Gurudeva Katha 1996 Lectures The Ultimate Siksa-guru - New Jersey 15 July 1996

The Ultimate Siksa-guru – New Jersey 15 July 1996

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is the best śikṣā-guru, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is better, and Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the ultimate śikṣā-guru. All Vaiṣṇavas who are superior to me are my śikṣā gurus, but there are gradations among them. I consider the books I read to be my śikṣā-guru and I pray to the books, “You should manifest yourselves within my heart.” I also consider Mathurā, especially Vraja Bhūmi, more especially Govardhana and most especially Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa and Śyāma-kuṇḍa to be śikṣā gurus. Daily I want to go these most holy places to pay my obeisances there. Daily I go. But today my schedule was disturbed as I have to go here and there. I am so glad to go to the places Svāmījī went. I am so happy to see how he preached there.

Śyāmarānī’s classes were so important and energetic that I also became so energetic to hear. I began to jump when I heard the classes.

We should ask ourselves, ‘How can we develop in our Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, and how we can increase our honor for our Gurudeva?’ We are trying to do as much as we can but no realization is coming. How much we can develop, can be achieved only with sādhu-saṅga. Ajāmila chanted Nārāyaṇa once, out of love for his own son. Usually, he used to call, ‘Nārāyaṇa, Nārāyaṇa’, taking his son in his lap. But he was not realizing the effect of chanting the name ‘Nārāyaṇa’. He realized it when he was on his death bed, and four associates of Nārāyaṇa came and told him about the effect of chanting the name Nārāyaṇa. Then he was saved from death and he realized the truth. After that, he went to Haridvāra, and he practiced devotion by following all the rules and regulations, and keeping away from all kinds of sense gratification. And very soon, again the four Nārāyaṇa-dutas came and took him to Vaikuṇṭha. We must also try to realize this in a similar way. It is only through a human birth that we can have this realization. This is what the Bhāgavatam says. Bhāgavatam says that this realization will come from the chanting of the holy name. How? For example, let us say you are eating food. When you eat, your hunger will come to an end. You will not want to eat any more. You know that you are getting strong enough.

So, realization is important. When we are chanting and singing these kīrtanas, at once some attachment will come. Detachment for material things will go away, and attachment for Kṛṣṇa will come. Slowly, we can feel that we are getting some taste. Then we will know that we are going on the right path. So, we should chant, and then we will want to follow Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī. By singing the songs related to them, taste for their ślokas will come in our heart. This will happen gradually as we continue to follow in their footsteps.

tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi na jivāmi tvayā vinā
iti vijñāya rādhe tvaṁ naya māṁ caraṇāntikam
Śrī Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 96

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the meaning of this śloka.

Tuṅgavidyā dīdī: It means: “He Rādhe, I am Yours. I am Yours. I cannot live without You. Please understand this and keep me at Your feet.”

Śrīla Gurudeva: Our taste will increase by reciting these verses. Then we will feel like inquiring about what else our Gosvāmīs’ have written, we will be thirsty to realize what more is there in their writings, etc.

hā nātha gokula-sudhā-kara suprasanna-
vaktrāravinda madhura-smita he kṛpārdra
yatra tvayā viharate praṇayaiḥ prayārāt
tatraiva mām api naya priya-sevanāya
Śrī Vilāpa-kusumāñjali 100


[O Nātha! O nectar-moon of Gokula, whose cheerful lotus face smiles sweetly! O crown jewel of the merciful! If You are pleased with me, then give me this boon only: for the purpose of rendering service to my mistress, please take me to where You are lovingly sporting with Your beloved.]

What is the meaning of these lines?

“Hey Gokula nātha! Master, life and soul of Gokula! I am suffering so much, and I am burning in separation from my Holy Master Śrīmatī Rādhikā. I want to meet Her. Where is She playing with You? I would like to know this with your help. I want to go there at once. I want to meet Śrīmatī Rādhikā. “O Rādhike, where are You, where are You? If You are not merciful to me, then I will give up Vṛndāvana. I don’t want to be in Vṛndāvana. I don’t want to live in Rādhā-kuṇḍa, in Govardhana, anywhere; I don’t want to be with Kṛṣṇa also if You are not there. I want to go anywhere You are. I only want to serve You. I don’t want Kṛṣṇa also. So, You should be merciful to me.”

We should realize all these prayers when we are chanting. These prayers have been given to us by Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunata dāsa Gosvāmī, and the other Gosvāmīs. We have to chant with this mood. Without these moods, if we simply chant, even for our whole life, the practices will not give us bhakti. They can only add sukṛti. This way of chanting will not be pure devotion, it will only be a practice mixed with karma and jñāna. This is not svarūpa siddha bhakti; it is āropa-siddha and sāṅga siddha. This cannot give us residence in Vraja.
So, we should try to inquire how we to get this mood. We should try to go to the person who knows that process, and try to serve that devotee with heart and soul and our very life. We should not be satisfied with the little bhakti we do, which is mixed with karma, yoga and jñāna. We should also not depend on stars and astrology.

Sometimes they give us the wrong direction. Of course they can be taken so, or considered for activities that add to our bhakti. For instance when we go anywhere, we can see if it is good time or not by the positioning of the stars. When we are not doing something at a good time, we just chant, “Nārsiṁhadeva ki jaya”, “Gurudeva ki jaya” and we at once jump (with not much botheration about stars or astrology). Not everybody can do this. Thus go on advancing.

We need to develop detachment when we are advancing. If we are chanting and remembering, but yet we do not have detachment from worldly things and sense gratification, then this is not a good symptom. We can adopt something, like family duties, but we should do it only as a duty, not with attachment. If Kṛṣṇa has given an opportunity for you to give up worldly attachments, then we should adopt this very strongly, with strong determination. We should not try to go again towards that thing. Like Śyāmarānī. She has left everything. Kṛṣṇa is supporting her.

Śyāmarānī dīdī: I am still attached to my false ego.

Śrīla Gurudeva: That will also go.

Śyāmarānī dīdī: With your blessings.

Śrīla Gurudeva: I think they are gone. Yet, I know some devotees for who Kṛṣṇa has arranged not to go to family. Their families may have kicked them but yet like ashes they will try to follow. We should take the advantage that Kṛṣṇa gives. And if we are not taking the advantage, then Kṛṣṇa will think that we want all these things and then He will give so much more. Then we will be more attached, and have so much wealth, etc.

Devotee: If one is chanting and remembering, won’t attachment (for material things) automatically go?

Śrīla Gurudeva: It will only go in the association of bona fide Vaiṣṇavas. Merely with chanting it will not go. As Vyāsadeva chanted and remembered in the guidance of Nārada Muni, Ajāmila went to Haridvāra and stayed in the guidance of Kṛṣṇa’s four messengers. He began to chant under their guidance. Also like Vālmīki, he chanted and remembered and practiced devotion by sitting in one place for one thousand years, but under the guidance of his Guru, Nārada Muni. So, we should also try to be like this. We should try to follow and carry out the orders of Gurudeva.

Today we should sing kīrtana of Guruvāṣṭakam. I have not heard it for many days. I only recite it in my mind.

[Kīrtana of Gurvāṣṭakam and Pañca-tattva mantra]

It has been told in the various purāṇas of how Nārada Muni, disguised in various ways, goes to meet kings and wealthy persons and anyone who honors Vaiṣṇavas. To those who have some sukṛti, he goes and tells them of bhakti, that practicing the limbs of bhakti is bona fide and we should realize this from the corner of our heart and we should believe in all these things. So, you should know one thing, that if you are coming towards Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, if you are chanting and remembering, you will not have anything to lose. What you are, how you are, you will be the same way, with your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, wealth etc., you will be like as you are now. Only the mood of living will change.

There is nothing to lose. Your wife or husband, wealth, sister, and your whole family will be with you. The advantage is also that there will be no problems in life. If you think that we are not getting more and more happiness even that is not of any harm. Where will you go after this? Now that you’re in this human body, you should chant and remember Kṛṣṇa. You should not lose any time, and you should never give up. Then everything will be with you. Only your mood of being the controller will change, that is all. You will understand that you are not the master or controller of this world. You will feel, “I am not the owner of this house, I am not the father of my child, I am not the mother of my child, etc. Father, mother, everything is Kṛṣṇa. He has given a child in my womb. He has given all these things to us. He has given air, water, food, milk, and everything.”

Kṛṣṇa is managing everything. We cannot manage by ourselves. The same woman has milk in her breast when a baby is born. Otherwise, there is no milk when there is no child. Who is controlling all this? Who manages all this? It is Kṛṣṇa. If a child is born, who is supporting and nourishing? It is not mother or father or anybody. It is only Kṛṣṇa. Our soul is a part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa. So, we should realize all these things.

When we will die, if we are not enjoying in the world here, and we are only chanting and remembering, and performing devotional service, our family will be happy. The problems will be lessened. And if our sādhana-bhajana is not completed when we die, then we may be born in a different form. Like a serpent, lion, tiger, and so forth. At that time you will get so many things (so many wives will come in the various forms of animals, everything will be there). You will not lose anything in those forms of life. In this human body you can realize who you are, and how to serve Kṛṣṇa, who maintains all these worlds.

So Nārada goes everywhere preaching these truths which are like injections, injecting us with bhakti.

We should know this world is like a place for refugees. We have to give it up sometime or the other. If we are not giving it up, then Kṛṣṇa will come and will request you to at once give it up like how the police tell one to. We should know all these things, and we should try not to hanker so much for worldly things in this life. If one’s wife has left, then don’t try for the same again. If two people are divorced, then don’t try to make them up again. We should try to accept that knowledge which will give us happiness. Only in human life can we realize all this. If we are a serpent or a tiger or like a sea-goat, we will not get this realization. We know that if we are chanting and remembering Kṛṣṇa in our heart, then we can leave this place comfortably not to return again. If not, we will have to be a pig, or an insect in stool, where we can have as much food as we like.


In this very life we should realize all these things by chanting. Only by chanting, realization will come. Very easily we can realize. You know that we don’t do anything for maintaining our life, we only chant, and we go to various places. Now today I am in this palace of Jayaram Prabhu. Sometimes, I will be in the palace of Charles. Sometimes here and there, Kṛṣṇa arranges everything for us. We get delicious sweets, fruits, mākhana, miśri and everything is ready for us. We are welcomed everywhere. Mahā-prasāda comes without any endeavor. We only chant, “Hare Kṛṣṇa”, and don’t worry about how people will come, how to arrange anything, how to manage these things, and so forth. Also, so much money wants to come, but we ask it not to come. “Don’t disturb us.” We offer our namaskarās to wealth and only when we have some need of it do we call or else we tell wealth to remain where it is.

So now that we have attained the human form of life we should chant. How should we chant?

Then start….

[Śrīla Gurudeva leads the devotees in singing Śrī Nanda-Nandanāṣṭakam]

Kṛṣṇa has lakhs and lakhs of ears, and lakhs and lakhs of eyes. He has infinite power. He has lakhs and lakhs of feet. He can go in a second to any place He wishes, and He can do things that we consider impossible. Nothing is impossible for Him. Chanting is a very easy process to make Him merciful to us. So, we should chant and we should remember very easily like this, singing, sometimes weeping, “O Kṛṣṇa, You can save us.” He will hear. Our parents cannot hear if they are far away. Our eyes cannot see themselves. Any scientist, any instrument or powerful computer cannot see what is in our heart. They cannot realize the mood in our heart. They can discover an atom bomb to destroy, but they cannot realize what love, affection is and what its nature is. They can stop malaria or other diseases sometimes. They can help in some ways, but they cannot help the dacoits, thieves, drunkards, and people like this. They cannot change their habits. All the doctors of the whole world may come and use their intelligence, but they cannot do anything to change anyone’s habit. But Kṛṣṇa has the power. Any drunkard should try and examine that chanting for some days will change his mood. So, we should chant. It is a very easy process.

First 2 verses of Śrī Rādhā-kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-stavarāja song is sung….

munīndra-vṛnda-vandite tri-loka-śoka-hāriṇī
kadā kariṣyasīha māṁ kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-bhājanam?


[O Śrīmatī Rādhikā—Śukadeva, Nārada, Uddhava, and all the topmost munis are always offering vandanā (prayers) to Your lotus feet. Remembering You and praying for Your sevā miraculously removes all the miseries, sins, and offenses of the three spheres. Your joyful face blooms like a lotus and You delight in pastimes in the kuñjas of Vraja. You are the daughter of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja and are the dearly beloved of Vrajendra-nandana, with whom You always perform vilāsa—when, Oh when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance?]

kadā kariṣyasīha māṁ kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-bhājanam


[You dwell in a pavilion made of creepers climbing upon aśoka trees; Your soft lotus feet are like lustrous red coral, newly-sprouted leaves, and the rising sun; Your lotus hands are always eager to fulfill the cherished aspiration of Your devotees and to grant the benediction of fearlessness; You are the abode of profuse divine treasures and opulences—O Śrīmatī Rādhike, when, Oh when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance?]

He (Śivajī) is telling, “O Rādhike! How beautiful and sweet You are! You possess all the power of Kṛṣṇa! You have everything; wealth and everything at Your fingers.”

Brahmā may come, Indra may come, Sarasvatī and Indrāṇī may come. All may come. And they may please You by so many ślokas and prayers. And You can bestow everything that they ask, even Śaṅkarajī may come and Śrīmatī Rādhikā will give a benediction. They can receive all material things. But she will try to keep the Vraja mood very secret, for it is very sacred. The Vraja mood is a very secret thing. But we can achieve the Vraja mood by singing these prayers.

[Śrīla Gurudeva continues leading the devotees in singing Śrī Rādhā-kṛpā-katākṣa Stava-rāja.]

Śrīla Gurudeva to Śyāmarānī dīdī: You should read the meaning of this śloka.

kadā kariṣyasīha māṁ kṛpā-kaṭākṣa-bhājanam

Śyāmarānī dīdī reads:

[You are worshiped by Śrī Lakṣmī, the goddess of unlimited millions of Vaikuṇṭha planets. Śrī Pārvatī, Indrāṇī (Indra’s wife), and Sarasvatī all worship and attain benedictions from You. Meditation on even one of Your toenails grants an infinite variety of perfections. There is no need to pray to anyone else, only You—O Śrīmatī Rādhike, when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance?]


makheśvari! kriyeśvari svadheśvari sureśvari
triveda-bhāratīśvari pramāṇa-śāsaneśvari
rameśvari! kṣameśvari pramoda-kānaneśvari
vrajeśvari vrajādhipe śrī rādhike namo ’stu te


[You are the mistress of all kinds of sacrifices (especially of the topmost yugala- milana-yajña); of all actions (since You are the root of all potencies—mūla-śakti-tattva); of the mantras uttered at yajñas and of the sacrificial offerings presented to the demigods; of all the demigods; of the words of the three Vedas; of the enforcement of all scriptural principles; of Śrī Ramā-devī (the goddess of fortune); of Śrī Kṣamā-devī (the goddess of forgiveness); and especially of the delightful kuñjas in Vṛndāvana. When will You mercifully make me Your dāsī and grant me the qualification to render service in Your amorous pastimes with the prince of Vraja? He Śrīmatī Rādhike, owner (adhikārinī—vrajeśvarī) and maintainer (vrajādhipe) of Vraja! I offer praṇāmas unto You time and again.]

Śrīla Gurudeva: Once, Kṛṣṇa was at Kurukṣetra, with His parents, children, and all of His queens, during the full solar eclipse. Bhīṣma-pitāmaha, the Pāṇḍavas, and the kings of the whole world were there. Nanda Bābā, Yaśodā, the various Vrajavāsīs, and all the gopīs also came to Kurukṣetra, when they heard that Kṛṣṇa was there. They had not seen Kṛṣṇa for a very long time, ever since He had left Vṛndāvana. So, all were present at Kurukṣetra and met Kṛṣṇa. After the solar eclipse was over all were meeting with Kṛṣṇa. One day, the queens of Kṛṣṇa, especially Satyabhāmā, wanted to donate something that was equivalent to Kṛṣṇa’s weight. She wanted to give gold which was as much as Kṛṣṇa’s weight to any qualified brāhmaṇa or bhakta. So she decided to call a qualified brāhmaṇa to weigh Kṛṣṇa with gold. Then the weighed gold would be given to a brāhmaṇa. She had brought so much gold from Dvārakā. She announced in the meeting, where Nārada Ṛṣi was present, that Nārada Ṛṣi would be the brāhmaṇa who would weigh Kṛṣṇa. Nārada Ṛṣi is a bona fide Vaiṣṇavas, so she said she had chosen Nārada Ṛṣi. Nārada Ṛṣi became very happy to hear this. A very big measurement scale was brought there and Kṛṣṇa sat on one side, and on the other side, so much gold, more than Kṛṣṇa’s weight, was placed. But the side where the gold was kept went high. Then Satyabhāmā told her companions that they should give their gold ornaments. She also gave her large gold ornaments. All the 16, 108 queens gave everything they were wearing. But still it was not equal to Kṛṣṇa’s weight. Then she went to Draupadī and all the other queens present. Even after giving their gold ornaments, it was not equal to the weight of Kṛṣṇa. Nārada Ṛṣi was so happy and he was clapping his hands.
He said, “If you are not able to give gold equivalent to Kṛṣṇa’s weight, I will take Kṛṣṇa and make Him a renunciant. I will make Him my disciple, and I will never return Him to you.” All the queens became very worried that the gold was not sufficient for Kṛṣṇa’s weight. They wondered what to do. They went to Nārada Ṛṣi himself and fell flat at his lotus feet. They prayed to Nārada Ṛṣito give them the intelligence with which they could fulfil their words. Nārada Ṛṣi advised them to go to Śrīmatī Rādhikā and take Her shelter, that She could give them advice about what will be more than Kṛṣṇa’s weight.

Satyabhāmā thought, “I am so much more beautiful than Rādhikā, and I have so many qualities. Rādhikā is a village girl, a milkmaid, and She is not as qualified as I am.” But she had no other means. So, she went in the night, in disguise, and met Śrīmatī Rādhikā. She fell flat at the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhikā and asked for Her help.

Śrīmatī Rādhikā asked, “Who are you?”

She said, “I am Satyabhāmā.”

Śrīmatī Rādhikā said, “Oh, I have heard about you. What help do you want from Me?”

Satyabhāmā explained the situation; how Kṛṣṇa was very heavy and however much gold was kept on the scale, it was always high, and Kṛṣṇa was down on the scale. She requested Śrīmatī Rādhikā to also give Her ornaments, or for any advice She could give.

Śrīmatī Rādhikā said, “Okay, very good. I will give you one Tulasī leaf.” She began to weep and pray, “O Kṛṣṇa, become merciful and be light.” One teardrop came from Her eyes on the Tulasī leaf and washed it. She then gave the Tulasī leaf in the hands of Satyabhāmā, She asked her to take all the gold of the scale, and to only keep this Tulasī leaf, and then to watch what happens.

Satyabhāmā at once took the Tulasī leaf and returned. She did as per the instructions of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, took out all the gold and placed on the scale that Tulasī leaf which was washed with the tears of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. As soon as the Tulasī leaf was placed on the scale, Kṛṣṇa went so high! See how easy it is to attract and control Kṛṣṇa! So:

makheśvari! kriyeśvari svadheśvari sureśvari
triveda-bhāratīśvari pramāṇa-śāsaneśvari
rameśvari! kṣameśvari pramoda-kānaneśvari
vrajeśvari vrajādhipe śrī rādhike namo ’stu te


[O queen of Vedic sacrifices, O queen of pious activities, O queen of the material world, O queen of the demigods, O queen of Vedic scholarship, O queen of knowledge, O queen of the goddesses of fortune, O queen of patience, O queen of Vṛndāvana, the forest of happiness, O queen of Vraja, O empress of Vraja, O Śrī Rādhikā, obeisances to You!]

Who is chanting this song? Kṛṣṇa Himself is singing this song. Kṛṣṇa told Rādhikā’s maid servant (pālya-dāsī) that He could not remember this śloka, and that she should guide Him. Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s pālya-dāsī began to sing and Kṛṣṇa also began to sing. Then Rādhikā became so merciful. Even Kṛṣṇa wants the mercy of Rādhā. He is controlled by Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Nobody can control Kṛṣṇa as Śrīmatī Rādhikā does. Mother Yaśodā can control and bind Kṛṣṇa, but not so much as Śrīmatī Rādhikā. So, we should pray with these prayers. Only reading Bhāgavad-Gītā will not be enough. Only selling books will not do. It can make some sukṛti (pious activity), and it will take you to bona fide Vaiṣṇavas. And gradually in lakhs and lakhs of birth we can get success. But when we will read Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, we will read pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with Subala sakhā, Śrīdāma, Yaśodā and Nanda Bābā. We will hear the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa with the gopīs. And we will have some greed to serve Kṛṣṇa like them. This greed will give so much power, like the Tulasī leaves with tears. And very soon, in a short time, Kṛṣṇa will be controlled. Kṛṣṇa will be bound to give all these things.

The devotee will then say, “O Kṛṣṇa, I don’t want anything in this world, and not even residence in Vaikuṇṭha or Dvārakā! Even in Vraja I don’t want anything; I only want to serve Your most beloved, Śrīmatī Rādhikā.” So Kṛṣṇa will know and at once He will give so much mercy.

Then, how should we pray to Śrīmatī Rādhikā? “You should enlist my name in Your register as a pālya-dāsī. I would like to serve You.” So we should sing this prayer all the time. We know that when some mercy is needed, some people stand on their heads for several thousands of years, not taking any water or any food. They get only salvation. In salvation, there is no happiness. But chanting like this, following the path of Rūpa Gosvāmī and our Guru-paramparā, in no time, we can have all these things. So, we should try to follow them, chant and remember in this process. We should chant:

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare,
Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.

Gaura Premānande Hari Haribol!

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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"Even if the fully-armed sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra were to kill me unarmed and unresisting on the battlefield, that would be more auspicious for me." Arjuna said, "I will not fight. The sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra may come and kill me and I will not resist. I would rather give up my life than fight." Arjuna was prepared to leave the world. He had the great fortune to be with Kṛṣṇa as His dear friend, but now he has become very weak, devoid of strength and intelligence. Why was his position like this? There is only one reason. He was considering his grandfather, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Krpacarya, Droṇācārya, the brothers of Duryodhana and the young wives of the Kauravas. They would all become widows; their husbands dead. This was such a large family of the Kauravas standing opposed to the Pandavas...

Second Part: Leaving Home and Services in the Gaudiya Matha (pt.1)

Guru-sevaka Śrī Vinodabihārī Brahmacārī, the foremost amongst the disciples of Śrīla Prabhupāda, later became well-known by the name Oṁ Viṣṇupāda Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti-prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja, and he preached the words of Śrī Gaurasundara all over the world, fulfilling Śrīla Prabhupāda’s manobhīṣṭa (inner desire). (Some Vaiṣṇavas say that the incident at Kuliyā was an excuse for Śrīla Prabhupāda to give his dear disciple the tridaṇḍa sannyāsa dress, even though his sannyāsa ceremony was held later in Kaṭvā, after Śrīla Prabhupāda’s disappearance.) For such guru-sevā, Śrī Vinoda-bihārī Brahmacārī’s name will be written in gold in the annals of the Sārasvata Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.

Stages in the Development of Bhakti

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī wrote the stages in the development of bhakti as follows: ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgo ’tha bhajana-kriyā tato ’nartha-nivṛttiḥ...


Śrī Tapana Miśra could not fully comprehend what is sadya-sādhana-tattva, the ultimate goal of life and the means to attain it. He thus prayed to God and begged Him to mercifully reveal this truth to him. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then gave him His darśana and explained everything. Tapana Miśra said to Mahāprabhu, “You have kindly described sādhya-sādhana-tattva, but without sat-saṅga, I will not have taste and enthusiasm for sādhana-bhakti. Please mercifully keep me with You, or bless me with the shelter of one of Your dear associates.” Mahāprabhu told Tapana Miśra, “In this world, Śiva Ṭhākura is very dear to Bhagavān and he is fully conversant in rasa, tattva, and sādhya-sādhana-tattva. He cheats the materialists and demons who come to him for sense enjoyment or impersonal liberation, but for the bhaktas, he opens the storehouse of prema. Go to Vārāṇasī and by Śiva Ṭhākura’s mercy and influence, your sādhana will progress steadily.” “What should I do if I cannot understand his mercy and speech, and what should I do to protect myself from performing some offense? Please give me Your full mercy.” “A great devotee of the Lord will come in your home as your son and he will help you progress in bhakti,” Mahāprabhu said. “And I will also come and meet you there in due course.” After his first meeting with Mahāprabhu, Tapana Miśra followed the Lord’s instruction, and moved to Vārāṇasī, leaving East Bengal. Soon after, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, a priceless jewel among the Six Gosvāmīs, appeared as his son. Later, when Raghunātha was a young boy, Mahāprabhu came to Vārāṇasī and stayed at the home of Tapana Miśra for two months, and there bestowed profuse mercy and blessings upon them. When he grew to a youth, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa traveled to Jagannātha Purī for the association of Mahāprabhu, where he stayed and served the Lord for ten months. Raghunātha was an expert cook and regularly prepared many delicious meals for the Lord. Śrīman Mahāprabhu happily accepted the offerings of Raghunātha, which were cooked with so much sweetness and love. Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa had a sweet voice like a cuckoo bird and was especially gifted in the recitation and explanation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. He sang the verses of the Bhāgavatam in many beautiful, heart-rending melodies, and by his descriptions, he decorated the devotees and nourished them with bhāgavata-rasa, the transcendental nectar of divine love. Mahāprabhu encouraged Raghunātha to recite the Bhāgavatam and would even listen to him speak the Bhāgavatam before the assembly of devotees. After ten months with Mahāprabhu, the Lord instructed Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa to return home to his parents in Vārāṇasī and later he could come back to him in Purī. Raghunātha accepted the order of the Lord, despite the intense pain of ensuing separation. He came back to Mahāprabhu a few years hence and stayed again for ten months. Mahāprabhu then told Raghunātha to go to Vṛndāvana and stay with the other Gosvāmīs, led by Śrī Rūpa and Sanātana, and to there preach the glories of the Bhāgavatam and serve all the Vaiṣṇavas. In Vṛndāvana, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī nourished everyone with pure love for Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. He established many temples and gave shelter to countless living entities. He took responsibility for the spiritual development of all souls. He concluded his pastimes on this Earth in the transcendental abode of Śrī Vṛndāvana and re-entered the eternal pastimes of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. (click title to see more)

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