[Excerpt from Srila Gurudeva: Anthology, U.K. (23 May 1996), the second book in a series of volumes on Srila Gurudeva’s world preaching tours.]
Earlier, I told you all what pranaya is. Bhakti begins from sadhu-sanga. Then, guru-karana and visrambhena-guru-seva, which is intimate service to guru, follow the stage of sadhu-sanga. The stages of bhajana, anartha-nivrtti, and nistha follow. After nistha, the stage of ruci comes. At first, ruci will only be for sadhana. There are two kinds of ruci explained by Srimat Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. If kirtana is going on with the flute, harmonium, and other instruments being played; then, a person will think, “Oh this kirtana is very good.”
Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Vastu-vaisista-apeksani and vastu-vaisista-anapeksani.
Srila Gurudeva: And if there is no harmonium, and if the other instruments are also not played, then the kirtana sung will not be as attractive to the same listener; without the instruments being played, a ‘thick’ sound will come. The kirtana is sung by an old person; he doesn’t have a sweet voice. But, as he sings, he weeps and cries out, “Oh Krsna! Oh Krsna!”
As he chants Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, he continuously weeps. There are two types of ruci: vastu-vaisista-apeksani ruci and vastu-vaisista-anapeksani ruci. When there is so much srngara on Thakuraji, a person having vastu-vaisista-apeksani ruci will think, “Oh there is so much beautiful srngara on Thakuraji.” But when He is naked, the same person will remark, “Oh we should go to another temple. There, Thakuraji is wearing golden ornaments; He is seated on a golden chariot. Sometimes, He is also seated on a golden swing.” So, this will develop into the second class of ruci, which is vastu-vaisista-anapeksani ruci. When a devotee having this ruci will hear the holy name, then he will weep and roll on the ground. He will have no shame – nothing.
jatanurago druta-citta uccaih
hasaty atho roditi rauti gayaty
unmada-van nrityati loka-bahyah
—Srimad Bhagavatham 11.2.40
He will not be concerned by what people say. He will weep and chant, “Oh Krsna! Oh Krsna!” Like how the Gosvamis did. They would weep and chant sometimes in Vrndavana, sometimes in Bhandiravan, and sometimes in Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda.
“Oh Radhike! Where are You?”
he radhe vraja-devike ca lalite he nanda-suno kutah
sri-govardhana-kalpa-padapa-tale kalindi-vane kutah
ghoshantav iti sarvato vraja-pure khedair maha-vihvalau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri jiva-gopalakau
They would weep and sing like this. They would be unaware of their surroundings and they would only continuously cry. They would roll on the earth, while weeping. Sometimes, they would also laugh. By their “inner eyes,” they see many pastimes. The Gosvami sees that Krsna is playing with Sridhama and Subala. Sridhama has defeated Krsna in wrestling and Krsna is laughing; all are laughing.
Once, Krsna came near Kesi-ghata. At that time, Kesi-ghata wasn’t discovered yet. On the order of Kamsa, Kesi, a very powerful demon came there and he was searching for Krsna. Kamsa had told him, “Krsna is a boy who is syama-complexioned. He will have a flute on His lips. He will also have a peacock feather on His head. He stands in His threefold bending way. A Pitambara decorates Him as well. When you come across such a boy, know that He is Krsna. He is my sworn enemy who should be destroyed.” Thus, Kesi went on his way to Vrndavana.
In the meantime, Madhumangala told Krsna, “You always play on Your flute and You wear yellow clothes. You also have a peacock feather on Your head. If You give this paraphernalia of Yours, then all the gopis will give laddus to me instead of giving them to You. They will not care about You anymore.”
Krsna replied, “Yes. I will give what you want and you should take all the laddus from all the gopis.” And, Krsna gave His clothes, flute, and peacock feather to Madhumangala. After wearing the clothes of Krsna, and decorating himself with the flute and peacock feather, Madhumangala resembled the form of Krsna. He also stood in a threefold bending form like Krsna. Meanwhile, Kesi came in the form of a horse. He neighed ferociously. He had the power of more than ten thousand elephants. He saw Madhumangala and thought, “He is Krsna.” He charged at Madhumangala while raising his front legs. The disturbance created by the feet of the demon, created a gust of wind that went towards Madhumangala. Being terrified, Madhumangala began to roll on the earth. He at once began to cry.
He cried out, “Krsna! Krsna! Save me!”
Krsna at once came and He killed that demon. Madhumangala then said, “I will never take Your clothes, peacock feather, or flute ever again. Otherwise I will be killed. Fortunately, I have been saved. So, You should keep Your clothes with Yourself; I don’t want to take laddus or any other sweets.”
So, remembering these pastimes, the Gosvamis sometimes laugh. Feeling intense pangs of separation, they bitterly weep and roll on the earth. They then think, “Oh Krsna is going to enter the groves.” They become so happy again. So, we don’t think that, “All the Vaisnavas are in my category.” We don’t try to drag them into our category. It will be an offense.
Therefore, we should try to chant like this. The objective of our sadhana will be that. Krsna has come in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, taking the beauty and mood of Srimati Radhika to taste three things. Sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, and anuraga are some of the moods of Srimati Radhika that Krsna wanted to taste. If Srimati Radhika has these moods like mahabhava, rudha-bhava, adhirudha-bhava, and more than that, then She can taste the beauty of Krsna. Krsna wanted to taste the same thing.
“What is the glory of Srimati Radhika’s love? How does She taste My sweetness? How does She taste My four sweet qualities that are rupa-madhuri, guna-madhuri, venu-madhuri, and lila-madhuri? And by tasting these qualities, what kind of ananda arises in Her?” These were some of the unfulfilled desires of Krsna.
There is much difference between sukha and ananda. Sukha has no object. But, ananda has an object and asraya – both. The reservoir and object are present in ananda. Krsna is the object and the devotee is like the reservoir. In the happiness of Krsna, we are happy. This is ananda. But if I taste everything for myself, having no object, and not acting for the pleasure of Krsna or divine Gurudeva, or any Vaisnava – then it is sukha and it is maya.
Thus, we should try to be far away from this maya, which is sukha. Sukha and ananda may seem to be equal or the same, but they are not the same. Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to taste these moods of loving devotion. What did He come to give? This is unnatojjvala-rasa. It cannot be given to any jiva; it is hereditary in Srimati Radhika. This mood cannot be given. Some moods like madan and modan are not even in Lalita or Visaka; what to speak of Candravali. They cannot be given to anyone. But the sri or the sobha, the beauty of unnatojjvala-rasa can be given to the jivas. The mood of Srimati Rupa Manjari, of Srila Rupa Gosvami can be given. A little sprinkle of unnatojjvala-rasa is the sobha. There is a creeper with many leaves, flowers, manjaris, and some fruits; this is the whole creeper. If there are no leaves, no flowers, and no manjaris, then there is no beauty of the creeper. The creeper is not so beautiful. Srimati Radhika Herself is this creeper. The sakhis are like the leaves. The dasis of Srimati Radhika like Rupa Manjari, who are inclined to Srimati Radhika are called prana-sakhis and nitya-sakhis. They are called manjaris. They are the beauty of Srimati Radhika’s prema.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu only distributed this and not unnatojjvala-rasa. The mood of Lalita and Visakha cannot be given. He wanted to give a sprinkle of this unnatojjvala-rasa. He gave prema to so many – like Jagai and Madhai. But He did not give this unnatojjvala-rasa sva bhakti sriyam. We should not think that Jagai, Madhai, and the animals of the Jharikanda forest received this form of prema. They did not receive this sobha of unnatojjvala-rasa. In Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes, Narayana dasa, Nrsingha dasa, and everyone else were there. So actually, Jagai and Madhai were the parikaras, the associates of Narayana. Hence, they were given Vaikunthiya-prema. They are not conditioned souls. In one form, they are always serving Narayana. Yet, in another form, they came in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila.
They even appeared as Hiranyaksha – Hiranyakasipu, Ravana – Kumbhakarna, and Sisupala – Dantavakra in Satya-yuga, Treta-yuga, and Dvapara-yuga respectively. Like Narayana, they have many forms. So, they came in one form in Mahaprabhu’s pastimes. They are playing the role of demons, but they are not actually demons. We should not consider them to be demons. Citraketu Maharaja was not a demon, although he appeared as Vrtrasura. He was playing the role of a demon for us by the order of Krsna. So, Caitanya Mahaprabhu didn’t give the love of the gopis to the animals like the tigers because they were not in the line of the gopis. Even Mirabhai was not given this prema. So, she had to go to Dvaraka and she mixed in Dvarakadisa.
Laksmi was also not given this prema. Krsna told her, “You should be out of Vrndavana. If you want this prema and to be a part of rasa-lila, then firstly, you must be born from the womb of the gopis. Then, you will be married to any gopa and in that parakiya-bhava, I will accept you. And then, you can be with Me in Vrndavana; otherwise not.”
Laksmi-devi rejected this proposal. She said, “How can I be given in marriage to another person? I am the wife of Narayana.” Therefore, Laksmi-devi is still doing austerities. I cannot say if she has received that prema. Because in Srimad-Bhagavatam, it is said that she never received that prema. So, if anyone wants to serve Srimati Radhika, then the soul will have to come in the line of the gopis and accept them as guru. It is written in Caitanya Caritamrita and everywhere that you have to accept the mood of the gopis. Therefore, Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come to give this prema. But, the recipients for this prema are so rare. Very few are qualified to receive this prema. We should try to observe vaiddhi-bhakti and if we are lucky, then by the association of a pure devotee, we can have this prema.
kriyatam yadi kuto ‘pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mulyam ekalam
janma-koti-sukritair na labhyate
—Caitanya-Caritamrita Madhya 8.70
Raganuga-bhakti is rare. So we should try to observe vaidhi-bhakti beginning with the limbs of sravanam, kirtanam, visnoh-smaranam, and pada-sevanam. And, we should try to attain the association of a qualified tattva-jna Vaisnava. If we don’t have the association of such a qualified, bona fide Vaisnava, then we cannot develop in our Krsna consciousness. Our main objective is to develop our Krsna consciousness. We should always think, “We are in one family of Caitanya Mahaprabhu.”
I have told so many principles of devotional service. Try to observe all of them and develop your Krsna consciousness. You should not dishonor any Vaisnava who is chanting. You should not even dishonor a person who has only chanted the name once.
krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta
diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam
susrusaya bhajana-vijnam ananyam anya-
We should try to follow Upadesamrtam, then Manah-siksa, and Jaiva-dharma. Then we can enter in Caitanya-Caritamrita and we can follow something of Srimad Bhagavatham, especially the tenth canto. Otherwise we cannot enter in the realm of Bhakti. You will not be able to follow Srimad Bhagavatham and Caitanya Caritamrita. Only chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna will not do.
There is no other way without chanting harinama.
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
—Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 17.21
But, we should try to chant these names under the guidance of any bona fide Vaisnava’s association. Otherwise, we will only receive salvation like brahma-jnanis, and nirvisesavadis. By not being under guidance, we will have the same destination as them. They also dance and chant, “Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare.” They chant also. The Ramanandi Vaisnavas also; everyone chants including karmis. So first, we should try to be under the guidance of Haridasa Thakura. All of you perhaps know how he chanted. After that, we should see how Rupa-Raghunatha chanted. We should follow their mood. We should try to know all these moods of Mahaprabhu’s associates. So firstly, begin from Upadesamrta, Manah-siksa, Siksastakam, Jaiva-dharma, and progress to Caitanya-Caritamrita. Then, study the Srimad-Bhagavatam. I think the Srimad-Bhagavatam has been explained in the Caitanya-Caritamrita. If you want to know the meanings of the slokas of Srimad-Bhagavatam, then you will have to read Caitanya-Caritamrita. But, only reading will not do — the key is with the bhakta-bhagavat. There are two kinds of Bhagavatam — the granta Bhagavat and the Vaisnava Bhagavat. The key to the Srimad-Bhagavatam is in the hands of the bhakta-bhagavat. If you will read by yourself, some benefit will be had. Some sukriti will be obtained.
From the Bhagavatam, we can adopt mayavad, or advaitavad, or anything else. I know that many people attend the Bhagavat-saptah and listen to the Bhagavatam for seven continuous days. But they do so only for wealth, reputation, and to fulfill their other worldly desires. We don’t want that any of you be in that category. So you should read Caitanya-Caritamrita and all the books. You should chant harinama under the guidance of bona fide gurus and in the association of very exalted Vaisnavas. This is most essential.
So, I will end for today. Now I should take rest because I will have to fly so much. So you should try to obey the orders of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. You should try to read the books of Svamiji… You should read Svamiji’s books like the Gita, Bhagavatam, Caitanya-Caritamrita, and all the other books he has translated.
Nitai Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
You can write letters from time to time and I will try to answer them. I am giving an invitation to all of you that all of you should come to Vrndavana. I will be there. It will especially be the Kartika month and we can take part in the Vraja-mandala Parikrama. You can ask any questions you have later. Try to always be in harmony with all the Vaisnavas. This is the first principle. Don’t be sectarian and…
Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Groupism.
Srila Gurudeva: Don’t follow hypocrisy or duplicity. Always try to be sincere.
Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!
Sri Krsna Caitanya and Maha-mantra should be sung.
[To read or download the full upcoming book as a pdf, visit www.patreon.com/bhakta]