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Tirobhav Abhiram Thakur – Govardhan das Brahmacari – Krsna Karunya das Brahmacari – 26 April 2019 pm

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WHAT HAPPEN'S WHEN YOU MEDITATE ON THE SYMBOLS ON KRSNA'S LOTUS FEET? – Do They Give Shakti?

Once a doctor we knew, came to the temple Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura. He worked at the nearby hospital and regularly read Caitanya Caritamrta. He kept some sadhus wooden shoes, padhukars, thinking they were Mahaprabhu’s shoes to worship. After seeing him give so much respect, and serving the devotees there so nicely, Gurudeva asked him how he had become to be so attached to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu? The surgeon explained that after reading how Sri Visnupriya, Lord Sri Caitanyas Mahaprabhu’s wife, began worshipping Mahaprabhu’s wooden shoes after He left home and took sannyasis, he decided to also begin this practice. Due to worshiping the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, more and more his meditation on the Lord began to manifest, and all Mahaprabhu’s pastimes began to awaken in his heart, thus taking away all his material desires. He came to the temple wanting to see Mahaprabhu’s devotees and followers. He desired to serve them and to read all the books on devotional service. Simply by worshipping the lotus padhukars of Sri Mahaprabhu, all these desires for devotional service had awakened in his heart. Gurudeva instructed him to chant harinama and follow Ekadasi. This doctor was only a middle-aged man in his mid-forties, and a very successful intelligent handsome surgeon. One day he told all his family including the sons and daughters “I am going to Mahaprabhu now directly. If I appear to be leaving my body, don’t touch my body, only call for the devotees at Keshavji Gaudiya Math, and please ask Maharaja, Srila Gurudeva, to come and do kirtan”. Thus keeping the padhukars on his chest and meditating on Mahaprabhu’s lotus feet, he left his body very happily and easily by his own choice. Just like Bhismadeva had chosen to leave his body of his own accord, the doctor entered into Sri Mahaprabhu’s transcendental abode. Meditating on Sri Krsna lotus footprints, we can easily overcome all material hurdles and easily obtain the Lord's service. The elephant goad, ankus, will always keep us on the right path, having us go towards Krsna, to the dhama and transcendental service of the Lord. We will not get lost in the jungle of material enjoyment. The ankus (elephant goad) has so much power that anyone who takes shelter of it cannot lose sight of Sri Krsna.  All the devotees, the Bhagavat bhaktas, never forget any of the symbols on the Lord's lotus feet, such as the chakra, lotus, conch, goad, and barleycorn, because they have so many auspicious qualities that give us strength in bhakti. When Sri Krsna lifted up Goverdhana hill, He touched Giriraja with his lotus feet, and Sri Giriraja opened up like an umbrella. Wherever the devotees are if they meditate on Krsna’s lotus feet, they will have complete shelter, because Giriraj Goverdhana will become an umbrella for you, a chatra. Sudarsana Chakra is always over the heads of the devotees protecting them. When Sri Krsna lifted Goverdhana, Sudarsana Chakra was also over the Giriraja and the devotees, protecting them from the attacks of Indra and the storm Devas the Maruts. Krsna’s conch the sankhya gives the devotees all transcendental knowledge. By meditating on the left lotus foot of Sri Krsna, with the symbol of the conch on it, all transcendental knowledge will be obtained. Nobody will be able to fool you, cheat or trick you, all transcendental knowledge will enter your heart. The auspicious sound of Sri Krsna’s conch fills the devotee’s heart with joy, and signals the impending doom of all demons opposed to bhakti, making them flee far away, back into the darkness. The conch heralds the devotee’s auspicious victory over material existence, just as the Lord's conch the Panchjanya signaled the defeat of the Kurus, headed by Duryodhana, by the Lord's devotees the Pandavas. Catch hold of the Lord's lotus feet and deeply embrace them in your heart, then meditate on the bow, astagon (eight sided star), trikona (equal sided triangle), Kalasha  (full water pot), matsya then all Veda, Vedanta, and Upanishads will come and manifest in your heart. In Jaganatha Puri and Bhubaneswara, it is called Sankhaksetra the place of the Lord's conchshell. It is the land of the Lord's conch. By the Vaitarani river, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada made a place to worship Lord Caitanya’s lotus feet a padapitha. Wherever the Lord's lotus footprints are, the devotees have no shortage of anything. In the Jagganatha Puri temple the king also established Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s padapitha, and a murti of Sri Gaurasundara at the southern gate. The king was not happy with only having the Lord's lotus footprints outside the temple. Later he established Mahaprabhu’s lotus footprints within the temple, then he felt very happy. All good qualities come to Sri Krsna’s devotees simply by their meditation on his lotus feet. When you go to Giriraja Goverdhana, entering at Dhanghati, there is the sign of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet. Offer pranams at the lotus feet of the Lord there, and then go forward, remembering His feet. Then offer some puspanjali and flowers there as if it was your own heart. Then in your heart all of Krsna’s pastimes will appear. Otherwise you will be distracted by monkeys, pilgrims, various walas (merchants) and even the Devas will compete for your worship, all trying to distract you. Just as Indra was envious of the worship that the Vrajavasis gave to Giriraja, instead of him. When we come back from circumambulating Sri Giriraja at Shantalaya, the Radha Kunda side, you also see Sri Krsna lotus footprints there also. Gurudeva on Vraja mandala parikrama, at Nandagaon would go to the Choti Caran Pahadi, where the lotus footprints of Sri Krsna are to be found. People would say what is this place? It is just an empty hill, and the people there don’t have any pure knowledge. Gurudeva would go there and give nice harikatha, telling them if just once you meditate on Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, then all obstacles will flee from your heart. This is such a powerful method for the sadhakas to perform their bhajan and it is the essence of all sastra. When Akrura was going to Vraja and saw the lotus footprints of the Lord, he got down from his chariot and began to roll in the dust, and pray to these footprints. If you take shelter of Sri Krsna’s lotus feet, then naturally you will have Sri Krsna’s shelter. In the beginning of sadhana when someone takes diksha, at that time, you must offer yourself to the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, and meditate on them. Then all good qualities will come within you, and all the processes of service to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga will easily be learned.

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR ENEMY SENSES OUR FRIENDS?

“No! I am great and superior to all. I am more qualified than everyone else. All must spread my glories far and wide.” “Mahārāja, you are not being honest with yourself. You do not know how to offer proper respect. You are not very competent and are in fact quite ordinary.”

WHO'S A DEVOTEE? WHO'S A FAKE?

Do not think someone is Sri Krsna’s supremely dear and beloved devotee, if all the qualities of Bhagavan are not entering within that person. You should realize this person is not a devotee of Bhagavan. If you can see bad qualities in someone it is because they have gone far away from the Lord. They are called dur-guna. Dur-guna means bad qualities, and dur means to be far away. If you have developed bad qualities then that means, by nature, you are far away from God.   Why do the devotees always glorify the Lord so sweetly? Because when they embrace the Lord in their hearts, then all of the Lord’s qualities naturally come within them. When they are remembering the Lord and praising Him, then all those qualities enter within them. If someone is displaying their devotion only for show, and they are not sincere in their bhakti, then it will only last for a short amount of time. Someone can speak like a crazy person as long as they are intoxicated, and have their drugs. Similarly, there are people who can speak so eloquently and with different poetic meters and styles. They can also memorize and express so many things, and show that are so respectful and know so much tattva, but in reality, this is not natural, and it is only for show. However, when you simply endeavor, with all sincerity to embrace the Lord in your heart, then automatically all anarthas and bad qualities will flee, and all your wicked tendencies will naturally be pacified. If from your childhood, you have had the habit of eating impure foods, living with tamasik qualities and tendencies, then naturally you will have difficulty collecting the teachings of the scriptures, going to the Holy places, and having respect for sadhus. On the other-hand if you are always in the association of sadhus, going to the holy tirthas, then naturally their qualities and tendencies will come within you.  What is paricaya -good qualities? You will be able to see them naturally manifest within a sincere devotee. Such devotees will never have to bow down before any materialistic person in this world. When you embrace Sri Krsna in your heart or make a place for His lotus feet there, then what will occur at that time? All varieties of good qualities will enter within you. All kinds of spiritual potency from the Lord’s divine pleasure potency will enter. When you take shelter of Bhagavan then His transcendental potency, para-sakti, will first of all give you spiritual knowledge or cit-jnana. Then He will give you cit-bala or so much spiritual strength. But how can these be properly used?  What happens when the Lord gives someone potency but they misuse it? They don’t use it for the proper activities. Some people have knowledge but what do they do with that knowledge? They only use that, not to help others, but to fight with others. Anarthas – such as wanting various kinds of wealth becomes an impediment in their progress. What is the natural qualities you develop during sadhana-bhakti? You will get jnana, bala and kriya, that is you will get spiritual knowledge, spiritual strength and then you will know how to properly engage in these things. This is by the mercy of kriya-shakti whose presiding Deity is Srimati Radhika. Kriya-shakti is that potency by which we can act, and that comes from Srimati Radhika. You will also develop the tendency to naturally engage in pious actions and the service of the Lord. The Gopis embraced Sri Krsna in their hearts, then naturally all kinds of transcendental qualities and happiness appeared within them.  Worldly people are naturally depressed, sad and contaminated. Why? Because they have lower desires in their hearts, which are always afflicting them and causing so much disturbance. How many materialistic people have we brought into our hearts? We bring them in our hearts and then we are always disturbed. A person is fortunate if he does not keep anything of this world in his heart. When they give no place for anything like that, then they are liberated. Their heart will be only for Bhagavan. One kind of person for his own service, or for the satisfaction of his beloved, will do anything and everything, but still on doing that they are not happy. Another person leaves everything and engages everything they possess in Krsna’s service. They are happy and whatever they do they will get pure realization and experience. They alone get the power for spiritual experience and progress easily. (CLICK ON THE TITLE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE)

HOW AND WHEN DID SRILA GURUDEVA SEE THE DIVINE FORMS OF CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU AND ASSOCIATES?

As is Vaiṣṇava custom for any appearance day of the Lord, Śrīla Gurudeva fasted on Gaura-pūrṇimā, along with the rest of the devotees congregated at Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha. From morning to evening, the Caitanya-Bhāgavata and Caitanya-caritāmṛta were recited before the assembly, with special emphasis given on the reasons for the Lord’s advent.When the moon began to rise in Navadvīpa, the assembled devotees sang the hymn recounting the birth of Lord Caitanya as Acaryadeva bathed the Deity of Mahāprabhu with milk, yogurt, clarified butter, honey, sugar, water, and fragrant oils. The devotees danced in bliss with their arms raised in unison, roaring, “Nitai-Gaura Haribol!” Some devotees played on trumpets and bugles, others on cymbals and drums, and others waved banners marked with the holy names. After garbing the Deity, Acarya Kesarī joined the kīrtaniyas (singers). Ecstatic symptoms manifested on his body as he danced in unbridled love of God. Mesmerized by the scene, Śrīla Gurudeva prayed for audience of Mahāprabhu and His associates. Suddenly, the material curtain covering the eternal spiritual abode lifted. Mahāprabhu appeared before Gurudeva’s eyes accompanied by Nityānanda Prabhu, Gadādhara Paṇḍa, Advaita Acarya, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍa, Sañjaya, Mukunda, and Vāsu Ghoṣa. Concealed to the ordinary observer, they danced in the courtyard of Devānanda Gauḍīya Maṭha to the sound of mahā-saṅkīrtana.Śrīla Gurudeva’s hairs stood on end, he wept and shivered uncontrollably, and then he fell senseless on the ground. By the mercy of his divine master, Gurudeva was able to observe Mahāprabhu and His associates. Śrī Guru thereby fulfills the heartfelt desire of the sincere aspirant. Seeing Gaura Nārāyaṇa fallen senseless, Acarya Kesarī lifted him on to his lap. Gurudeva slowly returned to consciousness. Once awake, Gurudeva wept, longing to see the Lord again. He said, “Guru Mahārāja, your mercy is endless. By your grace alone I have witnessed Mahāprabhu and Navadvīpa-dhāma. But now, due to my great misfortune, I am no longer able to see the beauty of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu.”Acarya Kesarī pacified him, “Be peaceful. Soon you will be able to always perceive Mahāprabhu’s saṅkīrtana.”From that day on Śrīla Gurudeva could not forget the beautiful form of Mahāprabhu; while chanting harināma or engaged in services, the scene of Mahāprabhu’s kīrtana remained fixed in his mind.After Gaura-pūrṇimā, Śrīla Gurudeva accompanied AcaryaKesarī and some close associates to various holy sites in Gauḍa-maṇḍala—the area in Bengal where Mahāprabhu performed His pastimes, which includes the appearance places of many exalted Vaiṣṇavas and associates of Mahāprabhu. They went to Śāntura, the residence of Ādvaita Acarya, and Phuliyā, where Haridāsa Ṭhākura resided. Next they went to Ambikā-kālanā, where Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍita worships the Deities of Gaura-Nityānanda that were created from a neem tree by the Lords’ Themselves when Gaurīdāsa Paṇḍa requested the Lords to always stay with him. Acarya Kesarī and Śrīla Gurudeva then went to Cāṭigrāma, the birth village of Mahāprabhu’s dear associates Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, Caitanya Vallabha, Vāsudeva Datta, and Mukunda Datta. They then went to Ekacakrā-dhāma, the birthplace of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, and next to Kaṭavā, where Nimāī Paṇḍa accepted sannyāsa from Keśava Bhāratī. Afterwards, they went to Śrīkhaṇḍa, where many eminent associates of Mahāprabhu took birth, such as: Narahari Sarakāra Ṭhākura, Mukunda Ṭhākura, Raghunandana, and Jagadānanda, to name a few. They finished their parikramā at Pānīhāṭī and Ādi Saptagrāma.Acarya Kesarī described the pastimes and glories of each place they went to. When Gurudeva heard the glories of Ādi Saptagrāma, the appearance place of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, he asked, “Why did renounced Vaiṣṇavas like Haridāsa Ṭhākura go to the house of Hiraṇya and Govardhana Majumadāra? After all, Mahāprabhu said, ‘Meeting with kings and royalty is like taking poison. Renounced Vaiṣṇavas never meet with such men.’ Despite this, we see that numerous Vaiṣṇavas in the renounced order went to the house of the aristocratic viceroy Govardhana. Why was this?”Acarya Kesarī explained, “Haridāsa Ṭhākura had no desire for wealth or anything material. He was niśkiñcana-akiñcana, completely neutral and free of mundane desires. Haridāsa Ṭhākura had the transcendental desire to meet with Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, the son of Govardhana Majumadāra. Dāsa Gosvāmī came from the eternal world of Vraja-maṇḍala. In Mahāprabhu’s līlā he is Raghunātha, but in vraja-līlā he is Rati Mañjarī. Without Rati Mañjarī’s mercy, rati, attraction for Kṛṣṇa will not arise in one’s heart. Rati Mañjarī bestows anurāga and the desire for bhajana, bhakti, and a transcendental relation. At present, our rati is for our own senses. Without spiritual strength and attraction we are unable to transcend our material condition and enter the eternal realm.“Once Nityānanda Prabhu sat under a tree on the bank of the Gaṅga in Pānīhāṭī in the company of Śānanda Sena and thousands of bhaktas. Raghunātha came to meet Nityānanda Prabhu there and prostrated himself before the Lord from a distance. Nityānanda Prabhu called him forward, saying, ‘Thief! You have been hiding from Me; today I will give you a punishment. Now and forevermore you must serve all the Vaiṣṇavas.’ Nityānanda Prabhu placed both His feet on the head of Śrī Raghunātha and said, ‘The living beings are only truly helped when they receive vraja-rati. You must distribute this rati to not only the people that visit your home but to everyone. I have been thinking about pulina-bhojana—how Kṛṣṇa picnics with His friends on the bank of the Yamunā. Arrange prasāda at once for everyone here. This will please Me.’“Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī made all necessary arrangements with haste and ease. The love of svarūpa-śakti empowered him. He did not distribute just sweet yogurt, flat rice, and fruits that morning on the riverbank. In that festival, Rati Mañjarī distributed rati, loving attraction for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. The medium was flat rice, ghee, fruit, yogurt, and so forth, but in truth he was not giving ordinary substances. On Lord Nityānanda’s order, he gave his pure heartfelt love to the devotees.Mahāprabhu directly manifested in the midst of that festival and Nityānanda Prabhu offered the preparations to Him first. Mahāprabhu gladly accepted that offering, prepared with rati and offered by Nityānanda Prabhu—the original guru of all. Afterwards, His prasāda was distributed to tens of thousands of eager recipients. All became full of bliss, receiving the rati distributed by Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Nityānanda Prabhu ordered Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī to never stop this service.”Gurudeva asked Acarya Kesarī, “Rati Mañjarī gave this vraja-rati; did not Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura—the emissary of svarūpa-śakti—also distribute this rati?”“Indeed he did.”“And you are also distributing this rati, Gurudeva?”“Yes,” Acaryadeva said with a smile, “those fortunate souls who have a ready vessel in their hearts all receive this rati.”“If I pray for this,” Gurudeva asked, “will the Guru-varga bestow  upon me?”“Yes, why wouldn’t they? If you beg for this with faith and respect, the merciful Guru-varga will certainly give it to you.”Acarya Kesarī indicated the occupation of sādhakas. “We are simple beggars,” he said. “Sādhakas visit the places of the Guru-varga and beg for vraja-rati from the ācāryas. If you seek charity from general people they may give one, five, or ten rupees, but they can’t give vraja-rati. They will engender viṣaya-rati, attainment for sense objects, and will try to make you their servant. Only the Guru-varga bestow pure love.”From that time on, Śrīla Gurudeva committed prayers of the Guru-varga to memory and repeated them daily in supplication:tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi na jīvāmi tvayā vinā. (Click on the Title to read complete post)

Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Verse 2: Six Impediments to Bhakti

...Those who desire to obtain kṛṣṇa-prema, which is the ultimate fruit of bhakti-yoga, should never indulge in illicit association with women. Learned sages who know the absolute truth say that for those who desire liberation from material existence and attainment of the lotus feet of the Lord, illicit connection with women opens wide the door to hell...

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