Acaryas Quotes Bhakti Quotes Fire Test Brahma

Fire Test Brahma

Once in the Mathura Matha, one mayavadi came and started saying, “Aham brahmasmi – I am brahma.”

I replied, “It is my great fortune, that Brahma has come to see me while I am seated here. You are brahma, many pranams to you.”

I told the brahmacharis, “I want to conduct a little examination, so please bring a burning log of wood. Krishna is Parabrahma, I heard that He had swallowed fire. So, bring a burning log of wood from the kitchen and put in this person’s mouth. If he swallows the fire I will be convinced that he is brahma. If he dies or if he runs or flies away from here, we will see that he is not brahma.”

When he saw the brahmacharis bringing the burning log of wood he began trembling in fear and ran out of the temple. If he was the formless brahma, how did he even assume a form? So, don’t be victimised by such philosophies.

10 June 1996, Houston

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IS GOPI PREMA THE OBJECT OF ALL LOVE?

“The Vedic literature is like an endless ocean,” Gurudeva said. “The books of our Gosvāmīs are also very expanse, like an ocean. It is very difficult to take the abstract of all these in an hour. But I will make an attempt to do so. The essence of all the epics, Vedas, Upaniṣads, and scriptures was given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the Śikṣāṣṭakam. Everything is present in the Śikṣāṣṭakam, even more than what is in the Vedas. e Śikṣāṣṭakam is the essence of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Gītā, and all other scriptures. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī understood the essence of all because Caitanya Mahāprabhu inspired everything in his heart at Prayāga; He inspired in his heart all the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and even what has not been given in the Bhāgavatam—the moods of Rādhikā. Mahāprabhu inspired knowledge of what is love in all its stages: sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva, as well as all their symptoms. Mahāprabhu told Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, ‘Gopī-prema is the object of all love; the gopīs’ prema is the topmost love. To serve the gopīs is the topmost goal of our devotion. First we must fix the object of life, the object of our devotional activities, then we should know what practice to follow so that we can attain our goal.“Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught three things: sambandha, abhideya, and prayojana—in other words: the relation with Kṛṣṇa, how to achieve kṛṣṇa-prema, and the nature of kṛṣṇa-prema. The aim of our life is the love and affection in the hearts of the gopīs, especially in Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s sakhīs. This is our goal, as expressed by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has described the process to attain this goal: ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo, tato anartha-nivṛtti, tato niṣṭhā ruci āsakti bhāva, and after that prema. In this world we can progress only to rati or bhāva. There can be no prema in this world. And one cannot achieve this very quickly in one birth or two or three or four. We can attain this only by the special causeless mercy of Kṛṣṇa, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and His associates.“First we should understand śraddhā. There is no restriction that only someone in ISKCON can achieve śraddhā. We can attain śraddhā anywhere in this world. Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja came to give this śraddhā—which is the seed of bhakti—freely to all people without discrimination. This is not different from the mission of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. It is not something new. He said that śraddhā is the firm belief in your Gurudeva, and that by doing kṛṣṇa-bhakti your life will be successful forever. He said that, by chanting, remembering, and meditating on Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, we can attain perfection. From śraddhā, again sādhu-saṅga will be there, association with any high-class Vaiṣṇava. And then you’ll think, ‘I must accept initiation from a bona fide guru.’ And if you do not do so, you will be deprived of bhakti. You must accept initiation from a bona fide guru. The symptom of a genuine guru has been described in all scriptures, especially in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.3.21). There, the symptoms of a guru are given:tasmād guruṁ prapadyeta jijjṇāsuḥ śreya uttamamśābde pare ca niṣṇātaṁ brahmaṇy upaśamjāśrayam“There are three symptoms of sad-guru: one is internal and two are external. To know all the śāstras and be able to remove all kinds of doubts from others is one of the external symptoms. To be detached from all worldly desires and sense gratification is the other external symptom. What is the internal symptom? There must be some realization of kṛṣṇa-prema; he must have love for Kṛṣṇa. If the two external symptoms are there in a person, but the internal symptom is lacking, then one should not accept him as a guru. But if the internal symptom is there, and something lacks in the external, then we can accept him and it will be favorable for our spiritual life. If he lacks some knowledge of śāstra, there is no harm. But it is absurd to think that someone may have love for Kṛṣṇa, but no knowledge of the scriptures; śāstra-jñāna will run behind that person. Whatever that person does will be śāstra. A guru should be like that. A real guru never falls—never, never, never. Imitator gurus are always falling; but really there is nowhere for them to fall, because they are already fallen. Such a false guru never had niṣṭhā. If he had niṣṭhā he would never fall down.”Śrīla Gurudeva then said, “Caitanya Mahāprabhu mercifully descended to give this gopi-prema through nāma-saṅkīrtanam. If you want to practice the process to attain this goal, then you will have to follow Rūpa Gosvami, as described in this verse:tan-nāma-rūpa-caritādi-sukīrtanānusmṛṭyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojyatiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi-janānugāmīkālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram Upadeśāmṛta 8 After asking a devotee to read Śrīla Prabhupāda’s translation and purport of this verse, Śrīla Gurudeva said, “We must do su-kīrtana of Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, rūpa, guṇa, and līlā. There are so many names of Kṛṣṇa:he kṛṣṇa karunā-sindho dīna-bandho jagat-pategopeśa gopikā-kānta rādhā-kānta namo ‘stu te‘O Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, You are an ocean of kindness. You are the friend of the destitute, Lord of the world, Lord of the gopās, beloved consort of the gopīs, and the most beloved consort of Rādhā. I pay my innumerable obeisances to Your lotus feet.’“Of these names, Gopikā-kānta is superior to the previous, because Kṛṣṇa is controlled by the gopīs. But still, something is missing there: Rādhā-kānta namo stute. This is supreme. ‘O Kṛṣṇa, You are controlled by Rādhā.’ Hearing this, Kṛṣṇa is satisfied. So, these names are gradually superior.” Śrīla Gurudeva next beautifully described how Kṛṣṇa disappeared from the Rāsa dance, how the gopīs searched for Him and sang the Gopī-gīta, and finally how Kṛṣṇa reappeared and confessed His undying love for the gopīs; how He felt He could never repay them, and that He had only disappeared to reveal their glories to the world.Finally, Śrīla Gurudeva concluded his lecture, saying, “You should remember these pastimes with a melted heart and weep incessantly, while chanting:Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare HareHare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare“If you can progress to this stage of chanting, you will forget when night began and when day started. You will chant constantly, oblivious of the world. This is the process. We must chant and remember these things. But you should be where all these pastimes were performed, in Vṛndāvana, where the Yamunā is still gently flowing, or at Govardhana, or Rādhā-kuṇḍa. If you can’t be there physically, then stay there in your mind. Now, even after five thousand years, the trees are waiting for Kṛṣṇa; they are eagerly waiting, feeling, ‘When will Kṛṣṇa come?’ And they are lying on the ground in separation, offering daṇḍavata-praṇāma. So, be situated there. But still only this will not do; something more is required. A very rasika-tattvajña Vaiṣṇava should be there, and in his guidance you should chant and remember. Then your entire energy can be absorbed in bhajana and that kind of prema, gopī-prema, may come in your heart. This is the essence of all the teachings of the Vedas, Upaniṣads, the Gosvāmīs’ literature, and all scripture. In brief I have described this.” (click on the Title to see more)

CAN YOU CROSS MAYA'S MANDALA?

Śrīman Mahāprabhu instructs, “In this world there are two types of jīvas, one is the conditioned soul and one is a sādhaka. Sādhakas are of two types, one is vaidhi-marga follower and one is rāgānugā. The sādhaka of vaidhī is like a prisoner; by force they follow the government’s rules. But they desire to break out of the jail and go out of the rules and regulations. In vaidhī there is no love, it is only like duty where they follow by force and after duty run to māyā. In the rāgānugā-mārga there is anurāga, deep love, and it is natural affection. Mahāprabhu stayed in siddha pīṭha Gambhīrā where the gurus worped Jagannātha with deep love. Not only with mantra and paraphernalia, not only with instruments, but they offered their own hearts to Jagannātha, served Jagannātha, and had a strong relation with Jagannātha.

Verse 13: Prema-bhakti

The mature stage of bhāva-bhakti is called prema. The symptom of prema is that even when obstacles or impediments are present, there is not even the slightest diminution of affection (bhāva). A superior condition of prema is marked by an increase of mamatā and is known as sneha. The word mamatā refers to a deep sense of attachment or possessiveness in relation to Śrī Kṛṣṇa by which one thinks, “Kṛṣṇa is mine”. Sneha is symptomised by the melting of the heart. Superior to this is the condition known as rāga, which is symptomised by sneha that has become intensified or condensed. Superior to this is the condition known as praṇaya. The symptom of praṇaya is deep faith...

STAY WITH BHAKTAS – HEAR HARI-KATHA!

If one is not with sādhus, then due to asat-saṅga, one’s nature will go wayward from bhakti. Gradually, one will perform less and less bhakti and will eventually give up everything. The Guru-varga has told many times the glories of sādhu-saṅga. They explain, “Spiritual energy comes when one is in sādhu-saṅga and when distant from sādhu-saṅga, the residual effect of the sādhu’s spiritual power works only for some time, and then it gradually dissipates. Then one says, ‘I don’t have time for doing kīrtana and hari-kathā twice daily. I will do śravaṇa and kīrtana once a day.’ Then one will say, ‘Śravaṇa and kīrtana is unnecessary. I will chant harināma and this is enough.’ Sometime later, one thinks, ‘Chanting in the mind is enough; I don’t need to keep count on a mālā.’ And finally, one thinks, ‘Anything I do is bhajana; I am a mahā-bhāgavata.’ Such offensive misconceptions will come due to bad association or lack of good association.If one performs one-pointed bhajana in sādhu-saṅga, then one can achieve the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. One should stay with Kṛṣṇa bhaktas. If desire comes to perform bhakti in someone’s company, you can understand that person is truly a devotee. If desire to enjoy the senses increases in someone’s company, and that person never looks after one’s spiritual life and progress, he is not a high-class devotee. Śravaṇa and kīrtana should be performed with faith. Do even a little kīrtana, but with faith, or a little śravaṇa, but with faith. If the Guru-varga speak, and you have no faith, then pray deeply for this. Who is a sādhu? He who has no desire for material health, wealth, property, karma, jñāna, the pleasure of the demigods, or anything other than Kṛṣṇa’s unalloyed service, is great and a sādhu. The sādhus’ bodies are holy. By going to sādhus, they purify the sādhaka with their hari-kathā.

Srila Gurudeva's Vyasa-puja

pray to the lotus feet of that person in whose heart Gurudeva is present. They are lucky and very qualified. From within the heart of his pure disciples, Srila Gurudeva will travel all over the world, purifying and collecting the hearts of the living entities. He will make a center in their hearts and invite the Vrajavasis, Krishna and the Vraja-devis to all come there. ThereforeVyasadeva writes janmady asya. After appearing in any heart, the guru-varga begin their program to serve God. The guru-varga are sat-svarupa, sandhini sakti, the expansions of akhanda-guru-tattva. They endeavor to bring us to Krishna, the Vrajavasis and Vraja, where they establish us in our souls’ eternal service. Caitanya Mahaprabhu would go to the birthplace of Isvara Puri and collect the dust at the holy site. He would eat a small part of this dust daily and smear some on His body. He revered this deeply, knowing how the appearance place of the guru-varga is more auspicious than any other location. Srila Guru-pada-padma appeared on this dark moon night. Scripture explains: tamaso ma jyotir gamayah, how the living entities can go from the darkness into light. God sends His own rays of light into the dense darkness of this world to help the living entities. He sends His near and dearest loveful associates to this world to save souls suffering in maya. If God directly sent His own expansions, it would not be so helpful to the conditioned souls. Therefore He prays to svarupa-sakti, “If Your expansions go to the material world, they will liberate the entire universe. Please send them. They are very powerful and are more than capable to bring the lost souls to Me.” Tamaso ma jyotir gamayah—how to bring the jivas out of darkness into the light? This is only possible by the power of svarupa-sakti. Hence, by the desire of Krishna, Srila Gurudeva appeared in this world today, on the dark moon night. In the month known as Magha, Kumbha Mela takes place. Millions of people come and bathe in the conjunction of Ganga, Yamuna and Sarasvati at this time, hoping to receive nectar. Narottama Thakura sings, glorifying the pure devotees: gangara parasa hoile pascate pavana darsane pavitra koro—ei tomara guna “After bathing in the waters of the sacred Ganges many times, one becomes purified, but just by the sight of you, the fallen souls are purified. This is your great power.” hari-sthane aparadhe tare hari-nama toma sthane aparadhe nahi paritrana “The holy name delivers one who has committed an offense to Lord Hari, but if one commits an offense to you, there is no means of deliverance.” tomara hridoye sada govinda-visrama govinda kohena—mora vaishnava parana “Your heart is always the resting place of Lord Govinda, and Lord Govinda says, "The Vaishnavas are in My heart.” How are the pure Vaishnavas, God’s beloved associates? By bathing in the Ganga, one will gradually be cleansed, but when? There is no guarantee. Simply by darsana of maha-bhagavata Vaishnavas, one becomes purified from the sins accumulated in millions of lives. Millions and millions of people come to bathe in the Ganga during Kumbha Mela. When Mahaprabhu appeared, it was the time of a lunar eclipse, and millions of people came to bathe in the Ganga being afraid of the inauspicious effects of Rahu and Ketu, who come to spread poison and destroy previous pious merit. At such times people go take shelter of Ganga Devi for protection and they chant harinama. Similarly, when Srila Gurudeva appeared it was during the time of year of Kumbha Mela. He did not bring any mundane nectar that helps one eat, drink and be merry. He brought the nectar of vraja-rasa and bhakti-rasa. Millions of people bathe in the Ganga during Kumbha Mela. From North, South, East and West, they come to the bank of the Ganga to bathe, and of these millions of people, many thousands would assemble in Buxar, Bihar, where the Ganga is especially revered. Many sadhus would stay in the village of Tiwaripura, where Srila Gurudeva was born. Srila Gurudeva’s father would give charity to the poor and distribute prasadam daily. Every evening there would be a sankirtana festival and hari-katha in the Tiwari’s house. Daily, Srila Gurudeva’s parents went to the Ganga with a sankirtana party. After bathing in Ganga, they returned home, applied tilaka on their bodies and worshipped the Lord. If any sadhus or brahmanas came to the Tiwari’s house, Srila Gurudeva’s parents gave them prasadam and lodging. Today, on Mauni Amavasya, from morning to evening many people fast and observe a vow of silence. In the evening after performing this vrata, people break silence by speaking the names of God.

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