Hari-katha Articles The Hearts of the Vrajavasis

The Hearts of the Vrajavasis

Hari-katha inspired by the Guru-varga

When Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was present in this world, he would daily remember the Vrajavasis, manjaris, Srimati Radharani and Krsna, and would pray to them. Internally, he was always present with them. He seriously followed the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to worship Radha and Krsna in his mind. Then, he distributed the glories of the Vrajavasis and instructed everyone on how to remember them.

During the time of sadhana, it is difficult to protect oneself in this environment, and it is difficult to keep our desire one-pointed in the service of Radha and Krsna. What should we do? Do not think of ordinary people because this will divide your heart. Instead, remember Vraja-dhama and the Vrajavasis, and seriously follow bhakti. The hearts of the Vrajavasis are very soft, and they will melt when they see your endeavor. Then, the flow of their hearts will come into your heart.

rucibhis citta-masrinya-
krid asau bhava ucyate
—Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 23.5

Prema-surya means the sun of love. This is present in the hearts of the Vrajavasis. This sun of love reflects its rays into this world in the hearts of sincere sadhakas. When we remember the Vrajavasis and are present in their service, then they will be pleased with us and the rays of their love will shine within our hearts from theirs. This connects us to transcendental nectar. If you drink this nectar, then you will become completely blissful.
When people take intoxicants, they become addicted to them. For example, if a young boy sees his father smoking cigarettes and throwing the buds on the ground, then the boy will start to smoke the leftovers, and then he will begin to buy cigarettes and become addicted to them. Even when his father catches him and orders him not to smoke, the boy will say, “You also smoke. I have learned this from you.” In this way, people in this world are addicted to Maya and sinful activities because they see everyone around them also doing these activities.

We should stay away from such people, and while staying in sadhu-sanga, we should remember the Vrajavasis. If one drop of their love appears in our hearts, we will forget everything else. Therefore, the Guru-varga and Vaisnavas go door-to-door and make relationships with everyone.

When Gargacarya came to Nanda Maharaja’s house, Nanda Maharaja prayed to him:

mahad-vicalanam nrinam
grihinam dina-cetasam
nihsreyasaya bhagavan
kalpate nanyatha kvacit
—Srimad Bhagavatam 10.8.4

And, when Vidhura came to the palace of Maharaja Yudhisthira, Yudhisthira said:

bhavad-vidha bhagavatas
tirtha-bhutah svayam vibho
tirthi-kurvanti tirthani
svantah-sthena gadabhrita
—Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.10

Sadhus are not selfish. They go door-to-door giving love of God to people by making friendship with them. Mundane people meet with their relatives and friends, but this will only cause suffering. On the other hand, when you have a relationship with God’s family members, you will automatically be pure and happy. You will be cured. This relationship makes you strong and energetic. The Guru-varga teaches us on how to respect the Vaisnavas and the Vrajavasis.

The acaryas sing many prayers to teach us how to remember Krsna and the Vrajavasis and how to make relationship with them.

kabe krishna-dhana paba hiyara majhare thoba
judaiba tapita-parana
madhava, bahuta minati kori taya
srita-kamalakuca-mandala dhrta-kundala e

We pray with these songs so that we can develop natural love. Do not think that this praying is useless. This is very powerful. You should be serious when you pray. Then, everything will come in your heart. The Vrajavasis will see and hear your prayers, and then they will be pleased with you and the rays of their love will enter your heart. When you are engaged in these prayers and kirtanas, many well-wishers will come to help you go closer to Krsna. These people are sent by Krsna Himself. Even when you do not desire it, Krsna will send you to the association of Vaisnavas where you can get maha-prasada and the darsan of Tulasi-devi. The Vaisnavas organize many festivals like Janmastami and Gaura Purnima for the benefit of everyone.

In Mathura, Srila Gurudeva told us to offer panjadi, a powdered sweet made from chestnut flower and sugar powder. This is put into small packets and sent all over the world. Even if people do not desire this, their friends and family or devotees come from India and take this sweet all around the world and distribute it. When people take a little bit of this sweet, they remember Srila Gurudeva and Krsna and then their relationships become stronger.

We remember the Vrajavasis and pray to them. This is our very important sadhana. Whenever a service tendency arises in your heart, you should understand that you will soon get liberation. People serve their sons, wives, families, husbands, poor people, lame and blind people, or orphans, but they don’t desire to serve God’s associates. They think that God’s service is only imagination. However, if you pray sincerely, after some time a great inspiration will, like an energy current, come inside you and will make you want to serve God’s family.

Krsna told Uddhava, “Go to Vrndavana. You are with Me here, but you don’t really know Me. Go to Vrndavana and see there how the Vrajavasis are always remembering Me.”

Uddhava stayed in Vrndavana for six months, and then he could understand how Krsna had so much love for the Vrajavasis, and how the Vrajavasis were the dearest to Krsna. Later, when Krsna left to the spiritual world, He again instructed Uddhava to stay in Vraja. He told Uddhava, “I am always in the hearts of the Vrajavasis, and I never leave Vraja-dhama.”
Where is Guru-pada-padma present? Gurudeva is present with his loving followers. When these devotees are pleased with you and bless you with their mercy, then you can see where your Guru Maharaja is present and where you are present. You will realize that this world is a temporary place. We are all refugees, and this world is like a training-center.
Raghunatha dasa Gosvami teaches us therefore how to pray, and he gives us this good news about the Vrajavasis. He teaches us on how to remember them.

We heard about Madhumangala, about Sudama, about Paurnamasi, about Nanda and Upananda, and about Vrsabhanu Maharaja. If you become inspired and you develop respect and faith in these Vrajavasis, or even in one of them, and you remember them, then you will naturally progress very quickly. You should force yourself to daily remember your Guru-parampara. This is a very important sadhana. Only singing is not enough. You should close your eyes and meditate on the Guru-parampara. Do not just recite these prayers artificially. Our Gosvamis therefore would offer dandavat pranamas to each personality in the Guru-parampara, to all Vaisnavas, to all holy places, and to all Vrajavasis. They would offer sastanga-pranama. It is said, “Sankhya-purvaka-nama-gana-natibhih.” Natibhih means obeisance in plural. After mangala-arati, gaura-arati, and bhoga-arati, we offer pranama and we say the jayadvani. This means we glorify all the acaryas and offer pranama to them so that we remember each personality and receive their blessings. But, we see that people simply lay down, close their eyes, and then fall asleep. They do not actually remember these personalities and pray for their grace.

The Gosvamis teach us by their own example. They would offer a thousand-eight pranamas every day. They would start from hundred-eight, and then they would offer thousands of pranamas. They would pray and cry for mercy. Thus, their hearts would melt.

It is not enough to stay nearby Vaisnavas if we have no respect. Everyone thinks that his understanding of everything is right and that he is great. A new person may come today, but he has so much respect, faith, and love for God. We should offer pranama to that person with humility. Even if we get the mercy of a new person, then his faith will come to us. Sometimes, we offer obeisance and pray, but if we are only doing it artificially, we are cheating ourselves, and not any others.

We heard before about Devaprastha, the brother of Paurnamasi-devi. He goes everywhere in Vraja and collects news. When Paurnamasi wants to help anyone, he becomes stronger and quicker than Hanuman, and he goes and serves all the Vrajavasis.

Dasa Gosvami now describes the glories of Radharani’s mother Kirtida. Kirtida has two daughters. There are two maidservants that daily come to Varsana, and Kirtida gives them many services, like washing the clothes of Srimati Radharani, to massage Her, and to apply mehandi on Her hands. Radharani always touches water while cooking, and therefore Her hands become hard. The maidservants massage Radharani’s feet with oil, and they comb Her hair and put oil on Her hair. Kirtida-devi teaches these maidservants on how to give kumkum on Srimati Radharani’s nails and hands. These two girls go to Srimati Radharani in the morning and serve there until the evening. Kirtida-devi gives everyone special moods and a chance a serve Srimati Radharani.

Ramananda Raya describes that some people have Krsna-bhakti, but prema-bhakti is even rarer. Who has real love? You can collect love from someone who has love. Why will they give it to you, and when will they give it to you? If you have a desire for that love, and you practically want to serve, then they will give you this. Otherwise, they will not give it. You may collect all the wealth of this world, but to collect this love is not so easy. After you have performed hard austerities, Maha-Laksmi will give you wealth if she is pleased with you, but the wealth of pure devotion is not so easy to collect. To collect that love, you must be very advanced and smart.

Srila Gaura Kisora Das Babaji Maharaja told Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada, “You have many qualities from this world, but this will not help you to attain the pure love that is present in Vraja-dhama. You must get rid of all material qualities first, and then only can you achieve prema.”

Prema-bhakti is not such an easy thing. Srimati Radharani is Prema-Laksmi. The servants and other Gopis serve Srimati Radharani with prema. They have pure love in their hearts. We pray to Kirtida-devi. She engages those who desire to serve Srimati Radharani in Her service. She gives a chance and the necessary qualifications. The mother has this right to give others a chance to serve her daughter.

When Srimati Radharani is in Yavata, Kirtida sends the daughters of a servant from Varsana. Sometimes, she sends Sridama or others to look after Radharani. She thinks, “My daughter works so hard. How can She tolerate this? She is so soft. She goes to Nandagrama in the morning, and then also goes back there in the afternoon and evening. She cooks twice a day there. She has no time to rest. She comes to Yavata in the afternoon, and Jatila, Kutila, and Abhimanyu make Her take care of the cows and do services in the house. Even late at night, She is serving everyone, and She has no time to rest.”

Kirtida therefore cries for her daughter and thinks, “Why has this punishment come to my daughter? She is in Nandagrama, then Yavata, then back in Nandagrama, and She does not rest properly at night. There are no good facilities there, and no one takes care of Her properly. Why did I marry Radharani to Abhimanyu?” Kirtida sends her servant’s daughters to help Radharani, and to also help Abhimanyu, Kutila, and Jatila. They do not burden Radharani with many chores when the maidservants arrive.

Kirtida thinks, “Why has the creator given so much hardship to women? Their life in household service is so busy and hard. If Kirtida sees Radharani smiling, or if she hears that she is happy, then she will eat and be happy. After Radharani went to Yavata, Kirtida could not sleep and eat, and she lamented so much. She has so much love. Kirtida would take something of the prasadam only when she heard that Radharani had taken prasada. She would always wait for good news about Srimati Radharani. May that Kirtida-devi protect us so that our lives can be auspicious and successful.

The next verse is about Mukhara. She is the grandmother of Srimati Radharani, and the mother of Kirtida. She is very clever, and she makes many arrangements to please Srimati Radharani. Sometimes, she tells Kutila and Jatila, “Srimati Radharani does japa and tapa at night, and She does not sleep. Tell Abhimanyu to never disturb Her. Don’t disturb Her sadhana. She performs very strong and difficult sadhana.”

One day, Jatila, Kutila, and Abhimanyu were guarding the room of Srimati Radharani. In the morning at three-thirty, they had some doubt and thought, “Someone is talking with Radharani in Her room. We will catch this person. A thief has entered the house. Now, we will catch him.”

They were ready to burst into Her room. They told Abhimanyu, “Go inside and see who She is talking with.”

Abhimanyu came in the door and saw that Srimati Radharani was alone. Abhimanyu came out and said, “O mother, why do you doubt Radharani? No one is there.”

Kutila and Jatila said, “I heard her talking with someone.”

They went inside and asked Srimati Radharani, “Who were you talking with?”

Radharani said, “I was talking with my istha-deva.”

“Who is your istha-deva?”

There was a cloth covering something. When they took off the cloth, they saw a beautiful, black deity of Kali. They spoke with the deity. Then, the deity started to speak, “Jatila and Kutila, don’t doubt Radharani. Because you doubt Her, you will suffer life after life. Someone who has doubt can never find happiness in life. Your Abhimanyu is very strong and young, but he has made an offense. If he comes in this room and disturbs Radharani again, then he will suffer at every turn, and no one will be his friend. Everyone will be his enemy. When he takes care of the cows, the cows will not give milk, and when he takes care of the orchard, the trees and plants will not give fruits and vegetables.” The deity, that Srimati Radharani worshiped, threatened Kutila, Jatila, and Abhimanyu. They bowed down before the deity and propitiated her for mercy.

Mukhara told Jatila and Kutila, “My granddaughter has always been absorbed in deep meditation and sadhana. When She calls the demigods, they come at once and fulfill all Her desires. She is very powerful.” They then began to respect Radharani more.

Mukhara arranges for Srimati Radharani to meet with Krsna. She knows how to trick Jatila and Kutila and even her own relatives. She arranges for Radha-Madhava to meet.

All the Vrajavasis respect Mukhara. She is aged, and she always speaks the truth. She has a big following of elders in Vraja, and Srimati Radharani is their life and soul. Even though they are aged, they are very strong and agile.

In societies like the Gaudiya Vaisnava societies, they make programs in a park. They have nice musical programs and nice types of food. Many people come and talk to the dancing devotees. They inspire you to also dance, and chant, and take prasada.

The grandmothers in Vraja arrange programs for the Vrajavasis to attend. There, they speak the glories of Srimati Radharani. People naturally have faith in elders, because they have experience. Whatever they say is given respect. If they are really truthful, they will be very influential and respected in society.

The elders in Srimati Radharani’s family are always thinking about Radharani’s welfare. They have a strong group and if they tell Krsna to do anything, Krsna never disobeys, and if they request Radharani to do anything, She also never disobeys. The elders in Krsna’s family speak with the elders in Radharani’s family, and they arrange pastimes for Radha and Krsna to meet. Externally though, they may chastise Radharani and Krsna and speak very strongly, but they are very soft-hearted on the inside. They are always eager for Radha and Krsna to meet.

Sometimes, they tell Lalita, “Your group is very bad. You don’t follow any proper etiquette. You are always dancing and moving here and there.”

In the morning, brahmanas chant Gayatri and Veda-mantras. Similarly, In Vraja-mandala all the cows moo. When the cows are mooing, they are chanting the Omkara. This Omkara is chanted by yogis also. The yogis chant the Omkara and do yoga in the morning, but a little later they chant so many other names and things. But, the cows only have this one mantra. When they moo, they chant “Om.” Similarly, peacocks and peahens chant, “Kling.” They call Krsna. When the cows or peacocks call Krsna or others, they only chant “Om.” This is the maha-vakya. Sometimes, they first chant ‘a’, or ‘u’, or ‘ma’, or Om all together. When they moo it is like the cows are praying, and they remember only Krsna.

In the early morning, all the cows chant together. Krsna and Nanda Baba understand that the cows have so much milk in their udders, and they want to give that milk for the service of Krsna and the service of the Vrajavasis. They are calling, “O Nanda Baba, please come.” Nanda Baba brings milk pots. What result comes after chanting mantras? Nanda Baba goes and lovingly feeds the cows, gives them cadaras, mehindi, and clean water. He washes their feet and places gorocana on their feet. Nanda Baba places color on the cows’ horns, and puts many herbs on her udders, and gives necklaces to them and flowers. He does this because in the morning, they chant Om for Krsna’s sake. This is the cows’ only language.
How can we become yogis like the cows? How can we become sadhus? We chant many names from morning to evening. Srila Gurudeva gives us the Hare Krsna maha-mantra and Gayatri-mantra, but we chant this ten times, and then the whole day we forget Gayatri, and we irregularly chant the maha-mantra. Sometimes, we even forget to chant altogether. But, the cows chant Om in the morning, afternoon, and evening. They address each other with the Omkara. Also the mothers and grandmothers chant Krsna’s names. They chant, “He Kanaiya, Kalua, Gopala, Nanda-dulala, Yasoda-dulala.” The Guru-varga teaches us:

yasomati-nandana, vraja-varo-nagara,
gokula-ranjana kana
gopi-parana-dhana, madana-manohara,

jaya radha-madhava jaya kunja-bihari
gopi-jana-vallabha jaya giri-vara-dhari

They teach us these holy names, because they are filled with nectar. We must seriously remember these mantras. Otherwise, we will always remain in Maya.

Milk comes from the udders of cows, and it is favorable and serves everyone. But, only stool comes from us. Nothing good comes, and with our mouths we abuse others and offer so many complaints. We are like ferocious animals. Because we have no love for God in our hearts, we only have bad things, and when we speak anything then it is only a foul substance. We do not even have humility.

When Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura addressed anyone, he would call them “prabhu,” and he would call himself a “dasa.” But, we don’t even respect our seniors. A great acarya like Prabhupada would even respect his disciples and call them prabhu, but we cannot even call our seniors ‘prabhu.’ We should practice proper etiquette and try to be more humble. By chanting Krsna’s names and forgetting materialistic names, we can gradually progress.
The Vrajavasis use milk from the cows to make butter, yoghurt, and many sweets like barfis and laddus. They tell each other, “You should take care of Krsna like this.” The newborn calves have very soft and fragile bodies. In the beginning of their infancy, they remain on soft grass beds inside a shelter, where the Vrajavasis take care of all the cows.

We will hear more about Mukhara now. If she cannot see Radharani for even a moment, her heart is broken, and she goes to a temple of Radharani. What is Radharani’s temple? She chants, “Radhe, Radhe.”

Babaji Maharaja would always chant:

kothaya go premamayi radhe radhe
radhe, radhe go, jaya radhe, radhe
dekha diye prana rakho radhe radhe
tomara kangala tomaya dake radhe radhe

Radharani’s grandmother, Mukhara, is always remembering Srimati Radharani, and chanting Her name. Radharani’s holy name is like a temple. When we always chant these names, we are in the temple of Radharani. Mukhara prays, “O Radharani, where are You? I want to see You. For your welfare, You should go and worship the sun-god. You should go bathe in the rivers and lakes and pick flowers in the gardens. You should not always stay inside your home, like a prisoner.”

Mukhara would tell Jatila and Kutila, “My granddaughter is very honest and chaste. She worships the sun, and the sun gives Her blessings, and then She can please and serve everyone. But, you don’t perform worship of the sun. You should let Radharani do it alone.”
Jatila would also want to go, but Mukhara said, “The sun is very strong and hot. You will not be able to tolerate these burning rays. You are not pure at heart, you are not honest, and you have not done austerities. You have doubts in your mind. Therefore, you are not qualified to do this worship.” Jatila, however, would insist on going. Then, Mukhara said, “Go, and then you will see what will happen.”

When Jatila went to worship the sun, the heat from the sun burnt her cloth, and then began burning her skin. She shouted in pain and ran and jumped in the lake. When she came out, she was very embarrassed because her cloth had been burnt. She saw that Radharani and Her manjaris and Gopis worshiped the sun, and the sun accepted all Her bhoga and blessed Her.

This is Prema-Surya, the sun of love. If you have no love for God, then you may try to control others, but you will not get their benedictions and blessings. You cannot attain anything with a challenging mood. You must follow the associates of God, and you must follow their instructions. Only then can you advance and attain this pure love.

From that time, Jatila would honor Mukhara and have faith in her words. Mukhara said, “Allow Radharani to go and worship the sun, but you should not go with Her. You should let Her do it with Her friends. Wherever Srimati Radharani goes and whatever She does, She is perfect and always chaste. You should not doubt Her.”

Once at the bank of Manasi-ganga, they made a competition about who the most chaste and honest lady is in Vraja. They made a sieve with thousands of holes, and the condition was that whichever lady could fill up that sieve with water without a single drop falling out, and could carry it back to her home, would be declared as fully chaste. When Radharani carried this pot on Her head without dropping a single drop, everyone respected Her because only Radharani could perform this feat.

On Sunday, Srimati Radharani wakes early and offers incenses. Visakha goes to Radharani and says, “O Radhe, Your grandmother is calling You to worship the sun. If You don’t come quickly, she will be very sad.” Mukhara came to see Radharani and brought Her many gifts. She is very eager to see her granddaughter. Mukhara gave Radharani all the ingredients for the worship of the sun, and then gave Her many varieties of prasadam. She would bring delicate items, hidden in her cloths. She would give them to Srimati Radharani with her own hand. She would feed Srimati Radharani with her own hand.

In the evening, Krsna wears delicate flower garlands and necklaces on his chest. Mukhara collects the garland worn by Krsna, and gives them to Srimati Radharani. When Radharani touches these garlands, she feels so much bliss. Therefore, Mukhara brings them for Radharani’s happiness. Sometimes, Mukhara brings Krsna’s Pitambara along with the garland, by mistake, and then Srimati Radharani puts this on with the garland. Then, sometimes Jatila comes in the room and says, “Where did this yellow cloth come from? We have heard that You are always honest, but where is this smell of Krsna coming from?”
Visakha comes and says to Jatila, “How do you know the smell of Krsna? Have you embraced Him? Your body is old, but you have the desire of a young girl. You desire to embrace and do rasa-lila with Krsna. Therefore, you know what He smells like. This is not Krsna’s cloth.”

Jatila looks down, and then Visakha takes away the Pitambara, and puts Radharani’s shawl back. Jatila looks up and sees Radharani wearing Her normal cloth. Visakha then says, “Alas! You are full of doubts. You cover yourself with white cloth and appear to be clean, but really you have so many bad desires inside. What is the problem in wearing yellow cloth, even if Radharani did? Is there anything wrong with yellow cloth? Why do you always think that this is Krsna’s smell? You always think about Krsna. That’s why. You pretend to be chaste, but you are not. This cloth was actually blue, but so much flower pollen came on the cloth that it has become yellow.”

Mukhara takes the cloth, washes it, and then comes with another wet cloth and says, “Look, it is blue. Really, I brought garlands for Radharani, which give Her a lot of energy. I collected them from the forest and brought them for my granddaughter. The pollen from these flowers made the cloth look yellowish.” Then, she gives the Pitambara back to the sakhis and the sakhis take it secretly to Krsna.

yasya kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena kritartha-mani
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano ‘pi
tasya namo ‘stu vrishabhanu-bhuvo dise ‘pi
— Sri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, verse 2

When a breeze that has touched Srimati Radharani’s clothes, carries the smell and comes to Krsna, then as a result, Krsna cannot maintain His composure. He faints in ecstasy.

The Guru-varga, like Prabhodananda Sarasvatipada, are present in Vraja, and they know all these pastimes. We have no idea of these pastimes because we never remember the holy dhama and the holy family. We think about our past lives. We come to Vrndavana, but we are always checking our e-mails and our phones, and we are in contact with all our friends and family. You should give some time of your day to practice remembering Vraja and Krsna. You should make a vow to not remember anyone from this world for one hour of the day. You should have a chart of the Guru-varga’s holy names, the names of the manjaris, the Gosvamis, the sakhas, and you should remember their names one after the other, and offer obeisance to them. Practice this, and then you will progress very quickly. In a short time, a good mood will come in your heart. Then, their qualities and nature will be remembered by you. This is our sadhana. This is the process of anuraga bhajana. This is siddha-pranali. Don’t think that only by taking a mantra, you can become siddha. You should put yourself in boiling water, and then you can become siddha, or cooked like a potato boiled in water. This is not siddha-pranali. The Gosvamis are our siksa-gurus, and they teach us the process of siddha-pranali. After taking diksa, we must take siksa. Our Gosvamis teach us how to perform siddha-pranali.

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango ‘tha bhajana-kriya
tato ‘nartha-nivrittih syat
tato nishtha rucis tatah
—Caitanya Caritamrta, Madhya 23.14

Unless you enter the family of Vaisnavas, learn from them, and by their mercy become related to God’s family, then you cannot really progress and become perfect. If you stay with your materialistic society members, you can never progress in spiritual life. You must be in favorable association if you desire to understand siddha-pranali. It is not some tobacco or ganja that you can smoke and which can drug you. This is very subtle and supremely fine. If you simply hear this with respect, and if you make a fixed time to remember Vraja-bhakti and the Vrajavasis, then you can progress. Therefore, we chant and do kirtana in the morning and in the evening. But during the kirtana, we only bang our instruments and are absent-minded. Really, we do not remember Vraja and the Vrajavasis.

krpa koro’ vaisnava thakura
sambandha janiya, bhajite bhajite,
abhiman hao dura

We sing this song, but we do not really pray for mercy. We should pray, “O Vaisnava Thakura, please make me related to you, and make me forget my own pride and ego.” We never pray like this. Instead we say, “O Vaisnava Thakura, please give me mercy so that I can be more related with this world, and be with my boyfriend or girlfriend, and my own enjoyment.” This is only bogus.

We have to learn the proper process. This is called hari-katha, bhajana-siksa, and sadhu-sanga. If we practice this process, then we will gradually enter the family of the Vrajavasis. We will get their mercy, and then we will get so much help. Then, we can beg and pray for more help.

Many times in Mathura, I would ask the brahmacaris, “Where are you going?”

They answered, “We are going for bhiksa,” or, “We are going for some treatment.”

When I asked them where they are going to do this, they would not tell Srila Gurudeva or me. When we go for bhiksa, we should go to Giriraja Govardhana. We should beg Vraja-bhakti from him. When we are sick, we go and pray to the Vaisnavas to receive their advice. We should serve the Vaisnavas. This is our treatment. We should go and beg, “O Prabhu, O Giriraja, please give me some bhakti.” What can we get from ordinary people? Money, honey? No. We can only get anarthas and sins. When we collect so much of this, we will be separate from the temple, we will not respect Vaisnavas, we will not follow any limbs of bhakti, and we will only be interested in collecting our own followers. We leave one family and make our own family. We make a group of thieves and dacoits. Can we offer all the people’s hearts to Guru and Vaisnavas, to God’s family and His service? If we can do that, then we are real sadhus and not cheaters.

Therefore, you must hear these classes. Our Guru Maharaja has kindly given us this peaceful place. Also in Mathura, Govardhana, Puri, and Navadvipa, we hear classes like this. We are always engaged in hari-katha and kirtana.

In Ujjvala Nilamani, there are so many names written of the Vrajavasis. And also in Caitanya Caritamrta and in Govinda Lilamrta, there are so many names described by Srila Kaviraja Gosvami. We should collect these names. We should collect the names and glories of the Vrajavasis and remember them. This is most important. Rupanugas follow the footsteps of Rupa Gosvami. Remember Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Rati manjari. Follow Svaniyama-dasakama, Svaniyama-dvadasakama, and Sankalpa-kalpa-druma. Make a vow to do this every day. Before and after you chant harinama, remember the names of the Guru-varga, and offer them pranama. If you cannot offer sastanga-dandavat-pranama, then offer pranama in your mind. Ladies should offer astanga or pancanga-pranama. Offer pranama and remember the names of the Guru-varga. Even if we do a little bit, we should be very serious, and then we can progress and be present nearby the Guru-varga and Guru-pada-padma. If we are not serious, we will lose everything and we will eventually leave the process of bhakti.

Gaura Premanande Haribol!

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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