Gurudeva Katha 1996 Lectures Unity In Diversity

Unity In Diversity

They are all in one family. Vaiṣṇavas are not different from Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is not different from Kṛṣṇa. This is unity in diversity. There is nothing that can be called one, this oneness cannot be defined by any dictionary also. “O-N-E,” these are three letters. In Hindi, one is called ek, E-K. In Urdu and different languages, one is called in many different terms. You may just say that one is a term consisting of some lines on a sheet. But, one single line has lakhs and lakhs of dots. So, there is nothing that can be considered as one. When the māyāvādīs (impersonalists) speak of everything being as one, they are quite wrong, quite wrong. They cannot give any examples of this state of ‘oneness.’ Two substances, which are mixed together will produce another substance. One plus one equals two and not one.

I have a very interesting story to tell of Śaṅkarācārya. By the time, Śaṅkarācārya was a boy of twelve, he had read all the scriptures and he was ready to take the renounced order of life. His mother told him, “Bring some eggplants from the garden because some guests have come and I have to cook. So bring them.”

He went and got one eggplant. His mother asked, “Why have you bought only one eggplant? It will not do. It will not be sufficient to feed all the guests. So, bring more.”

Śaṅkarācārya replied, “There are no more eggplants in the garden. I saw only one in the entire garden.” Then Śaṅkarācārya’s mother was worried and she thought, “Perhaps the thieves have come and stolen all the eggplants away. And only one eggplant was left.”

She took her boy and went there. There, she saw that many eggplants were present. She started to count them and realized that there were ten hundred eggplants.

After seeing his mother count the eggplants, Śaṅkarācārya said, “No mother, you have forgotten to count the right way.”

Looking at the eggplants, Śaṅkarācārya counted them and said, “One, one, one, one.”

Then, Śaṅkarācārya’s mother twisted his ears and gave him a slap.


She said, “For twelve years I have taught you and even sent you to school. But, have you not read anything there? Is that why you say, ‘One, one, one, one,’ while counting the eggplants?”


So, Śaṅkarites say, “One plus one is equal to one.” But, this conception is like zero, even one cannot be defined. According to them, Brahma has no qualification. Brahma is without any potencies or energies. Brahma has no name and body. Brahma is nothing!

They say, “We are this same Brahma. Aham brahmāsmi.”

But, if you give them a slap, their Brahma will go away. A brahmavādī came to me and said, “Aham brahmāsmi. I am Brahma.”

I said, “Very good. Very good! You are my master. Come on, come on.”

I told the brahmacārīs, “Bring a burning log of wood. And place it in the mouth of this person. We will see then how he is Brahma.”


On listening to me speak to the brahmacārīs, he fled from the temple immediately. I called out, “Wait a little! Wait a little!” But he was quick on his heels to flee. So, this theory of oneness is quite wrong.

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Jagannātha’s divine form is very special and full of many mysteries. Parabrahma resides within the heart of Jagannātha. That Parabrahma is Kṛṣṇa, and indranīla-maṇī. There is a śālagrāma there. This is called Parabrahma. Brahmā said, “I will place this Parabrahma here,” when the original Jagannātha Deities were carved. “I will keep Parabrahma hidden inside Jagannātha, in the kuñja in His heart.” When the four logs of wood came to Cakra-tīrtha, Kṛṣṇa was present inside one as Nīla-Mādhava, Naṭavara-Nanda-kiśora. Only four Dayitās are allowed into the secret enclave where the transferral of Parabrahma is performed from one Jagannātha to another. There are no lights. All the lights in Jagannātha-Purī are turned off during the night of Nava-kalevara, when Parabrahma is transferred from the heart of one Jagannātha to the new Jagannātha. The Dayitās are also blindfolded before doing the ceremony. It is said that the opening in Jagannātha is two feet by two and a half feet. This is covered by many layers. When this cave in Jagannātha’s heart is opened, a brilliant light shines forth. Bhubaneśvarī resides within Subhadrā-devī. She is transferred to the new Subhadrā Deity by her appointed dayitā priest. Ananta-Vasudeva is within Baladeva Prabhu and He is transferred to the new Baladeva. Brahmā hid these Deities within the wooden Deities of Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadrā. Therefore, Mahāprabhu would say, “You are not a Deity, You are directly Vrajendra-nandana.” Why? Kṛṣṇa is hiding inside Jagannātha. There no one will disturb Him and He can stay privately with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī and the Vrajavāsīs. The Gauḍīya Guru-varga, under guidance of Mahāprabhu, in the Svarūpa-rūpānuga-paramparā know these secrets and disclose them at the appropriate time.


I received your letter, dated 20.9.66, on time. Our relation­ship is certainly based on spontaneous love. That is why there is no chance of us forgetting one another. By the mercy of Guru and Gaurāṅga, may everything be auspicious for you. This is my constant prayer. From the first time I saw you I have been your constant well-wisher. At his first sight of me, Śrīla Prabhupāda also saw me with such love. It was in my very first darśana of Śrīla Prabhupāda that I learned how to love. It is his boundless mercy that he has engaged an unworthy person like me in fulfilling some of his desires. It is his causeless mercy to engage me in preaching the message of Śrī Rūpa and Śrī Raghunātha. In all the Gauḍīya-Maṭhas, I think that you are the real guru-sevaka, so I always correspond with you, and I always give my full love and affection to you. On July 25, 1967, Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Svāmī Mahārāja returned from his first preaching tour in America with his disciple Kirtanānanda dasa. Srila Gurudeva met him at the airport and stayed with him in Delhi for six days at the Radha-Kṛṣṇa Chippiwada Temple. Śrīla Bhakivedanta Swami, also referred to by his disciples as Srila Prabhupada, told Srila Gurudeva how he began his preaching in the bower of New York, one of the most degraded places in America. He prayed to his Gurudeva and began to chant the pañca-tattva mantra and mahāmantra in Tompkins Square Park. He kept his eyes closed and became absorbed in his chanting while many hippies began to dance around him joyously. They offered him drugs and alcoholic drinks, not knowing the regulations of devotional life. People became attracted to the path of bhakti and began coming to his discourses at a storefront shop called Matchless Gifts. He incorporated ISKCON, the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, opened a center in San Francisco and New York, and continued his translation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam—before returning to India. In the coming years, by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s desire, the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness Movement spread rapidly around the world. Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svami Mahārāja arrived at Rādhā-Dāmodara in Vṛndāvana on August 1. A few weeks later, another disciple of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja, Acyutānanda dāsa, arrived from America. Śrīla Gurudeva often went to see Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja in Vṛndāvana. He defended Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s disciples and partook of their cooking—a unique gesture because most of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja’s godbrothers, as well as all the caste Gosvāmīs, would not accept the cooking of Westerners, who had previously been meat-eaters. Śrīla Gurudeva quoted Kṛṣṇa: na me ‘bhaktaś catur-vedī mad-bhaktaḥ śva-pacaḥ priyaḥ tasmai deyaṁ tato grāhyaṁ sa ca pūjyo yathā hy aham Hari-bhakti-vilasa 10.91 A non-devotee brāhmaṇa who knows the four Vedas is not actually dear to Me. However, a devotee, even if born in a family of outcastes, is certainly very dear to Me. Everything should be offered to him, and whatever he offers should be accepted. He is as worshippable as Myself.


Mantra-śakti will control your mind and bring you to harināma, hari-bhakti and the dhāma. If you seriously chant the mantra given to you by Śrī Guru, then you will get strong relationship with the mahā-bhāgavatas, Guru-varga, Ṣaḍ-Gosvāmī, Dvadaśa-Gopāla, Cauṣatti-Mahānta, Aṣṭa-kavirāja, and all the ācāryas. How can it be understood that this is happening? A very sweet desire and greed for hearing hari-kathā and reading the books of the Guru-varga will increase in your heart. This greed will come first. After, you will become more enthusiastic to chant harināma. Then you will develop attachment to hari-dhāma and hari-jana and never want to leave them.

Annakuta and Pujyapada Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja

When I came to Mathura to stay with Gurudeva, I was alone. I left one family, and came to stay in the family of Vaisnavas. We were lucky to have Pujyapada Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja visit us in Mathura; he would often speak harikatha in the evening. Gurudeva would give him the vyasasana and request him to speak. Pujyapada Bhakti Bhudeva Srauti Maharaja, Pujyapada Bhakti Jivana Janardhana Maharaja, Pujyapada Hrisikesa Maharaja, Pujyapada Paramahamsa, Maharaja, Pujyapada Sara Maharaja, and many other Acaryas would come to Mathura. They shared a sweet relationship with Gurudeva. Gurudeva would respect them, and he would tell me to serve them. In this way, I would be able to understand them.He said, “Unless one respects and serves the family members of God, one can never realize anything.” Therefore, he requested us to serve them. We didn’t serve as a matter of duty. People who serve by force have no love. Guru and Vaisnavas are transcendental power houses. They are the expansions of Svarupa sakti. If you serve them, you will be connected to their power. By their power, you will understand who the Vaisnavas are.Millions of people came to Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu would place them under the guidance of His different associates like Sri Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha das Gosvami, Vakresvara Pandit, Gopala Guru, and Gadadhara Pandit. No one could understand Mahaprabhu’s mood without taking shelter of His associates.I never thought that Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Maharaja was not my Gurudeva. He taught me many things. I was a servant in his temple for many months. I would only work and work. Maharaja would call me a karmi, or worker. He would say, “You are running up and down the stairs a thousand times a day. Then, you run to Holi gate, and then to Janma bhumi, like a horse.” I was always working. Therefore, when Maharaja came to see me, he would call me a maha-karmi. But, he had so much love for me. Once, he pulled me to Rajamundry and to Kovur. He also took me to the Caitanya Candrodaya temple in Balesvara. Why? He had unlimited love. I will never be able to define or explain this love. Before, I was with Maharaja. For me, he was my relative, my family. But, I could not understand his nature as a Mahabhagavat, and I would argue with him. I never thought that this could be Vaisnava aparadha, or that this could make a Vaisnava angry.Sometimes, Maharaja or Pujyapada Janardhana Maharaja or Pujyapada Srauti Maharaja would come and stay for fifteen days or a month in Mathura. Vrndavana only had Caitanya Gaudiya Matha, and Mathura only had our temple. Srila Puri Maharaja would come and give class. His classes were infused with much spiritual power. It was like power coming from the powerhouse. This would purify one, and like the words of the Acaryas, his words would completely transform the heart. Maharaja would close his eyes when he was speaking. He would speak for half an hour, or one hour, without opening his eyes. Sometimes, he would cry, and sometimes he would smile. Sometimes, he spoke without stopping for a long time.At that time, we didn’t understand the meaning of bhava. When one crosses all anarthas, and comes near the stage of rati, he develops a special mood. Ordinary people do not know who a Vaisnava is. Vaisnavas mercifully make a platform. They clean the heart, and they help someone to understand who a Vaisnava really is. Only Vaisnavas can understand Vaisnavas. But, ordinary people have no intelligence. They cannot understand this.By the causeless mercy of Pujyapada Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Gosvami Maharaja, he accepted me, and because of this, I never distanced myself from Vaisnavas in my life. He would tell me, “Apart from the Vaisnavas, nothing in this world has any value. They are the family members of God. They are the expansions of God’s body.”

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