Gateways to Goloka Vṛndāvana
After the disappearance of parama-gurudeva, Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrīla Gurudeva explained the special glories of samādhi. Parama-gurudeva has made the samādhi-kuñja for Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in Vraja-pattana, on the bank of Śyāma-kuṇḍa. Also in Vraja-pattana, on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa, Śrīla Prabhupāda Sarasvatī Ṭhākura made the samādhi-kuñja for Śrīla Gaura-kiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. Śrīla Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja’s samādhi-kuñja is in Koladvīpa. Śrīla Bhakti Pramoda Purī Mahārāja’s samādhi-kuñja is situated in Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s play garden in Māyāpura, called Īśodyāna. At the saṅkīrtana rāsa-sthalī Śrīvāsa-aṅgana the samādhi-kuñja of Nitai dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja and many other Vaiṣṇavas are present. And there are so many samādhi-kuñjas in Māyāpura, in Mahāprabhu’s Antardvīpa-Yogapīṭha: Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Sāraṅga Gosvāmī Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Kaṅkaṇa Tapasvi Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Mayūkha Bhāgavata Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Dayita Mādhava Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Kamala Madhusūdana Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Kusuma Śramaṇā Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vilāsa Tīrtha Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Vicāra Yājāvara Mahārāja, Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Āloka Paramahaṁsa Mahārāja. Their samādhi-kuñjas in this world are connected with their kuñja-kuṭīras in the eternal spiritual world. If anyone comes to these samādhis, prays there and offers puṣpāñjali, then this will establish a direct connection to the eternal spiritual world. We are making our offerings here, but the Vaiṣṇavas accept our offerings in eternal Vraja-maṇḍala, and they send their blessings to us from there.
Samādhis Are Vital Spiritual Training Centers
All the conditioned living entities are physically arrested by the five material elements. It is not possible for them to break their relationship with these elements and cross over māyā on their own accord. However, if someone goes to the samādhi center of a bona fide guru and prays for help there, this physical attachment can be cut very easily. Such a person will then, under the guidance of the Vaiṣṇavas, be able to take shelter of the samādhi-kuñja in his subtle body. He will continue to pray and follow all the limbs of bhakti. He will no longer speak prajalpa (idle gossip), but will instead be very serious. He will lose his desire to cheat people and to do business. There will be no duplicity, fighting, competition, or challenging mood in his behaviour. Instead, with a humble attitude, he will be absorbed in prayer. Now his heart will start to melt, as it is more and more cleansed. His mind will become cool, and he will no longer be restless. Next, he will also cross the bondage of his subtle body and become fixed in his eternal soul identity. This is called svarūpa-siddhi.
When our soul attains svarūpa-siddhi, we will go to the eternal world, together with Śrī Gurupāda-padma, and perform service there. We will still have a physical structure, a material body and mind, but we will no longer have relationship with them. This is called sahaja-samādhi, or natural, real samādhi. To attain this, training at the samādhi center of a bona fide divine master is necessary. It is not possible to receive this training in any other place. Therefore, when our guru-varga returns to the spiritual world, they kindly leave behind this spiritual structure, their samādhi temple. From there, they are helping, teaching, giving training, and making the conditioned souls qualified. How do they do this? Śrīla Gurudeva will now explain their teaching process.
First, we should go to the samādhi-kuñja and pray, “Oh Gurudeva, when will you give me your causeless mercy? My mind should be fixed, so I can easily chant harināma. Disturbances should no longer come to me, or if they do, I will no longer be affected by them. Day and night, I will be close to you, chanting harināma, praying, begging, and crying to you. I will be niṣkapaṭa (truthful). In any way I will maintain my body and mind, but I will never go distant to you. And by your causeless mercy, I will understand Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s līlā. I will understand Godruma and Svānanda-sukhada-kuñja. I will respect all the Vaiṣṇavas and bhaktas and will be engaged continuously in nāma-saṅkīrtana. By your order, the eternal līlā-śakti (pastime potency of the Lord) will help me, and gaura-līlā mādhurī (the sweet pastimes of Śrī Gauraṅga) will appear in my heart. Anyone may kick me or abuse me, but I will no longer care. I will continuously serve you and follow in your footsteps.”
“You are present in Navadvīpa, at Giri-nikuñja. My faith is fixed. Every day I am practicing all the limbs of bhakti, and you are teaching me how to do this properly. You will give inspiration, and I will practice. If I have any fault or make any mistake, you will purify me and give me good inspiration and instructions. Only serious people come to you, to your samādhi-kuñja. If they are lucky, they will take shelter there and then, quickly, they will be able to cross over māyā and also enter into this eternal samādhi.”
Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura also continuously prays like this to Śrī Lokanātha dāsa Gosvāmī: “When will that time come, when you will accept me and offer me to the lotus feet of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī?”
Prayer at the Samādhi
Now Śrīla Gurudeva will teach how we should pray, for his happiness and pleasure, when we come to his samādhi-kuñja. “Oh Gurudeva, I am offering my body, my mind, my health and wealth, my everything at your lotus feet. Before, I was foolish. I was collecting many material things. Now I understand that all of these are useless. I am foolish and ignorant. Life after life I collected useless things. But now I understand that you are my everything. You are my father, my mother, my friend. I am yours. Please accept me and give me adhikāra (qualification) for my eternal service.” Śrīla Gurudeva is very kind. When he hears us pray like this, he will give us a chance to establish a relationship with him, and with all his eternal associates.
When you come to the samādhi-kuñja, you will understand that this place is non-different from Vṛndāvana-dhāma. It is cintāmaṇi-svarūpa, made of wish-fulfilling jewels. Yoga-pīṭha is present there, and it is from this place that hlādhinī-śakti (the Lord’s pleasure-giving potency) spreads her power everywhere. Gurudeva says that all sādhakas should come to the samādhi every day and pray there for their eternal service. They should pray to Gurudeva, “When will I be able to enter into this eternal Navadvīpa-dhāma, and see how all the dhāmavāsīs (inhabitants of the dhāma) are serving Mahāprabhu?”
Anyone who continuously chants harināma mahā-mantra is a follower of Mahāprabhu and all others are relatives of Māyā-devī. Mahāprabhu’s associates chant mahā-mantra, and this pleases Mahāprabhu and the guru-varga. They will be very happy. Śrīla Gurudeva gave us harināma and dīkṣā. Therefore, every day we should chant harināma in front of Śrīla Gurudeva, at his samādhi-kuñja. This is guru-sevā. It is our first offering to him, for his pleasure: to chant every day and pray to him, remembering the glories of harināma. “The lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are my life and soul. They are my only nourishment. They are like nectar.”All nectar comes from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. In the eternal world,
Śrīla Gurudeva is engaged in the service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, but he makes an eternal branch office in this material world, and that is his samādhi-kuñja. If you go there and pray, then very easily Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī will become pleased. She will tell Gurudeva, “Oh, there are many people waiting at your door. You should take My prasādam, My mercy and blessings, and go and distribute this to them. They are My followers. They follow you, so therefore they are also My followers. They are very blissful and merciful. You should accept them and give them instructions on how they can quickly coming to Vṛndāvana, together with you.”
Now, the sādhaka at the samādhi-kuñja will pray, “ramaṇī-śiromaṇi vṛṣabhānu-nandinī.” He will remember how Śrīla Gurudeva is dressing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and how he is serving Her. The sādhaka is nicely singing, cooking, cleaning, and by the order of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Śrīla Gurudeva comes there to teach him and give training. The samādhi-kuñja is Śrīla Gurudeva’s permanent training center. At each moment he is looking, “how many people are coming to me?” But if anyone comes for a purpose other than to develop bhakti, he will not answer their prayers. He will help only if anyone comes with the desire to serve Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
Śrīla Gurudeva is very expert at this nikuñja-sevā. There are many kuñja-kuṭīras in Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa. Our guru-kuñja (Śrīla Gurudeva’s samādhi-kuñja) is there, and so are the samādhi-kuñjas of all the other sakhīs. There are many groups, and under the guidances of their own yūtheśvarī (group leader) they are all performing many types of sevā. At those samādhi-kuñjas, we should carefully pray to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Śrīla Gurudeva will see this and think, “Oh, they are praying, but they don’t know the process,” and thus, from his samādhi-kuñja, he will then give instructions.
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu Himself went to the samādhi-center of His guru, Śrī Īśvara Purī. He collected dust from that place, and every day He used to take a little bit of that dust and smear it all over his body. Also in Remunā, near Bāleśvara, the samādhi-kuñja of Śrī Mādhavendra Purī is present. Every day, Gopīnātha sends His prasādam to Mādhavendra Purī, to this samādhi-kuñja. Mādhavendra Purī takes that prasādam and then distributes it to all his parivāra (spiritual family members).
Next, the sādhaka at the samādhi-kuñja will pray, “pālya-dāsī kori’, lalitā sundarī, āmāre loiyā kabe – How can I become a pālyadāsī in the service of Vṛṣabhānu-sutā Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī?” This will make Śrīla Gurudeva very happy and pleased. The sādhaka also prays, “Without Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, I will not go anywhere. I will only follow in Her footsteps. Without Her mercy, I don’t even desire Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. I will not go to Dvārakā or Mathurā, and I will not go to Candrāvalī. I don’t want to go to Kṛṣṇa alone, independently, not even if Kṛṣṇa is calling me.” Śrīla Gurudeva is giving us this mood. He inspires us to renounce all material things and enter into this eternal samādhi. Then we will have no more tension, no more material attachments. If the only desire in our heart is to smear the foot dust of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī on our body, to take shelter at Her lotus feet, to chant Her holy name and to eternally serve Her in Vṛndāvana; if the very deep desire in our heart is for mañjarī-bhāva and mañjarī-sevā and we pray for this to Vilāsa Mañjarī, Anaṅga Mañjari, Rūpa Mañjari, and all the other mañjarīs, then Śrīla Gurudeva will give us entrance into this yoga-pīṭha. He will give us a place, one corner, within his own eternal samādhi-kuñja.
We will then completely forget our ordinary, material identity. We will be able to see the beauty of Vrajabhūmi (the land of Vraja) and attain our eternal svarūpa there. We will be permeated with the moods and nature of the vraja-devīs, and their advice and instructions will become very easy to follow. By the causeless mercy of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, we will receive the shelter of Yamunā-devī, Vṛndāvana-dhāma, and all the Vrajavāsīs. Then, day and night, we will sing Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s glories. Śrīla Gurudeva teaches,
rādhā-kṛṣṇa prāṇa mora yugala-kiśora,
jīvane maraṇe gati āro nāhi mora
Sakhī-Vṛnda Vijñapti, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Prāṇa Mora (1)
by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura
[The youthful Divine Couple – Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa – are my life and soul. In life or death, I have no other refuge but Them.]
When we continuously serve under the guidance of Śrī Gurupāda-padma, then ‘samādhi’ will be very easy to understand.
Excerpted from the Bhakta Bandhav Publication “Śrī Guru-darśana As It Is”, Chapter 2
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]