The if we go up from there, surpassing the intelligence, we search for what is next, what is above the intelligence, backing it and making the function of intelligence possible, we will be able to see: "Oh, this is my real self and everything else is an outside extension in the material world, it is all a material overcoating. I can leave it, and with only myself, my own ātmā, alone I can go up to somewhere higher. This present atmosphere is not at all necessary for me, rather it is harmful, a coating, a garment which has been thrust onto me in order that I come in connection with this bad environment." With this realisation, with our soul proper we can go in a higher direction, towards Paramātmā, Nārāyaṇa and Kṛṣṇa. (B-g, 3.42-43) + (SOTGOD, v 3, p 45-47)

If we are to get out of this entanglement, we must leave this atmosphere experienced by our senses. In Bhagavad-gītā and in the Upaniṣads also it is mentioned: indriyāṇi parāṇy āhur. Our senses hold the primary position, because if the eye, ear, nose, touch, etc., are gone, then the whole world is gone from us. Because we have senses we have our world. In the world of experience, our senses are all important. Then - indriyebhyaḥ paraṁ manaḥ - the mind is within. And what is the mind? It is the faculty within us which selects: "I want this, I don't want that." We have a liking for something, and a disregard for something else, and this is the principle of the mind within us. It is more important than the senses because if I am unmindful, a person may walk in front of me but it possible that I will say: "Oh, I did not notice him. I did not see him and I could not hear him. I was unmindful." So, mind is in the centre, and that is more important than our senses.

The senses are more important than the external world, and the mind is more important because if the mind does not receive, then the senses, which are like so many doors, are useless.

Then - manasas tu parā buddhir - there is another principle to be traced within us, a fine thing called reason, buddhi, and what is its characteristic? The mind will say: "Oh, I shall take that," but the buddhi says: "Oh no. No, don't take that, it will cause some damage. You rather take this, it will give you benefit." That faculty of selection, that reason, is a higher principle in us. Then - buddher yaḥ paratas tu saḥ - that which is superior even to the intelligence is the soul himself.

In this way we are to trace out the elements. More important than the external world are our senses; more important than our senses is our mind; and above the mind is reason which is even more important, more fine and more reliable; and - buddher yaḥ paratas tu saḥ - there is another thing above the buddhi, and that is our soul. And what is its nature, its characteristic?

In the Scriptures an example has been given that on a moon-lit night there may be a cloud in the sky which has covered the moon - but the cloud is seen by the light of the moon. The compiler of the Vedas, Vyāsadeva, says the ātmā is like that illuminating moon. Or, like the sun: a cloud has covered the sun, but the cloud is seen by the light of the sun. Similarly, the ātmā is a point of light within us, and because it is in the background we can feel our mental system. If the light is withdrawn, then everything is dead.

The mental system, the intelligence, the faculty of choice, and so many channels through which we gain knowledge from outside, will have no value if that light is withdrawn. That light is the ātmā, a point of a ray of light, and it is quite categorically different from all other things here. The soul is a particle of light and there is a land of light made of souls, and in this way there is development again: from the subjective to the super-subjective, from soul to Supersoul, ātmā to Paramātmā. Just as in this world we find ether, air, heat, water, then earth, then stone, and in this way there is development in material existence, similarly in the finer world there is also development: from the intelligence to the soul, then to the Supersoul, to the Super-Supersoul. . . In this way the subjective side goes towards the infinite. It is supersubjective. (HC, p 25)

indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam,
anahaṅkāra eva ca

amānitvam adambhitvam,
ahiṁsā kṣāntir ārjavam
ācāryopāsanaṁ śaucaṁ,
sthairyam ātma-vinigrahaḥ
indriyārtheṣu vairāgyam,
anahaṅkāra eva ca
asaktir anabhiṣvaṅgaḥ
nityaṁ ca sama-cittatvam,
mayi cānanya-yogena,
bhaktir avyabhicāriṇī
aratir jana-saṁsadi
etaj jñānam iti proktam,
ajñānaṁ yad ato 'nyathā

"Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, honesty, service to the guru, purity, stability, self-control, detachment from sensual delights, absence of egotism, an objective view of the miserable defects of material life, that is, birth, death, the infirmity of old age, disease, etc., freedom from infatuation with wife, children, home, etc., nonabsorption in the happiness and unhappiness of others, constant equal-mindedness in the contact of desirable or undesirable objects, unfaltering and unadulterated devotion to Me, preference for solitude, indifference to mundane socialising, perception of the eternality of self-knowledge, and realisation of the goal of divine knowledge - certainly all these have been declared as actual knowledge, and everything apart from this is ignorance." (B-g, 13. 8-12)

Śraddhā, faith, can go a long distance. And we shall be able to feel and conceive that faith is not merely imaginary. It has its tangible position, a most efficient position within us. When we can disconnect from all phases of perceptual experience, we can live in faith alone. When all the wealth of our experience deceives us and makes treachery with us, our faith will save us. The whole world of our experience will vanish one day, with the final wholesale dissolution (janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam, Bhagavad-gītā 13.9), but faith will remain, faithfully attending us. That is the innate thing with our soul. And with the wholesale dissolution of our body, mind, and senses, the whole world of our experience will go where? No one knows. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 18) + (see also śloka 585)

It is very difficult to cross the ocean of life and death, birth and death. If you want to escape these troubles (janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi-duḥkha-doṣānudarśanam ), you must take the chance. Otherwise, you will lose so much that it amounts to suicide. (B-g, 13.9) + (SOTGOD, v 1, p 189) + (see also ślokas 347 & 601)

Do you want janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (birth, death, old age and infirmity) - or immortality? If you want immortality, you will have to pay for the ticket. (B-g, 13.9) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 74) + (see also ślokas 195 & 538)

187 īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ,
yat kiṣca jagatyāṁ jagat
tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā,
mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam

"Everything animate or inanimate that is within the universe is controlled and owned by the Lord. One should therefore accept only those things necessary for himself, which are set aside as his quota and one should not accept other things, knowing well to whom they belong." (ŚĪ, v 1)

Like Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura wanted to attack māyā and, like a great general, he declared totalitarian war on illusion and even all other existing conceptions of religion. "Why is there this misunderstanding and misconception?" he thought: "Everything belongs to Kṛṣṇa: īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ. It is plain and simple and sweet. How can we think: "This is for me, that is for Him?" Why should we let this misconception stand here at all? Attack it - and crush the whole thing!" He told us: "Kīrtana means to preach against misconception. As soldiers, you must go door to door and preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness - Kṛṣṇa's interest - the Kṛṣṇa conception. If they understand that everything is for Kṛṣṇa, they will be saved. This truth is plain and simple. Why should they not understand this? Try to capture them, to release them from the world of misconception and misunderstanding where they are now suffering from reaction." (TGVODL, p 37)

When Śrīla B.R. Śrīdhara Deva-Goswāmī Mahārāja asked Śrīla A.C Bhaktivedānta Swāmī Mahārāja why he was fond of the name 'ISKCON' he had given for his society, he replied: "Isa-con." and this verse. (īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ ). (SGD, SGP, 1997, p 16) + (see also śloka 432)

Everything is meant for Kṛṣṇa. We are also meant for Him (īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ ). (TSFSK, p 49)

īśvarāṇāṁ vachaḥ satyaṁ,
tathaivacharitaṁ kvachit
teṣāṁ yat svavacho yuktaṁ
buddhimāṁs tat samācharet

"The instructions of the great personages are always true, but their conduct and their practices may not always be useful to the beginners. So the sober person will accept those practices that are backed by his words, understanding that in his higher stage he may do something which may not be useful to those of a lower stage. He has such spiritual power that what may be seen as a defect in the beginner, cannot harm him in any way. Therefore the fair minded beginners will accept those practices which are in consonance with his instructions, as being useful to their progress." (S-B, 10.33.31)

A devotee once asked Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva-Goswāmī Mahārāja if there is any spiritual difference when the disciple is in the physical presence of his guru and when he is miles apart? He replied that we can get benefit only through śraddhā (sublime faith). The position of guru should not be considered as mundane, it should not be identified with his mundane appearance. Only through śraddhā are we able to approach him, from any distance. Still of course, by physical vicinity we can get the chance of hearing from him, and of witnessing many practical dealings that may help us on our path with the knowledge of vaiṣṇava-sadāchār (what should be the conduct of a Vaiṣṇava). In this way we can have some sort of conception about these things, but śraddhā must be there. Śraddhā, or respectable faith must be there in either case - physical closeness or distance is not the question. In the lower stage, physical nearness has more efficacy. By his movements, his talks, and his instructions we are to learn the spiritual etiquette, and many spiritual ideals which may also become clear in his company. So physical vicinity will be useful in the lower stage, but śraddhā must be there otherwise we may commit offence. Physical nearness devoid of faith may be the cause of offences against gurudeva. Sometimes the senior Godbrother may be very helpful in our dealings with gurudeva when we are beginners. Śrī gurudeva's conduct may not always be very clear or helpful to us, so in that case some senior Godbrother may come to help us and explain his movements and do away with any difference we may see in him.

īśvarāṇāṁ vachaḥ satyaṁ, tathaivacharitaṁ kvachi. We should not imitate but rather we should follow. Not anukaran (imitation) but anusaran (to follow in the footsteps). We must understand the difference. So faith or śraddhā is the first thing necessary for us; then whether we are near or far from our spiritual guide, we can have his connection. Connection in the proper line, that is the vital point; the proper plane which is independent of gross or subtle animation. The energising plane that stimulates our enquiry about our own inner welfare, that is part and parcel of the quest. Brahma-jijñāsa - the quest for the plane of understanding. This has been given in Vedānta, and when it has come to Śrīman Mahāprabhu in the line of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, it is developed to kṛṣṇānusandhān, the search for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Vedānta is the flower, and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ripe fruit of spiritual knowledge. (C, v 1, # 7, Spr. '95, p 8-9)


"The Lord is without any figure, and He is a mass of consciousness."

This was written in a book by Íśvarachandra Vidyāsāgar (a famous Sanskrit scholar of the time). As but a young boy, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura went to him and challenged: "What have you written here? You say Īśvara, Lord, and then you say nirākāra, formless! Where have you found this? Īśvara, the Creator, the Master - He is nirākāra, formless?! Where have you found that Īśvara is nirākāra? He has a type of ākāra, form, and that is Cidākāra, a Transcendental Form. But you say He is only a mass of consciousness and without any figure, and He is the Creator? Where have you found this?" In this way he challenged Vidyāsāgar. But he was very young, and Vidyāsāgar may not have cared for the challenge. Nonetheless, he did his duty. That was is temperament - he would always challenge. He had to challenge whatever was against the line of Mahāprabhu, otherwise he could not have the satisfaction of having done his duty.

No compromise. Protest. Once Rabindranātha Tagore wrote articles in some book under a pen-name, and Prabhupāda also wrote protesting against those writings, also under a pen-name. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 56-7)

īśvare tad-adhīneṣu,
bāliśeṣu dviṣatsu ca
yaḥ karoti sa madhyamaḥ

"The devotee in the intermediate stage of devotional service is called a madhyama-adhikārī. He loves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to the innocent and disregards the envious." (S-B, 11.2.46) + (SGAHG, p 62) + (see also ślokas 47 & 433)

iti dvāpara urv-īśa,
stuvanti jagad-īśvaram
kalāv api tathā śṛṇu.

"O King, up to Dvāpara-yuga, I have finished describing the incarnations for different ages who come to remind the people of the most appropriate duty for their age. They come to tell us, 'If you do this, you will get the greatest benefit.' O king, after the Dvāpara age is finished, the age of Kali comes. The incarnation for the age of Kali has been mentioned in many places in the scriptures, and now I am just going to explain that information to you." (S-B, 11.5.31) (TGVODL, p 2) + (see also ślokas 258, 36, 53, 128)

iti te jñānam ākhyātaṁ,
guhyād guhyataraṁ mayā
vimṛśyaitad aśeṣeṇa,
yathecchasi tathā kuru

"I have now disclosed more and more hidden treasures to you. Remember all this, and then do as you wish." (B-g, 18.63)

"Consider and consider deeply, then take the right step as to what to do." (HC, p 22) + (see also śloka 435)

jagāi mādhāi haite muṣi se pāpiṣṭha,
purīṣera kīṭa haite muṣi se laghiṣṭha
mora nāma śune yei tāra puṇya kṣaya,
mora nāma laya yei tāra pāpa haya

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī says: "I am worse than a worm in stool. When Jagāi and Madhāi came in the relativity of Mahāprabhu they were considered to be the worst sinners, but I am worse than them. My sins are so dirty no one can even dream such things. I am such a great sinner that whoever will hear about me, dirt and sin will enter him through his coming in contact with my name. Sin will enter one who once hears my name, and his good qualities will vanish."

"I am a person of the worst type, but the grace of Nityānanda Prabhu possesses such a high degree of disinfection that He has given me so many things: He has taken me to Vṛndāvana and has given the relationship of Rūpa, Raghunātha and Govinda. There is no qualification in me but all is the grace of Nityānanda Prabhu. It is shameful to speak about one's own life but still I do this. Why? If I do not do so then I shall be ungrateful to the grace and magnanimity of Nityānanda Prabhu. So fallen am I but Nityānanda Prabhu has given me all these things: Vṛndāvana, Rūpa, Sanātana, Govinda, Mahāprabhu, Raghunātha Dāsa and so much else. It is all the gift of Nityānanda Prabhu. It is His unconditional gift to this one with no qualifications, and therefore I have mentioned: 'Yes I have such things.' If I do not say so then I shall be an offender to Nityānanda Prabhu's grace, so I am compelled to confess that I am so sinful and fallen but by His grace I have received these things." (C-c, Ādī-līlā, 5.205-6)

The conception and feelings of all the great devotees are of such type. Śrīla Prabhodānanda Saraswatī similarly expressed: "It is there. I can see and feel that it is there but I am deprived - sparśo 'pi mama nābhavat."

Rādhārāṇī Herself says: "Kṛṣṇa is qualified in every way. I can't blame Him in any way at all, but still He is so cruel to us all. He left Vṛndāvana and so we are all feeling extreme pain, but I cannot accuse Him in any way. This is My durddaiva-vilāsa (Pastime of separation.")

This is union in separation and it is a peculiar type of achievement. Externally there is suffering but internally there is transcendental ecstasy. bahye viṣajvāla haya, bhitare ānandamāya, (C-c, Mad,2.50 - see also ślokas 76 & 142). When one actually has the thing, s/he says: "No, I don't have it." This is the special characteristic of the Infinite. One who has it in their possession says: "No, I have nothing." This is because it is a statement from the negative to the Positive. And when s/he says: "I have it," then s/he has not! The negative cannot assert at all but can only attract. Assertion is only with the Positive. So the negative can hanker, he can express his own reality in the negative characteristic. He can express his degree of want. The measurement of his position is according to his negative tendency: his necessity, his depth of attraction - not of gain. It is just the opposite to the general measurement of one's standing in this mundane world. The real measurement is in the negative side: the depth of necessity and the depth of attraction, but not of gain. Only the Positive can assert His existence. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 41-2)

A devotee feels within his (or her) heart that s/he is not only unfit but too despicable for the Lord's service. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī says: "I am lower than a worm in stool and more sinful than Jagāi and Madhāi (jagāi mādhāi haite muṣi se pāpiṣṭha purīṣera kīṭa haite muṣi se laghiṣṭha )." We should not be discouraged when we think we have not even the least bit of merit which is required for the service of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, for this kind of consciousness is natural for a devotee.

At the same time, we must guard ourselves from an insincere conception of our own devotion; this is our enemy. To think: "I do not have the least liking or taste for the Lord," is all right. But to think: "I have some taste, some earnestness, some devotion for the Lord," is dangerous. (TGVODL, p 108) + (see also śloka 317)

God is not a finite thing. He is infinite. And as much as in the cell of my brain I have imprisoned Him, shall I stick to that? What is this? Is my realisation a living thing, or is it dead? Is there any growth? What I have received from my spiritual master - can it grow? Or is it finished? Have I reached the infinite standard where I can progress no further?

If someone says that he has reached that standard, and that there is nothing further to be realised, then we offer our obeisances to him from far away. We are not worshippers of that. If one thinks that he is finished, that he has attained perfection - we hate it. Even an ācārya should consider that he is a student, and not a finished professor who has everything. One should always think of oneself as a bona fide student. We have come to realise the infinite, not a finite thing. So, this fight between finite and infinite knowledge will continue always.

Should we think: "What I have understood is absolute?" No! We have not finished with knowledge. Still, we must know. Brahmā himself says: "I am fully deceived by Your power, Master. I am nowhere." Anyone who has come in connection with the infinite cannot but say this: "I am nothing." That should be the salient point. The propounder of the greatest scripture in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī says: purīṣera kīṭa haite muṣi se laghiṣṭha, "I am lower than a worm in stool." This is his statement, and he is saying so sincerely. Should we be ashamed to express our negative character, our negative development, which is the real wealth for a disciple? So, because such a negative character is shown by him, we fall at his feet. And if someone says: "I have finished all knowledge. God, Caitanya, is my disciple," he should be shot down as the greatest enemy ever found in the world. (SGAHG, p 50-1)

jagāi mādhāi haite muṣi se pāpiṣṭha,
purīṣera kīṭa haite muṣi se laghiṣṭha

"I am more sinful than Jagāi and Madhāi and lower than a worm in dung."

This is negativity, the conception of the ego of the negative. Negativity so intense, that: "I am nowhere but Nityānanda Prabhu is so great, He is patita-pāvana. So I have gotten everything by His grace." (see also śloka 611) + (C, v 1, # 5, Sum. '93, p 11)

jagate eka mātra hari-kathā-durvikṣā
chāḍ'a āra kona durvikṣā nāi

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī used to say: "I don't admit any famine in this world-only that of a lack of Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Whenever he became excited, he used to use this expression. He would say: "From door to door tell everyone, ' Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme, you are all servants of Kṛṣṇa.' Remind everyone of this, from door to door. Then they will find, 'Oh, I have everything I need. I am Kṛṣṇa-dāsa, a servant of Kṛṣṇa. I must connect with Kṛṣṇa.' That link must be supplied, and then everything will be all right. There is no dearth of anything else. There is no real misery, except that we have forgotten Kṛṣṇa, our Lord. That is the only point we must push. This is the universal necessity. I don't admit any necessity besides this."

Within this world there is always a fire burning; but there is no necessity of extinguishing the fire, because we have nothing to do with the world that will be burned to ashes by the fire. All our inner demands can be met only in connection with Kṛṣṇa. All other things are unnecessary. They may be burned into ashes or devoured by flood. We have no real concern with any of those things. Rather, those material attachments are dragging us back towards the wrong thing. And as a result, we can't allow our mind to be attracted to Kṛṣṇa. The things of this world, our attachments, are all negative; these things are our real enemy. The whole universe may be burned to ashes, but we will not be affected in any way.

The world may be devastated - the Earth, the sun, the moon, the stars - everything may vanish, but still we remain. The soul is eternal. And if we can have a connection with Kṛṣṇa, the things of this world are all unnecessary for us and for everyone else. Why should we come to live in the mortal world, erroneously identifying ourselves with flesh and blood? We only think that we are being born and dying. But it is all a false notion. Everything is conscious. And when we realise it fully, we shall be fixed in the śvarūpa-śakti domain in the spiritual world. There, the different living beings may pose as matter, as the Yamunā, as water, as creepers, as trees, but they are all conscious units simply posing in different ways. (SEOC, p 20-1)

jalajā nava lakṣāni,
sthāvarā lakṣa viṁśati
kṛmayo rudra-saṅkhyakāḥ,
pakṣiṇām daśa lakṣaṇam
triṁsal lakṣāni paśavaḥ,
catur lakṣāṇi mānuṣaḥ

In the laws of Manu, it is written: "There are 900,000 kinds of aquatics, 2,000,000 kinds of trees and plants, 1,100,000 kinds of insects and reptiles, 1,000,000 kinds of birds, 3,000,000 kinds of four-legged beasts, and 400,000 kinds of human species." Manu says that the trees are in such a hopeless position as a result of their own karma. Their feelings of pain and pleasure are similar to ours; their souls are not of a lower standard. Still, they are in such a deplorable position as a result of their own karma. They have none to blame but themselves. This is the state of affairs in this external world." (VP )

This material world is a jungle full of perplexities, where the soul has accepted so many different kinds of bodies in different types of consciousness. We are living in an environment which is afflicted with serious misconception, misunderstanding, misguidance, and misbehaviour. How are we to ascertain what is good and what is bad, what we should aspire after and what we should reject? Innumerable alternatives have thronged in a crowd, coming to influence us. And when this area, covered by illusion and influenced by misunderstanding, is filled with such diversity, how can we hope to know the infinite spiritual world of Vaikuṇṭha? With what attitude should we approach that realm which is transcendental, beyond the realm of the senses and mind (adhoksaja ). (SGAHG, p 1-2) + (see also śloka 500)

Basically, this is the advice of Ṛg Veda, the first Veda that descends from the upper world to this world: "The primary requirement for you all is to conceive that there is a world above, and 'above' means in the line of consciousness. Your highest identity is that of consciousness, and you must adopt that conscious world above you as your shelter. You will live and move there. This is the radical change. Here, you are in the atmosphere of exploitation, but that is the land of service. That is on your head. That region is superior to the stuff you are made of. So do you want that connection? Or do you prefer to reign in hell than to serve in heaven? What do you like? Consider, and then come forward. You can have a prospect of attaining everything up to Kṛṣṇa, the Absolute. Otherwise you will have to revolve here in this world of 8,400,000 species."

jalajā nava lakṣāni, sthāvarā lakṣa viṁśati: "There are 900,000 aquatic, 2,000,000 immobile, 1,100,000 worm-cum-insect, 1,000,000 bird, 3,000,000 animal and 400,000 human species." "These are the 8,400,000 classifications of species throughout which you will have to wander, in the world of action and reaction. You need to select your path. Do you want to be a member of the land of immortality? Or janma-mṛtyu-jarā-vyādhi (birth, death, old age and infirmity) - or immortality? If you want immortality, you will have to pay for the ticket. You will have to take the visa. You will have to prepare for such a categorical beginning. And the bond you will have to sign is slavery - to Kṛṣṇa. Jīvera svrūpa haya kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa - (see also śloka 200). If you want to go to that mystic land, the land of infinite hope, prosperity and prospect, you will have to go as a slave - because that plane is made of a higher stuff than you yourselves are." (see also śloka 538) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 73-4)

jānanta eva jānantu

Brahmā says: "Those that say that they know something, let them be, let them enjoy their self-deception. But I have determined that manaso vapuṣo vāco vaibhavaṁ tava gocaraḥ, I could not enter into even the very negligent, slightest point of Your acquaintance. This is my finding." (S-B, 10.14.38)

Brahmā says that the puffed-up fools, they may talk about anything, they can know this, they can know that, they think that everything can be known. Those fools, let them dance their foolish dance, but I am sure that no weapon, no instrument can catch even the slightest touch of Him. He is always new, of eternally new characteristic. He is Infinite, and the finite and the Infinite are of opposite characteristics. Then how is it possible to know Him?

Once we went to preach in Karachi at the invitation of the Ārya Samaj. They thought, "These Vaiṣṇavas will be our prey, they are idolaters." Their president came to attack and he told me: "If the finite can know the Infinite, then He is not Infinite."

It came to my mind immediately, and I replied: "If the Infinite cannot make Himself known to the finite, then He is not Infinite." Just the opposite to his challenge, then I gave him a handshake and said "namaste" and departed. That is our only solace, that the infinite can make Himself known to the finite, otherwise the finite cannot know the infinite. So always try to foster His grace. (C, v 1, # 5, Sum. '93, p 10)

janmādy asya yato 'nvayād itararaś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

"O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth." (S-B, 1.1.1)

janmādy asya yato 'nvayād itararaś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ, "Friends, let us enquire into the prime cause, whose nature is such that what ever we can see, and whatever we can conceive of springs from Him. He is the ultimate cause of everything, both directly and indirectly. Only He knows the purpose for which all things are created and maintained. Only He knows where all things will go. Only He is aware of the fact - no one else.

ārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ, means that He knows the meaning of every incident in existence and that He is above giving any explanation to others. He is not responsible to any law or to anyone else. He is Absolute and Independent. And how do we know that? He has extended knowledge of Himself through the Vedas. Brahma means Veda. So, by the line of inspiration, or revelation, Vedic knowledge was transmitted to the first living being, the creator of the world, Lord Brahmā (tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye). The scholars of he world fail to understand the strategy and nature of that sort of knowledge. They cannot follow the vital and fundamental points of Vedic knowledge, such as the transformation of one thing into another (muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ).

Water may be transformed into gas, gas may be transformed into heat. By such a process, we can understand the existence of this world (tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo 'mṛṣā ), for by the transformation of the Lord's energy, the world comes into being. This transformation involves the three modes of nature, tamas, rajas, and sattva. tama means hard, static matter. raja means energy, and sattva means spirit, light, knowledge. So, by transformation this world has been created. In His abode, which is illumined by the ray of His own knowledge, there is no possibility of deception or misunderstanding. (dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi ). Here we are being deceived through misunderstanding. We have entered a plane of existence where the whole world is full of misconception, falsity, and miscalculation. We are presently living in the world of māyā. māyā means mā-yā: "What is not." I am seeing something which is really something else." (TSFSK, p 46-7)

"That worshippable plane of transcendental existence is known as bhargo, bhargo means the supersubjective area, the area of the Supersoul. This is mentioned in the first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi. Śrīla Vyāsadeva says that here he is going to deal with another world whose pristine glory is so great that by its own ray, all misconceptions are brushed aside. The subject is the soul, and its object is all these worlds of experience. And the supersubject is the venerable area which is superior to the subject, the soul - that is the supersubjective area." (SEOC, p 160) + (see also śloka 121)

"Such is the mature behaviour there and such a place is eternally existing. Because there should be such a happy, most ecstatic place and that is natural. That kind of quality is only possible through love. But not in any impure way. Only love is able to practically substantiate or promote that thing. Love means in other words, deep attraction, adoration, dedication, devotion and surrender. The very primary stage of that is called śraddhā. The more that śraddhā is condensed or intensified, the more She takes someone in Her divine abode, the land of ecstasy. Thus, the abode of Śrī Goloka is manifested in that family life in this world, it means that She is only discovered exclusively through śraddhā (faith). She is always there, but only when we remove the cover is it possible for us to see Her."

"We can make out the real inner meaning that this whole universe is engaged in the service of Śrī Hari when the prejudice or cover of our ego is torn off." (SS, v 6, # 1, '92)

je-dina gṛhe, bhajana dekhi, gṛhete goloka bhāya
caraṇa-sīdhu, dekhiyā gaṅgā, sukha nā sīmā pāya

"Goloka Vṛndāvana appears in my home whenever I see the worship and service of Lord Hari taking place there. When I see the Ganges, that river of nectar emanating from the lotus feet of the Lord, my happiness knows no bounds." (TSOBT, p 37-38)

jāto-śraddho mat kathāsu,
nirviṇṇaḥ sarvva-karmmasu
veda-duḥkhātmakān kāmān,
parityāge 'py anīśvaraḥ

"He who has imbibed heart's faith in the tidings of My Name, nature and pastimes; who has become indifferent to all kinds of fruitive work and its rewards; who has learned that all forms of enjoyment of sensual passions ultimately transform into misery, yet he is unable to fully abandon such passions - such a faithful devotee, being determined that his shortcomings will be dispelled by the potency of devotion, gradually comes to abhor those evil passions that enslave him, knowing the havoc they wreak - and he serves Me with love: When his object is pure and sincere, I give him My mercy." (S-B, 11.20.27) + (SSPJ, p 164-5)

One who has a good ideal is in possession of the most valuable wealth. On the other hand, one will only hanker for kanaka-kāminī-pratiṣṭhā - popularity, materials of sense pleasure, and money - all these things; but they are all animal consciousness. They are all properties in the land of animal consciousness. A radical change must be effected if we really want a life worth living. Such is the importance of our ideal.

A man should be judged by his ideal. The greatness of the ideal he is trying to realise is to be marked. The man of the future, the man of tomorrow, should be judged by his ideal. If his ideal is great, he is great, because he is sincere, tomorrow or very soon he will reach it. So our ideal is the all-important factor. We may not attain our high ideal very easily. It is not inferior 'merchandise' to be disposed of cheaply in the market; it is most valuable. But whatever the cost, no matter, we should feel within: "I want no less than that highest thing, that Advaya-jñāna, that Autocrat. That Goodness Autocrat, the Supermost Commander of everything. I want Him, and nothing less, and I should live and move, and feel in myself that whatever I shall do, at every second, I am meant for that. I am meant for my ideal. I have no time to waste, or to hesitate for anything.

If at every moment I move in every way with the ideal in my heart, I shall always make some progress towards it. If I can just stay in touch with my ideal, that will guide and inspire me. In any and every action, whatever I shall do or undo, eat, rest, etc., my ideal will be overhead. And that will gradually take me out of all these entanglements and enticements, and one day or other I shall be able to reach it.

jāto-śraddho mat kathāsu, nirviṇṇaḥ sarvva-karmmasu:

"For one who has had the chance to acquire a taste and become attracted to talks of Me, My activity and My movement, no other temptation can any longer hold him under its power. He becomes indifferent to all other activity. The outcome is that he can understand within that all other things bear some unpleasant reaction. Yet, although he can conceive that they are all pain-producing, he is helpless to immediately free himself from their clutches. The debt is already incurred, and his debtors won't allow him to escape: 'I am in the midst of so many acquisitions. It is not very easy to leave them at once by my sweet will. Previously I consciously incurred some obligations, and I cannot abruptly cut off their connection; they won't let me free." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 77) + (see also ślokas 509, 382 & 93)

"A person who has developed faith in narrations of My divine nature and pastimes may still for some time suffer the reactions to his worldly deeds; although he perceives his addictions to worldly pleasures to be the essence of his misery, he is unable to abandon them." (S-B, 11.20.27)

He knows what is good, what is bad, but he can't help himself from falling into the clutches of the mundane senses. Still, he will repent. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 106) + (see also śloka 97)

jayati jayati nāmānanda rūpam murarer
viramita nija dharma dhyāna pujyadhi yatna
katham api sakṛdāttam muktidaṁ prānināṁ yat
paramāmṛtam ekaṁ jīvanaṁ bhuṣanaṁ me

Sanātana Goswāmī says: "Let ecstasy in the service of the Divine Name be victorious. If somehow we can come in contact with that sound, nāma rupaṁ murāreḥ, then all our other activities will be paralysed; we will have no necessity of performing any other activity. Our many variegated duties will have no importance to us at all if we can achieve the service of the Divine Name of Kṛṣṇa." (B-B, 1.1.9 ).

Dharma means the business engagement of the karmis or fruitive workers. Dhyāna means retiring from this physical world and performing meditation from within, trying to exploit the internal world. Both of these are stopped, paralysed by the ecstasy of service to the Divine Name.

The Rāmānuja sect worships Lakṣmi-Nārāyaṇa in the mood of opulence and veneration in Vaikuṇṭha. By the ecstasy of the Holy Name, that will also be stopped. One who gets the real grace of the Divine Name of Kṛṣṇa will retire from all phases of these different kinds of worship, namely varṇāśrama dharma, or social duty, dhyāna, the internal meditation of the jñānīs (mental speculators) and yogīs, and pūjā, the opulent worship of Vaikuṇṭha, after liberation, which attracts the followers of the Rāmānuja sampradāya.

The Holy Name will take us to the perception of Goloka, Kṛṣṇa's own abode, where we will have to completely retire from all these other phases of our divine life. We will have to retire from any work, even if it may be done for Kṛṣṇa. We will have to give up internal meditation and calculation, and even pūjā, worship in awe and reverence. The Holy Name will stop all these tendencies, and we will find so much sweetness in chanting the Name that we won't be able to give attention to anything else. When we really come in contact with the sound aspect of the Absolute, then all our other enthusiastic endeavours and functions will be paralysed. We will be unable to attempt them. We will take to the Name only. Then, when the Name allows us to perform other services again, we will be able to do them. The Name has such power, such a high degree of potency that it will stop all other branches of service, and charm you. (TSFSK, p 123-4) + (see also śloka 524)

jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa'
kṛṣṇera 'taṭasthā-śakti' bhedābheda-prakāśa'

kṛṣṇa bhuli sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra dukḥa

"The constitutional nature of the jīva soul is that of an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa; the jīva soul is a manifestation of divinity which is one with Kṛṣṇa and different from Him. The jīva souls are the marginal potency of the Lord. Though in reality they are servants of Kṛṣṇa, from time immemorial, they have been engaged in misconception, as exploiting agents." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 20.108 & 117)

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said to Sanātana Goswāmī: jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa': "Slavery to Kṛṣṇa is the innate nature of the jīva soul." (LSFTLS, p v1, 13) + (see also śloka 39)

How does the soul first appear in this world? From what stage of spiritual existence does he fall into the material world? This is a broad question, which requires some background information.

The Vedic opinion is that there are two classes of souls, jīvas, who come into this world. One class comes from the spiritual Vaikuṇṭha planets by the necessity of nitya-līlā, the eternal pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. Another comes by constitutional necessity.

The brilliant effulgent rays emanating from the Lord's personal transcendental form - which is expressed by impersonalists as formless, limitless light, and thus mistaken by them to be the ultimate realisation of the Absolute - is known as the brahmajyoti, and the jīva soul is an atom in that effulgence, and the brahmajyoti is a product of an infinite number of jīva atoms. The brahmajyoti, the non-differentiated marginal plane, is the source of infinite jīva souls, atomic spiritual particles of non-differentiated character.

Within the brahmajyoti, their equilibrium is somehow disturbed and movement begins. From non-differentiation, differentiation begins. From a plain sheet of uniform consciousness, individual conscious units grow. The brahmajyoti which is living and growing, is a product of an infinite number of jīva atoms that are endowed with free will, so from their slumber in the marginal position they choose either the side of exploitation or the side of dedication. The brahmajyoti is the line of demarcation between exploitation and dedication.

kṛṣṇa bhuli sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha, anādi means that which has no beginning. When we enter the land of exploitation, we come within the factor of time, space, and thought. And when we come to exploit, action and reaction begins in the negative land of loan. Although we strive to become masters, really we become losers.

Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha servitors are also seen to be within the jurisdiction of the brahmaṇda, the material universe, but that is only a play, līlā. They come from that higher plane only to take part in the Lord's pastimes and then return. The fallen souls come from the marginal position within the brahmajyoti, and not from Vaikuṇṭha. (TSFSK, p 36) + (see also śloka 182)

We must try to cast ourselves at the Divine Feet of the Lord saying: "I am the lowest of the low. I am willing to believe that I am most helpless. I want the shelter of Your lotus feet. Please take charge of me. I am unfit to take any responsibility for my own good." This should be our humble attitude. We should feel that, "I can't tolerate this life of independence any longer. I can't go on. I am disgusted with my life of independence. I want slavery. jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa', Others may think themselves fit, but I do not think myself sufficiently developed to take the responsibility for myself. I am the most reckless, mean, worthless and useless. Please accept me and give me any service at your feet. I can no longer rely on myself. I have come to take shelter of your holy feet. You are my Guardian." (GOD, p 17)

"Whatever I shall do, it is for Him." That sort of bond must first be 'signed' and then whatever will be done on that basis will be recognised as bhakti. This is the foundation of bhakti. Without śaraṇāgati, all attempts will be exploitation, renunciation, meditation (karmma, jñāna, yoga ), anything but bhakti. "The result must always go to my Lord; I am His slave. 'nitya-dāsa.' I am wholly His servant, without any independence to keep my independent property. Whatever I shall acquire, or whatever I shall do, the owner is He." jīvera svarūpa haya-kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa: nitya-dāsa means eternal servant, that is, slave. He has the right to make or mar, to do anything with me as He likes, according to is sweet will. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 129)

Complete dependence on Him means He can make or mar. I must admit my Master's right to make or mar. I am a slave. Mahāprabhu says: jīvera svarūpa haya-kṛṣṇera nitya-dāsa. That is your constitutional position. Have you enough boldness to admit it? Can you admit that your Master has full rights over you? "Yes! My Master has fullest rights over me. I am ready to go to eternal hell to supply His slightest pleasure." Such narrations - as for example, we have heard the story about when the gopīs were ready to supply their foot-dust as 'medicine' to alleviate Kṛṣṇa's 'headache' - such narrations we may hear as very sweet to our ears, but to accept is horrible. jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa'; no risk: no gain. Whole risk: whole gain. Such confidence is necessary. A free, clear, and bold choice. Are you ready for that? Kṛṣṇa is not like a sweetmeat, that His price may be so cheap or so expensive. He is everywhere - He is nowhere. He may say: "You all belong to Me," or: "I don't care for any of you." We are inhabitants of that land now, and really, by constitution we have every right to serve Him. It is the truth, and we must be bold enough to 'call a spade a spade.' Can you accept that you are the eternal servant - you are a slave of Kṛṣṇa? And Kṛṣṇa is so dignified that even His slave holds the highest position: Kṛṣṇa's nature is such that e does not hesitate to serve even His slaves. He is so great and so magnanimous." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 132-3) + (see also śloka 10)

If you want immortality, you will have to pay for the ticket. You will have to take the visa. You will have to prepare for such a categorical beginning. And the bond you will have to sign is slavery - to Kṛṣṇa. jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa'. If you want to go to that mystic land, the land of infinite hope, prosperity and prospect, you will have to go as a slave - because that plane is made of higher stuff than you yourself are." (SOTGOD, v 2, p 74) + (see also śloka 538)


"One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa favourably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service." (B-r-s, 1.1.11) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.167) + (see also śloka 39)

Increase the negative side. "I am the most deserving because I am the meanest of the mean, poorest of the poor." We have to increase and develop our knowledge towards that side: "I am so low, so needy, so mean, in all respects." That consciousness will draw Him towards you; the mass energy collected (karma ) or the attempt to know Him (jñāna ) cannot do so, (jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam ). To think, "I can know You, I can measure You" - that is impossible, wild goose chasing, and this has been declared by Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You can never know Him. The closer you come to the boundary of your knowledge, the more you will find Him transcending it." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 158-9) + (see also śloka 570)

jñānam te' ham sa-vijñānam,
idaṁ vakṣyāmy aêṣataḥ
yaj jñātvā neha bhūyo 'nyaj,
jñātavyam avaśiṣyate

"Now I shall fully describe to you, with the taste of the flavour of My divine sweetness, this knowledge of My grand majestic splendour and opulences. After knowing all this, absolutely nothing will remain for you to know, being situated on this beautiful, joyful, and victorious path." (B-g, 7.2)

In the Bhagavad-gītā Kṛṣṇa says: "Arjuna, Now I shall explain to you scientific knowledge not only about the soul, but also about its potency. The mind, the senses, and the modes of nature are all non-ātmā, or material. There is a direct and indirect approach towards reality which I shall now describe to you. Please listen attentively to Me: jñānam te' ham sa-vijñānam. What is this? There is Myself and My potency, and the jīva, the living entity, is the marginal potency which is filling up all these material worlds." If the jīva-śakti, the spiritual potency, were withdrawn, then everything would be stone, and who would care for exploitation? All this fighting tendency, this tendency for exploitation would stop if the marginal potency, the jīva, were withdrawn from matter. Everything would be dead. The soul has entered into this material consciousness and has made it a moving thing. You should understand this properly, in a scientific way. We are not lacking in our ability to give you a scientific explanation. (TSFSK, p 6-7)

jñānataḥ sulabhā muktir
bhuktir yajñādi puṇyataḥ
seyaṁ sādhana-sāhasrair
hari-bhaktiḥ sudurllabhā

Mahādeva says: "By practice of enlightenment, jñāna, liberation is attained easily enough. By pious work such as sacrifice, yajña, etc., worldly pleasure in the next life is attained easily enough. But Devotion for the Supreme Lord, Hari-bhakti, is very rarely attained." (B.r.s, Pūrvva, 1.36)

Knowledge is our enemy, because knowledge in this world is all misleading. Its very basis is misleading. However spacious it may be, it is the negligible part of the infinite. We have collected, gathered and pushed into our brain all misleading misrepresentation. Our brains are full of misleading māyā, misunderstanding. So that is our enemy. We have to clear these things out and put in fresh things that are indented from the other world by pure sources. The theoretical is one thing, the practical is another. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has quoted: jñānataḥ sulabhā muktir bhuktir yajñādi puṇyataḥ.

By cultivating our knowledge of soul, we can attain mukti, that is, emancipation or liberation from miscalculation relatively easily. Though it is not so easy, still, considering the wicked nature of the environment, in a general sense one can easily renounce everything; by elimination, elimination, elimination - all elimination, for reaching something like sound sleep. That is mukti. Permanent sound sleep.

And we can gather our things of enjoyment by yajña, altruistic action. If we take altruistic action, then as a reaction they will come back to us, for our satisfaction and pleasure.

But our real wealth, Devotion to Hari, is not so easily attained. Sādhana-sāhasraih: despite thousands of practices by the aspirant, still it is sudurllabhā, it may or may not be acquired. Because, that is to acquire friendship with the Autocracy. Our enjoyment is "labour and live." If we loan some labour to another, that may come back to us. So, by the help of our labour, and by the distribution of that labour, we can easily get future enjoyment. Also, by practising our sincere disgust with the present mortal environment, we can encourage our ego towards salvation. That is complete renunciation, cutting off all connection with the environment, samādhi, just like sound sleep. But to have affectionate connection with the Autocratic Infinite - that is hardly to be acquired.

Hari-bhaktiḥ sudurllabhā. And the gradual process of how one is to acquire that is also traced in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. (see śloka 238) + (SOTGOD, v 2, p 201)

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām

(In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Lord Brahmā said to the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa):

"Oh Lord, Oh Unconquerable One, those devotees who, completely giving up all attempts on the path of jñāna of attaining the non-differentiated platform known as Brahma by hearing the transcendental narratives of Your pastimes (kathā ), which emanates from the lotus mouths of the mahā-bhāgavat sādhus and pass their lives by engaging their body, mind and words in pure devotion, easily conquer You (they easily get Your transcendental association), although You are the most difficult to attain in the three worlds." (S-B, 10.14.3)

Rāmānānda Rāya said to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu: jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva: "It is a very difficult thing to cross the charm of knowledge." We think: "I want to understand everything first, and then I shall act." Calculation and an underlying suspicion is there. Before we act, we want to know everything fully; only then will we risk our capital. The ego, the "I" is very strong, and he wants to have an account of his loss and gain. He thinks: "I am the master. The key is in my hand, I want to test everything, I want to know it all. I know what is good for me." So, we think ourselves masters, not servants, and from the position of a master we make our enquiry. But this calculating mentality must be given up if we at all want to enter into the domain of the Lord, where everything is superior to us. No one there will care to come to us with an explanation, thinking that we are their master. They will not reassure us by saying: "Yes, there will be no loss; your gain will be big." We may think, "I am an independent separate entity, so in my account there must be no loss. I must stand here with my head erect," but that won't do. We are to go there as slaves, not masters. That sort of mentality is necessary: we must bow down our heads. Not that with our heads erect we will march over everything, but everything there is superior in quality to us." (TSFSK, p 139)

Without a brain, an animal can live - but the heart is necessary everywhere for life! Without a heart, no one can live. Only intuitive knowledge is needed to follow, not the computer for calculation. The brain is the representation of the computer. But (mental) reflex action - that is intuitive. Unconsciously they can work - intuition. Intuition can go above the brain calculation. So many birds and beasts can understand that the earthquake is coming, but by man's calculation, so far, they cannot understand that the earthquake will come soon - so far, or any other similar catastrophe like that. There are so many things that our brain cannot feel, cannot catch, which many animals can get some clue beforehand. In the present, current life, they can do it. And after long, lengthy and deep research into the phenomena, man still cannot find it. It is beyond their reason.

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva - Hatefully reject any attempt in the intellectual line. namanta eva. Invite the submissive spirit within you. namanta eva jīvanti. In that way, try to live your life. How to live? san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya. Live your life in the association of the topics about You - about the Lord. Of course, san-mukharitāṁ, not just any topics, but the topics which must come from the genuine source - jñāne prayāsam. jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva, jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām, sthāne sthitāḥ.

It does not matter what position at present, he holds. Śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir, He is carefully attentive that expressions of good association must be of the genuine type by thought, deed and word. Wholesale, with a wholehearted tendency, we must try to attain the news given by the agents of the divinity. prayāsa - Then: "Only with that method, Oh Unconquerable! - You are conquered. Only through that process! In these three planes of life (both mind and words), You are found to be conquered by those only in that process who wholeheartedly attain the teachings of Your divine agents. Wholeheartedly! By thought, deed, and word - then only can they conquer You, Who is otherwise invincible." This is the path to God realisation recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. (SS, v 2, # 1, '84, p 3-4) + (see also śloka 458)

It is a defect to want to understand everything about Divinity. Knowledge may be a qualification here in this world, but in relation to the transcendental truth of the highest order, the tendency to want to know everything is a disqualification. We want to know the value of everything. We want to have the key to everything in our possession. But this is really a bar to progress. If we assert ourselves in this way, we rather lose what confidence we might have in divinity, and there will be some delay in extending the key to us. If a servant, upon getting employment in the master's house, is very eager to be entrusted with the house keys, then the master will suspect him. So to want to know everything is a kind of disease, it is an enemy to our progress. This is, of course, difficult to accept. But still, it is true. Surrender is everything. What cultivation of knowledge do we find in the gopīs, the most exalted devotees of Kṛṣṇa? What was their acquaintance with scripture? Nothing. What we understand to be "standard purity," what we think to be knowledge - all these things are disqualifications in giving pleasure to the Absolute. (LSFTLS, p 44)

"Hatefully giving up all intellectual attempts to understand the Supreme Truth, those who want to realise You should completely surrender unto You. They should hear from self-realised devotees about Your Holy Name and transcendental pastimes. Whatever situation they may find themselves in, they should progress by fully dedicating their mind, body, and words to You. In this way the Infinite, who is never conquered by anyone, becomes conquered through love."

We can approach the Supreme Lord only through submission, and when we achieve Him, we won't care for knowing anything else. We will have no regard for what is happening or not happening in the outside world. We will deeply engage in His service for His satisfaction. There, in His service, we will find the object of our lives fulfilled. And this external knowledge of "things outside" will seem to us as rubbish. We will realise, "What is the necessity of wasting time with all kinds of calculation - the nectar is here! It is far deeper than what is found in the external plane." And at that time, we shall give all our attention to His service. (LSFTLS, p 69)

"Hatefully rejecting any attempt in the intellectual line, we must nurture a submissive spirit within ourselves and try to live our lives in association with topics about the Lord. Of course this does not mean any topic about the Lord; they must come from a genuine source. And it does not matter what position we hold at present. Whoever wholeheartedly attends to the teachings of His Divine agents by thought, word, and deed, can conquer Him who is otherwise invincible." This is the path of realisation recommended in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which condemns the path of intellectual attainment. (LSFTLS, p 75-6) + (see also śloka 458)

Not only self-abnegation, but self-surrender is necessary to approach God. Deep self-surrender will take us into connection with the higher, noble substance, and it must be cultivated by all means. And service is not service to māyā. I must be careful to perceive that I am not merely serving māyā, who has appeared in a charming or 'godly' form. In our present position we must be extremely cautious regarding who and what we are serving. The main wave will be jñāne prayāsam udapāsya: hatefully discard (ud-apa-asya) all proposals that your intellect may offer you. Whatever the intellect can judge and accept or reject must necessarily be of a lower type. So, you are to summarily reject that, and understand that you must bow down your head (namanta eva ).

The beginning of your interest is to bow down your head, and your heart will be captured automatically. Try to connect with that section where you will always be with folded palms, and where you can never be master. Such abnegation and courage of self-giving is necessary if you want to live in the higher plane. Otherwise, you may reign in hell. According to Satan's words: "It is better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven." But just the opposite is necessary.

Even tears and crying have no value if the inner tendency of self-giving is absent. Sevā, service, means self-giving, and that is the standard principle in the life of a devotee. This self-giving must really be to the higher sphere and not just haphazardly around us, for that is another way to be captured by hateful things. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 72-3) + (see also śloka 310)

"I shall accept the laws of the infinite, not the laws of this finite world that I acquired as a subject. I shall have to enter that domain as an object, of the subject. There, He is the subject and I am the object here, possessing only a particle of the space there; and that is also at His sweet will. At any time I may be dispossessed of it."

This is not in the democratic government, but in the mad monarchy - a kind of dictatorship. This is to live in the land of dictatorship, and not in the democracy and law. jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva.

Everywhere we shall try our best to find mercy, grace, kindness, pity. Because whatever the dictator is doing is all good. We have to be trained like that. He's the highest dictator, without fault, so we may or may not understand, but whatever is commanded by the dictator must be helpful for us. There is no law on which we shall base our judgement and give any remark. To remark is not only absolutely useless but it is faulty and injurious to ourselves. Such consciousness we have to acquire, and it is not unreasonable.

Newton said: "I am only collecting pebbles on the shore of the ocean of knowledge." He was a man of this world, yet he had the sincerity and courage to make this statement. If such a statement is made in deference to the knowledge of only this world, what should be thought of the knowledge of the infinite unknown and unknowable? (SOTGOD, v 2, p 196-7) + (see also śloka 492)

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya, Scholarship is poison ! Are you ready to admit this? All your learning is nonsense! You are plodding in the mud. All knowledge of misrepresentation - not a bag full of money, but a bag full of rocks. The brain is taxed and filled up with all misleading things. Are you ready to admit this? Not so soon! (SOTGOD, v 2, p 208) + (see also śloka 141)

"Abandoning the unnecessary endeavour of discussing empirical philosophical truth, surrendering to self-realised devotees and hearing from them about the Lord, is the basic principle of perfection." (SVT, v 1, # 1, Jan-Feb. '92, p 5)

It is not your business to know everything by your constitutional position. It will be folly to bring everything within your consciousness. jñāne prayāsam udapāsya. Here uta apa asya, where asya means throwing hatefully, and uta means far away. These two adjectives are given for dismissal of knowledge. Only through faith, with the nature of submission can the truth be known. (GOD, p 25)

Give up your attempt to measure Him, and try to approach through faith. We are finite, so how much faith can we accommodate in the Infinite? Very little, so don't think that you will be deceived, that your faith will deceive you. What is the length and breadth of your faith, you are a tiny person? In the Infinite anything is possible. So, don't be afraid of your blind faith when you come in the search of Kṛṣṇa, the Infinite. Only faith can take you there, and not knowledge. It is clearly stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Never approach with the instrument of knowledge as your weapon, for that will deceive you. But by faith, the adhokṣaja plane can come down to you. But if you doubt, then it may not care to come down to you. So open, spread wide your heart to receive Him, and whatever sort of wonderful līlā He comes to show you, prepare yourself for that. It is so much, so broad, and wait; what are the waves of the Infinite? What sort of wave comes to touch you from the Infinite, the centre of the Infinite, of love, of beauty. Wait and see, remain clear, open, and unbiased. Don't go to measure with your tiny examples of this finite world of nasty nature. tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ -(see śloka 247) - It is your hankering only that can help you to have a touch of that magnanimous divine thing. If you want to challenge, He'll not care to come. What is the loss to Him? - you are deceived. Go with your heart willing, but go forward. (C, v 1, # 5, '93, p 10) + (see also śloka 196)

jugala-mūrti, dekhiyā mora,
parama-ānanda hoya
prasāda-sevā korite hoya,
sakala prapaṣca jaya

"Beholding the Deity forms of the Divine Couple, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, I feel the greatest joy. By honouring the Lord's Prasāda, I conquer over all worldly illusions." (TSOBT, p 37)

If you want to live here then you must devour your environment otherwise you can't survive. So it is the suicidal plane. One is eating another and only then he can live, that too is only for the time being. So is this a proper place to live in? Prasāda - that is the highest solution!

The principle necessities of any life here in this world are to preserve and to propagate. Our first priority is to preserve, and for self-preservation we create havoc in the environment by exploitation. The first principle of exploitation begins from the urge for self-preservation, and that means eating. We are to adjust our dealings with the environment in our most primitive necessity which we can't avoid in order to keep body and soul together. So if we can solve this one difficulty, we can almost solve the whole problem.

Prasāda-sevā korite hoya, sakala prapaṣca jaya - Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says that the key to the solution of the whole problem of this mundane life is in Prasāda. The first necessity of life is eating, and if we can solve that problem, we have solved the whole thing. The most important thing is to learn how we should take Prasādam to maintain ourselves. Our life depends mainly on that. To live here we cannot but consume, and we cannot but create devastation in the environment by our eating. If we go to consume anything, even plants, grasses or seeds, then microscopic creatures are being killed. So the question is how to get rid of this reaction? (see śloka 579) (SOTGOD, v 3, p 11)

jugupsitaṁ dharmma-kṛte 'nuśāsataḥ,
svabhāva-raktasya mahān vyatikramaḥ
yad vākyato dharmma itītaraḥ sthito,
na manyate tasya nivāraṇaṁ janaḥ

"You have committed a great wrong. In your injunctions of religious duty for the masses, you have sanctioned condemnable worldly works for fulfilment of mundane desires. The masses are already by nature attached to condemnable worldly works for fulfilment of mundane desires. It is a great wrong because the worldly masses will conclude that your messages alone are the central religious duty. Even if they are taught by other knowers of the truth to refrain from those worldly works, they will not accept those teachings, or, they will not be able to understand them for themselves." (S-B, 1.5.15)

Before Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam appeared in the world, Devaṛṣi Nārada came and gave a regular stricture to Śrīla Vyāsadeva: "What have you done for so long? This is nothing! Rather, you did something downright wrong." jugupsitaṁ dharmma-kṛte 'nuśāsataḥ.

The people generally have natural affinity for these things - dharma, artha, kāma, then mokṣa (religion, wealth, sense-pleasure, and liberation). You have recommended these four things in a regular and polished way, but this is already their natural demand. When one is over-fed, he wants fasting as a reaction. So, mokṣa is only a reaction to exploitation. This is already a fact, and you have recommended the same thing. What new thing have you given them? You have done wrong! Why? Because when a person of your status has recommended mokṣa, it will be difficult to give anything further. No one will be prepared to oppose your opinion, your standard. All will say that Vyāsadeva is the highest authority, and that they don't care for the advice of anyone else. The highest authority is Vyāsadeva. So it will be very difficult to get the people to accept through other sources anything beyond what you have given. So, you have done wrong! It may be considered your misdeed.

Now, the only relief can be that you yourself will give the fifth end (beyond the aforementioned four common pursuits). You, personally, will have to take this work: 'So far, what I have given is very limited, but now I shall give you something far superior.' You alone will have to take up this task, and only then you will have undergone the proper penance necessary for your chastisement.

Mahān vyatikramaḥ - it is a great wrong, because jugupsitam - what is very condemnable; dharma-kṛte - is given under the stamp of religion; the goods under the stamp are ultimately non-religious. What good is that? Only 'to do wrong and not to do wrong.' But to do good - is it not included here? Of bad and non-bad, non-bad does not mean positive good. So, you will have to take this duty with earnestness and clarify the position for the people: 'So far, what I have given you is more or less of a negative character. Now I have come to give you something positive.' In this way, you must create the atmosphere to give them something substantial." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 143) + (see also śloka 126)

jyāyasī cet karmaṇas te,
matā buddhir janārdana
tat kiṁ karmaṇi ghore māṁ,
niyojayasi keśava.
vyāmiśreṇeva vākyena,
buddhiṁ mohayasīva me
tad ekaṁ vada niścitya,
yena śreyo 'ham āpnuyām

"O Janārdana, O Keśava, if You consider that resolute and determined spiritual intelligence (vyavasāy-ātmikā-buddhi ) is better than action in goodness and passion, then why do You engage me in the violent activity of warfare?"

"My intelligence is confused by Your words. They appear to be ambiguous, sometimes supporting action and sometimes supporting knowledge. So please instruct me which of these two paths is most beneficial for me." (B-g, 3.1-2)

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has given his decision, in his Tattva-sutra, that although when Bhagavad-gītā was spoken to Arjuna, he engaged himself in fighting, had it been Uddhava in place of Arjuna, after hearing the conclusion of Bhagavad-gītā where Kṛṣṇa says: "Give up everything and surrender unto Me," Uddhava would have accepted this and gone away from the warfield. Upon hearing the same advice, Arjuna acted in one way, but Uddhava would have acted in another. After hearing the first instalment of Kṛṣṇa's instructions, Arjuna tells Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavad-gītā:

"You say that jñāna, knowledge, is better than karma, work. Why then do You want to engage me in this dreadful karma of fighting?" Then Kṛṣṇa said: "You have your capacity in karma: finish your career, and then you can aspire to come to the level of jñāna, enquiry into knowledge. It is not a cheap thing to transcend all activity and attain naiṣkarmya, freedom from karma. First finish the course of your karma; then you will become free from karma, and gradually you will develop transcendental knowledge and devotion. So, I say: 'Engage yourself in this present fight.' Fighting is not recommended for everyone, but for you, and men of your section." (TSFSK, p 68-9)

jyotir abhyantare rūpam
atulaṁ śyāmasundaram

According to Hindu Scriptures, generally the departed souls live on the moon. Two terms are used: Uttarāyaṇa and Dakṣiṇāyaṇa. Dakṣiṇāyaṇa refers to the period ruled by certain gods; during that time, the soul that passes from the body must return to this soil. Such is the karma of those persons. Their mental body is of such quality that it will again come here. After death they go to the moon to take rest for some time. There is also some arrangement in the śāstra where food is offered in their name, and that food is given to the sādhus, brāhmaṇas, and cows, etc., thereby, they get that food.

The departed souls have left their accumulated energy here. Their heirs take possession of this energy, and should offer something to the forefathers by the process of mantram. Such subtle association is there that if it is done under proper direction it will reach the place of the departed soul - the subtle body of the departed soul will receive it. This process is something like sending a money-order from India to America, as it is sent in rupees and converted to dollars through the exchange system and given to someone in America as dollars. Similarly, whatever I offer to the forefathers will be converted and taken there by the society of ṛṣis that look after the affairs of transmitting it to them by the process of mantram to the appropriate necessity of the souls living there. In this way the forefathers will receive that food from here. That place is generally Chandraloka, the moon.

For those whose karma is that they will not take birth here again, they go towards the sun. The moon revolves around the earth, but they cross the limit of the attraction of the earth and go elsewhere to have their life nearby the sun. That is Uttarāyaṇa. Light predominates there. Chandraloka is dependent light and it circumambulates this earth, but the sun is above the earth and it represents light, knowledge.

The souls who go there go beyond the boundary of this earth. They go away in their subtle bodies, never to return to this earth again. These souls leave earth forever. According to their karma they go somewhere else and live there. But in both cases, this is a relative direction only. We are asked to have our direction through the sun, through light, through knowledge.

Jyotir abhyantare rūpam atulaṁ śyāmasundaram. What is light? In the proper conception light is knowledge. In reality, knowledge is light; ignorance is darkness. Piercing even the light - knowledge - we shall try to find 'Śyāmasundara.' We have to try to seek that through the 'sun', through the 'light'. That is the remote direction given to us by the revealed mantras of the Vedas: "Go to the light. Avoid darkness. Welcome light." Light is the representative of knowledge. Tackle the knowledge in such a way that you can find a cosmos which is very beautiful and personified as evergreen, or, kiśora. satyaṁ śivaṁ sundaram - that is Truth, that is Good, that is Beautiful. We are given such direction in a symbolic way. We are far from that, so for a person in such a remote place a symbolic expression is extended. (SGD, SGP, 1997, p 18-19) + (see also śloka 502 & 350)

kabhu nā vādhibe tomāra viṣaya-taraṅga
punarapi ei ṭhāṣi pābe mora saṅga

"And in this transaction, you will find My backing. If you obey My command for distribution to one and all, then you will find that I am there, backing you in this work." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 7.129 )

So, your great master has engaged you all like so many dedicated soldiers. Now you must do relief work in this world of mortality and death. Do relief work. Somehow we have to get Kṛṣṇa consciousness for ourselves and also carry this news to our neighbours. Mahāprabhu says: "Whomever you meet, tell him about Kṛṣṇa, and in this way, save the people." They are all under the influence of eternal mortality. Only this path is relevant to their condition; all other talks are irrelevant.

Everyone is rushing into the jaws of death. This is the sum total of the news of this world; it is the only news. Every second everyone is entering into the jaws of death. This is the real problem - nothing else. The whole problem, if summarised, will come to this, that every second, every atom here is entering into the jaws of death. This is the great and only danger in the world. So, all other talks are irrelevant to the real problems of life; try to help them from entering into the jaws of death. This is the only problem in the whole world.

Go forth and tell everyone about Kṛṣṇa. Whatever you do, make them talk about Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa. Save yourself and prepare yourself for the highest goal. Whenever you meet anyone, wherever you meet anyone, only talk of Kṛṣṇa. All other talks are irrelevant and redundant.

Mahāprabhu says: "It is My command. Don't think that if you do this and take the position of guru, when the people come to honour you, you will forget your ordinary position, become puffed up with pride, and go to hell; no, no, no. I order you: 'Go on!' The relief work is there. You can't stand idle as an onlooker. So, I say, 'Jump! Start relief work.' I order you to do so. And I shall take whatever responsibility is there. The whole world is dying. So, always, at every second, the real need is kṛṣṇa-kathā. You will get My association only by obeying My orders, and discharging the duty that I am entrusting with you. You will find Me there in you obedience of My order, in the discharge of the duty I impose on you." (SGAHG, p 57-8) + (see also śloka 589)

kadā śaure gaure vapusi parama-prema-rasade
kadā vā tasyālaukika-sad-anumānena mama hṛḍy

"O Kṛṣṇa, Your golden form is the life and soul of Your devotees. It is the philanthropist that freely gives the nectar of divine love for You. When shall I wholeheartedly love this embodiment of nectar to my full satisfaction? I have finally understood the inner secret of this beautiful form. It is made of Śrī Rādhikā's mood and complexion. O when will my heart be filled with the splendour of Her jewel toenails?" (C-Cand, 68) + (SBRBM, p 13)

kāhāṅ mora prāna nātha muralī-vadana
kāhāṅ karoṅ kāhāṅ pāṅ vrajendra-nandana

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said: "Where is my beloved Kṛṣṇa? I can't tolerate His separation. Where is the Lord of My life, who is playing His flute? What shall I do now? Where should I go to find the son of Mahārāja Nanda?" (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 2.15)

After the function of sannyāsa was finished, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ran towards Vṛndāvana. Sometimes He would run away so swiftly that the devotees could not trace Him, especially in the night, when they would lose Him in the darkness. Then, they would all be disappointed, thinking: "Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, our lord and master, has left us!" But suddenly they would hear Him far away, crying: "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa!" in a piteous, wailing tone. Then they would run in that direction and see that He was lying on the ground, crying: kāhāṅ mora prāna nātha muralī-vadana.

In a piteous, heart-rending tone, He was crying. In a bewildered state, with no consciousness of any particular direction, He would say: "Who are you? I'm going to Vṛndāvana. Why are you disturbing Me?" After nursing Him, again they began to start towards the west, towards Vṛndāvana. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu continued wandering in trance. But the great attraction of His devotees did not allow Him to go towards the west.

Taking advantage of His trance, Nityānanda Prabhu somehow coaxingly turned Mahāprabhu's face towards Śāntipura. It is mentioned in the Caitanya-Bhāgavata that beginning from Katwa, they went west until they reached a place near Vakreśvara, about six miles north-east of Dubrarājpura, in the district of Birbhum. In Viśramatalā, on the other side of the Adjai River, there is a place which is observed as the seat of Śrī Caitanya. There, they say, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu turned His face from the west towards the east, or from Vṛndāvana to Śāntipura.

They wandered throughout the remaining evening, and then another day and night. Finally, on the third day, in the evening, He returned through Kalna to Śāntipura through the arrangements of Nityānanda Prabhu, who appeared before Mahāprabhu in the red cloth of a renunciate. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, although so familiar with Him, couldn't recognise Nityānanda. He saw a sannyāsī before Him and thought: "I am going to Vṛndāvana, and here is a sannyāsī in front of Me." He said: "O Śrīpāda sannyāsī, where are you going?" "I shall go to Vṛndāvana with You." "How far is Vṛndāvana from here?" Nityānanda showed Him the Ganges, near Kalna, saying" "Just see, there is the Yamunā." Mahāprabhu said: "Oh, We have come so near the Yamunā!" Then, He took His bath in the Yamunā, singing this verse: cid-ānanda-bhanoḥ sadā nanda-sunoḥ. (see also ślokas 110 & 148) + (TGVODL, p 75)

kahibāra kathā nahe,
kahile keha nā bujhaye,
aiche citra caitanyera
raṅga sei se bujhite pāre,
caitanyera kṛpā yāṅre,
haya tāṅra dāsānudāsa-saṅga

"Such topics are not to be discussed freely because if they are, no one will understand them. Such are the wonderful pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Unto one who is able to understand, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has shown mercy by giving him the association of the servant of His own servant." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 2.83)

And who will have faith in their words? Their representation? Though they cannot sometimes check them, but express them like a volcano. But where are those who will come to believe it? No! It is not so easy to understand, to have faith, to believe it. (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 3) + (see also ślokas 28 & 606)

kaivalyaṁ narakāyate tridaśapūrākāśa-puṣpāyate
durddāntendriya-kāla-sarpa-paṭalī protkhāta-daṁṣṭrāyate
viśvaṁ pūrṇa-sukhāyate vidhi-mahendrādiś ca kīṭāyate
yat kāruṇya-kaṭākṣa-vaibhavatāṁ taṁ gauram eva stumaḥ

"The yogis' most worshippable goal of merging with the Absolute appears as hell; the religious sense-pleasure-seekers' sought-after reward of entrance to heaven is seen as an imaginary insignificant flower in the sky; the senses, which are indomitable for the whimsical sense-enjoyers, appear as a defanged black cobra; the entire universe is perceived as the embodiment of the ecstasy of Kṛṣṇa; and even the exalted post of Lord Brahmā, Lord Indra, etc, fervently sought after by the most elevated of the demigods, is seen as comparable to the position of an insect - for those devotees who have been blessed with the supreme fortune of receiving the merciful glance of the Supreme Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Ever do I sing the infinite glories of that Supreme Lord Śrī Gaurasundara." (C-cand, 5) + (SOTGOD, v 1, p xvi)

jñātvāpy evān ca rādhā-pada-bhajan-sudhāṁ lilayāpāyayad yam
śaktiṁ saṣcārya gauro nija-bhajana-sudhā-dāna-dakṣaṁ cakāra
sa śrī-rūpaḥ kadā māṁ nija-pada-rajasābhūṣitaṁ saṁvidhatte

"Śrī Gaura Hari knew that as an eternal associate of the Lord, Śrī Rūpa was already proficient in wandering throughout the ambrosial ocean of all mellows in the land of unalloyed love (Vraja rasa ). Nonetheless to expand His own pastimes, the Lord enabled him to drink the sweet ecstasy of servitude unto Śrī Rādhā and empowered him with the skill to distribute the nectar of His personal devotional service. When will that Śrīmad Rūpa Prabhu grace me with the dust of his lotus feet?" (P-D, 6) + (SBRBM, p 41)

kālān naṣṭam bhakti-yogaṁ nijaṁ yaḥ,
prāduṣkartuṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmā
āvirbhūtas tasya pādāravinde,
gāḍhaṁ gāḍhaṁ līyatāṁ citta-bhṛṅgaḥ

Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya said: "Let the honeybee of my mind dive deep into the lotus feet of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa Himself. He has appeared to revive the path of unalloyed devotion, which had almost become lost due to the influence of time." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 6.255) + (TGVODL, p 18) + (see also śloka 539)

kālena naṣṭā pralaye,
vāṇīyaṁ veda-saṁjñitā
mayādau brahmaṇe proktā,
dharmo yasyāṁ mad-ātmakaḥ

"By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation. Therefore, when the subsequent creation took place, I spoke the Vedic knowledge to Brahmā because I Myself am the religious principles enunciated in the Vedas." (S-B, 11.14.3)

The following is from Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's English lecture at Dinajpur, West Bengal, India, 1869.

"We love to read a book which we have never read before. We are anxious to gather whatever information is contained in it, and with such acquirement our curiosity stops. This mode of study prevails amongst a great number of readers who are great men in their own estimation as well as in the estimation of those who are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students, like satellites, should reflect whatever light they receive from authors, and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail!

Thought is progressive. The authors thought must have progress in the reader in the shape of correction or development. He is the best critic who can show the further development of an old thought; but a mere denouncer is the enemy of progress and consequently of nature. Progress certainly is the law of nature, and there must be corrections and developments with the progress of time. But progress means going further or rising higher. The shallow critic and the fruitless reader are the two great enemies of progress. We must shun them. The true critic, on the other hand, advises us to preserve what we have already obtained, and to adjust our race from that point where we have arrived in the heat of our progress. He will never advise us to go back to the point whence we started, as he fully knows that in that case there will be a fruitless loss of our valuable time and labour. He will direct the adjustment of the angle of our race at the point where we are.

This is also the characteristic of the useful student. He will read an old author and will find out his exact position in the progress of thought. He will never propose to burn a book on the ground that it contains thoughts which are useless. No thought is useless. Thoughts are means by which we attain our objects. The reader who denounces a bad thought does not know that a bad road is even capable of improvement and conversion into a good one. One thought is a road leading to another. Thus, the reader will find that one thought, which is the object today, will be the means of a further object tomorrow. Thoughts will necessarily continue to be an endless series of means and objects in the progress of humanity.

The great reformers will always assert that they have come not to destroy the old law, but to fulfil it. Valmiki, Vyāsa, Plato, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius and Caitanya Mahāprabhu assert the fact either expressly or by their conduct.

Our critic, however, may nobly tell us that a reformer like Vyāsa, unless purely explained, may lead thousands of men into great trouble in time to come. But dear critic! Study the history of ages and countries! Where have you found the philosopher and reformer fully understood by the people? The popular religion is fear of God, and not the pure spiritual love which Plato, Vyāsa, Jesus, and Caitanya taught to their respective peoples! Whether you give the absolute religion in figures or simple expressions, or teach them by means of books or oral speeches, the ignorant and the thoughtless must degrade it.

It is indeed very easy to tell, and swift to hear, that Absolute Truth has such an affinity with the human soul that it comes through as if intuitively, and that no exertion is necessary to teach the precepts of true religion, but this is a deceptive idea. It may be true of ethics and of the alphabet of religion, but not of the highest form of faith, which requires an exalted soul to understand. All higher truths, though intuitive, require previous education in the simpler ones. That religion is the purest which gives us the purest idea of God. How then is it possible that the ignorant will ever obtain the absolute religion, as long as they are ignorant?

So we are not to scandalise the Saviour of Jerusalem or the Saviour of Nadia for these are subsequent evils. Luthers, instead of critics, are what we want for the correction of those evils by the true interpretation of the original precepts.

God gives us truth as He gave it to Vyāsa, when we earnestly seek for it. Truth is eternal and inexhaustible. The soul receives a revelation when it is anxious for it. The souls of the great thinkers of the bygone ages, who now live spiritually, often approach our enquiring spirit and assist it in its development. Thus, Vyāsa was assisted by Nārada and Brahmā. Our śāstras, or in other words, books of thought, do not contain all that we could get from the infinite Father. No book is without its errors. God's revelation is Absolute Truth, but it is scarcely received and preserved in its natural purity. We have been advised in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.14.3) -(kālena naṣṭā pralaye ) to believe that truth when revealed is absolute, but it gets the tincture of the nature of the receiver in course of time, and is converted into error by continual exchange of hands from age to age. New revelations, therefore, are continually necessary in order to keep truth in its original purity. We are thus warned to be careful in our studies of old authors, however wise they are reputed to be. Here, we have full liberty to reject the wrong idea, which is not sanctioned by the peace of conscience.

Vyāsa was not satisfied with what he collected in the Vedas, arranged in the Purānas, and composed in the Mahābhārata. The peace of his conscience did not sanction his labours. It told him from inside: "No, Vyāsa! You can't rest contented with the erroneous picture of truth which was necessarily presented to you by the sages of bygone days! You must yourself knock at the door of the inexhaustible store of truth from which the former sages drew their wealth. Go! Go up to the fountainhead of truth, where no pilgrim meets with disappointment of any kind. Vyāsa did it and obtained what he wanted. We have all been advised to do so.

Liberty then, is the principle which we must consider as the most valuable gift of God. We must not allow ourselves to be led by those who lived and thought before us. We must think for ourselves and try to get further truths, which are still undiscovered. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.21.23) we have been advised to take the spirit of the śāstras, and not the words. (see śloka 365). The Bhāgavata is therefore a religion of liberty, unmixed truth, and absolute love.

The other characteristic is progress. Liberty certainly is the father of all progress. Holy liberty is the cause of progress upwards and upwards in eternity and endless activity of love. Liberty misused causes degradation, and the Vaiṣṇava must always carefully use this high and beautiful gift of God. The spirit of this text goes far to honour all great reformers and teachers who lived and will live in other countries. The Vaiṣṇava is ready to honour all men without distinction of caste, because they are filled with the energy of God. See how universal is the religion of the Bhāgavata. It is not intended for a certain class of Hindus alone, but it is a gift to man at large, in whatever country he is born, and in whatever society he is bred. In short, Vaiṣṇavism is the Infinite Love binding all men together into the infinite unconditioned and absolute God. May peace reign forever in the whole universe in the continual development of its purity by the exertion of the future heroes, who will be blessed according to the promise of the Bhāgavata with powers from the Almighty Father, the Creator, Preserver, and the Annihilator of all things in Heaven and Earth." ( Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura )

"The message of the Vedas is eternal religion, nondifferent from Me. When in the course of time those eternal teachings disappeared from view with the universal cataclysm, I imparted them to Lord Brahmā at the dawning of a new creation." (S-B, 11.14.3) + (SSPJ, p 160)

"By the influence of time, the transcendental sound of Vedic knowledge was lost at the time of annihilation. Again, at the time of creation, I first inspired Brahmā the creator from within his heart. And then, through Brahmā, so many disciples were enlightened. They in turn enlightened their disciples. And in this way, the line of revealed truth descends from Me." (S-B, 11.14.3) + (LSFTLS, p V1) + (see śloka 184)

"In the complete dissolution, everything was finished. Then I, Kṛṣṇa, taught Brahmā, and it was subsequently passed to Bhṛgu, Marīci, etc." From there, Lord Kṛṣṇa delivered the Uddhava-gītā; how to account for the different conceptions of religion in this world? Arjuna proclaimed: "Besides You, none can give the proper answer to this question. So, I ask You, my Lord, to explain to me why there are so many different conceptions of religion in this world."

Then, Kṛṣṇa began to explain: "In the beginning, it was one religion and it was extended from Me to Lord Brahmā, the creator. Then Brahmā began to give vent to this conception and many came as his disciples. According to their peculiar nature, they understood it, but with a little modification. Again, when they are delivering to their own disciples, there is some modification. It comes - modification of this world - and then also some extra-misinterpretation has grown mixing the two. But I am the thing of the whole - I am the aim of all religious conception. mad-ātmakah, I am the spirit of the real conception of religion." (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 6-7) + (see śloka 438)

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann
asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrttanād eva kṛṣṇasya
mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

Śukadeva Goswāmī tells Parīkṣit Mahārāja: "O King, the age of Kali, the repository of all evils, has but one glorious characteristic: in this age, those who simply chant the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa are liberated and reach the Supreme Lord." (S-B, 12.3.51) (SOTGOD, v 2, p 22) + (SBRBM, p 14) + (see ślokas 577 & 138)

kali-ghora timire garasala jaga jana
dharama karama rahu dūra
asādhane cintāmaṇi vidhi milāola āni
gorā baḍa dayāra ṭhākura.

bhāire bhāi gorā-guṇa kahane nā yāya.

kata śata ānana kata caturānana
baraṇiyā ora nahi pāya
cāri-veda ṣaḍa daraśana kari adhyayana
se yadi gaurāṅga nahi bhaje.
bṛthā tāra adhyayana nayana bihīna jana
darapane aṇdhe kibā kāje
veda vidyā dui kichui nā jānata
se yadi gaurāṅga jāne sāra.
nayanānanda bhane sei se sakali jāne
sarva-siddhikaratale tāra.

"When the dense nescience of the age of Kali covered the intelligence and consciousness of worldly people, their piety and spiritual principles receded far away. Despite this disqualification, divine providence brought to them the desire fulfilling gem cintāmaṇi, Gaura the Lord of all Transcendental magnanimity and mercy. My dear brothers, the glories of Gaura are unlimited. Even great personalities of versatile intelligence like Lord Brahmā cannot find their end. If a person is well read and educated in the knowledge of the four Vedas and six philosophies but cannot appreciate Śrī Gaurāṅga, then all his education and accumulation of knowledge are simply useless, just as a mirror is of no use to a blind man. Nayananda says a person who has no awareness of the Vedas or higher education but knows in his heart that Gaurāṅga is the Divine Essence of all truth, must be considered truly wise and all success will eventually come to him." (Nayananda Prabhu) (SBRBM, p 8-9)

kāliya-dokha korobi bināśā
śodhobi nadī-jala bāḍobi āśā,
bhakativinoda tuwā gokula-dhana
rākhobi keśava! korato jatana

"Although the Kāliya serpent's venom has poisoned the Yamunā's waters, I know that poison will not act. Your presence will cleanse the waters and so increase our confidence in Your protection. Bhaktivinoda is now the property of Gokula, Your holy abode, O Keśava. Kindly protect him with care." (TSOBT, p 26-7)

How are we to enter into such a loving relationship with the Lord? Through the grace of Śrī Gaurāṅga. One devotee has said: "If Gaurāṅga had not come, how could we live? And who would inform us about our ultimate prospect of life?" (see śloka 574). We have such a great prospect. And yet, without Gaurāṅga, who would have come to inform us that we have so much wealth within? And Śrī Gaurāṅga says: "You do not know, but you have such a great magnitude of wealth." His coming to inform us of our prospect is like the astrologer who reads a poor man's horoscope (see śloka 436) and tells him: "Why are you living a poor life? You have immense wealth buried underground. Try to recover it. You are so great and your guardian is so loving and so high, and yet you are wandering like a poor fellow in the street! What is this? You are not helpless; it is not that you have no guardian. You have only to remember your merciful guardian." (LSFTLS, p 1V)

kāma-preme dekho bhāi,
lakṣanete bheda nāi
tabhu kāma `prema' nāhi haya

"My brother, lust and love appear as one and the same; yet, lust is never love." (KK, U, 18)

Karmma-māṁsamaya kāma - lust is only concerned with flesh and blood, but prema, is the cid-ānanda-dhāma - the abode of consciousness and blissfulness. There is no question of perceiving it through these mundane senses. Our ideal must be pure, and we must strive for it. We may be in a lower position, but if the ideal is clearly before us, that will help us in our real improvement of life. A man who possesses the true ideal is a real 'capitalist' in gaining a better position. (SOTGOD, v1, p 105) + (see also ślokas 62 & 198)

Roughly calculating, there is no difference between lust and love. But, still, you carefully note that lust is not love. One is connected with this lower feeling, this flesh and blood. And the other, with the highest reach of the soul! āprakṛta prakṛta vāt, very similar to mundane, but not mundane. That is the highest position. (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 7) + (see also ślokas 62, 220, 261, 375, 420 & 486)

kam prati kathayitum īśe,
samprati ko vā pratītim āyātu
gopa-vadhūṭī-vitaṁ brahma

"To whom can I tell it, and whoever will believe it, that the Supreme Absolute, Param Brahman, the Paramour of the damsels of Vraja, is enjoying in the groves on the banks of the Yamunā?" (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.98) + (P, 98)

Mahāprabhu has suggested to us: "Try for the chance for your fortune in Vṛndāvana. There is such a wonderful process: Nanda and Yaśodā (Kṛṣṇa's father and mother) has captured the Absolute and He is crawling in their compound (aham iha nandaṁ vande yasyālinde paraṁ brahma - see śloka 480). Try to secure a position there, however negligible it may be. Try your fortune." So, we are in search of such a fortune where all other proposals are eliminated.

Kam prati kathayitum īśe. - It is inconceivable that the Brahman, the greatest, the Absolute, has come to search for the least love of the cowherd damsels of the gopī class. He has approached in such a near and close way, and in such an ordinary, rural style. Try your fortune there. We are out to do just that, under the guidance of Śrī Caitanyadeva, who is understood to be the combination of the positive and negative aspects of the Absolute. The positive is busy distributing Himself to others. Mahāprabhu is that infinitely and inconceivably generous aspect of the Supreme. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 13-4) + (SBRBM, p 26) + (see also śloka 425)

kaṁsārir api saṁsara,
rādhām ādhāya hṛdaye,
tatyaja vraja sundariḥ

"Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa took Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī within His heart, for He wanted to dance with Her. In this way, He left the arena of the rāsa dance and the company of all the other beautiful damsels of Vraja." ( G-G, 3.1) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.106 )

Uddhava has shown us the high position of the gopīs. And between all the gopīs and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, there is also a categorical difference. That was proved in rāsa-līlā. When Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs openly displayed Their transaction of heart, with that divine rasa flowing, and inundating all directions, Rādhārāṇī was also there. She gave the highest contribution to the common rāsa-vilāsa display of the parakīya-mādhurya-rasa, paramour mellow.

Then, suddenly, dissatisfaction came in Rādhārāṇī's heart. She began to think: "Am I also counted in the common flow of rasa ?"

Some reaction came within Her mind, and suddenly She left. After displaying her peculiar type of superexcellent dancing and singing, introducing a flow of new type there, suddenly She departed. She left the circle of the rāsa dance. And Kṛṣṇa suddenly found: "Rādhārāṇī is not here. It is tasteless." The flow of rasa was there, but the gist, the quality, is a little down. He felt: "Why is it not so satisfactory to My inner heart?"

He felt some ebb in the tide. And then by inspection He found that Rādhārāṇī was absent. Disappointed, He left the circle of the rāsa dance, and went to search after Her. Although the parakīya-mādhurya-rasa, the highest mellow of conjugal love, Vṛndāvana, and the gopīs were all there, still there is a categorical difference in quality and quantity, in every way, between the other gopīs and the particular camp of Rādhārāṇī. Jayadeva Goswāmī, in his Gītā Govinda (3.1) has described how Kṛṣṇa left the circle of the rāsa dance. Kaṁsārir api saṁsara, vāsanā-baddhaśṛnkhalām.

Jayadeva has described in this way that Kṛṣṇa left the circle of the rāsa dance, taking Rādhā within His heart. Kṛṣṇa departed in search of Rādhārāṇī. Her position is so exalted. It is said: "Lord Kṛṣṇa's transcendental desires for loving exchanges could not be satisfied even in the midst of billions of gopīs. Thus He went searching after Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Just imagine how transcendentally qualified She is!" (śata-koti-gopīte nahe kāma nivāpna - C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.116) + (see also śloka 441).

The other gopīs numbered so many, but in quality they were a little less. Their total combination could not satisfy Kṛṣṇa. The qualitative difference was there. That is found. (SGAHG, p 152-3) + (see also śloka 390 & 395)

Once, Rādhārāṇī left the rāsa-līlā when She saw that all the gopīs were being dealt with almost equally by Kṛṣṇa. Equal treatment towards one and all did not satisfy Her. So She decided to display a composition of singing and dancing to please Kṛṣṇa in a most wonderful transcendental way. Rādhārāṇī showed Her skill in various ways, and then at the last moment, She suddenly disappeared.

And as Kṛṣṇa was engaged in that combined singing and dancing, He suddenly found that Rādhārāṇī was absent. So He left everyone to search for Rādhārāṇī. He met Her on the way, and after walking for some time, Rādhārāṇī told Him: "I can't move, I can't walk anymore. If You would like to go on, You will have to carry Me, I cannot go further." And suddenly, Kṛṣṇa disappeared.

In his Bhagavatārka-Marīci-Mālā, his translations of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam verses, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explains that Kṛṣṇa was thinking: "I would like to see what will be the mentality of separation in Her." Only to appreciate the depth of the separation She felt from Him did Kṛṣṇa disappear. Then of course Kṛṣṇa returned after some time.

kanaka pasyanti kamini mayayo jagat
pasyanti dhana mayo jagat dhara mayo jagat
khira prayanti narayano jagat

Our own tendency for exploitation and renunciation creates so many units of this plane, like so much dust to blind our eyes so we can't see Him. kanaka pasyanti kamini mayayo jagat. Those who are lustful try to find out where is a beautiful lady. pasyanti dhana mayo jagat. The greedy people always busy their minds with the thought, "Oh, there is Birla, there is Tata, there is Ford," who are the moneyed men in this world. They think only about moneyed men because they love wealth the most. dhara mayo jagat and khira prayanti narayano jagat. Those who are liberated from the outer external influences may find, "Oh, I am in the kingdom of Nārāyaṇa, who is the support and guardian of the whole world. We see His hand everywhere. Without His direction nothing can move." They may boast that, "I have got such power, I have got such beauty, I have got wealth," but it is all a false show. The real backing spirit is Nārāyaṇa, the all pervading, all knowing, all good principle. And the temporary external plane is the killing aspect of existence. It is only our prejudices of so many types that have captured us. (GOD, p 20)

karmaṇāṁ pariṇāmitvād,
ā-virincyād amaṅgalam
vipścin naśvaram paśyed,
adṛṣṭam api dṛṣṭa-vat

"An intelligent person should see that any material activity is subject to constant transformation and that even on the planet of Lord Brahmā there is thus simply unhappiness. Indeed, a wise man can understand that just as all that he has seen is temporary, similarly, all things within the universe have a beginning and an end." (S-B, 11.19.18)

"What can you really give me from that place where even Brahmā in charge of the creation is also suffering. He who is the general creator of the world - he cannot even attain The Supreme in his heart nor in deep meditation?" It seems that this is no small achievement. It is a very rare connection. Knowing that - then, who are we? (see also śloka 489) + (SS, v 6, # 1, '92, p 5)

karmaṇy evādhikāras te,
mā phaleṣu kadācana
mā karma-phala-hetur bhūr,
mā te saṅgo 'stv akarmaṇi

"I shall now describe niṣkāma karma-yoga, the path of selfless action. You have a right to perform your natural prescribed duties, but you are not entitled to any fruits of that action. You should neither act with desire to enjoy the fruits of your work, nor, as a result, should you be attached to neglecting your duties." (B-g, 2.47)

We are only agents, and we are working because He has ordered us, so we must remember what is bhakti, what is devotion proper. Whatever I do, the wage I earn must not come to me; I am only an agent. The benefit should go to the proprietor, to my master, Kṛṣṇa. We should move with this idea, and that will be bhakti proper. Otherwise, we will be engaged in karma-kānda: fruit-hunting. I want to enjoy the result of karma for myself, but the result should go to my master. I am His servant, I am working under His order. I am His slave; I am not the proprietor. I am not the proper person to be the recipient of the fruits of energy. The master of energy is the Supreme Lord, and all the products of energy should go to Him. It must not be tampered with on the way. This should be the attitude of every worker. Then it will be bhakti proper. We are not the recipients; He is the recipient. We must always be conscious that the only beneficiary is He. Only then are we devotees. We are not the beneficiaries, but selfless workers. It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.47): karmaṇy evādhikāras te: "You have a right to perform your duty, but you have no right to enjoy the fruits of your work." This is a great warning. Kṛṣṇa says: "Do not think that because you are not the beneficiary of the fruits of your action, you have no reason to take so much trouble to work - never." That is the most heinous curse, to think that because I am not the beneficiary, I am not going to work. Even selfless activity is also of a lower order. Rather we must perform godly activity for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. That is bhakti, or devotion. And there is also a gradation in bhakti: there is a big division between vidhi-bhakti and rāga-bhakti, calculative devotion and spontaneous devotion.

God is not a constitutional king, but He is an autocrat. To work for an autocrat is the highest conception of sacrifice. What degree of selflessness and courage is required to work for an autocrat, a despot, a liar who is up to anything? Not only that, His normal position is such. It is not a temporary temperament, but His eternal inner nature. Kṛṣṇa is an autocrat because law emanates from Him. An autocrat is above law. When there are many, there is a need for law; when there is only one, there is no need for law. Kṛṣṇa is a despot, but He is absolute good. If there is any check in His despotism, the world will be the loser. Goodness must have its full flow. Is that bad? Can there be any objection to this? Goodness must have its freedom to flow anywhere and everywhere. If we say that God is absolute good, then what do we lose by giving Him autocracy? Should autocracy be with the ignorant and fools? No. The absolute good must have full autocracy. Not that law will go to bind His hands. Then we will be losers. And Kṛṣṇa is a liar, to entice us, because we cannot understand the whole truth. So to entice us to gradually come to the truth, He has become a liar.

The first thing to understand is that He is all goodness, so everything emanating from Him cannot but be good. Any defect is on our side. We are encroachers. He is not an encroacher. But He shows this as His play, līlā. Everything belongs to Him, so there is no lying. When He says: "Let there be light," there was light: "Let there be water," there was water. If He has such potential power, can there be any lying there? We have to sacrifice ourselves for Kṛṣṇa, because He is the absolute good, beauty, and love. Faith and selflessness are required to such a high degree. If we accept Kṛṣṇa consciousness as our highest ideal, then so much sacrifice is necessary, but sacrifice means life: "Die to live." There is no loss by sacrifice. We can only gain by giving ourselves.

So, kīrtana, or preaching has been accepted as the means to the end. There are so many ways by which we can approach the souls of this world with kīrtana: by direct approach, through books, and by performing saṅkīrtana, chanting the Holy Name congregationally. By helping others, we help ourselves: we help our own fortune and our own faith. Not only will others benefit by our performance of kīrtana, but we will also benefit eternally.

Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (2.47): "Never be attached to not doing your duty (mā te saṅgo 'stv akarmaṇi ). Because you are required to work for Me, will you stop work? Don't subject yourself to that painful reaction, for then you will be doomed. Don't be attached to stop-work and strike. No. That is a dangerous vacuum. Don't jump there in that eternal vacuum, but work for Me, and you will thrive." (TSFSK, p 9-10) + (see also ślokas 434 & 283)

There may be so many stalwarts, like Bhīṣma and Droṇa, who fall flat in the battlefield, but still we must go on. (karmaṇy evādhikāras te, mā phaleṣu kadācana, B-g, 2.47). We are out to fight to the end. We must achieve our end of life, and we can imbibe such firmness from the character of the devotees. The śastra will also offer helpful advice, but the association of the devotees is nonetheless of ultimate importance. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 43) + (see also śloka 558)

Kṛṣṇa tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad-gītā (2.47): "Give your full concentration to discharging your duty and not to the result of your work. The result is with Me; all responsibility is with Me."

Higher calculation is like that. The generals say: "March! Go forward. Onward! You have to go. You are my soldiers; whatever I shall ask, you must do. You may die and the victory may come afterward; that is not your concern. You are soldiers; many of you may be finished, but the country as a whole will gain."

In this way, so many important lives may be sacrificed. And as soldiers, we have no right to calculate whether we shall gain or lose in the long run. There are two things we must be very careful about. We shouldn't think that if we can't enjoy the fruits of our labour, then there is no reason to work. At the same time, we shouldn't think that we must get some share of the fruits. Remembering this, we should go on discharging our duty to Kṛṣṇa. That is devotion, and that is the meaning of Bhagavad-gītā. Bhagavad-gītā says: "You can't change the environment. If you want peace, you must regulate yourself according to the environment." The whole gist of Bhagavad-gītā's advice is found here: Try to adjust yourself with the environment, because you are not the master of the environment. All your energy should be devoted to regulate yourself and not the outside world. This is the key to success in spiritual life." (LSFTLS, p 17-8) + (see also śloka 530)

karmibhyaḥ parito hareḥ priyatayā vyaktiṁ yayur jñāninas
tebhyo jñāna-vimukta-bhakti-paramāḥ premaika-niṣṭhās tataḥ
tebhyas tāḥ paśu-pāla-paṅkaja-dṛśas tābhyo 'pi sā rādhikā
preṣṭhā tadvad iyaṁ tadīya-sarasī tāṁ nāśrayet kaḥ kṛtī

There are those in the world who regulate their tendency for exploitation in accordance with the scriptural rules and thereby seek gradual elevation to the spiritual domain. However, superior to them are those wise men who, having given up the tendency to lord over others, attempt to dive deep into the realm of consciousness. But far superior to them are the pure devotees who are free from any mundane ambitions and are liberated from knowledge, not by knowledge, having achieved divine love. They have gained entrance into the land of dedication and are engaged there spontaneously in the Lord's loving service. Among all devotees, however, the gopīs are the highest, for they have forsaken everyone, including their families, and everything, including the strictures of the Vedas, and have taken complete shelter at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa, accepting Him as their only protection. But among all the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī reigns supreme. For Kṛṣṇa left the company of millions of gopīs during the rasa dance to search for Her alone. She is so dear to Śrī Kṛṣṇa that the pond in which She bathes is His very favourite place. Who but a madman would not aspire to render service, under the shelter of superior devotees, in that most exalted of all holy places." (U, 10) + (LSFTLS, p 8-9)

Of course, even if we are going the right way, it is never certain that the path will be free from obstacles. Even if we are making progress, unexpected hindrances may trouble us and delay our advancement. Though we see many around us falling or retreating, we must go forward. We should have the conviction to think that although many began with us on the path and are now going back, we shall have to go on. We shall have to strengthen our energy and go forward - alone if necessary. Our faith should be so strong that we have the conviction to go on alone if necessary and by the grace of our Lord cross whatever difficulties we find on our way.

In this way we must make ourselves fit. We must develop exclusive devotion. Of course, we shall always try to find good association. Yet sometimes it may seem that there is no association, that we are alone. Still, we must go on and search out the beacon light of the truth. Progress means eliminating one thing and accepting another. Yet we should be able to see that there are so many others who can help us in our progress in the line of dedication; we must go forward with our eyes open. And the scriptures describe many levels that we shall have to cross beyond in our progress. By elimination, the path of progress is shown from Brahmā to Śiva to Lakṣmī. At last Uddhava is shown to be superior to all. But it is his opinion that the gopīs are the highest devotees. This is confirmed by Rūpa Goswāmī: karmibhyaḥ parito hareḥ priyatayā vyaktiṁ yayur jñāninas.

In His talks with Rāmānanda Rāya, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu repeatedly says: eho bāhya āge kaha āra. "Go further, go deeper, go higher!" (see also śloka 140). There are so many who consider their position to be the highest, who, achieving a particular stage, stop there. But we find in Sanātana Goswāmī's Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam how Gopa-kumāra, beginning from the lowest stage of devotion, gradually makes progress through different levels, and at last comes to the Kṛṣṇa conception in the mellow of friendship - sakhya rasa. There it is described how he gradually eliminates one stage and makes further progress to the highest stages of devotion.

As he progresses from one level to the next, everyone seems to be very helpful to him, but gradually, their company seems to him to be stale. At that time, a higher chance is given to him through an agent of divinity, and, leaving that plane behind, he goes to a new and higher plane. In this way, the progress of dedication is shown in Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam.

Just as in the tangible world there is the sun, the moon, and so many other planets, in the world of faith there is a gradation of planetary systems. We have to scrutinise the scriptures, take advantage of the guidance given by the saints, and understand how the progress of faith to the highest plane is achieved by eliminating the lower planes. And whenever there is any doubt, we should consult with some higher agent in order to make progress.

Spiritual reality is eternal existence, complete consciousness, and ecstasy. Mere existence cannot fulfil us. Even our inner hankering and feeling, consciousness, is not sufficient. We require rasa and ānanda, ecstasy, to give us fulfilment.

Spiritual realisation is also of different types. We have to distinguish between different spiritual conceptions, and our choices improve as we dive deeper into reality. We must die to live. And the consideration of death is also deep, deeper, and deepest. The gradation of higher and lower is always there. If we are to progress, there must be elimination and acceptance. The duties that we find ourselves in the midst of may be left for higher duties.

In this way we must progress, while always consulting the saints and scriptures. They will guide us in the ocean of faith. Otherwise the spiritual world is unknown and unknowable. The Absolute Truth is known and knowable to a particular section, and they have given us direction. If we take advantage of that, then by the guidance of saints and scriptures we shall gradually eliminate our faults. First we must eliminate this mortal existence. Then, we must satisfy our reason, our consciousness. And finally, we must satisfy our heart. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that the heart is the most important thing within us. We should follow the direction of the heart. The highest fulfilment is fulfilment of the heart, not fulfilment of consciousness, or the attainment of eternal existence. Eternal existence has no meaning if it is not conscious, and consciousness has no meaning if it does not give any fulfilment. So sat, eternal existence, cit, consciousness, and ānanda, fulfilment, ecstasy, are the three principles of our ultimate destination. And considering these as our goal, we shall progress further and further in our spiritual life. (LSFTLS, p 8-11) + (see also śloka 554)

We are trying to understand what is what in the spiritual thought-world. We are not enchanted or captured by the mere form. We are interested in the step by step development in spiritual thought. In his Upadeśāmṛta (10), Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has said: karmibhyaḥ parito hareḥ priyatayā vyaktiṁ yayur jñāninas: "Out of many materialists one may be a philosopher. Out of many philosophers, one may become liberated and take to devotional service. Out of many devotees, one may attain pure love of Krsna. He is the best of all." We are interested in understanding this gradation: what is the Virāja river, what is the spiritual sky, the planet of Lord Śiva, the Vaikuṇṭha world of Viṣṇu, Lord Rāma's Ayodhyā, and then Kṛṣṇa in Dwārakā, Mathurā, and Vṛndāvana? We want to know the realistic view of the whole gradation of devotional thought. Krsna shows this gradation in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam - (see also śloka 329) (SGAHG, p 23)

In the conversation between Rāmanānda Rāyā and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu we find it mentioned that Rādhārāṇī's devotional service is categorically higher than that of the gopīs (tebhyas tāḥ paśu-pāla-paṅkaja-dṛśas tābhyo 'pi sā rādhikā ). The kind of serving spirit we find there is unaccountable and inconceivable. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came with that quality of adherence to the truth: unconditional surrender. He came seeking that fortune of serving the truth. If we can seek such a high type of existence, we may consider ourselves most fortunate. Self-surrender is the very basis of our highest fortune. We cannot but surrender ourselves to whatever beautiful and valuable thing we have come across. Our appreciation for any higher thing is shown by the degree of our surrender to that. So, we can measure the quality of the truth we are connected with only by the intensity of our surrender. (TSFSK, p 87)

"In the śāstra it is said that of all types of fruitive workers, he who is advanced in knowledge of the higher values of life is favoured by the Supreme Lord Hari. Out of many such people who are advanced in knowledge, jñānīs, one who is practically liberated by virtue of his knowledge may take to devotional service. He is superior to the others. However, one who has actually attained prema, pure love of Kṛṣṇa, is superior to him. The gopīs are exalted above all the advanced devotees because they are always totally dependent upon Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the transcendental cowherd boy. Among the gopīs, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is the most dear to Kṛṣṇa. Her kuṇḍa (lake) is as profoundly dear to Lord Kṛṣṇa as this most beloved of the gopīs. Who, then, will not reside at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and, in a spiritual body surcharged with ecstatic devotional feelings (aprākṛta-bhāva), render loving service to the Divine Couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, who perform Their aṣṭakālīya-līlā, Their eternal eightfold daily pastimes. Indeed, those who execute devotional service on the banks of Rādhā-kuṇḍa are the most fortunate people in the universe." (U, 10). (Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Mahārāja's translation)

'ke āmi,' 'kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya'
ihā nāhi jāni -- 'kemane hita haya'

"Who am I? Why do the threefold miseries always give me trouble? If I do not know this, how can I be benefited? (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 20.102)

With real knowledge all the general questions such as where we are to go, how to go, and why we should go, are to be solved in order to help others. 'ke āmi,' 'kene āmāya jāre tāpa-traya.' "Who am I? Why am I troubled? And how can I achieve my desired end? These fundamental problems should be solved, and if you have the solution you must give it to others. "My friends, come and solve your problems!" That will be the mentality of a preacher - and found very intensely in an Ācārya.

Someone may have a sincere urge, but may not be completely aware of the danger, and may them self become infected. The proper path follows a fine strategy: with the help of a higher agent one may approach, otherwise not. Without the help of a higher agent, he'll be lost. When someone goes to cure a patient, if they are not able to cure the patient, then the patients' germ will attack them and they will also die with the patient. In that case s/he won't be of any help and s/he should not approach. S/he should inform the higher doctor and ask for better medicine to help the serious patient. In the case of doubt that: "With my meagre medicine and meagre instruments I may not be able to cure this patient," one should not venture to approach the patient, but instead one will appeal to the doctor of a higher position. This is very reasonable.

Following Mahāprabhu's advice to help others, still it may be found in rare cases that the doctor approaches with a good heart to cure the patient, but die themselves. It is also not impossible, but not desirable. (SGD, SGPI, '91, p 21) + (see also śloka 589 & 337)

kecit kevalayā bhaktyā,
aghaṁ dhunvanti kārtsnyena,
nīhāram iva bhāskaraḥ

"Only a rare person who has adopted complete, unalloyed devotional service to Kṛṣṇa can uproot the weeds of sinful actions with no possibility that they will revive. He can do this simply by discharging devotional service, just as the sun can immediately dissipate fog by its rays." (S-B, 6.1.15)

"But most rarely, the devotee who is cent-per-cent absorbed in the service of Lord Vāsudeva annihilates all sins at the root by his practice of exclusive devotion which is indifferent to the above mentioned practices of austerity, etc. As the sun completely destroys a mountain of snow, the exclusive devotees absorbed in the service of Vāsudeva are also similarly able to totally uproot sin by the strength of their devotion, that is, even without exerting themselves." (S-B, 6.1.15)

Such peace can never be found anywhere else. Our proper understanding and adjustment with the highest centre will give us such peace and freedom from anxiety of all types that cannot be achieved by any artificial methods which are devoid of understanding of the highest centre. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 95) + (see also śloka 506)

keśava tuwā jagata
bicitra karama-vipāke
bhava-bana bhrama-i,
pekhaluṅ raṅga bahu citra

tuwā pada-bismṛti,
ā-mara jantraṇā, kleśa-dahane
dohi' jāi kapila,
patañjali, gautama, kaṇabhojī,
jaimini, bauddha āowe dhāi'

tab koi nija-mate,
bhukti, mukti jācato,
pāta-i nānā-bidha
fānd so-sabu--baṣcaka,
tuwā bhakti bahir-mukha,
ghaṭāowe biṣama paramād

bhaṭa so-sabu,
niramilo vividha
pasār daṇḍabat dūrato, bhakativinoda bhelo,
bhakata-caraṇa kori' sār.

keśava tuwā jagata bicitra - "Oh, Lord! Your creation is a very wonderful type, different and variagated."

tuwā pada-bismṛti, ā-mara jantraṇā, pekhaluṅ raṅga bahu citra - "My real pain however, is from out of separation from You. And here I am seeing a diverse character of different types, different sectarian views."

tuwā pada-bismṛti, ā-mara jantraṇā, kleśa-dahane dohi' jāi - "But the real purpose of all these things is only our separation from You.

tuwā pada-bismṛti, ā-mara - "If we are to diagnose properly, only our separate existence from You - separate consciousness - is the root of all this faithfulness."

kapila, patañjali, gautama, kaṇabhojī, jaimini, bauddha āowe dhāi' - "I am suffering from Your separation, but so many doctors of different types have come. They are running to me to cure me;

Kapila - Śaṅkara, Patañjali - Yoga, Gautama, Kaṇada - dhai, kanabhaji; everything produced from atoms - Kaṇada. Bauddha - that is, the dissolution of the mental system ends everything. Jaiminī, although good activity is transient, still, what to do? "Go on doing good activity and try to live happily; there is no other end to life."

tab koi nija-mate, bhukti, mukti jācato - They come apparently to represent You, but, when they give delivery to things, we find that either they advocate enjoyment or salvation; exploitation or salvation, that is in their fund and nothing else! In whatever dress they may couch, but ultimately if it is analysed we find either salvation, pleasure or this total dissolution into indecipherable something?

bhukti, mukti jācato, pāta-i nānā-bidha fānd - But, to take us to that goal, only these two goals, they create various kinds of charming traps to catch us. But, ultimately, they lead us to these two and nothing else. Either the higher planes of life in the subtle world (for the time being) or complete annihilation, effacement.

baimukha-baṣcane, bhaṭa so-sabu - Why are they here? It is the view from the Universal standpoint; they have come to segregate those that are not sincere. Those that are sincere will not be affected by such canvassing. baimukha-baṣcane, they come for only those half-hearted persons and take them away from this camp. Then, the devotees may go on in their own way peacefully. They won't be able to come to disturb them. They are in their own path. That is the underlying purpose of You.

niramilo vividha pasār - They have created multifarious very charming things for their canvassing:

daṇḍabat dūrato, bhakativinoda bhelo, bhakata-caraṇa kori' sār - But anyhow, I might have been saved. I understand that definitely only the feet dust of Your devotees is everything for me - nothing else! I want only the holy feet dust of Your devotee - bhakata-caraṇa - No other ambition I have got! And I have got this sort of yearning by Your Grace. So, Bhaktivinoda discarded them." (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 9)

There are six ancient philosophical systems of India. The first is the Vaiśeṣika philosophy of Kaṇāda Ṛṣī: the atomic theory. According to him, everything is made of atoms. So many different atoms combine and produce this world. Kaṇa means atomic particle. So many atomic particle have combined and produced this world by chance, with no necessity of any reason, rhyme, consciousness, nothing of the kind. And the outcome of these combinations has produced what we find here. That is the opinion of Kaṇāda: it is an atomic world.

Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, the nineteenth century founder of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, sings in one song: (known as Bhakti-pratikūla-bhāva Varjanāṅgīkāra, Renunciation of conduct averse to pure devotion, the first of four songs): he sings: keśava tuwā jagata bicitra.

1) "O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I see that everything is available in Your world, which has an infinite variegated nature."

2) "Separated from You, however, we are always feeling miseries. A continuous flow of suffering has swallowed us from birth to death, and we cannot tolerate the pain of such misery. And so many relief agents: Kapila, Patañjali, Gautama, Kaṇāda, Jaimini, Buddha, are running towards us, offering their solutions."

3) "Kapila has come with the Sāṅkhya philosophical system of analysis saying, "Analyse matter, and you will be free from all this pain." Patañjali has come with yoga, "Hey, jīvātmā! Come to meet Paramātmā! Then all the problems of this world will go away from you. Come in connection with Paramātmā, the Supersoul." This is his recommendation. Gautama comes with logic, nyāya śāstra: "There is one Maker, one Creator, but He is indifferent. He has created this world, finished, and left it. And you must try to live with the help of your reason. Develop your reasoning faculty, a nd be reasonable in all your conduct. Then only can you help yourself in this world. There is no other remedy. Be a good logician, and then you will be able to control the environment with the power of reason, and you will be happy." And Kaṇāda: "By chance atoms have been combined, and with the dissolution of atoms, nothing will remain. Why do you bother? Don't care. What is fate? It is nothing; ignore it. And when the body is dissolved, nothing will remain. Why lament?" Then, with the philosophy of karma-mimaṁsa, Jaimini says: "There may be One who has connected us with this world and our karma, but karma is all in all. He is an indifferent inspector. He has got no hold on us any longer. According to our karma we shall thrive or we shall go down. So, these activities are recommended to you. If you go on with your karma you will be happy. Of course, it cannot be denied; karma phala, the result of karma, diminishes and is ended. But stick to karma, good karma; don't go to bad karma. The result of good karma will be finished, but that does not matter; again go on doing good karma, and the good result will await you in heaven, and you will have a happy life. If anything is friendly to you, it is your karma. There is God, but He is indifferent. He is bound to serve you either good or bad, according to your karma. He has no independence."

Then another class of philosophy is that of Buddha: "Only the combination of different things has created your mental system. With the dissolution of the mental system, nothing remains. So, somehow, we must dissolve the mental system. Practice ahiṁsa, nonviolence, satya, truthfulness, and so on." It is seen that all these philosophers are talking either of renunciation or of exploitation (bhukti, mukti ). And by setting different types of enchanting traps, they arrange to capture the jīvā soul. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura says:"But I have come to realise that these fellows are all cheaters. And they all have this common stand: they have no touch of Your devotion, Your service. There, they are one. They cannot deliver any real good. They are common to oppose Your devotional service and supremacy. And ultimately they leave us in chaos."

4) "But from the ultimate standpoint, I see that they are agents engaged by You to segregate the seriously diseased persons to another ward, for the good of the less seriously diseased patients. It is your arrangement to segregate the hopeless persons to another side for the benefit of the good side. That is Your design, and they are playing at Your hand like so many dolls. They are Your agents and they are also serving You in some way, because nothing is outside You." Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura concludes saying: "I bid goodbye to them all. I feel in my heart that I shall now show respect to all these so-called good agents from a distance, however my only real capital is the dust of the holy feet of Your devotees. I rely on that dust as the source of all my prospects. I seek to put all my energy into taking the dust of their holy lotus feet upon my head. This is everything for me." (TSOBT, p 29-30) + (TSFSK, p 55-58)

khaṭvāṅgo nāma rājarṣir,
jñātveyattām ihāyuṣaḥ
muhūrtāt sarvvam utsṛjya,
gatavān abhayaṁ harim

"The saintly King Khaṭvāṅga, after being informed that the duration of his life would be only a moment more, at once freed himself from all material activities and took shelter of the supreme safety, the Personality of Godhead." (S-B, 2.1.13)

In history we find a precedent in Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga. He had only one moment left of his life but he so perfectly engaged himself that he gave himself forever to the Lord. Without any reservation he surrendered to the feet of the Lord and he achieved the desired end. He achieved Hari. And who is Hari? abhayaṁ, when we get Him, then all apprehension, all fear and every undesirable thing will be vanquished for ever. That is the meaning of 'Hari.' 'Hari' means saccidānanda, eternal existence, perfect consciousness and also the fulfilment of life in ecstatic joy. Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga achieved all that within a moment! (SOTGOD, v 3, p 3)

Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga was invited by the demigods in the higher planets to fight demons, and as a king he fought the battles to the full satisfaction of the demigods. The demigods, being fully satisfied with him, wanted to give him some benediction for material enjoyment, but Mahārāja Khaṭvāṅga, being very much alert to his prime duty, enquired from the demigods about his remaining duration of life. He was not anxious to accumulate material benedictions but to prepare himself for the next life.

kibā vā karite pāre
kāma krodhe sādhakere
yadi haya sādhu-janāra saṅga

Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura said: "If we have the favour of the great personages then what can such types of temptation do to us? They can't do anything. If we work under our guardian and he is very careful, very strong, and very judicious then no temptation can do any harm to us."

If I show myself to be a soldier but always try to remain in the fort then I am not a soldier. But still, to be a soldier for Mahāprabhu, to preach His mission we must be careful. Before going to attend a seriously diseased patient, if we are not strong but are feeling some weakness, then we are to intimate to our Master: "This is my situation and if you think it appropriate, for the time being you may change my field of service." But we also still have to keep in mind that we will need to become sufficiently strong in order to be able to attend to that type of serious patient. If we are preachers, the patients may be prostitutes, dacoits or wealthy men but still we shall have to approach them for the service of Kṛṣṇa, and we must be bold enough and healthy enough for that duty. At the same time we must not be trespassers and on the way take things that are meant for Kṛṣṇa, for that will make us traitors - unfaithful servants.

kibā vā karite pāre
kāma krodhe sādhakere
yadi haya sādhu-janāra saṅga

This attitude is the key to the success of life. Generally, according to our capacity we shall try to move in this way, and at the same time we shall keep in our mind that to attain our highest position it is necessary to be able to deal with all the serious things, even the most serious, otherwise there will be some defect in us. Wholesale conversion must come within us that we are servitors and not masters. (SOTGOD, v 3, p 75)

kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī, śūdra kene naya,
yei kṛṣṇa-tattva vettā sei guru haya.

"Whether a person is a brāhmaṇa, a sannyāsī, or a śūdra, if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa, he is to be accepted as guru." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.127)

We are slaves of the truth. We are beggars for the pure current of truth that is constantly flowing: the fresh current. We are not charmed by any formality. I will bow down my head wherever I find the river of nectar coming down to me. When one is conscious that the Absolute Truth is descending to him from the highest domain, he will think: "I must surrender myself there."

Mahāprabhu says to Rāmānanda Rāya: kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī - "Wherever the truth appears, wherever the nectar of divine ecstasy descends, I shall offer Myself as a slave. That is My direct concern." Whatever form it takes doesn't matter much; the form has some value, but if there is any conflict, the inner spirit of a thing should be given immense value over its external cover. Otherwise, if the spirit has gone away, and the bodily connection gets the upper hand, our so-called spiritual life becomes sahajiyā, a cheap imitation. (SGAHG, p 24)

We are not interested in fashion or form; if we want the real truth, then wherever it will be found, we must accept it. Mahāprabhu says: kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī: "Anyone, regardless of caste or social position, may become guru if he knows the science of Kṛṣṇa." Sometimes the father may not be our guardian. Our uncle may be our guide, and not the father. It is possible. The line of interest is to be considered the most important. So, our line is the śikṣā guru paramparā. I am thankful to those that are helping my spiritual understanding not only in a formal way, but in the real sense. Whoever is untying the knots of our entanglement in this material world, giving us light, and quenching our thirst for inner understanding and satisfaction is our guru. In this way, we live on the contribution of all these spiritual masters. They are all our śikṣā guru's. All the Vaiṣṇava's are more or less our instructing spiritual masters. Our spiritual life may live on their contribution. But we do not accept the imitationists. They are our enemies, asat-saṅga, bad association. They will take us away from the real path of understanding and progress. We must ask our sincere hearts: "From whom do I really get the benefit of spiritual life?" Our sincere conscience will be the best judge, not form. If in an earthen pot there is Ganges water, and in a golden pot there is ordinary water, which should we select? In a case like that, brāhmaṇas, the intelligent class of men, take the holy Ganges water in the earthen pot. So, the substance contained, and not the container, should be given real importance. (SGAHG, p 110-11)

Only one who will exclusively guide me to Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu, with devotion, he is my guru, whatever he may be. Mahāprabhu told Rāmānanda Rāya: "Rāmānanda, why do you shrink away? Do you think that I am a sannyāsī and you are a gṛhastha? You are always hesitating to reply to My questions. Do you think that it does not look well for you to advise a sannyāsī brāhmaṇa? Don't hesitate. You know Kṛṣṇa best. Give Kṛṣṇa to Me. Have courage. By the grace of Kṛṣṇa, you have that capital. Give it to Me. You are a real capitalist. I have come to preach to the world that you are the wealthiest capitalist of the spiritual world. And that must be used for the good of the public. Don't hesitate. Don't shrink away. Come out." In this way, Mahāprabhu was encouraging Rāmānanda Rāya.

Rāmānanda said: "Yes, it is Your capital. You have deposited it with me, and today You have come to withdraw it from me. It is Your property. I understand. And You press and push me to take it out. All right. I am a mere instrument, used by You. Whatever You want me to say, I am ready to say."

But is Rāmānanda Rāya a member of a sampradāya? We are so much indebted to Rāmānanda Rāya, but he is not in the guru paramparā. Still, he is more than many of the gurus who are in the guru paramparā. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is not in the guru paramparā. Should we dismiss Her?

First there should be guru, and then there is the question of paramparā. The question of first importance is who is guru? And then there can be a chain of them coming down. (SGAHG, p 112-13)

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gives us a hint of the necessity of approaching a confidential associate of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī when He says to Rāmānanda Rāya: kibā vipra, kibā nyāsī: "Why do you shrink away from instructing Me? I am learning so much from you. You are well-versed in the affairs of Kṛṣṇa, so you are guru; therefore I am hearing from you. Whoever is the master of that storehouse of Kṛṣṇa-līlā, and whoever can distribute it - he is guru; of this, there is no doubt." (TSFSK, p 134) (see also śloka 426 & 368)

"Wherever there is a drop of that Divine Love, try to get it. And what is the price? Earnest desire for it. No other price but earnest desire, laulyam. It is not to be purchased by any money, or anything else which is acquired by so many formal practices in crores of births. Substance is necessary and not form. Form may be adopted only as much as it may connect me with that higher thing." (GOD, p 21)

ki gāhiva prabhu mahimā tomāra,
āvṛta cetana avidyāra jāle
tomāra mahimā jāne mukta-kula,
tava yaśogāna goloka-maṇḍale

"How can I sing your unlimited transcendental qualities and glories, my beloved master, since my consciousness and intelligence is covered by misconceptions and false conceptions. Your divine glories are actually known by the qualified liberated souls and are sung in adoration in the divine abode of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and Kṛṣṇa, Goloka, by Their circle of intimate associates."

(One of Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva-Goswāmī Mahārāja's many compositions to his gurudeva, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura) (ARO, p 11)

kiṁ karma kim akarmeti,
kavayo 'py atra mohitāḥ
tat te karma pravakṣyāmi,
yaj jñātvā mokṣyase 'śubhāt

"Even very learned men are baffled in ascertaining the nature of action and inaction. Some cannot comprehend action, while others cannot comprehend inaction. Hence, I shall now teach you about such action and inaction, knowing which you will attain liberation from the evil world." (B-g, 4.16)

"Even great scholars are perplexed in understanding what is good and what is bad, what to accept, and what to dismiss. Even great scholars fail to understand their real necessity. This material world is a jungle of perplexities, where the soul has accepted so many different kinds of bodies in different types of consciousness." (SGAHG, p 1) + (see also śloka 195)

kiṁ pramattasya bahubhir,
parokṣair hāyanair iha
varaṁ muhūrttaṁ viditaṁ,
ghaṭate śreyase yataḥ

"Imperceptibly, many, many years pass uselessly in the life of a person intoxicated by mundane pleasures. Better if only for a moment he realises that he is losing valuable time, for he may thus become serious to attain his eternal benefit." (S-B, 2.1.12)

Here, Śukadeva Goswāmī says that one moment is sufficient to solve the whole problem of life, if it is properly utilised in sādhu-saṅga. At all costs, try to utilise the opportunity of sādhu-saṅga, the association of the agent of Kṛṣṇa. What is the necessity of living for ages and ages if we are unconscious of our own interest? One moment properly utilised is sufficient to solve the whole problem of our life, for which we are eternally wandering about in this plane. We must be wakeful to our personal interest, not negligent. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 35) + (see also śloka 417)

kīrttana prabhāve, smaraṇa haibe,
se kāle bhajana nirjjana sambhava

"Internal remembrance can occur by the power of kīrttana, and only then is solitary service possible."

There are some Ācāryas who hold that smaraṇa, internal remembrance, is of prime importance as a devotional service to the Lord, above even kīrttana or chanting. There are some who are of that opinion because smaraṇa is exclusively connected with consciousness, or more concerned with the subtle part of our existence; so that should be the most effective form of sādhana, or means to the end. But our Guru Mahārāja (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura), and Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī, and also Kavirāja Goswāmī Prabhu, laid stress on kīrttana - especially for the beginners. Guru Mahārāja says this in his song Vaiṣṇava ke? ('Who is a Vaiṣṇava?'): kīrttana prabhāve: nirjjana-bhajana or smaraṇa, exclusive solitary devotion unconscious of the environment is not at all possible for beginners. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 21-2) (see also ślokas 577, 217, 138, 85, & 416)

In his Caitanya-Śikṣāmṛta, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has clarified that there are two types of devotees in the stage just prior to attaining the highest plane of paramahaṁsa or uttamādhikāra. The devotees who cross the middle stage (madhyama adhikāra ) and reach towards occupying the highest position are called devotees in the stage of premārurukṣu. They are classified into two sections, goṣṭhyānandī and viviktānandī (or bhajanānandī ). The goṣṭhyānandī are always by nature, engaged in preaching. They live among the Vaiṣṇavas. The viviktānandī prefer doing bhajana in a solitary position, they take to smaraṇa or nirjjana-bhajana - a solitary life of worship, without mixing with the environment. There they chant the Holy Name of the Lord, or think about the Lord's pastimes (līlā ).

These two groups, goṣṭhyānandī and viviktānandī, have both been mentioned as being situated on a high platform of devotional service, just before the stage of pure love of Godhead. When they have completely attained the highest stage, there is no qualitative difference between one and the other: they are one and the same. It does not prove that one is superior to the other. The viviktānandīs generally like secluded life and go on with smaraṇa; and those who are of the goṣṭhyānandī type go on with kīrttana, preaching, and also attain the highest position without coming to the school of exclusive smaraṇa. Those who have attained the highest plane are known as premārūḍha. Guru Mahārāja clearly said that when we are in a lower position, smaraṇa is injurious. Rather, we should take to kīrttana. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 26-7)

We have to understand the relationship between the cause and effect. The cause and its effect are of different types. Even the inner cause and the outer cause may have different positions. The body may be disturbed, but the mind may not be. The mind may be disturbed, the soul may not be. By this we are to understand the difference between cause and effect, subtle and gross, matter and spirit. When the environment is seen with the correct vision, everything will help encourage and excite us in our service to the centre. We are living in an organic whole, a system. And that system is composed of the owner and the owned, the possessor of the potency and the different types of potencies, (śakti-śaktimān ). And He's receiving the different types of services from all His paraphernalia.

Amongst the servitors of Kṛṣṇa, some are inclined towards Rādhārāṇī, some towards Candrāvalī and some are in the middle. Some devotees are more attracted to Vraja līlā, some to Gaura līlā, and some are in the middle. This is the nature of the Lord's pastimes. These differences will exist eternally. Some devotees have a preaching nature, whereas others may be of a secluded type, but that does not mean that all who are of the secluded nature are lower and all who are of the preaching nature are higher. We can't say that. They should be judged according to their surrender and acceptance of Kṛṣṇa.

Whatever work Kṛṣṇa wants to do through them, they will perform in surrender to Him. Therefore, it cannot be said that one who does not have the preaching tendency is a lower Vaiṣṇava. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has clearly grouped these two sections of devotees in the stage of those who are just about to occupy the highest plane. There are two groups: one of a preaching type, another of a solitary type, but according to Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, we cannot make the distinction that one is higher and the other is lower.

According to the desire of Kṛṣṇa, they will do His will. The devotee whom Kṛṣṇa wants to preach will do that work, but those who do not like to work in that way cannot be called unqualified. Those that like preaching will naturally speak in favour of the preaching camp. Because they are inspired by Kṛṣṇa to do that service, they are successful. Kṛṣṇa says in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.17.27 - see śloka 4): ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān: "It is My inspiration that can really deliver the fallen souls." Whomever Kṛṣṇa will accept can understand Him - others cannot, yam evaiṣa vṛnute tena labhyas - see śloka 584). When Kṛṣṇa delegates power sufficiently to a Vaiṣṇava, and wants to deliver many fallen souls through him, it takes place by His will. (see śloka 335)

Vaiṣṇava ke? (Who is a Vaiṣṇava?)

duṣṭa mana! tumi kisera vaiṣṇava? pratiṣṭhāra tare, nirjanera ghare,
tava "harināma" kevala "kaitava:" jaḍera pratiṣṭhā, śūkarera viṣṭhā,
jāna nā ki tāhā "māyāra vaibhava" kanaka-kāminī, divasa-yāminī,
bhāviyā ki kāja, anitya se saba:tomāra kanaka, bhogera janaka,
kanakera dvāre sevaha "mādhava." kāminīra kāma, nahe tava dhāma,
tāhāra mālika kevala "yādava." pratiṣṭāśā-taru, jaḍa-māyā-maru
nā pela "rāvana" yūjhiyā "rāghava": vaiṣṇavī pratiṣṭhā, tāte kara niṣṭhā,
tāhā nā bhajile labhibe gaurava. harijana-dveṣa, pratiṣṭhāśā kleśa,
kara kena tabe tāhāra gaurava. vaiṣṇavera pāche, prātiṣṭhāśā āche,
tā'ta, kabhu nahe "anitya-vaibhava." se hari sambandha, śūnya-māyāgandha,
tāhā kabhu naya "jaḍera-kaitava:" pratiṣṭhā-caṇḍālī, nirjanatā-jāla
ubhaye jāniha māyika-raurava. "kīrtana chāḍiba, pratiṣṭhā māgiba,"
ki kāja ḍhuṣḍiyā tādṛśa gaurava: mādhavendra purī, bhāva-ghare chūri,
ki karila kabhu sadāi jānava. tomāra pratiṣṭā, "śūkarera viṣṭhā,"
tāra saha sama, kabhu nā mānava: matsaratā-vaśe, tūmi jaḍarase,
majecha chāḍīyā kīrtana-sauṣṭhava. tāi duṣṭa mana, "nirjana-bhajana,"
pracāricha chale "kūyogī-vaibhava" prabhu sanātane, prabhu yatane
śīkṣā dila yāhā cinta sei saba sei du'ṭi kathā, bhūla' nā sarvathā,
ucchaisvare kara "harināma-rava" "phalgu" āra "yukta," "baddha" āra "mukta,"
kabhu nā bhāviha 'ekākāra saba "kanaka-kāminī," pratiṣṭhā-bāghinī,"
chāḍiyāche yāre sei ta' vaiṣṇava: sei "anāsakta," sei "śuddha-bhakta,"
saṁsāra tathāya pāya parābhava. "yathāyogya-bhoga," nāhi tathā roga,
"anāsakta" sei, ki āra kahaba "āsakti rahita" "sambandha-sahita,"
viṣaya-sāmuha sakali "mādhava." se "yukta-vairāgya, "tāhā ta' "saubhagya,"
tāhāi jaḍete harira vaibhava: kīrtane yāhāra, "pratiṣṭhā-sambhāra,"
tāhāra sampatti kevala "kaitava." "viṣaya-mumukṣu," "bhogera bubhukṣu,"
duye tyaja mana, dui - "avaiṣṇava" "kṛṣṇera sambandha," aprākṛta skandha,
kabhu nahe tāhā jaḍera sambhava" "māyāvādī jana," kṛṣṇetara mana,
mukta abhimāne se ninde vaiṣṇava vaiṣṇavera dāsa, tava bhakti-āśa,
kena vā ḍākicha nirjana-āhava. ye "phālgur-vairāgī," kahe, nije, "tyāgī,"
se nā pāre kabhu haite "vaiṣṇava." hari-pada chāḍi', nirjanatā bāḍi',
labhiyā ki phala, "phalgu" se vaibhava. "rādhā-nitya-jana," tāhā chāḍi' mana,
kena vā nirjana-bhajana-kaitava. vrajavāsi-gaṇa, pracāraka-dhana,
pratiṣṭhā-bhikṣuka tā'ra nahe "śava." prāṇa āche tā'ra, se hetu pracāra,
pratiṣṭhāśā-hīna "kṛṣṇa-gātha" saba. śrī-dayita dāsa, kīrtanete āśa,
kara uccaiḥ-svare "hari-nāma-rava."
kīrttana prabhāve, smaraṇa haibe, se kāle bhajana nirjjana sambhava

"O wicked mind! What kind of Vaiṣṇava are you? You go off by yourself to chant Kṛṣṇa's Name in a solitary place, but your "chanting" is only for name and fame (pratiṣṭhā ). It is nothing but hypocrisy. Such mundane name and fame is hogshit; it is an allurement of māyā. Day and night you think of nothing but women and money. Why waste your time meditating on those things which are all temporary? You think that money is the father of enjoyment, but money is not meant for your pleasure. When you claim wealth as your own, it only creates within you a lust for enjoyment. Your money should serve Kṛṣṇa, Who is Mādhava, the husband of the Goddess of Fortune and the enjoyer of all wealth.

Satisfying the desire of beautiful women is never your domain; it is meant to be satisfied by their proprietor - Yādava, Kṛṣṇa. He alone can fulfil the hankering of their hearts. Rāvana fought Rāma in order to achieve the highest prestige (pratiṣṭhā ), but that prestige was only an illusion. His hope for prestige had grown as mighty as a great tree within the forest of desires within his heart. But the soul can find no cooling shade there, for the "forest" is really only a mirage in the desert of material illusion. Don't be like Rāvana, who wanted to enjoy the position of Rāma. Accept the position of the servant of Viṣṇu. Take your stand upon the firm foundation of pure devotional service, giving up all your hopes for false prestige, and thus become established as a genuine Vaiṣṇava. If you don't worship the position of the Vaiṣṇava, you will be doomed.

Those who go to great trouble in hopes for prestige as great devotees, are envious of devotees and are rewarded for their trouble with a hellish life. The genuine fame which follows a Vaiṣṇava is not the same as the temporary fame which follows pretenders. The fame that follows a Vaiṣṇava does not stink of māyā. It has no trace of the treachery of pretentious impostors. The self-promotion and fame of a pseudo-Vaiṣṇava is like a dog-eating whore: it is unchaste and unprincipled. Their solitary bhajana is counterfeit. O mind, know that both the artificial fame and bogus bhajana of these pseudo-devotees is a hellish phantasmagoria. They think: "I shall give up the kīrtana of the Holy Name and pray for fame and position." But what is the use of such "fame?" O mind, know for certain that Mādhavendra Purī never cheated himself in this way by robbing himself of his own internal treasure and proclaiming his greatness to the world. O mind, your fame is hogshit. No one shall ever be the equal of Mādhavendra Purī, so why do you wish to compete with him for fame? Under the control of envy, you have drowned yourself in the ocean of mundane rasa and material enjoyment. The only thing you have truly renounced is the sublime kīrtana of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa in the association of devotees.

O wicked mind! Your so-called solitary worship is preached and practised by wicked impostors who impersonate devotees for nefarious purposes. With great care you should consider what Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught Sanātana Goswāmī. Loudly chant the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa and never forget the two most valuable things He taught Sanātana: phalgu and yukta, "real and apparent renunciation" and baddha and mukta, "freed and enslaved." Never mistake one for the other, or to think them to be the same.

Money, women, and fame are like tigers. A Vaiṣṇava gives them up and keeps them at a distance. Such a devotee, who is without material attachments, is a śuddha-vaiṣṇava. Such a devotee has conquered over the material world and its illusions of enjoyment. Accepting only what is needed in the service of the Lord, he remains free from the diseased mentality of material enjoyment and dedicates himself in the Lord's service. Free from all false attachments, he sees everything in relationship to Kṛṣṇa, understanding that everything is meant for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

He knows that to engage everything in the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is real renunciation. Because he understands that the true position of renunciation is in dedicating everything to Kṛṣṇa, he is truly fortunate. Although he lives within the material world, he dwells within the revelation of Kṛṣṇa's pastimes, and experiences the extension of the spiritual world within the material world.

On the other hand, one who chants the Holy Name of the Lord for name and fame is simply a hypocrite and a cheater. His renunciation is false. O mind! Give up the association of both those who want liberation and those who want material enjoyment. They are all nondevotees.

What is in connection with Kṛṣṇa is aprakṛta: non-material and supramundane. The divine connection that things in connection with Kṛṣṇa have should never be seen as material. By virtue of its divine connection with Kṛṣṇa a thing becomes transcendental. It is therefore impossible for it to be anything less than divine. The māyāvādīs can never think of Kṛṣṇa. Proud of their piety, they think themselves liberated and blaspheme the Vaiṣṇavas. O mind, your only prayer is to be the servant of the devotees. Make this prayer your only contemplation. Why do you want to go off by yourself and leave the devotees? A phalgu-vairāgī does not understand that the true meaning of renunciation is devotion. In the dress of a devotee, such an impostor calls himself a tyāgī, a great renouncer, but he is only a great pretender. He will never be a true Vaiṣṇava. Giving up the lotus feet of Śrī Hari, he leaves the Lord's service behind in order to perform his "worship" in a solitary place. Having left the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the association of the devotees, what will he get by becoming famous as a humble man? Those who, in a false spirit of renunciation, give up the service of Kṛṣṇa, the association of Vaiṣṇavas and the order of the guru to execute solitary bhajana may sit in their hut and chant, but the only fruit they get is false. What is the use of such foolishness?

O mind! Always engage yourself in the service of Śrī Rādhā, and keep aloof from the snake of material enjoyment. There is nothing glorious about performing "kīrtana" simply for name and fame. You are the eternal servant of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Why then do you renounce Her for the cheating process of nirjana-bhajana, solitary worship? Why do you run after false renunciation and so give up the service of Śrī Rādhā? The residents of Vṛndāvana are the real object of preaching. They do not aspire for false prestige, nor are they devoid of life, as are the false renunciates. Those who have spiritual vitality can preach and instil spiritual life in their audience. Preaching is the symptom of vitality. One who preaches the message of Kṛṣṇa consciousness is devoid of hopes for prestige.

Śrī Dayita Dāsa, (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura) the humble servant of Śrī Rādhā and Her beloved Kṛṣṇa always hopes for kīrtana, and begs everyone to sing the Holy Name of the Lord aloud. By the influence of such kīrtana, one may gradually come to the exalted stage of smaranam, wherein one constantly remembers the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa within one's mind. Nirjana-bhajana, solitary devotion, is conceivable only after attaining this advanced level of kṛṣṇa-bhakti."

(Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura's "Vaiṣṇava ke ?" (`Who is a Vaiṣṇava?'), Mahājana-racita gītã, from Gauḍīya Kanthahara, 3.24 )

klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha,
naitat tvayy upapadyate
kṣudraṁ hṛdaya-daurbalyaṁ,
tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa

"O son of Kuntī, give up this cowardice, for it does not become you. O great hero, cast off this petty weakness of heart, and arise for battle!" (B-g, 2.3)

"Awake, arise from such tamasic, ignorant program. What have you accepted? A womanly program you are trying to follow! Cowardice, the program that you advocate is nothing but cowardice!"

Arjuna said: "It is not a good thing in our calculation; rather, I shall eat by begging, I shall collect my food by begging in the street rather than kill these persons whom I regard so much from the connection of my body or my education. Droṇācārya, Bhīṣma, we should rather revere them, show reverence to them. And today, we shall kill them? What is this? I can't understand such religion! I can't follow; rather, I shall beg from door to door for my living. I can't do this. My valour is only to kill these revered persons of my own? So that I am a big hero? Is this any reason to kill one's own revered superiors? I can't……" Outwardly, of course, this is very justifiable. How was that?

Kṛṣṇa told him: "This is body connection, Arjuna, selfish connection. But religion, varṇāśrama-dharma, is based on a higher principle of life. This is all weakness! This is body connection. You are not this body! You must get out of this body consciousness. Stern and hard practises must be undergone to get out of this body connection. 'This is my own, this is my guru, this is my……' All worldly consideration. But, religion is above that! Get out of this body connection - wholesale!"

klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha, naitat tvayy upapadyate. "This is only the weakness of your heart." aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ, prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase - (B-g, 2.11 - see śloka 59)

"O Arjuna, you are mourning for that which is unworthy of grief, and yet speaking words of wisdom. But the wise lament neither for the living nor the dead."

"What is this? This killing and being killed? This is only material, but ātmā, your soul, your real self, is created for a higher plane of life. Body consideration, good-bad, in body consideration, in the plane of exploitation - all false. This is all false. You will have to give it up wholesale! And then you will awaken in the kingdom of soul."

klaibyaṁ mā sma gamaḥ pārtha, naitat tvayy upapadyate "It does not befit you!" kṣudraṁ hṛdaya-daurbalyaṁ, tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa "This is sheer weakness of your heart!" tyaktvottiṣṭha parantapa - "Give them up, wholesale (the weaknesses), and raise yourself above this level of, 'this is mine, this is others,' all these things - this is poor consciousness! You must be above this. Religion is above that - pure religion. It is all false here - from separate consciousness. 'This is good - this is bad.' But that separate consciousness in you; it must be given up! Forever! And the universal flow - that must be adopted. Absolute good. From there, the flow is coming. And that must be found out and accepted. That is līlā. That will fit everyone and give real help. This body connection is our diseased condition!" (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 4-5)

kleśa-ghnī śubhadā mokṣa-,
laghutā-kṛt sudurllabhā
śrī-kṛṣṇākarṣiṇī ca sā

"Uttamā-bhakti, the purest devotion, is the vanquisher of all sin and ignorance, and the bestower of all auspiciousness; liberation is belittled in the presence of such devotion, which is very rarely attained, the embodiment of the deepest ecstasy, and the attractor of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself." (B.r.s, Pūrvva, 1.17)

Even if we achieve liberation from all the undesirable forces around us, pure devotion undermines this position of liberation (mokṣa-laghutā-kṛt ). We may be a liberated soul, free from the reactions and apprehensions of the future, but association with the positive engagement, bhakti, is much more difficult to attain (sudurllabhā ). To obtain a "passport" is not the same as securing a "visa." One may have a passport, but in order to secure a visa it will have to be necessary to undergo more trouble. In other words, we may be released by the reactionary plane, yet we may not have entrance into the higher plane. To have entrance there is far beyond this liberation. The qualification to eagerly aspire to give oneself wholly for the other plane of life is hardly to be found in anyone. Such a person has no motive to acquire anything for the plane in which he had previously been living for so long.

Furthermore, if he is appointed to be a preacher, an agent to do relief work here, he will execute that duty solely under the appointment of, and in the interest of, that higher plane, without any attachment that "I shall bring some good to the people." He will think, "I must put myself wholly at the disposal of the higher plane, and I shall not be eager to become an ācārya, a spiritual master. Otherwise, there is the danger of committing nāmāparādha, offence against the Lord's Name."

Aśraddadhāne vimukhe 'py aśṛṇvati, yaś copaddeśaḥ śiva-nāmāparādhaḥ. It is an offence to give the Holy Name to the faithless. It betrays the motivation to gain a 'position' in the higher sphere. This is a type of mundane attachment, a spiritual tradery, as is the habit of caste 'Goswāmīns' and other spurious lines. Rather, the healthy attitude should be: "If I am appointed from above, then I shall serve as appointed, and that too, only for the interest of those who have appointed me. I am entering that rank solely for the interest of that higher land." That should be the pure and perfect approach.

So, with a passport alone we cannot hope to enter easily into that higher plane which is sudurllabhā, very rarely attained. But if we can enter, we shall feel sāndrānanda-viśeṣātmā, "Yes, the very plane itself is most happy and full of independent spirit. I desired to secure a 'visa' to enter this country, and now I find that it really is as promised. I directly perceive that I am breathing in a far higher, sweeter atmosphere - a homely atmosphere that far excels anything of my previous soil."

And finally, śrī-kṛṣṇākarṣiṇī ca sā: Kṛṣṇa Himself, Reality the Beautiful, who attracts the hearts of all - even He is attracted by the dedication of His surrendered servitor. Neither power nor knowledge have any play in this domain, but the Sweet Absolute is captured by the love of His devotee." (B.r.s, Pūrvva, 1.17) + (SOTGOD, v 1, p 50-2)

Kleśa-ghnī: all the afflicting tendencies in your mind gradually diminish. So many things - the proposal of subtle finer mundane happiness may come to try and dissuade you from this path. They are obstacles, and your sincere negligence to them develops. Śubhadā: all auspiciousness is given to you.

Mokṣa-laghutā-kṛt: the third result is that you shall trace that mukti, the result of mere renunciation, that is, relief from the influence of the negative side, now appears to be a very small achievement. The consciousness will awaken in you that mere withdrawal from the negative side is a very insignificant achievement.

Mokṣa-laghutā-kṛt, sudurllabhā: if you can only feel or experience that the goal of renunciation is insignificant, it is of a lower order, does that mean you will get bhakti? No. There is no such guarantee. Even at that stage, bhakti remains far away from you.

Sāndrānanda-viśeṣātmā: then if somehow by chance you come in connection with that reality, you will find some fundamental awakenment that infinite happiness is approaching you.

Śrī-kṛṣṇākarṣiṇī ca sā: and further, if you can continue your devotional activity in a proper line, you will find that He is coming to you as Kṛṣṇa Himself, in the conception of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. The Kṛṣṇa concept is coming to you as Kṛṣṇa Himself.

'Kṛṣṇa' means the full embodiment of all types of ecstasy. That is approaching, or you are being allowed to have His nearer conception, as the fulfilment of you devotional activities of life. In this way, things progress. So die to live - dive deep into reality - jñāna-śūnya-bhakti. The area of surrender is so high, noble, great and fulfilling. That can come. That can only take us in the plane of love and affection. If we hope to see and to live in that plane of affection and love, not this mundane affection and love, but the love of the Absolute, then we must accept complete surrender at His disposal, at His mercy. The reaction comes as love. With your highest contribution of faith towards Him, He will be aroused and He will come to accept you on His lap. So, no risk - no gain; and that risk is towards the whole: devotion proper. It is not merely a sum total of some certain activities, or a type of study - never. Practically it is concerned with the soul, with the inner existence of us. Giving and taking must take place from the innermost part of our heart. It is not a game to play with! No superficial knowledge or bodily or mental labour can touch it. It is the dealing of the heart to heart. And that is wholesale. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 203-5)

korila pippalikhanda kapha nibārite
ulatiyā āro kapha baḍila dehete

"Oh, I came to make a drastic treatment of the cold, but I see that what I came to give, that has an opposite reaction. The highest type of medicine I administered, but I find that the patient is such, that this is increasing his disease. Then what to do? I came to work out relief for the people, and the people they are standing against Me, the well-wisher, the relief giver. Then, what may be the remedy for them?"

Before His sannyāsa, one day when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was chanting: "gopī, gopī, gopī," taking the Name and one tantric came to give some advice to Him: "Paṇḍita! You scholar, you know the śāstra, You were chanting 'gopī, gopī,' what is the good effect of that? You should chant Kṛṣṇa-Nāma. It is mentioned in the śāstra, that if you chant the Name of Kṛṣṇa you get some benefit; we find this in the śāstra, many Purāṇas. But why do you chant gopī, gopī ?"

Mahāprabhu collected a rod and began to attack him: "You fellow, you are coming from the opposite camp. You come to convert the followers of Kṛṣṇa?" He ran to beat him, to give him a good beating. He fled, and then began a conspiracy in order to give a good fight to Mahāprabhu.

"He may be a child of the noble family, but we are not less. We do not hold a lesser position that He. We are also coming from a good society, and a good family - and He will come to punish us, to beat us? We shall also see how to beat Him."

Then Mahāprabhu took another course: korila pippalikhanda kapha nibārite: "I shall become a sannyāsī. They think that I'm one of them. They have come from a respectable family, I'm also coming from a respectable family, as if I'm one of them. But I must have to take another chance to help them." So, He went to take sannyāsa. He was taking the name of "gopī, gopī,” and neglecting Kṛṣṇa. When He was advised to chant the Name of Kṛṣṇa, He was enraged. What is the underlying thought here? "Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa," we may chant the Name, but the underlying, background purpose, should be judged. But still there may be some effect sometimes, not always. (SVT, v 2, #1, Jan-Feb. '93, p 4) + (see also śloka 114)

koṭi-jñāni-madhye haya eka-jana 'mukta'
koti-mukta-madhye 'durlabha' eka kṛṣṇa-bhakta

"Out of many millions of such wise men, one may actually become liberated, and out of many millions of such liberated persons, a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is very difficult to find." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.148)

"Out of many liberated persons, a pure devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is extremely rare." koti-mukta-madhye 'durlabha' eka kṛṣṇa-bhakta. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is an internal thing, and those who cannot see the internal truth will make much of the external cover. We do not support that. Rather we are interested in the real spirit. (SGAHG, p 28)

koṭi-kāmadhenu-patira chāgi yaiche mare
ṣaḍ-aiśvarya-pati kṛṣṇera māyā kibā kare?

"If a person possessing millions of wish-fulfilling cows loses one she-goat, he does not consider the loss. Kṛṣṇa owns all six opulences in full. If the entire material energy is destroyed, what does He lose?" (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 15.179)

Māyā is not a necessary part of existence, and by Kṛṣṇa's will māyā may be finished, and if He so desires, again recreated. He can make or mar. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written in his Tattva-sūtra, that by His will, even the existence of the jīva-soul may be extinguished. This is not the general case, but still Absolute Power is with Him. Everything is designed and destined by Him, that is the expression of swarūp-śakti. (C, v 1, # 6, Spr. '94, p 9) + (see also śloka 251)

koṭiṣv api mahā-mune

We must not be overconfident of our previous acquisition - so much I have acquired, my progress is so much. I must not be satisfied with my self-certificate, self-satisfaction, the certificate of my own making. Mahāprabhu Himself said: "I am taking the Name, I am showing so many tears in the Name of Kṛṣṇa. But why? It is all a false show! na prema-gandho 'sti. (see śloka 324). My crying is only a show to canvas others to see what a great devotee I am." So much you are to disbelieve your own self that you are a devotee. In this way we must be very careful, very, very careful.

koṭiṣv api mahā-mune. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī and Narottama Dāsa Ṭhākura were seeing: "The whole world is absolved from sin, but I am neglected, I am left as the only exception. I am so low and ill fated that I am rejected from that most benevolent infinite līlā. I alone am rejected. I could not utilise this great fortunate wave."

This should be the real tendency of a genuine Vaiṣṇava who has actually come in relation with the Infinite. Whenever the finite comes in touch with the Infinite his temperament cannot be otherwise. "I am empty, I don't get anything." That should be the temperament. I feel emptiness within me. I can't get the goal. My life is frustrated. Neither do I get a drop of grace from the Lord, and the world, of course, I have left. So both sides gone. I have no alternative, O Lord. If You don't accept me then I am undone. Please, just make me the servant of the servant. Give the remotest connection to me. Graciously give the most distant connection of Yourself to me. Don't leave me, my Lord. I can't tolerate the craving for You. This heart-felt, heart-rending prayer must come to the Vaiṣṇava devotee of the Lord. Onlookers will find that he has got a peep of the fortune. The charm for the world outside is fully eliminated for that person, from the core of his heart. And in the near future his heart will be filled with the nectar of the grace of Kṛṣṇa. (GOD, p 20) + (see also śloka 96)

muktānām api siddhānāṁ nārāyaṇa-parāyaṇa
sudurlabhaḥ praśāntātmā koṭiṣv api mahā-mune

"O great sage, among many millions who are liberated and perfect in knowledge of liberation, one may be a devotee of Lord Nārāyaṇa, or Kṛṣṇa. Such devotees, who are fully peaceful, are extremely rare." (S-B, 6.14. 5) + (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.150)

kṛṣṇa bhakta haya yadi balavāna
bidhīra kalama kāṭhi kore khān khān

Lord Brahmā says: "If a devotee of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is very powerful, he can easily cut into pieces that which is written down as his destiny." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 21)

kṛṣṇa-bhakta--niṣkāma, ataeva 'śānta'
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī--sakali 'aśānta'

"Because a devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa is desireless, he is peaceful. Fruitive workers desire material enjoyment, jñānis desire liberation, and yogīs desire material opulence; therefore they are all lusty and cannot be peaceful." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.149)

Our infinite, fleeting, and organised desires are considered dust, and our hearts and minds are covered with layers and layers of this dust. Therefore we cannot see things properly; they cannot properly reflect in our mind because it is covered with the infinite ordinary desires of this mundane world (bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī--sakali 'aśānta' ). So the first effect of śrī kṛṣṇa saṅkīrtana is the cleansing of the mind. (TGVODL, p 91) + (see also śloka 108)

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-janma-mūla haya `sādhu-saṅga'
kṛṣṇa-prema janme, teṅho punar mukhya aṅga

"The root cause of devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa is association with advanced devotees. Even when one's dormant love for Kṛṣṇa awakens, association with devotees is still most essential." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 22.83)

"By associating with the sādhus and gaining their mercy one can get Kṛṣṇa bhakti right up to the stage of Kṛṣṇa prema. Furthermore the practitioners very life depends on the association of the sādhus. Without sādhu-saṅga it is not possible to receive the real seeds of bhakti." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 57) + (see also ślokas 442, 247 & 419)

kṛṣṇa bhakti kaile sarva karma kṛta haya

We should have faith that if we do our duty towards the Absolute, then all our duties to the environment in all directions are automatically done. (TSFSK, p 49)

'śraddhā' - sabde - viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya

"By rendering transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa, all subsidiary activities are automatically performed. Śraddhā means viśvāsa, faith, sudṛḍha, very firm and strong, unflinching faith. Faith in sādhu-śāstra-guru, faith in Kṛṣṇa. This is faith. If someone develops Kṛṣṇa bhakti, all their activities are finished, kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya. Nothing is left out if you have faith." (C-c, Madhya, 22.62)

By satisfying Kṛṣṇa, the whole universe becomes satisfied, for one who is dear to Kṛṣṇa is dear to the whole universe (see also śloka 591). Just as by watering the root of a tree all the leaves and branches are automatically nourished, by fulfilling one's duty towards Lord Kṛṣṇa all one's duties are automatically fulfilled (see also śloka 600).

kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ,
kriyatāṁ yadi kuto 'pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ,
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate

"Pure devotional service to Kṛṣṇa cannot be obtained by performing pious activities even for millions of births. It can be purchased only by paying one price: intense eagerness. Wherever it is available, one must purchase it immediately." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.70)

Although it is the duty of justice to seek qualifications, mercy has no such limits. Divine mercy does not care for any qualifications, but is always ready to compensate the weak and unfit. Only one thing is required: our sincere eagerness to receive mercy. No qualifications from one's previous life will help one to attain Kṛṣṇa consciousness; only eagerness and faith are important. And to know what is the effect of Kṛṣṇa consciousness - see also śloka 93) + (TGVODL, p 21) (SOTGOD, v 3, p 57: see also ślokas 442, 245 & 419)

Those who are on the path of raga bhajana, divine love and attraction, find that the only way, the only thing which can guide us is spontaneous desire. laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ. The only price is earnest desire and nothing else. kṛṣṇa-bhakti-rasa-bhāvitā matiḥ, matiḥ kriyatāṁ yadi kuto 'pi labhyate. Rāmānanda Rāya says to Mahāprabhu: "Anywhere you find it, try to purchase it at any price." The pure inclination towards the service of Kṛṣṇa, the inner-most tendency to want Kṛṣṇa, to get Him, the earnest desire to have Him - a drop of that desire for the divine attraction, anywhere you find it, one must try to purchase it at any price. You may acquire it anywhere. It may be from a brāhmaṇa or from anyone. It does not matter about the form. (GOD, p 21) + (see also ślokas 232 & 510)

kṛṣṇa bhuli sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra dukḥa

"The constitutional nature of the jīva soul is that of an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa; the jīva soul is a manifestation of divinity which is one with Kṛṣṇa and different from Him. The jīva souls are the marginal potency of the Lord. Though in reality they are servants of Kṛṣṇa, from time immemorial, they have been engaged in misconception, as exploiting agents." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 20.117).

Anādi means that which has no beginning. When we enter the land of exploitation, we come within the factor of time, space and thought. And when we come to exploit, action and reaction begins in the negative land of loan. Although we strive to become masters, really we become losers. (TSFSK, p 36) + (see also śloka 200 & 260)

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa nāma-kīrtanaṁ
prema-dhāma-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

"The Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever underlying compassionate intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate He distributed the sweet transcendental Names of the Supreme Lord, singing Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa he...as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples and visited homesteads. During His sacred pilgrimage sometimes the Lord would be carried away by some indescribable, ineffable, divine exaltation and would sing "Rāma Rāma" and dance gracefully with most charming gestures and rhythms. Regardless of any time, place, circumstance, or personal qualification, He magnanimously delivered all those in South India who came in contact with Him by inspiring them to chant Kṛṣṇa's Holy Names with pure devotion. I sing with joy the unending glories of my golden Lord Gaurasundara, the beautiful divine abode o f pure love." (PDDS, 22) + (SBRBM, p 9)

kṛṣṇa-līlā mano-vṛtti sakhī āśa-pāśa

"Śrīmatī Rādhikā serves Her divine Lord in all capacities as Her natural devotional service. She takes a place on the chest of Kṛṣṇa or lays down on a luxurious flowerbed only for His pleasure. As the topmost beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhikā is also constantly served with adoration by all the damsels of Vraja because She alone is superlative to all of them combined. She is surrounded or accompanied by Her intimate sakhīs who are actually personified manifestations of different kinds of intimately pleasant pastimes of Kṛṣṇa." They are of eight kinds; 1 - abhisarika, 2 - vāsaka-sajjā, 3 - utkaṇṭhitā, 4 - khaṇḍitā, 5 - vipralabdhā, 6 - kalahāntaritā, 7 - proṣita-bhartikā, and, 8 - svādhīna-bhartikā." (ARO, p 17)

kṛṣṇa-līlā amṛta-sara,
tāra śata śata dhara,
daśa-dike vahe yāhā haite,
se caitanya-līlā haya,
sarovara akṣaya,
mano-haṁsa carāha' tahate

"There is no doubt that we find the highest nectarine taste of rasa in Kṛṣṇa-līlā. But what is Gaura-līlā? In Gaura-līlā, the nectar of Kṛṣṇa-līlā is not confined to a limited circle, but is being distributed on all sides. It is just as if from all ten sides of the nectarine lake of Kṛṣṇa-līlā hundreds of streams are flowing." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 25.271) + (TGVODL, p 26) + (see also śloka 601)

What is Kṛṣṇa-līlā? It is the real essence of nectar. It is the gist of sweetness, happiness, and ecstasy. The sweetness of the sweetest thing that can ever be conceived is represented in Kṛṣṇa-līlā. Then what is Caitanya-līlā? In Caitanya-līlā, that sweet nectar of Kṛṣṇa-līlā is flowing in all ten directions in hundreds of streams as if from a fountain. That fountain is Caitanya-līlā. (TGVODL, p 172)

Although Caitanya-līlā appears later than Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Caitanya-līlā is the source, the foundation. We see that Kṛṣṇa appeared in Dvāpara-yuga, in the previous age, and then Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared later, in Kali-yuga. Still, Their līlā is eternal. First there is the giver, then the gift. And the gift of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is that in all the ten directions, He is distributing unlimited streams of sweet Kṛṣṇa-līlā to the world.

Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Goswāmī concludes: "O devotees, come! Like so many swans, you must swim in the lake of Caitanya Mahāprabhu's pastimes. From that lake Kṛṣṇa līlā is flowing to the world in different streams. Devotees, like clouds, take nectar from that lake, and distribute that nectar freely to the fortunate souls. Come and live in that lake. Ask the swan of your mind to take shelter in that lake. May that swan swim in the nectarine lake of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu's life and precepts, from where so many hundreds of streams of nectar are flowing in all directions. O devotees, I offer this humble prayer to you." (TGVODL, p 173)

"The pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are the quintessence of all divine nectar and Caitanya-līlā is an inexhaustible lake of that nectar which, flowing in hundreds of streams, floods the hearts of the devotees from all directions. Therefore O nectar seeking friend, please let your mind swim in that lake like a regal swan." (SBRBM, p 13)

Caitanya-līlā is the Infinite sweetness from Caitanya - whatever is within and whatever is coming from Him, that is all the high nectar of Kṛṣṇa-līlā and nothing else. Caitanya-līlā means the centre from which Kṛṣṇa-līlā flows in different forms, oozing from all sides and even from every pore. Nothing but Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Braja-līlā embodied in Him, and coming out to help the public. The voluntary distribution of Kṛṣṇa-līlā of different nectarine tastes; that is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He has no separate existence from the Nāma, Guṇa, Rūpa, and līlā of Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and this includes Yaśodā and all others within the relativity of Kṛṣṇa. If one is there then all others must necessarily be there. So Kṛṣṇa-līlā means Kṛṣṇa with His group. Also Vṛndāvana - the water, the forest, the animals, the birds, all are included in Kṛṣṇa-līlā, Braja-līlā. And that and nothing else is all coming from Śrī Caitanya. That is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in self-distributing nature. Whatever comes from Him - that is all Krsna. Even in Śrī Caitanya's childhood, when one could not trace anything of Kṛṣṇa, it was there, and in different ways He was creating the background for distributing Kṛṣṇa-līlā to others. (C, v 1, #6, Spr. '94, p 9) + (see also śloka 253)

kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra mocana
kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa

"Simply by chanting the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord." "In the Anubhāṣya, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswatī Goswāmī says that the actual effect that will be visible as soon as one achieves transcendental knowledge is that he will immediately become free from the clutches of māyā and fully engage in the service of the Lord." (C-c, Ādi-līlā, 7.73 + beginning of purport).

"The Kṛṣṇa gāyatrī mantra liberates one from repeated birth and death in this world; the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa gives one shelter at the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa." (SGAHG, p 87-8)

kṛṣṇa-nāma dhare kata bala viṣaya-vāsanānale,
mora citta sadā jvale, ravi-tapta marubhūmi sama;
karṇa-randhra patha diyā, hṛdi mājhe praveśiyā
variṣaya sudhā anupama (1)

hṛdaya haite bale, jihvāra agrete cale,
śabda-rūpe nāce anukṣaṇa;
kaṇṭhe more bhaṅge svara, aṅga kāpe thara thara
sthira haite nā pāre caraṇa (2)

cakṣe dhārā, dehe gharmma, pulakita saba carmma,
vivarṇa haila kalevara;
mūrcchita haila mana, pralayera āgamana,
bhāve sarvva-deha jara jara (3)

kari' eta upadrava, citte varṣe sudhā-drava,
more ḍāre premera sāgare;
kichu nā bujhite dila, more ta' bātula kaila
mora citta-vitta saba hare (4)

lainu āśraya yā'ra, hena vyavahāra tā'ra
balite nā pāri e sakala;
kṛṣṇa-nāma icchāmaya, yāhe yāhe sukhī haya
sei mora sukhera sambala (5)

premera kalikā nāma, adbhuta rasera dhāma,
hena bala karaye prakāśa;
īṣat vikaśi punaḥ, dekhāya nija-rūpa-guṇa,
citta hari' laya kṛṣṇa-pāśa (6)

pūrṇa vikaśita haṣyā, vraje more yāya laṣyā,
dekhāya more svarūpa-vilāsa;
more siddha deha diyā, kṛṣṇa-pāśe rākhe giyā,
e dehera kare sarvva-nāśa (7)

kṛṣṇa-nāma cintāmaṇi, akhila-rasera khani,
nitya-mukta śuddha-rasamaya;
nāmera balāi yata, saba lay'e hai hata,
tabe mora sukhera udaya (8)

In his book, Śaraṇāgati, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has explained the Nāmaṣtakam, eight prayers in glorification of the Holy Name, written by Rūpa Goswāmī. The whole thing is described there very beautifully. He writes: "My heart is just like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my internal mental condition. The desire for mortal things cannot satisfy me because by nature they are death producing. And not one or two, but thousands of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subconscious region is always burning. This is my condition."

"But somehow, by the grace of the sādhu and guru, the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa with its infinite prospect has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart. And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it touched my heart with a new kind of nectar." "New hope is aroused by that sound. Then by force, it comes from the heart towards the tongue. Not that by the endeavour of my tongue I am producing that sound - no. What came from the heart of a saint through my ear, entered my heart, and that forcibly appeared upon my tongue, and began to dance. That is the Holy Name proper. It descends from above. It cannot be produced by the material form of this tongue. Its source is above."

"And through an agent of the Absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gathers some sympathy, then the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa forcibly appears upon the tongue, and begins to dance. With great force it comes to the end of the tongue, and that sweet sound begins its dancing." "The real effects of the Divine Name have been described here. If it is a living and real name, the voice will be choked up, there will be shivering in the body, and the legs will be unable to stand. Sometimes tears will flow in a current on the body, and one's hairs will stand on end. Sometimes changes of colour will be found in the body, and we will be unable to find any trace of the mind or consciousness. We may fall in a swoon, the whole body and mind will appear as if it is being attacked, shivering, and influenced in different ways. Apparently it may seem that o many troubles are created in the body and the mind, but the real heart is overflowing with a particular kind of strange, sweet juice."

Sometimes he thinks, "I am in an ocean of nectar. My whole existence is within an ocean of nectarine liquid. I am beside myself. I can't understand where I am. Where am I? What is this? What is all about me? It has almost made me mad. Am I a madman? Where is my past experience, my seriousness, my gravity, where are they? What am I?"

"I have been converted wholesale by a foreign thing. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is also so affectionate to me. I can't ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I have entered this great, unknown environment, unexperienced before."

"And at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been captured by a particular sweet force. I can't help being prey to such a sweet power. I can't give any proper description of this. I came to take shelter under Him and accept Him as my guardian; now at His hand I am being dealt with in such a merciless and despotic way. Still, I feel that everything is very pleasing, beyond my experience. What is this?"

"I can't resist anymore. I am fully captured. Let my fate go anywhere. I can't come out. I am a captive in the hand of a sweet friend; my whole independence is gone. There is no way left to me but to surrender. I am unable to describe my real position. I find that He's an autocrat. Whatever He likes to do, He will do. Since it is not possible for me to give any resistance, I must surrender. Let me also cooperate with whatever He is pleased to do. Otherwise, what can I do? I am helpless." "Sometimes I find that the sweetness of the Name is condensed like a blossoming flower, and very wonderful streams of sweet current are flowing from it. The Holy Name contains so many sweet variegated forms of current within Him, and He is wonderfully expressing Himself in different ways. Sometimes He emanates a peculiar type of colour and figure, and disappears."

"So many charming aspects are shown as if to my eyes within, and He forcibly takes me to surrender at the foot of that altar. He shows Himself in his full-fledged form, in Vṛndāvana, in His Braja-līlā, with Rādhārāṇī, and He takes me there. I find that I am in the midst of His peculiar, very sweet and loving paraphernalia. And He say's: 'You see! I have so many wonderful things. This is your home. I am not merely imagination, but concrete reality. You will find here that the environment is very favourable and sweet. You are to live here."

"I see there that He is dealing in different ways with His associates, in different rasas. And I find that I have another body that has emerged from my previous one, and that has a permanent place here in His Service. Such a new life I find here. And then I find ultimately that all consideration of my past life and experience has vanished. And it is true: my real life is here. This is proper, and that was a sham, that life has vanished."

"Then I find that chanting the Holy Name gives me new encouragement, a new prospect, and new hope. Whatever we want, whatever is our internal demand, it is supplied by the Name. If we take the Name, all our internal hankerings will be fulfilled. It is eternal, it is the purest of the pure, and it is full of ecstasy. Now I find I have been completely converted."

"Now, my innermost hankering is this; let whatever is against this sweet Name vanish eternally from the world. If anything is in opposition to this sweet life, let it vanish, and if necessary, I will give my life to make it disappear from the world forever. Then others will be able to enjoy it at their free will. No hindrance should come to that fulfilment of life. It has no other second. So, everyone may come here, and if necessary, I will sacrifice myself to finish any opposition, so that all can enjoy smoothly, peacefully, and without any danger, enjoy this absolute, sweet, and blissful life."

This is the statement of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, in the final song of his book, Śaraṇāgati (Surrender ). (TSOBT, p 59-61) + (TSFSK, p 126-129)

There was one Śrīmad Parvvat Mahārāja, who, at a very early age, came to Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura and was one of his first disciples. Parvvat Mahārāja lived next door to Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura when he passed his old age in Godrum. He said that there was only a partition wall between his house and Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura's. That was at Surabhī Kuñja. From about three o'clock in the morning, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura would rise and take the Name of Kṛṣṇa, the mahā-mantra, at the top of his voice. Parvvat Mahārāja described it like this. As though calling someone from afar, with this spirit Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura would chant the Holy Name.

That Mahārāja was astonished to see such behaviour. He was in his old age, and his body was somewhat attacked with rheumatism. There was a cement chair constructed there; he would stroll about at his sweet will, and when Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura felt tired and fatigued, he took his seat on that chair and rested there awhile. (that chair is still there today). And then after some time he would again wander in the garden, chanting at the top of his voice: "Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa!" With such animation in his voice he was calling - calling a person; with this spirit, and not in a formal way, but with a material hankering, he was calling for the Lord.

Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Goswāmī Mahārāja commented: "There was another thing I also heard about him from another source, Rām Gopāl Vidyābhūṣaṇa, an M.A. and Barrister-at-law. Rām Gopāl Vidyābhūṣaṇa told me:

"Once we went to visit Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. We had heard that a Government officer, an educated man, had become a Vaiṣṇava Bābājī. So we went to see him, and someone amongst us asked him: "Please speak something about Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa-Nāma (the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa )."

"After a moment, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura then said: "Oh, you want to hear something about Kṛṣṇa, you want? You want Kṛṣṇa-Nāma? You are so fortunate? You have come to hear Kṛṣṇa-Nāma? Then the consequence of that enquiry had such an influence on his body and mind, that as it is written by him personally in his own poem Śrī-Nāma Māhātmya:

cakṣe dhārā - From my eyes tears flowed; dehe gharmma - my body perspired; mūrcchita haila mana - I fell into a faint; kari' eta upadrava - the Holy Name created a great turmoil in me - citte varṣe sudhā-drava - causing a rain of nectarine current into my heart - more ḍāre premera sāgare; and casting me into the ocean of ecstasy, of Love; kichu nā bujhite dila, more ta' bātula kaila - I could not feel any environment around me, and became as though mad; mora citta-vitta saba hare - I lost myself in that thought.

That gentleman, Rām Gopāl Vidyābhūṣaṇa said: "I saw with my own eyes that all these symptoms were displayed in his body and mind, simply upon hearing our enquiry. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura said: "You are so fortunate, you have come to hear Kṛṣṇa-Nāma from me? Kṛṣṇa! Kṛṣṇa!" In this way he entered into another domain, and so many symptoms and expressions appeared in his body and mind - convulsions, tears, all these things." I heard from this eyewitness. (SOTGOD, v 2, p 65-6)

kṛṣṇa-nāma dhare kata bala viṣaya-vāsanānale

This sound "Kṛṣṇa" what is its value? Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has explained that Kṛṣṇa has four unique, special qualities. Every jīva has fifty innate qualities. Certain devatās have fifty-five, the five additional qualities partially manifest in them. Śrī Nārāyaṇa has sixty qualities in full, and Kṛṣṇa has four more qualities not found in Nārāyaṇa. Those four qualities are; rūpa-mādhurya (sweet form), veṇu-mādhurya (sweet-flute), līlā-mādhurya (sweet pastimes), and parikara-mādhurya (sweet associates). Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī has established the speciality of Kṛṣṇa-līlā in this way. And this is only found in Vṛndāvana. Vāsudeva-Kṛṣṇa has no flute, and it has been mentioned that even Dwārakeśa-Kṛṣṇa is charmed to search for the rūpa-mādhurya of Vṛndāvana-Kṛṣṇa, the sweet Lord of Braja, Reality the Beautiful. (C, v1, # 6, Spr. '94, p 9)

kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ,
kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam
indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ,
mṛḍayanti yuge yuge

"All the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists." (S-B, 1.3.28)

On the order of his gurudeva Devarṣi Nārada, the scripture Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam was given by Vedavyāsa as the conclusion of his teachings. After giving the Vedas, Upaniṣads, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Bhagavad-gītā, etc., the last gift of Vedavyāsa in the world of scriptures was Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. And the message of the Bhāgavatam is that beauty is above all - not knowledge or justice. Mercy is above justice. Affection, love, beauty, charm, harmony - these are above all, and this absolute conception of the ultimate reality is in the Kṛṣṇa conception.

Beauty is above knowledge and power. Knowledge is above power, and above knowledge is beauty, charm, love. That is the supreme. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has declared: kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam: the Kṛṣṇa conception of Godhead is the most original conception of the Absolute. This is the prime declaration of the Bhāgavatam: the Lord, as Beauty, is above all. And below Him is awe, reverence, power, etc. And Mahāprabhu Śrī Caitanyadeva pointed out: "Go to the beautiful - Reality the Beautiful - He is your highest attainment. Hanker neither for power nor knowledge, but hanker for service of the Beautiful, and thereby, you will be taken in and given entrance into the land of the Beautiful." This is the highest realisation. Don't waste your energy by engaging yourself in any other pursuits, but go straight - jñāna-śūnya-bhakti. By the help of sādhu-saṅga, take the Name of the Lord and try to march straight onwards to the Kṛṣṇa conception of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is our highest achievement, and this is given by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 88-9)

kṛṣṇasyochchaiḥ praṇaya-vasatiḥ preyasībhyo 'pi rādhā-
kuṇḍaṁ cāsyā munibhir abhitas tādṛg eva vyadhāyi
yat preṣṭhair apy alam asulabhaṁ kiṁ punar bhakti-bhājāṁ
tat premedaṁ sakṛd api saraḥ snātur āviṣkaroti

"Of the many objects of favoured delight and of all the loveable damsels of Vrajabhūmi, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is certainly the most treasured object of Kṛṣṇa's love. And, in every respect, Her divine kuṇḍa is described by great sages as similarly dear to Him. Undoubtedly Rādhā-kuṇḍa is very rarely attained even by the great devotees; therefore it is even more difficult for ordinary devotees to attain. If one simply bathes once within those holy waters, one's pure love of Kṛṣṇa is fully aroused." (U, 11)

Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura gave a lecture between Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa. There is a boundary line between the two. There, he read and explained the Upadeśāmṛtam of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī for a few days. He did not explain anything about Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, nor about Kṛṣṇa, but he spoke on Upadeśāmṛtam - the basis. His attention was always towards the basis. The fruit will come of itself: "Pour water onto the root; pour water onto the root, and the fruit will appear itself." He himself explained this while sitting in the middle between Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa. He explained not only Bhāgavatam, but Upadeśāmṛtam, Upadeśāmṛtam is the substance of Mahāprabhu, in the language of Rūpa Goswāmī.

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ,
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ,
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt

"A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind's demands, the action of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world." (U, 1)

And the last śloka: kṛṣṇasyochchaiḥ praṇaya-vasatiḥ preyasībhyo 'pi rādhā- These topics were explained but nothing of the Govinda-Līlāmṛtam or Śrīla Viśvanātha Chakravarttī Ṭhākura's Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Bhāvanāmṛta - all these things were left untouched. So, our training was in this line. (SGD, 1996, p 31) + (see also śloka 384)

saba śikhāila prabhu bhāgavata-siddhānta

"Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī the ultimate conclusions of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the truth about Lord Kṛṣṇa, devotional service and transcendental mellows, consummating in conjugal love between Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 19.115) + (SBRBM, p 40)

kṛṣṇa tava puṇya habe bhāi
e-puṇya koribe jabe rādhārāṇī khusī habe
dhruva ati boli tomā tāi

"I emphatically say to you, O brothers, you will obtain your good fortune from the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa only when Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī becomes pleased with you." (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Kṛṣṇa, by Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swāmī Mahārāja, composed on board the Jaladuta when he first went to America ). (SOTVA, p 26-8)

Swāmī Mahārāja invoked assistance from Kṛṣṇa. He petitioned Him: "Please come to my help. I have been ordered by Your favourite to do this duty. Please help me. After finishing this duty I shall again join Your play in Vṛndāvana. There we shall play; we shall run, we shall jump and we shall do anything and everything in a boisterous way together. But for now I have some duty which is necessary to discharge and that duty has been ordered by Your most favourite person. If You help me to carry out this then Your friend, that most favourite friend, will be pleased with You and so You will get some advantage thereby!"

In this way he made his petition: kṛṣṇa tava puṇya habe bhāi: "You will acquire good merit if You help me."

Kṛṣṇa supported Govardhana Hill with the little finger of His left hand, and afterwards His friends, the cowherd men and boys told Him: "You did not hold it alone, we also helped You with our sticks! Be reminded of it, You could not do it alone!" (SOTGOD, v 3, p 9)

Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swāmī Mahārāja said: "My guru is Rādhārāṇī. She will be very gracious to You Kṛṣṇa if You help me in discharging the order of gurudeva - if You help me in my propaganda work. kṛṣṇa tava puṇya habe bhāi. If You seek anything, if You are in want of anything Kṛṣṇa, then that is the good will of Rādhārāṇī. And She will be pleased with You if You help me, because I am attempting to carry out the order of who is none but Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī personified. So You must help me."

Kṛṣṇa had no other alternative but to come down to him and help him in his propaganda work. He had to come. (C, v 1, #7, Spr. '95, p 10)

When Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swāmī Mahārāja began his preaching in the west, he was already 70 years of age. He underwent severe trials. In the beginning years he wrote a letter to Śrīla Govinda Mahārāja, and the gist of the translation from Bengali was: "In the separation of Śrīla Prabhupāda (Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura), I take the order of Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja on my head. Now I am in America. I may die at any time, and I would like to die in Vṛndāvana. But I can also stay here and die preaching. So please take Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja's advice on what I should do. Should I leave the West and come back to India or not?"

The reply came: "Swāmī Mahārāja is always in Vṛndāvana. And the West is his prabhu-datta-deśa (his guru-given country, his field ). Wherever he leaves the world - that is also Vṛndāvana. So he can stay there and continue his glorious work."

For the preaching purpose he's begging the help of Kṛṣṇa in his campaign, because Rādhārāṇī will be satisfied and his gurudeva is representing Rādhārāṇī. That is mentioned there. From there I conjecture, and what playfully he has mentioned there: "After finishing this job, I shall again join Your Vṛndāvana līlā as a friend and we shall play to our highest sentiment." And this way. There from it may be conjectured that his acme of serving pleasure is within sakhya-rasa, a supposition.

That letter has been given to me and I read that, and from there I could suppose that his position, he's satisfied with that sakhya-līlā, he mentions there that his gurudeva is Rādhārāṇī, madhurya-rasa, and he's asking Kṛṣṇa's help, in his discharging the duty which is ordered by Rādhārāṇī, given by Rādhārāṇī to him, he says that: "Rādhārāṇī will be satisfied, if You help me in my carrying out the orders of Rādhārāṇī." (see also śloka 494)

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣā 'kṛṣṇaṁ
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi sumedhasaḥ

"In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the Names of Kṛṣṇa. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions." (S-B, 11.5.32) + (C-c, Ādi-līlā, 3.52)

Here, yajñaḥ means sacrifice, dedication, which is saṅkīrtana-prāya, or saṅkīrtana -pradhāna, which means `predominated by saṅkīrtana, the congregational chanting of the Holy Name'; and this is performed by those endowed with sufficient piety. So, in this age of Iron, kīrttana has its own special privilege, granted by the Supreme Lord - Mahāprabhu's speciality is preaching, kīrtana. He inaugurated and conducted Hari- kīrtana. So kīrtana has been accepted by our Guru Mahārāja, Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī, and others. To write about the Lord is also within the jurisdiction of kīrtana . To preach is assertion, to take the message to others.

So also, to be engaged in answering the questions of the environment automatically demands concentration, which is a very rare thing in this age. When one is doing kīrtana, he automatically cannot but give all concentration and attention. He cannot speak independently; intuitively, he must be all-attentive. For this reason, kīrtana has been recommended to be the highest form of bhajana, especially in the age of Kali. (SOTGOD,v 2, p 23-4) + (see also ślokas 85, 138 & 217)

"In the age of Kali, persons of great piety and intelligence will worship the Lord as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He will appear in a golden form chanting Kṛṣṇa's Name, accompanied by His associates and entourage." (LSFTLS, p 1V + (see also ślokas 128 & 529)

"Those who are of fine theistic intellect (sumedhasaḥ ) will worship Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu saṅkīrtana, not others." (SEOC, p 142)

In a suppressed way, this verse explains the advent of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The ordinary meaning of kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ is "of a black colour." But tviṣā 'kṛṣṇaṁ means "His lustre is not black." Accompanied by His associates, He is worshipped by the process of saṅkīrtana, the chanting of the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa, and those of sharp intellect will perform this kind of worship."

Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī explains the meaning of this verse in his own parallel verse, antaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ bahir gauraṁ (see śloka 36) (TGVODL, p 2)

kṛṣṇe karmārpaṇa-sarva-sādhya-sāra

"To offer the results of one's activities to Kṛṣṇa is the essence of all perfection." (Rāmānanda Rāya's reply to Śrī Caitanyadev's comment: 'This is superficial, go deeper'). (see C-c, Madhya-līlā, 8.51-313 ) + (TSFSK, p 137)

kṛṣṇera taṭasthā-śakti, bhedābheda prakāśa

"The soul comes from the marginal potency."

"The constitutional nature of the jīva soul is that of an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa; the jīva soul is a manifestation of divinity which is one with Kṛṣṇa and different from Him. The jīva souls are the marginal potency of the Lord. Though in reality they are servants of Kṛṣṇa, from time immemorial, they have been engaged in misconception, as exploiting agents." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 20.108 & 117 ). (TGVODL, p 131) + (see ślokas 75, 200 & 321)

kṛṣṇera yateka khelā
sarvottama nara-līlā
nara-vapu tāhāra svarūpa
gope-veśa, veṇu-kara
nava kiśora, nata-vara
nara līlāra haya anurūpa

"Lord Kṛṣṇa has many pastimes, of which His pastimes as a human being are the best. His form as a human being is the Supreme Transcendental Form. In this form, He is a cowherd boy. He carries a flute in His hand, and His youth is new. He is also an expert dancer. All this is just suitable for His pastimes as a human being." (C-c, Madhya-līlā, 21.101)

The ācāryas may come. Sometimes they make it clear and sometimes - they make it complex, purposely. Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura, he made it complex - very ontological aspects he has dealt with at length. And, in a simple way, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has also distributed. It is necessary. Analytic: synthetic. In a simple way, there is the possibility of becoming sahajiyā, that is, we can take it like this mundane thing. But actually, this is all on the other side of the globe - just the opposite - it is such. kṛṣṇera yateka khelā: Very similar, but it is not the same! Far, far off, but in some ways, similar. (see also ślokas 220, 375, 420 & 486) + (SS, v 3, # 1, '85, p 7)

"Mahāprabhu taught that the human society is so valuable because Kṛṣṇa is originally in this form. This human society is created after His original social style and therefore it is so important." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 10)

The Bible also states that God made man is His own image!

kṣetra-hari prema bhajana

Devotion has such a peculiar position and power. The last acquisition of devotion is that which can control the Supreme Lord and forcibly take Him to the devotee as a friendly servant. The master surrenders to the servant. (LSFTLS, p 62)

ksipraṁ bhavati dharmātmā,
śaśvac chāntiṁ nigacchati
kaunteya pratijānīhi,
na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati

"That most degraded person very swiftly becomes adorned with virtuous practices and attains to eternal tranquillity. O son of Kuntī, declare it - proclaim it - My devotee is never vanquished!"


"O Arjuna, promise to the public that My exclusive devoted servitors will never come to ruin. He who declares this swiftly becomes virtuous and truly attains eternal divine grace." (B-g, 9.31). This second interpretation was revealed to Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura in a dream. (see also śloka 22 & 42)

"O son of Kuntī, it is My promise that a soul who adopts exclusive devotion unto Me will definitely never fail. Despite the initial purging and sudden appearance of his defects, such anomalies are rapidly dispelled by his continuous remembrance of Me in repentance for the impediments to his service. He becomes impeccably devout in the soul's natural constitutional behaviour, and as a result of his devotion he attains supreme relief from the bondage of both sinfulness and piety." (SSPJ, p 154-5) + (see also śloka 42)

"Very soon, he will become religious in his behaviour, and he will be seen to acquire real peace in his life. O son of Kunti, confidently declare to the public that My devotee never meets ruination." (SOTGOD, v 1, p 78) + (see also śloka 42)

The assurance is given by Kṛṣṇa: "Even if he has come to Me only for the time being, he has taken some medicine before leaving, so he ultimately must come to Me again." (SGD, SGPI, '91, p 21) + (see also ślokas 42 & 337)

"Very soon he will be a man of righteousness; he will become dharmātmā - dutiful. (SEOC, p 126) + (see also śloka 42)

kuliyā-grāmete āsi' śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
hena nāhi, yā 're prabhu nā karilā dhanya

"At Koladvīpa - the Govarddhana Hill of Vṛndāvana, concealed in Śrī Navadvīpa Dhāma - the Most Generous Absolute expressed Himself in His maximum generosity. Without considering any crime, He absolved whoever He found. He accepted them all." (C-Bhā: Antya-līlā, 3.541)

Here in Koladvīpa, Navadvīpa, we find a happy place where the Absolute is the most generous in His benevolence. When the Absolute is distributing Himself, He becomes Śrī Caitanyadeva. And that Śrī Caitanyadeva in the highest stage of His mercy is found here in Koladvīpa.

After sannyāsa, when He returned to Bengal with the intention of going to Vṛndāvana, He showed His most generous and dignified temperament at that time. He recruited the sinners of the world. Anyone who came to Him received the highest mercy. This is the speciality of this place. By 'place' we should not think of a mere geographical location. Of course, it has such a location, but really this is where the Most Generous Absolute gave Himself to the worst sinners. Here, even the most fallen souls receive the grace of the Lord. Our highest necessity is distributed from here, Navadvīpa Dhāma; here is the key to the highest and sweetest mood within our heart. The key to enter into the conception of our sweetest home is given from here. Here is the key to that world of faith, śraddhā, that world of love. (SOTGOD, v1, p xxi)

Kuliyā-grāmete āsi' śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya: So here, in Koladvīpa, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave His best to all. He gave the most desirable service, service of the sweetest type. Such service is found in Vṛndāvana, and Mahāprabhu Śrī Caitanyadeva recommended Vṛndāvana life as the highest. Neither knowledge nor power can even approach this Vṛndāvana service. In Vṛndāvana, heart is everything. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 192) + (see also śloka 52)

In this way Cāpāla Gopāl and many others who had made so many bad remarks about Śrī Caitanyadeva's conduct all came there to Him saying: "We could not understand Your outstanding personality and superiority, therefore we have unknowingly done much wrong against You. Please forgive us." Mahāprabhu forgave them saying: "Oh, no, no, there is no offence, everything is all right. Go away peacefully now." (SOTGOD, v 3, p 19) + (see also śloka 358)

kuñjo 'sti rūpollāsākhyo lalitā-kuñjakottare
sadā tiṣṭhati tatraiva suśobhā rūpa-mañjarī
priya-nārma-sakhī-mukhyā sundarī rūpa-mañjarī
sārdha-tridaśa-varṣāsau vāma-madhyātvam āsritā
raṅgaṇa-mālikā ceti pravadanti manīṣinaḥ
iyaṁ lavaṅga-mañjaryā ekenāhnā kanīyasī
kalau gaura-rasr rūpa-goswāmitvaṁ samāgata

"In the northern part of Śrī Lalitā sakhī's kuñja lies Śrī Rūpollāsa kuñja, where the most beautiful and attractive Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī resides. She is the foremost amongst the gopīs known as priya narma sakhī, and is distinguished by her graceful, captivating countenance and unique loveliness. Her complexion is bright gold, the colour of gorocana, and she delights in wearing a dress the colour of peacock feathers. Her age is 13 years 6 months, and her nature is bamya madhya. The pandits call her 'rangana-mallika' - a charming damsel who entertains and enchants the heart of Kṛṣṇa by her graceful dance, and jasmine flower like beauty and fragrance. She is one day younger than Lavanga mañjarī, and in Gaura-līlā she appears as Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī. In Kiśori Tantra, Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī has been described by the 8 syllable mantra: "srim rūpa mañjaryai svaha." - I offer myself in all devotion, to the service of beautiful Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī. (SBRBM, p 42)

kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ,
viṣame samupasthitam
anārya-juṣṭam asvargyam,
akīrti-karam arjuna

"O Arjuna, why has such illusion overcome you at this critical moment? This is unbefitting a noble man (Āryan). It is an obstacle to the attainment of heaven, and a destroyer of good name and fame." (B-g, 2.2)

It is war importance relief work; with great urgency. He has come to look affectionately for every lost servant, and that is our consolation - that we may fall within (come within the purview of) His search. kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ, viṣame samupasthitam: "Yes - viṣama - This is an "uncommon circumstance", exceptionally uncommon, extra-ordinary circumstance. viṣama, not ordinary general circumstance, but it is exceptionally dangerous - opposite circumstance. anārya-juṣṭam - This is not accepted by a man of standard civilisation - asvargyam, and it won't give any further prospect: akīrti-karam - nor will it give name or fame in either this world or the next world. It will not be accepted by the standard civilised person. kutas tvā kaśmalam idaṁ - "Such a mean type of mania has caught you Arjuna - it does not behoove you or befit your position. What is this?" (SS, v 4, # 1, '86, p 4) + (see also śloka 237)

kvacin nivarttate 'bhadrāt,
kvacic carati tat punaḥ
prāyaścittam atho 'pārthaṁ,
manye kuñjara-śaucavat

"Sometimes a person refrains from sin, but in time he again commits the same kind of sin. Therefore, I consider atonement (in the line of karma-kāṇḍa, or in the calculation of worldly deeds) to be as futile as an elephants bath. (The elephant is habituated to immediately rolling about in the dust after taking a dip in the river)." (S-B, 6.1.10)

I have done something sinful, and if I follow that by an opposite practice as atonement (karma-prāyaścitta ), the sin is absolved. But the next moment I will compulsively commit that sin again. By jñāna-prāyaścitta we may gain a somewhat more permanent abstention from the sinful activity. (SOTGOD, v 1, p 93-4) + (see also śloka 505)