Book excerpts Acarya Kesari Discussion with the Communist Jyoti Bābū

Discussion with the Communist Jyoti Bābū

In 1951 or 1952, paramārādhya Śrīla Gurudeva had gone to the border region of Sundaravana in Bengal before Śrī Dhāma Navadvīpa parikramā to preach śuddha-bhakti, to invite faithful people to join the parikramā, and to collect provisions for the parikramā. One day Śrī Gurudeva was taking us with him to the house of a faithful devotee when he encountered Jyoti Bābū with some of his followers. Jyoti Bābū, who later became the chief minister of Bengal, was at that time the main chairman of the Communist party of Bengal. As a leader of the opposition party, he had come to investigate the condition of the flooded land in the border region. When he saw Śrī Gurudeva dressed in saffron cloth and carrying his tridaṇḍa, he stopped and asked in a very arrogant way, “From where are you coming?”
Śrī Gurudeva replied politely, “We are from Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti in Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma.”

Jyoti Bābū: Have you come to inspect the state of the flooded area and show sympathy for the people?

Gurudeva: We have come to preach pure vaiṣṇava-dharma for the eternal welfare of the living entities, and to collect some provisions for Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā.

Jyoti Bābū: Can’t you see that the lives of these people have been thrown into turmoil by the terrible flood? Their crops have been ruined, and village after village has been submerged. They are expecting help from others for food and clothing, yet you have come to beg alms from these very people?

Gurudeva: The flood has come? Where is it? So far the cigarette at your lips has not been extinguished, so where is the flood? Dear Sir, this flood is not the real flood. We have come here to extinguish the fire of devastation that is afflicting the jīvas birth after birth, and to protect the living beings from the real flood waters, which come at the time of the universal inundation.

We have come here so that those jīvas who are averse to Kṛṣṇa may attain their natural condition of everlasting happiness. A living entity can never be happy as long as he does not adopt the principles of dharma in his life and as long as he does not worship Bhagavān. Atheistic life is animal life. You are going to ruin Bengal and India completely by accepting the conception of Western civilization.

Jyoti Bābū: We do not believe in the Vedic scriptures. We believe in hard work. Work (karma) is life, work is God. It is because of people like you that this country has gone to hell. You people should do some work yourselves and then give instructions about work. Begging alms is the occupation of cowards.

Gurudeva: It is atheists like you who have caused the devastation of India. India was happier and more civilized than the other countries of the world as long as her politics were governed by dharma and her people were faithful and religious. In ancient times stalwarts like Hiraṇyakaśipu, Rāvaṇa, Duryodhana and Kaṁsa were far greater advocates of karma than you are, but the scriptures recount how they all came to an abominable end. More recently, we have heard of Alexander the Great and Napoleon and in modern times champions of karma like Hitler, Mussolini and Lenin. Have you not observed their miserable fate? There is no place in India for atheists like Cārvāka and others. India is the country of sanātana-dharma. No one can vanquish this sanātana-dharma, no matter how influential he may be. A day will come when you will not even have the opportunity to repent.

When Jyoti Bābū heard Gurudeva’s answer, he was at a loss for words. He promptly departed in a tantrum, accompanied by his followers.

Śrī Gurudeva was a fearless speaker of the impartial truth. Before his powerful arguments, even the most proficient logicians used to bow their heads in defeat.

Śrī Gurudeva and the alms received

Once (in around 1951) Śrīla Gurudeva stayed at Śrī Uddhāraṇa Gauḍīya Maṭha, which was the headquarters of Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti at that time. From there he went out and preached śuddha-bhakti everywhere. The sevā and pūjā in the Maṭha, as well as Śrī Navadvīpa-dhāma parikramā and other activities, used to run on whatever alms came from madhukarī. Before Śrī Dhāma Navadvīpa parikramā, I [the author] went with parama-pūjyapāda Śrī Śrīmad Nārasiṁha Mahārāja to Śrī Rāmapura and other towns near Kolkata to preach and beg alms.

After preaching and performing bhikṣā for fifteen days we returned to Śrī Uddhāraṇa Gauḍīya Maṭha, having collected a total of two hundred and fifty rupees, which at that time was a large sum of money. As soon as I arrived, I offered my praṇāma at paramārādhyatama Śrīla Gurudeva’s lotus feet. After giving his blessings, he asked, “How was the preaching?”

“The preaching went very well,” I replied. “We collected about two hundred and fifty rupees.” Gurujī was very pleased. Some time later pūjyapāda Nārasiṁha Mahārāja came before Gurujī, offered his praṇāma and put the donation in Gurujī’s hand. Śrī Gurudeva asked, “How much is it?”

“Two hundred and twenty-five rupees,” replied pūjyapāda Nārasiṁha Mahārāja.

“Where are the remaining twenty-five rupees?” asked Śrīla Gurudeva.

“I have kept some rupees for my personal expenses,” replied Mahārāja.

“Bring those donated rupees right now and give them to me,” said Śrī Gurudeva.

Śrīpāda Nārasiṁha Mahārāja was somewhat angry and said, “Can’t we keep even a few rupees for our immediate expenses?”

“First please kindly give them to me.”

Pūjyapāda Mahārāja somewhat resentfully went to his bhajana-kuṭī, brought back the remaining twenty-five rupees, and threw them down in front of Śrīla Gurudeva. Gurujī picked up the money, counted it and then returned those very same rupees.

“If you are just going to return them, then what was the point in taking them in the first place?” asked Śrīpāda Nārasiṁha Mahārāja.

Śrī Gurudeva became quite grave and said, “The food and wealth of sensuous people contains poison which ordinary people cannot digest. It has been written in śāstra that when a sādhaka eats food from a sense enjoyer, his heart becomes wicked and it is not possible to remember Bhagavān with such a disturbed mind. Therefore sādhakas should always be careful. Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī is direct proof of this. He did not accept the money sent by his own father, because although his father appeared to be a Vaiṣṇava, he was actually not (vaiṣṇava-prāya). Even advanced sādhakas have been deviated and have fallen from the realm of bhajana due to eating the food of sensuous people. That is why I have taken this money from you. It was acquired from sense enjoyers, and therefore it was mixed with poison. Now I have purified it and I am giving it back to you. There is no danger in it any more.

“Disaster is guaranteed if even one paisa that has been collected in the name of Śrī Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas is used in one’s own service. I do not use even a single paisa from donations for my own purposes. Who can engage donated wealth in the service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas? Only a highly qualified Vaiṣṇava who has offered his body, mind, words and everything at the feet of śrīla gurudeva and the Supreme Lord, who is unconditionally surrendered at the lotus feet of Bhagavān, and who is empowered in bhajana. Ordinary temple devotees cannot.”

When pūjyapāda Nārasiṁha Mahārāja heard this, he became thoroughly ashamed and all misgivings were dispelled from his heart. Bowing his head, he said with complete humility, “Please forgive me. I never took this matter so seriously. Whatever you are saying is completely correct. I will follow this instruction the rest of my life.”

The lesson to be learned from this is that one should never at any time utilize for one’s own enjoyment money or commodities received from worldly people. One should offer them at the divine feet of gurudeva or equally elevated Vaiṣṇavas, because such Vaiṣṇavas can engage these commodities in the service of Bhagavān. Otherwise, their poison is deadly for the sādhaka. Śrīman Mahāprabhu has said:

viṣayīra anna khāile malina haya mana
malina mana haile, nahe kṛṣṇera smaraṇa
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta
(Antya-līlā 6.278)

 

When one eats food offered by sensuous or worldly people, the mind becomes contaminated, and in that state one cannot remember Kṛṣṇa.

pratigraha kabhu nā karibe rāja-dhana
viṣayīra anna khāile duṣṭa haya mana
mana duṣṭa haile nahe kṛṣṇera smaraṇa
kṛṣṇa-smrti vinā haya niṣphala jīvana
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā 12.50–51)

 

One should never accept alms from royalty or wealthy people because when one eats such food the mind becomes polluted. A polluted mind cannot remember Kṛṣṇa, and without remembrance of Kṛṣṇa one’s whole life is a failure.

[CC-by-ND GVP]

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WHAT HAPPENED WHEN JIVA GOSVAMI LEFT NITYANANDA PRABHU AND WENT TO VRNDAVANA?

Śrī Jīva did not want to leave the Lord’s company, and thus fell senseless in the pain of expected separation. When Jīva woke, Nityānanda Prabhu said, “Your uncles Rūpa and Sanātana are in Vṛndāvana. They require your help. They have begun the task of manifesting many books. Your service is to assist them.” “If you don’t go, Jīva,” Nityānanda Prabhu said, “to whom will they pass on these books and the knowledge contained within them? When they leave, the books will also be lost. Therefore, go and protect these granthas. You must copy them and distribute them. Many people will be inspired to help and follow you. “Do not worry. Everything will be favorable. Just go to Vṛndāvana. These granthas will spread all over the world. You must go and protect them. Without these granthas everything will be lost.” Nityānanda Prabhu then said, “You will also write books yourself. The first book you will manifest yourself is a Sanskrit grammar book based on Bhagavān’s names. By studying this presentation of grammar, people will understand what is akṣara and paramākṣara and they will thus become connected to Śrī Hari.” Saying this, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu placed His lotus feet on Śrī Jīva’s head and empowered him with transcendental potency. Overwhelmed by prema, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī lost consciousness. Upon regaining external awareness, Śrī Jīva prayed to the Vaiṣṇavas and offered them his obeisances. He approached Śacī Mātā and asked for her blessings, before departing to Vraja. She let Śrī Jīva take the dust of her lotus feet on his head. Blessing him, she bade him farewell. Weeping and calling out, “O Gaurāṅga! O Gaurāṅga!” Śrī Jīva crossed the Gaṅgā and left Navadvīpa-dhāma. Offering his daṇḍavat-praṇāmas to Navadvīpa-dhāma, Jīva set out toward Śrī Vṛndāvana. At that time, Vraja-dhāma, Yamunā, and Śrī Rūpa-Sanātana manifested in Śrī Jīva’s heart. Along the way, Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to him in a dream, and said, “Go to Vraja. Rūpa, Sanātana, and you are very dear to Me. All of you work together to manifest devotional scriptures. May sevā to Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa be your life and soul, and may you continuously witness the pastimes of Vraja.” Seeing the dream, Śrī Jīva became overjoyed and swiftly traveled toward Vraja-dhāma. In due course, Jīva Gosvāmī arrived at the holy city of Vārāṇasī, which was blessed by Mahāprabhu’s lotus feet. Madhusūdana Vacaspati, the disciple of Śrī Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, lived there. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu heard Vedānta for seven days from Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya, and thereafter Mahāprabhu spoke the real essence of Vedānta. Madhusūdana Vacaspati was present at that time. Mahāprabhu ordered Vacaspati to go to Kaśi and teach there. He studied all the commentaries of Vedānta, such as Śaṅkarācārya’s Śārīraka-bhāṣya, and Rāmānuja’s Śrī-Bhāṣya under Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya. He especially focused on learning Vedānta as Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught. After Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya disappeared, Madhusūdana Vacaspati went to Vārāṇasī, and instructed the Māyāvādīs there about the real meaning of Vedānta. Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī and the thousands of sannyāsīs and disciples in the Śaṅkarācārya sampradāya had met with Mahāprabhu in Vārāṇasī and received transcendental knowledge from Him. Madhusūdana Vacaspati further spread the teachings of Mahāprabhu there. Jīva Gosvāmī performed the pastime of studying bhaktivedānta and all scriptures from him. He studied the commentaries of Rāmānuja, Madhvācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, and Nimbādityācārya. He also studied the Śārīraka-bhāṣya of Śaṅkarācārya, so that he could be able to refute it later. After completing his studies with Madhusūdana Vacaspati, Jīva Gosvāmī continued on his way to Vṛndāvana. (more)

WHAT TO MEDITATE ON WHEN CHANTING HARE KRSNA MANTRA?

We first chant: Hare Kṛṣṇa. When chanting the first pair of holy names in the mahāmantra, the sādhaka should remember the essence of the first verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, beginning with Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. We then pray, “O Hare! Please purify my contaminated mind and heart. Remove my sinful tendencies and prārabdha-aprārabdha-karma and bring me to the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. O Kṛṣṇa! Kindly bring me into the guidance of Your associates. May this perpetual forest fire of material life cease at once.“Mercifully offer me into the shelter of Lalitā-devī. If she accepts me into her group, then surely Viśākhā-devī will think about my śreyaḥ, highest good, and will instruct me. Citrā-devī, the presiding deity of parā-vidyā, will bestow upon me all transcendental knowledge. I will then understand how to serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and will accept Them as my life and soul. Campakalatā-sakhī will happily teach me how to increase the bliss, ānanda, of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Tuṅgavidyā-sakhī will protect and look after me at every step, prati-padaṁ, and will show me how to engage at every moment in assisting the amorous pastimes of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa in the groves of Vraja—nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai. Then, by the instruction of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, Indulekhā, Raṅgadevī, and Sudevī will submerge me in ānanda-rasa and engage me in service. The aṣṭa-sakhīs in this way will teach me how to serve and offer myself to the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Kṛṣṇa will then accept me and prema-nāma-saṅkīrtana will manifest in my heart.” The sādhaka prays, “O Hare, Srimatījī, please engage me in Your service and give me the qualification to perform kṛṣṇa-kīrtana.”The second verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, nāmnām akāri bahudhā nija-sarva-śaktis, corresponds to the second Hare Kṛṣṇa set in the mahāmantra. During this time of the day, in the morning after His breakfast, Kṛṣṇa goes with the sakhās and calves to the forest on go-cāraṇa. Go means the cows and also the senses. Kṛṣṇa engages the senses of that person who is absorbed in nāma-seva. He takes them out of the forest fire of material existence and brings them into the forest of Vraja. Kṛṣṇa bestows spiritual potency to the nāma-premī-jīvas and gives them acquaintance with and affection for His eternal associates. The sādhaka prays, “O Hare! Please empower me so that I can properly serve the dear associates of Kṛṣṇa with mamatā. O Kṛṣṇa! May I always improve in my services; may I become more and more enthusiastic to serve with all my senses, body, mind, and soul.”While remembering the third verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, tṛṇād-api sunīcena, we chant “Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa” and pray, “O Lord, please make me humbler than a blade of grass. May I never leave Vraja and the service of the Vrajavāsīs, harināma, and Your beloved Srimatījī. May I never be haunted by the desire for opulence or eagerness to go to Vaikuṇṭha or any other place than Vraja. May I give up all anyābhilāṣa and simply take shelter of the gopīs. Then I can achieve Your nitya-sevā. O Kṛṣṇa, please let me continually serve You. Help me to remain humble and without any possession other than attachment to the service of Your lotus feet and the association of Your dearest devotees. I pray to You that I give up all independence and false pride, which has resulted in my current fallen condition in material existence. May I develop compassion and freedom from desire for regard from others and may I honor all others according to their position. Only then will I be able to perform Your kīrtana.”As we chant the fourth pair of names ‘Hare Hare’ we remember the fourth verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam: na dhanaṁ na janaṁ na sundarīm, and pray to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, “O Hare! O dearmost beloved of Kṛṣṇa who steals His mind and heart, please let my mind and heart always serve You in the company of Your maidservants. Please don’t deprive me of Your service. Since countless lives I have accepted the gifts of māyā and, considering them to be my own, I have struggled to enjoy separately from Kṛṣṇa. Now may I give this up entirely. O Hare! May I receive the mercy of Your mañjarīs. Let them grant me entrance into kuñja-sevā.”We then chant, ‘Hare Rāma’ and, remembering the fifth verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ, pray, “O Rādhikā-Ramaṇa-Rāma, You play in the hearts of Your beloveds and dwell within all living entities. O Rādhe! May Your sweet pastimes with Kṛṣṇa appear one after the other in my heart. I have fallen in the dark well of material life. May I become free of this bondage and never again be conquered by the agents of māyā. Without Your help I cannot escape this fearsome saṁsāra. O Rādhe! Please give me adhikāra and taste for serving in Your amorous pastimes with Kṛṣṇa.”As we chant the next pair of names in the mahāmantra, ‘Hare Rāma,’ we remember the sixth verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, nayanaṁ-galad-aśru-dhārayā, and we pray, while weeping, “O Lord, You are my life and soul. I forgot You and have committed so many offenses. Please forgive me and mercifully allow me to enter Your rāsa-līlā. May I become completely absorbed in chanting Your names. At that time, I will take shelter of Your līlā-śakti and serve, imbued with rasa that is otherwise unattainable without Your mercy. I am unqualified, a great sinner, and offender. I have left You and given You so much pain. I have misused the wealth of my love and shared it with so many jīvas. Now I pray that I can offer everything, all my love, to You. Please give me a drop of spiritual emotion and thus save my life. Please play and dance in my heart. Kindly grant me entrance into vraja-rasa.”Next comes ‘Rāma Rāma’, and we now remember the seventh verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, yugāyitaṁ nimeṣeṇa cakṣuṣā pravṛṣāyitam: after countless lives apart from Kṛṣṇa, if we make relationship with Him once, then we become overwhelmed in divine love and at every moment desire to serve Him and see Him. If we are apart from Him for even a few moments, it seems like the greatest agony. The world appears void. Our condition becomes like the gopīs’ when Kṛṣṇa left the Rāsa dance. After one’s first time meeting with Kṛṣṇa, when there is separation, the pain of that is unsurpassed. One prays, “O Kṛṣṇa, O Rādhā-Ramaṇa, Rasika-mohana, Rāsa-rasika, Vrajendra-nandana, please accept me. Don’t forsake me. I am unqualified. I have nothing of worth. Just please give me Your darśana one more time.”While chanting the final pair of names in the mahāmantra, ‘Hare Hare’ we remember the eighth and last verse of Śikṣāṣṭakam, and pray, “O Hare, O Rādhe! You may do as You like with me. I completely surrender to You. Beat me or reject me—as You wish. I am so wretched. Kṛṣṇa may scorn me in front of His beloveds, He may kick or forsake me, but I will never take shelter of any other. O Rādhe! O Kṛṣṇa! I am Yours. I am Yours. I am Yours.” Praying like this, one chants harināma with deep absorption.This description of the moods when praying and chanting the mahāmantra in relation to Śikṣāṣṭakam is only a glimpse—a distant darśana, like śākhā-candra-nyāya, the logic of pointing out the moon on the branch. By strong spiritual practice we will experience these moods and fully appreciate them. We pray to Mahāprabhu because without His mercy we will not be able to chant the mahāmantra purely with these moods. We pray to Nāma Prabhu that He manifests His eightfold daily pastimes in our hearts. Then we will understand the deep meanings of the mahāmantra in connection with aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā and will become qualified to enter kṛṣṇa-līlā. Chanting of this mahāmantra, which is composed of 16 names, or eight pairs of names, is the only method to enter Vraja. Chanting the mahāmantra qua lifies one to attain vraja-rasa and vraja-vāsa, the nectar of Vraja and residence in Vraja.We therefore pray, “Hare Kṛṣṇa! Please give me Your mercy. Please offer me to the lotus feet of a sad-guru. By his mercy my contaminated mind will be purified and I will always stay in sādhu-saṅga. Thus my anarthas will gradually be washed away, and as I follow the process of bhajana I will gradually attain the stages of niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti, bhāva, and prema. Then truly I will understand paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṇkīrtanam—the extraordinary nature and potency of the holy names.”By chanting these names, the anurāgī-bhaktas will give us shelter and help us realize how nāma is cintāmaṇi, transcendentally wish-fulfilling, rasa-vigraha, the embodiment of nectar, pūrṇaḥ śuddho, spotlessly pure, and non-different from Kṛṣṇa Himself. When we remember these names and chant them with absorption, then Kṛṣṇa’s rasa-svarūpa will manifest in our hearts along with His līlā-rasa.All Vedic scriptures and saints have described the glories and specialty of Śrī Nāma. Śrī Tulasī Dāsa said:nāma le to bhava sindhu sukaivicār karo to sujana manomahiA supremely fortunate person comes into the association of a pure guru who grants him kṛṣṇa-nāma. Śrī Nāma appears in this world through five eternal principles, or the pañca-tattva, and with six types of śakti. Of His unlimited potencies, the Lord manifests specifically in six forms for the benefit of the fallen jīvas. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Adi-līlā 1.32, states:kṛṣṇa, guru, bhakta, śakti, avatāra, prakāśakṛṣṇa ei chaya-rūpe karena vilāsaŚrī Kṛṣṇa manifests and performs pastimes as the different gurus, the bhaktas, His incarnations, plenary portions, and divine potencies.For one who takes shelter of the harināma-mahāmantra, Mahāprabhu gives darśana of His eternal svarūpa and the qualification to serve Him in His own dhāma. This harināma-kīrtana is the supreme dharma of this age.Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 7.11, states:kali-kālera dharma kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtanakṛṣṇa-śakti vinā nahe tāra pravartanaOne cannot spread the holy name of Kṛṣṇa without being specifically empowered by Kṛṣṇa’s Divine Potency.Without Kṛṣṇa’s śakti we cannot purely chant or spread the glories of the holy names. We thus pray to svarūpa-śakti Śrīmatī Rādhikā for Her mercy. Only then will we receive the potency to easily perform kṛṣṇa-kīrtana. We pray to Her, “I am Yours, whether You give me mercy or neglect me, keep me close or send me far away. Whatever You do, I am Yours and will never give up my aspiration to serve You and remain in Your shelter.”In this way, we should pray to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and the Vraja-devīs with a burning desire to achieve their service. We should also pray to Nāma Prabhu. The harināma-mahāmantra composed of 32 syllables, 16 names, and eight pairs is the one and only sweet process to become connected to eternal Vraja and kṛṣṇa-līlā. By following this rasa-upāsana we can become connected to the transcendental realm and līlā-rasa. We will thus become free of the attraction to jaḍa-rasa, material tastes. For countless lives we have been bewildered and attached to material life. By continuously chanting harināma, the soul is nourished and freed of material coverings. One then becomes established in his spiritual form and achieves the opportunity to directly serve Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and Their associates. Guru-pāda-padma and our Guru-varga give us this process.Herein we have only given an indication of the process of chanting and the connection between the mahāmantra and Śrī Śikṣāṣṭakam. By deeply practicing bhajana, we will experience the transcendental reality directly. (click on title to see more)

ARE ALL VAISNAVA'S THE SAME?

There are many, many Vaiṣṇavas, with many, many desires and many realizations. They are not all the same. One devotee may focus on chanting harināma, while another focuses on parikramā. Some may like sevā, bhajana, or pāda-sevanam—but despite these different preferences in their performance of bhakti, if they never feel jealousy or anger for each other for any reason, then they are called Vaiṣṇavas. Otherwise if they follow one of bhakti’s limbs and tell others, “You follow this one. Don’t follow any other one,” it means they have jealousy. They are called kaniṣṭha. The kaniṣṭha has deep desire and faith in arcana, dressing Śrī Mūrti and offering bhoga, but they don’t give respect to the Vaiṣṇava. According to personal realization, a devotee has extra taste for a particular limb of navadhā-bhakti and says it is good. There is no benefit made from arguing. One devotee will say, “Read the Gosvāmīs’ granthas. This is helpful.” But then another devotee says, “How can you read the Gosvāmīs’ granthas? You cannot understand them. You should chant harināma.” Then another devotee says, “You have insufficient taste in harināma. It is better that you do practical sevā.” Still another will say, “Your sevā will be only karma. Chant harināma.” This is not truthful. The truth is that if any sādhaka chants harināma, then the desire for service will come to him. If he serves, then the desire for harināma will come—along with increase in desire for all aspects of bhakti. If he hears hari-kathā, then all desire to perform bhakti will come.

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