Gurudeva Katha 1996 Lectures Classification of Anarthas - San Francisco 05 July 1996

Classification of Anarthas – San Francisco 05 July 1996

People often pray to God by saying, “O God, give me bread and butter.” One’s prayer to God should not be done this way, not like this. One might also say, “O God, give me a very beautiful wife,” or, “Give me a very handsome husband.” “Give me very good children, wealth, reputation and so on.” One should be very careful to not pray like this. These things will come of their own accord based on the impressions of your past lives, so don’t be worried for these desires. These desires are anarthas and problems, which hinder our progress towards attaining pure bhakti. I have briefly explained during our morning walk the difference between sins and offenses. Sin is related to body and mind but an offense is very much related to the soul. So if you will commit an aparādha, apa rādha, rādha means affection, so when one commits an aparādha, love and affection towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa will go out. Apa means to go out. This way our śraddhā and bhakti will be uprooted. So we should be very careful to not commit an aparādha.

If one has not committed any aparādha, he still may have many anarthas. Anartha means, ‘na artha iti anartha’. What is the meaning of artha?

Śyāmarānī dīdī: Benefit.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes. What do we want, obtaining which we will be happy? I don’t want to be in this miserable material world full of sufferings and false ego. So those particular obstacles that impede one’s quest and attempts of fulfillment towards one’s ultimate well-being are designated as anarthas. Anarthas tend to exist even if there is no aparādha.
So I explained aniṣṭhitā bhakti yesterday, including the six kinds of anarthas like utsāha-mayī, ghana-taralā and so forth. Four kinds of anarthas are still present despite these anarthas having gone away and within these four, another four prominent anarthas exist. After these anarthas are subdued, śraddhā ripens to niṣṭhā and then one performs the limbs of niṣṭhitā bhakti.

Navina Kṛṣṇa Prabhu will explain the four kinds of anarthas. Try to listen carefully. Once you are aware of these anarthas and henceforward strive to eliminate them, then your bhakti will be bona fide. The gate of the realm of bhakti will be open to you and you can enter. Otherwise you will be in the same position, struggling to cope with these anarthas. So you should listen and strive to subdue the anarthas.

Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: You have just heard previously from Gurudeva’s lotus mouth about the difference between sin and offense. Sins are related to body and mind and offense is related to the soul. Śrīla Gurudeva explained during the morning walk how dangerous vaiṣṇava-aparādha is. It completely uproots the creeper of bhakti, so we must be very careful to not commit it. Gurudeva also explained today the ten kinds of nāma-aparādha. Why is guru avajñā not stated as the first offense and instead sādhu-nindā is stated as the first? The reason is that we think of ourselves as Vaiṣṇavas and in such a conception, complacency and carelessness arises and we joke with one another and might even neglect and criticize each other, so there is so much chance of committing a vaiṣṇava-aparādha here. We have a sense of awe and reverence towards Gurudeva, so a chance to commit an offense at his lotus feet doesn’t arise as much as it does towards the Vaiṣṇavas. There is a rare chance to commit an offense towards Gurudeva, although sometimes we neglect to carry out his orders. So we have to be wary of this aparādha. Gurudeva explained yesterday what aniṣṭhitā bhakti is, Gurudeva also explained the terms utsāha-mayī, ghana-taralā etc. After these anarthas there are more anarthas and they are laya, vikṣepa, apratipatti, kaṣāya and rasāsvāda.

Laya means the tendency to sleep while executing the limbs of bhakti. Kīrtana, śravaṇa, and smaraṇa are the three main limbs of bhakti, so during kīrtana we are very joyous and active, it seems as though we are jumping on a trampoline and at the same time we are singing, ‘Nitāi Gaura Haribol’. So here, there is no chance for one to sleep at all. But during class, we hear Gurudeva telling someone, “Don’t go to sleep! Listen to hari-kathā most attentively; māyā is everywhere all around this world. Māyā is present with her attendant—laziness. If you don’t listen carefully and you take shelter of the wall, then māyā will come and arrest you with sleep and laziness.” So during kīrtana, the chance to fall asleep doesn’t arise as much it does when one is listening to class. The chance for one to fall asleep during śravaṇa is magnified.

The next limb of bhakti is smaraṇa. Gurudeva often tell us to not think of this material world while chanting our Gāyatrī mantras. He tells us to fully engage our minds in the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu, but during smaraṇa, sleep comes easily. So sleep gradually increases as the limbs of bhakti progress from kīrtana to śravaṇa and then to smaraṇa. This is laya, one kind of anartha.

The next anartha is vikṣepa. When Gurudeva is giving a lecture, we think within ourselves, “I want to hear and follow totally.” But the person sometimes listens and sometimes is unable to listen. Sometimes the mind of a person wanders during class. Vikṣepa, vi-kṣepa, vi means specially, and kṣepa means obstacle. This way a person cannot follow the lecture properly. Sometimes Gurudeva asks a devotee, “Can you tell me what I have just explained?”

The devotee replies, “O Gurudeva, I can’t say.”

Gurudeva replies, “Why not?”

The devotee replies, “I could not listen attentively.”

This is called vikṣepa.

The third anartha is ‘apratipatti’, here there is a strong desire to execute the limbs of navadhā bhakti: śravaṇa, kīrtana, smaraṇa, pūjana, vandana, paricaryā, dāsya, sakhya, ātma-nivedana, and to also perform the five primary limbs of bhakti:

sādhu-saṅga nāma-kīrtana bhāgavata-śravaṇa
Mathurā-vāsa śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana
Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 22.129


[One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, reside at Mathurā and worship the Deity with faith and veneration.]

Especially when heard from Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, but one is unable to do as told. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda has explained in the Nectar of Devotion how a person, who is simple and has not committed any offense, can achieve bhāva-bhakti by performing these limbs of bhakti. We listen to Gurudeva’s order and try to perform kīrtana and smaraṇa. We have a strong desire to do so, yet we cannot properly follow. This is called apratipatti, a desire to perform bhakti is there, but one is of irresolute intelligence when it comes to executing the limbs of bhakti.

Kaṣāya means fault. Here one thinks he is doing bhajana, but other extraneous desires are coming in his mind. This is called kaṣāya. Nārada Ṛṣi in his first life was the son of a maidservant. After his mother’s death, Nārada Ṛṣi went to the forest to propitiate Kṛṣṇa. But his desire to satisfy Kṛṣṇa at any cost was not strong. Nārada Ṛṣi had a desire to stay in the forest and do bhajana of Kṛṣṇa, but his desire was not strong. So this is one kind of kaṣāya. You all know that a city is of the mode of passion, a forest is of the mode of goodness, and a temple where Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas reside is transcendental. Living in the temple under the guidance of Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas is ‘nirguṇa vāsa’. Nārada Ṛṣi wanted to do sāttvika ‘vana vāsa’, so this is one kind of kaṣāya. Kṛṣṇa’s darśana to Nārada Ṛṣi lasted for the same time as that of a lightning flash. When Nārada was bitterly lamenting an aerial voice consoled him, “This lifetime you cannot have any further darśana of Me as you have some kaṣāya.” kaṣāya means fault, so one has to be free of this kaṣāya.

Rasāsvāda means the agitation caused by material tastes when one is engaged in śravaṇa, kīrtana, and smaraṇa. When we chant our Gāyatrī we may think, “Oh, I need to go to a shop and purchase some commodities.” Gurudeva has given us mantras but when chanting them we are agitated by these material desires. This is rasāsvāda; material tastes which afflict us when we practice the limbs of devotion.

After these anarthas are surpassed, there are four more anarthas. The anarthas are gross and thick when utsāha-mayī and ghana-taralā etc. are there, they are subtle and thin when laya, vikṣepa etc. are there and more subtle and thin anarthas are conspicuous by their presence when these anarthas are checked. So the subtlest anarthas are sukṛti-uttha anartha, duṣkṛtī-uttha anartha, bhakti-uttha anartha and aparādha-uttha anartha. Sukṛti-uttha anarthas are those caused by performance of pious activities, duṣkṛtī-uttha anarthas are those caused by impious activities, bhakti-uttha anarthas are those caused by the performance of bhakti and aparādha-uttha anarthas are those caused by committing offenses. Now I will gradually explain these different kinds of anarthas.

Sukṛti-uttha anarthas are caused by pious activities we have performed in our past lives. Examples of pious activities are the digging of wells and ponds, the opening of hospitals, schools etc. Due to these pious activities, a sādhaka is enjoying so many things, thus leading to sukṛti-uttha. The fruits of these pious activities hamper a sādhaka from fixing his mind on bhakti with resolute intelligence.

Duṣkṛtī-uttha anarthas are those arising from performing impious activities from one’s past lives. We have done so many bad activities from which we may suffer from diseases. A child may be born blind, a person may have physical or mental limitations, and this is due to the performance of impious activities. When we are doing bhajana, our mind is disturbing us and we are unable to focus on our bhajana, this is due to duṣkṛtī-uttha anartha.

Bhakti-uttha anarthas are those that arise before our practice of pure bhakti. We commit offenses while practicing bhakti, and due to these offenses name, fame, and reputation comes before us. If we think, “This is due to my bhakti, my own merit,” when we have this mentality, bhakti goes far away from us. When name, fame, and reputation comes we should reconcile and think, “This is due to my aparādha bhakti and not śuddha-bhakti.” Gurudeva is the true receptacle for name, fame, and reputation, and not us. One should think, “Due to the influence of Guru-pāda-padma, this is coming before me, I am not the enjoyer of this name and fame, Gurudeva is the enjoyer and what he can do what he likes. I am not qualified for this, if I am involved then I have to go far away from devotion.”

Aparādha-uttha anarthas arise from offenses we commit even unwillingly. Sometimes a Vaiṣṇava may come and we may criticize him, “Oh, he is a very bad person.” I may never have even associated with the Vaiṣṇava but circumstantially I have criticized him and this leads to aparādha-uttha anarthas.

So we have to beware of these anarthas. Niṣṭhā (steadfastness in the practice of bhakti) will come if by the mercy of Śrī Guru and Vaiṣṇavas we can overcome these anarthas. So we have to pray regularly to the lotus feet of Śrī Guru, Vaiṣṇavas, Śrī Girirāja Govardhana, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, Kṛṣṇa, and His associates. We should pray like Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has prayed in Śrī Manah śikṣā. By the effort of our prayers and practice, we can overcome these hurdles and advance in our devotion. Niṣṭhā, ruci, and āsakti will await us when we have crossed these anarthas. Now we will hear from Śrīla Gurudeva. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Gurudeva: We have heard about nāma-aparādha, sevā-aparādha and the eight kinds of anarthas. They are all very dangerous. Nāma-aparādha is most dangerous and sevā-aparādha and the anarthas which follow are dangerous but not as dangerous as nāma-aparādha. We should try to avoid all these things. Niṣṭhā comes after we have crossed these stages. Niṣṭhā means to be one pointed in kṛṣṇa-bhakti. In our sādhana we sometimes are of irresolute intelligence and think, “Should we do this or not?” If this niṣṭhā matures, automatically ruci (taste) will come.

Ruci is of two kinds. If the Deities are well decorated and ornamented one will think, “Oh, how beautiful the Deities are.” If the Deities are not decorated and are naked and dirty, then one may think, “Oh, Ṭhākurajī is not good. We should go to that temple where the golden Deity is there and we should see the golden thrones, ornaments, and golden everything. The Deities are glittering so nicely! So let us go there.”

In Vṛndāvana nowadays, not many go to see the bona fide Deities like Śrī Govinda, Gopinātha, and Madana-mohana. They go to the temples that are so nicely decorated; where everything is golden, and glittering lights amaze them. Ṭhākurajī is feeling hot by such lighting and other ostentatious displays but we neglect Ṭhākurajī and bring many people along with us like our relations and wonder staring at the decorations of the temple.

Another instance is when kīrtana is going on, but the singer’s voice is not so sweet and his playing of musical instruments like the mṛdaṅga is not so rhythmic, at that time one may think, “Kīrtana is not good, we should go to a temple where the instruments are played very nicely and the singing is very sweet. We should go to such a bona fide kīrtana.” All the cheaters may have collected in such a place ready to cheat all with their artificial displays. They sometimes may even smoke cigarettes. They may go inside and take wine and come out and dance most beautifully with their long, wavy hair swinging to and fro. At that time one may think, “This is very good kīrtana, a bona fide kīrtana.” The performers may not have adorned their foreheads with tilaka, their necks with kānti-mālā, and they are not pure devotees, but then too their display is appreciated so much.

On the other hand, there may be a pure devotee, a mahā-bhāgavata doing kīrtana. But he has no sweet voice and no instruments to accompany his kīrtana. The mahā-bhāgavata is doing kīrtana and weeping and trembling. But one may say, “Oh, he is a cheater.” The mahā-bhāgavata is not a cheater, but one may think he is a cheater because he has no sweet voice. His pure devotion eludes the perceiver. So these are two kinds of ruci (tastes).

One may go to a place where there are artificial displays and when the same person goes to a place surcharged with pure devotion, the person may cheat himself by trying to judge the performance by the exercise of his senses. He will not hear the pure devotee’s kīrtana. So we should be careful in our considerations. Ruci for kīrtana should be like Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s. Mahāprabhu heard someone singing the Gīta-govinda and He was at once captivated.

śrita-kamalā-kuca-maṇḍala (he)
dhṛta-kuṇḍala (e)
jaya jaya deva hare

When Mahāprabhu heard this singing, He was most overcome with bliss. But who was singing? A deva-dāsī of Śrī Jagannātha-deva was singing. She was singing very far away, in a jungle. The path to the jungle was beset with thorns. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu ran towards the origin of the voice, totally forgetting His identity, not considering whether He was a male or female, and crying and saying, “O Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa, where are You?” Mahāprabhu was running so fast that none could pursue Him. Śrī Govinda Prabhu ran behind and said, “O Mahāprabhu, a lady is singing, You should not touch her, otherwise I know that You will jump in the sea, so please hear me.”

But Mahāprabhu was not listening. Sensing the danger of Mahāprabhu’s atonement, Govinda Prabhu very loudly said, “What are You doing, a lady devotee is singing, You should not embrace her.”

Hearing Govinda Prabhu’s plea, Mahāprabhu at once stopped and said, “O Govinda! You have saved Me; otherwise, if I would have touched the lady I would have at once jumped in the sea and given up My life.”

Once, during the dead of night, someone was singing Śrī Gīta-Govinda written by Śrī Jayadeva Gosvāmī very sweetly, very far away from the Śrī Jagannātha temple. Listening to this kīrtana, Jagannātha-deva came out of His temple and crossed the five sealed gates and ran towards the direction of the kīrtana. In His ecstatic love filled trance, Jagannātha-deva was oblivious of the thorns that were present on the path and the thorns scratched His body and tore His clothes. When the priests opened the seal and entered Jagannātha’s room in the early morning, they saw how Jagannātha was scratched all over His body and His clothes were torn. The priests asked each other as to why this happened and they became so worried. They went to the king and informed him and told him that this must have been because of some aparādha and wrongdoing. The king offered many stava-stutis and when he slept, Jagannātha-deva appeared in his dream and told him, “Someone was singing Śrī Gīta-Govinda, listening to which I was unable to control Myself. I ran to embrace the person and the path was beset with thorns, that is why My clothes are torn and I have been scratched.” The king awoke and announced in the kingdom that none should sing this kīrtana anywhere outside the precincts of the temple, especially during the night.

What is this? If kṛṣṇa-kīrtana is going on irrespective of kīrtana being sung with the sweetest of melodies or not, a bona fide devotee will listen to the name of Kṛṣṇa and at once fall flat on the ground. So we should carefully know all these things and try to have ruci. Even if there is no tāla or svara (sweet melody) in the kīrtana of a devotee who has ruci, we should respectfully listen to his kīrtana.

When ruci matures, āsakti (attachment) comes. Āsakti is also of two kinds; āsakti to bhajana and āsakti to bhajanīya (Kṛṣṇa and His asscociates). First āsakti to the process of devotional service comes. One who has this āsakti is of the conviction that, “Without sādhana-bhajana I cannot remain alive.” His life and soul is bhajana. After that, the attachment is transferred to Kṛṣṇa and His associates. We should know and try to follow all these things and as a result, śuddha-bhakti will come and we will progress accordingly.

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When guru gives a turban, tilaka, and glorifies a person, then he is being raised up for a fall, to rectify him of his pride. In Hindi, there is a saying, which means that when people get praised continuously, it makes them more and more puffed up. They become so puffed up that they can no longer sit. They desire more and more prestige. If anyone tells them anything a little bit against them, or a little bit critical, then it is like they burst in anger and shout, “Sālā! Don’t you know who I am? I am the father of Gurudeva.” This is like saying, “I am the guru of my guru; I am everything to him! Without me, Mahārāja would have no life.” If Gurudeva or Bhagavān praise their dependents, it can give rise to a great anartha in the heart of the sādhakas. It is ve hard to tolerate such an anartha.The disciple should always pray that Śrī Guru chastise him and correct his faults. He should always reserve the right with his guru to chastise him. One should pray to Guru, “Always keep me as your humble follower and chastise me when I do wrong.” If at the time guru chastises his sevaka or disciple, that disciple then also speaks back to guru or reprimands guru, or complains about his Guru to others, then he will certainly fall down. If he goes around complaining, “Oh! Mahārāja said this and that. He was so abusive,” this is taking away the right of guru to chastise. Then the guru will stop chastising and then gradually, the disciple would certainly fall down. Therefore we should always have someone who is there ready to chastise us if we do wrong. Without a guardian we are hopeless. We should never take away the right of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas to chastise us. If we ourselves go and reprimand our guru or think ourselves to be superior to our guru then he will become silent and will not chastise us. Then guru will worship us. And he will say, “You are everything. You are my master; you are the authority.” So, a sincere sādhaka should always be cautious and understand that if Guru and Vaiṣṇavas begin to regularly praise him and worship him then he should try to rectify that situation before his downfall. He should pray for forgiveness for his offense. And he should always pray to Guru and Vaiṣṇavas that they be his chastiser and guardian.When this question was asked to Gurudeva about why a sevaka would leave guru or Bhagavān, Gurudeva said, “They are serving physically, but where is their mind? Is their mind engaged in service with sincerity? They look, ‘Oh! Who has come, who has given how much, who is a wealthy person, who has given donations?’ ”When people come to the sevaka of guru and say, ‘Oh! You sing so nicely and you do such nice service. You cook so well. O Prabhu! Really you have kept guru completely pleased by your service.’These people who come and give praise like this are great enemies, because then the sevaka will always be thinking about them and will forget about Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. We think of these people and try to take care of them and to keep them happy. In this way we leave the service of guru and begin serving others. That person is not a real guru-sevaka. He is showing that he is serving guru only to really engage others in his own worship and to enjoy himself. If he is a real sevaka then he will always be eager to be chastised by his guru. He will always be very humble and consider himself insignificant. He prays to guru, ‘If I have any mistake or any shortcoming please at once chastise me and correct me for my fault.’ And if he ever does anything wrong he will fall at the feet of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas and weeping, will pray for forgiveness.But some people become so arrogant that if guru finds any fault with their character and says anything to them then they are ready to start a fight and they will raise their hand to fight with guru, or they will turn their back on guru and leave him. Or if guru chastises them, then they will leave like a scolded wife and spend days crying here and there, and they will tell everyone they meet, “Oh! Gurudeva is so mean. He wrongly accused me.” They will tell everyone and try to show that they were right and that they had done nothing wrong. If someone acts like this then he has left his dharma as a sevaka. If the ‘se’ from the sevaka is taken away then all that is left is vaka, which means a crane, which represents the hypocrite. That person is only an impostor in the dress of a sevaka. Cranes are white and they have a nice long śikhā, and they do austerities with their eyes closed, standing on one foot in the water. Why? They only want to catch a fish. They wait and do austerities until a nice big fish comes along and then they snatch it up and eat it. One should be very careful not to be such a servant of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. If one is a real sevaka then what happens? Kṛṣṇa-bhakte kṛṣṇera guṇa sakali sañcāre—Kṛṣṇa’s qualities enter His devotees. So if someone is with guru and they are really a bhakta and a servant then all the good qualities of guru and Bhagavān will enter that person. Then he will be humble and fully qualified in all the different manners of vaiṣṇava-sevā and Vaiṣṇavism. By the good qualities of guru he becomes qualified. What is the fruit of this qualification? He learns to ree all Vaiṣṇavas properly according to their position. He always chants harināma and his mind will be naturally absorbed in Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s eternal pastimes.How can these good qualities and tattva-jñāna enter our hearts? How can we protect our bhakti and maintain a life of service of Hari, Guru and Vaiṣṇavas? Scripture states: āyur harati vai puṁsāmudyann astaṁ ca yann asautasyarte yat-kṣaṇo nītauttama-śloka-vārtayāŚrīmad-Bhāgavatam 2.3.17 Both by rising and by setting, the sun decreases the duration of life of everyone, except one who utilizes the time by discussing topics of the all-good Personality of Godhead.When the sun and the moon rise and set they steal the span of life of all living beings. The sun and the moon thus enjoy all life forms. All the devatās and dānavas enjoy the mānavas, or humans. When a boy or girl comes into maturity then different supernatural beings come at any opportunity and try to enjoy him or her through some subtle form. Apsarās or gandharvas will come and they will embrace you in their subtle forms and in that way enjoy you and cause you to lose your vital energy. Our life span and vital energy is thus being stolen from us. The presiding deities of the nava-graha, nine planets, are all like different manifestations of time, which steal away the life of all beings. When any planet’s period is acting in a person’s life, then that planet enjoys that person who is under its sign. During the Rāhu period, Rāhu enjoys that person. During the Ketu period, Ketu enjoys that person. Similarly, during one’s maṅgala-daśā or śani-daśā, Mars and Saturn enjoy that person.We can be saved from this situation by being always absorbed in the Absolute Truth under the guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas, by serving them and hearing hari-kathā from them. We should study the Bhāgavatam, Bhagavad-gītā, Rāmāyaṇa, and other scriptures, under guidance of Guru and Vaiṣṇavas. But it is not enough to only hear or read; we must endeavor to remember hari-kathā. While you are engaged in other activities try to remember what you have heard or read. Always remember the teachings and the pastimes of the Lord. And then after remembering, you should perform kīrtana. You should hear, chant, and remember. And not only that, you should also pray. You should hear, chant, remember, and pray. If you do that then these different influences, the planets, the sun and the moon will not be able to take away your life. You will achieve your transcendental form and go beyond this material realm. (click on the title to see more)


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)

Temple of the Heart – 07 Feb 2013 – Govinda-lilamrta

This book Govinda-līlāmṛta establishes the living entities in spiritual perfection, bestowing realization of their svarūpa-siddhi, eternal spiritual form, svarūpa-ānanda, the bliss inherent in that form, and svarūpa-gata-sevā, the service corresponding to that form. This Govinda-līlāmṛta builds the temple. Which temple? The temple of the soul’s eternal form, where ātma-gata-sevā is performed. A temple is where the service of God is performed. Our heart is now impure and full of anarthas, but by hearing this Govinda-līlāmṛta, the swamp of filth present in our heart will be cleansed and a wonderful temple will be constructed...


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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