Devotee: It is said that one should go away from that place where Vaisnava-aparadha is being committed. But by your example, despite some offending you, you go to them and give your blessings. We feel much pain by seeing them offending you; but we have to tolerate the pain for the greater good.
Srila Gurudeva: It will give a very good fruit. By travelling with me, you come to many places. By staying with me you will realize what the true fact is. Like you, there are many devotees who being pure-hearted will also certainly realize this fact. They will try to come to the platform of real Krsna consciousness. Once, Bhagavan das came to me and requested me to come to his room in the Krsna-Balarama Temple of Vrndavana. I went there and saw that there was a mayura-simhasana, a peacock-feather throne that had many jewels and other things embedded in it. I cannot estimate the cost of that throne. It may have cost many crores.
Devotee: For him?
Devotee 2: Not for him; for his deity.
Srila Gurudeva: Being a sannyasi, it is an offense. We are collecting something for the benefit of Krsna, Guru and Gauranga. We may collect one farthing or millions of dollars, but the collection is not for us. We tell the donors, “What I am taking, I will spend for Guru and Gauranga. I will use the money to preach their message.” But what is this? And that is why he went down. Be simple and try to realize what the internal mood of your Srila Gurudeva is. Try to realize what his mission was. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has also come for the same mission – to preach prema. Nityananda Prabhu also preached prema. He went door to door and told everyone, “I want that you should utter harinama at least once.” He gave prema even to drunkards; He gave prema to all. Now you are forgetting all these pastimes. You are unable to understand Caitanya-Caritamrita and Srimad-Bhagavatam in depth. You don’t know the way the gopis and the Vrajavasis loved and served Krsna. What would Caitanya Mahaprabhu hear and speak with Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda in the Gambhira? Any devotees of ISKCON cannot tell this; they cannot say.
So, as she has written, Svamiji has not come only to establish many temples. This was not his purpose. He never preached sectarian views. But a devotee cannot go to the temple; he cannot be honored there. If Svamiji was present, then if anyone would have told him, “Narayana Maharaja has come to see you and pay respect to you in the Houston temple,” then what would you have realized at that time?
Devotee: I think the thing that is most difficult to take is that so many of these people in the top positions have actually had your siksha for a long time. And you have shown them personal favor.
Srila Gurudeva: They have taken all my realizations and they say, “We are speaking like this.” They don’t give my reference or anything. They are very big thieves.
Devotee: Only Jadurani has mentioned your name.
Devotee 2: Gurudeva spent thousands and thousands of hours with them. It would strain him so much to speak in English for hours and hours; but he would still speak. And after taking so much, they could have at least made the simplest arrangement. I cannot conceive how someone can turn around so fast. At least my Indian heart cannot conceive of it.
Devotee: That means no culture, that’s all.
Devotee 2: We have been taught that even if an enemy comes to your door, we must receive him. One of my father’s sisters is so inimical to us. She has done the worst to our family. But still, whenever she comes, my father will make sure that everyone in our home receives her properly. He makes sure no one says one bad word to her after all she is our relative. So, we have to treat her nicely. So, this is a spiritual consideration, which is based on love and respect. Srila Gurudeva has stood by ISKCON throughout the thirty years.
Devotee: It is even more than etiquette. If another sannyasi is coming from some organization, then he should be given respect. But this is based on long-term relationships. The deity in the temple was actually given by Maharaja to the temple. It is unimaginable.
Srila Gurudeva: Once, a mayavadi sannyasi came to Mayapura to take darsana of the deities or for some other reason. Some devotees did not honor that sannyasi. When Prabhupada heard of this, he at once came down from his quarters and honourably received him. He himself took the sannyasi around the premises of Sri Caitanya Math. He also took the sannyasi for darsana and in a very good manner, he spoke with him. After the sannyasi went, Prabhupada called all his sannyasis and said, “This is not etiquette. I have challenged the statements of the mayavadis and have even defeated them time and again. But, when a sannyasi of their cult comes, then respect and honor should be given to him as a guest. If you are not honoring them, then you are deviating from the line of bhakti.”
So, our Guru Maharaja used to also do like this.
Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Here Prabhupada means Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.
Srila Gurudeva: This incident happened during Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s physical presence in Mayapura. We know that Krsna is there even in mayavadis. If Krsna is present even in an ant, then why is Krsna not present in that sannyasi as well? But the mayavadi is foolish to not acknowledge Krsna’s presence in his heart. Yet, he should be respected.
Devotee 2: Maharaja, they always say, “Oh we understand that Narayana Maharaja is a Mahabhagavat.” But then they realize that within a Mahabhagavat’s heart, Krsna is there residing. That is what the scriptures say. But then they should at least respect that.
[Srila Gurudeva speaks in Hindi]
You were disturbed when they spoke against. But I don’t feel anything despite being criticized. I was not disturbed even earlier. I never felt that I was dishonored. I was so satisfied because he opened the door, we went, and he gave me a garland. And, we also gave puspanjali to Svamiji and took darsana. They did not give any opposition or anything. I was so much glad that “Oh they have honored me.”
Devotee 2: Guru Maharaja, you are so soft-hearted that you don’t understand their intentions.
Srila Gurudeva: It has been told in the Gita:
sukha-duhkhe same kritva
—Bhagavad Gita 2.38
What does jaya and parajaya mean?
Devotee 2: Victory and defeat.
Srila Gurudeva: Sukha and duhkha, sorrow and happiness, are the same in this world. If an ignorant person gives honor or dishonor by abusing us; even so, we should remain undisturbed — just as Sukadeva Gosvami remained undisturbed despite being abused and having dirt thrown at him. No harm for him; he felt nothing. The abuses and honor—everything is the same for Sukadeva Gosvami. So, we are in the line of Sukadeva Gosvami; hence, why should we be disturbed?
Devotee: You are in the line Maharaja.
Srila Gurudeva: If we cannot tolerate all these things and if we become disturbed then we will not advance in our bhajana. Thus, our hearts will always be burning and we will not be able to chant. We will not be able to develop our Krsna consciousness. We have not to concern ourselves with meetings. Only meetings and meetings, and again meeting — we don’t engage ourselves in this. We want to serve and hear the pastimes of Radha-Krsna and the Vrajavasis. We also want to hear the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu that are coming through Srila Krsnadas Kaviraja Gosvami. Krsnadas Gosvami means the line of Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Mahaprabhu, Rupa-Sanatana, Raghunatha — all are in the line of Krsnadas Kaviraja Gosvami. So, we have no time at all, we don’t even have a minute to go out of this line. We are always sinking in this bhakti-rasa. I want to give you a cup of this amrta, nectar. But I am not seeing if I have time. Sometimes, Navinaji stops me from speaking further; so there is no time. But he protects me; he saves me. Otherwise I will be without any reins. And I will speak for hours and hours, and then, I will fall flat.
But if anyone disturbs me when I am still completing my subject, then I feel very disturbed. Usually, my time goes in the introduction and when the real thing comes, then the “bell rings.”
What is our program tomorrow morning?
Devotee 2: We will go to one devotee’s house tomorrow morning Gurudeva. All the devotees will come there as well.
Srila Gurudeva: Here we are all sitting comfortably.
Devotee 2: Gurudeva, you can speak the same thing there. She is going to prepare prasadam for everyone.
Srila Gurudeva: Oh all of us will not go?
Devotee 2: Everyone has cars. It is only five-ten minutes from here. But if you want to sit here, then it’s fine.
Srila Gurudeva: We will go before twelve, then I can take mahaprasadam as usual.
Devotee 2: Gurudeva, will you speak on Caitanya Caritamrita tomorrow?
Srila Gurudeva: For the assembled devotees, I can speak on Caitanya Caritamrita. But I will not speak on the Caitanya Caritamrita for general people. They will not understand what I will say. There is no background there.
Devotee 2: You will speak on Adi-lila, chapter four in the morning?
Srila Gurudeva: Yes, but not for general people.
Devotee 2: For tomorrow morning, Gurudeva?
Srila Gurudeva: Yes I will speak on the fourth chapter tomorrow morning. Jadurani, Sita, this Prabhu, and many other devotees will be there. I will speak on the fourth chapter for them.
Devotee 2: What will you speak during the evening class Maharaja? Many people will come.
Srila Gurudeva: If they are coming, then I will speak in Hindi. But you will have to translate.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: There is no question of not tolerating. I am not seeing any fault. So, try to tolerate. How to tolerate?
Devotee: By showing them what the right behaviour is.
Srila Gurudeva: No, I am also not showing. I am just doing my ordinary activities. I have come for that mission. I have not come to realize all these bad things.
Devotee: They are experiencing bad things. You are only experiencing more and more success.
Srila Gurudeva: I have no time to realize and think about all these things.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Even if the devotees are in samadhi, they are always serving Krsna. They are always remembering the pastimes of Krsna, Vraja, and all the Vrajavasis.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Like a dry bush. If a sprinkle of fire comes, then the bush will burn to ashes. Like a bush if you will go, then they will catch hold of your clothes and scratch you here and there. You will then suffer so much.
An Indian flower resembles the Pitambara.
In Hindi, there is a word. But, I don’t think there is an equivalent word to be found in English. Krsna is carefree. He doesn’t know where He has kept His Pitambara. He is like an intoxicated elephant. Sometimes jumping here and there, He doesn’t know where He has kept all the clothes. So, He has kept only one flower here. And sometimes, He takes it. When He is walking, it seems He is dancing all along the way. And when He speaks anything, then the words are sweeter than the sound of His flute or the cooing of the cuckoo bird.
And, Srimati Radhika is more sweet than Krsna. Krsna is beautiful, but Srimati Radhika is most beautiful. Krsna has all the qualities, but Radhika has the most super-excellent qualities.
[Break of audio]
When Krsna goes from one forest to another, the trees having many flowers bow at His lotus feet and offer the flowers and honey.
[Break of audio]
Svapaksa means the gopis who are on the side of Srimati Radhika. They have the same mood and they all have vamya-bhava – leftist mood. Some of the vipaksa of the gopis are Candravali, Padma, and Saibya. They want to catch Krsna and if Krsna comes to the party of Srimati Radhika, they become envious. Candravali then does not take anything and sits in maan. Do you know what maan means?
Devotee: A sulky mood.
Srila Gurudeva: She thinks, “Why did Krsna not come to us?”
Srila Gurudeva: Not jealous, but similar to being jealous. Because you should know that Srimati Radhika and Candravali are non-different. Srimati Radhika has come in the form of Candravali and in the forms of lakhs and lakhs of gopis to create some rasa.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: From their rooms, the gopis see that Krsna is going from one forest to another with so many cows. While herding the cows, He is playing so sweetly on His Venu. They can hear that sweet voice and they are actually seeing the face of Krsna. They see the sweet, fragrant, beautiful face of Krsna. All of them are realizing this beauty. And then, they express the beauty of Krsna that they have seen with their own eyes to each other. The gopis see this beauty, realize this beauty, and tell each other about this beauty.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Yasoda ma has given the milk of her breast also. So, Krsna says, “They (Nanda and Yasoda) are my father and mother.” Not Devaki and Vasudeva.
[Break of audio]
“Ramaniya,” here means very beautiful. So, Krsna is so beautiful and has so many good qualities. He is an ocean of rasa; this is the meaning of Rama. The name, “Rama” in the Maha-mantra applies for Krsna. Rama only applies for Krsna in the Maha-mantra. Rama-Krsna, means Krsna who is so marvelous, Rasik, and very beautiful.
[Srila Gurudeva speaks after Pundarika Prabhu speaks a few words on the Venu Gita]
The deer’s mate can advance. Approaching Krsna, she looked at the face of Krsna with unblinking eyes. Thus, she begged pranaya, love and affection from Krsna. This love is so high. It doesn’t refer to only sraddha and honor. But actually, it implies affection from Krsna. She was looking towards the eyes of Krsna and Krsna was looking towards the deer. From the corner of her eyes, she requested Krsna that “I want Your affection.”
So, the husband of the deer told her, “Oh go on. Go on. There is no objection from my side. If I am on your side, then what will the world say? Don’t care. I am in your favour.”
But, the gopis said, “Oh see. Our husbands, in-laws, and everyone are opposite. So, we want to be like the deer.”
[Break of audio]
If you are only a common devotee, then no one can stop you and say, “Don’t go to Narayana Maharaja.” No one will be able to stop you. When the bees approach the flowers, no one can check them and say, “They should not come.”
So, one devotee told me, “I want to be a common devotee. I don’t want to be connected with them because they have so many rules and regulations.” But, in the sastra it has been said that “Everyone should meet a Rasik and Tattva-vit devotee and they should honor him.” But here we see the opposite.
So, the gopis said, “We want to die and become the deer so that anyone cannot cheat us. We will then freely go to meet Krsna.”
One sakhi said, “We can go to Krsna and only see Him from a distance. We cannot go to Krsna and we cannot take His adharamrta, the nectar of His lips. We cannot go near Him because our husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law; all will see. They will cause us much suffering. So, we cannot go nearer.”
But another sakhi said, “Come on. We will see Krsna and automatically everything will be done. We will become mad and we will have nothing to care for anything. Without any obstacles, we will happily go there. Although we don’t know what will be there, we will take the remnant of Krsna.”
So, Krsna is so beautiful. He has so much attractive power in His flutes, in His appearance that everything will be done automatically. There will be nothing to do there.
[Break of audio]
The brahmanas didn’t give any honor to Krsna and they did not come to Him. Sending His cowherd boys to the brahmanas, Krsna told them, “Go to them and bring some food.” But the brahmanas refused. But the brahmanis, the wife of the brahmanas came to Krsna carrying golden pots, which were full of various delicacies. They carried many puris, capattis, pakodas, laddus, kacoris, manohara-laddu, amrta-keli, and so many things. And they offered to Krsna. We see that the males have stone hearts that never melt. They have so many regulations and rules. But, the gopis, the brahmanis, and even the naga-patnis have so much love, affection, and honor for Krsna. The naga-patnis are the wives of Kaliya the serpent. So, the demigods could not see Krsna and the rasa-lila. They could not see any gopis there. But, their wives, the demigoddesses, sat on the laps of their husbands, the demigods, and they realized and saw all the gopis dancing in the rasa-lila with Krsna. When they heard the beautiful, sweet voice of the Vamsi flute they became mad and they fell on the laps of their husbands. The husbands saw this and they began to take the foot dust of their wives.
They thought, “How have the hearts of our wives been melted? Yet, we are like stone. Our hearts don’t melt and we don’t see the pastimes of Krsna.”
So, we want to follow only the Vraja-gopis and not all others. Like Abhimanyu was a gopa, but we don’t want to follow him. Also, Govardhana-malla, the husband of Candravali was a gopa. There are many other persons like him whom we don’t want to follow also. Then whom do we want to follow? We want to only follow the Vraja-gopis. They have much affection for Krsna. In all the sastras it has been told that we should follow the gopis whose love and affection for Krsna was unparalleled. No one can please Krsna like the gopis do.
The gopis thought, “What to speak of us gopis or Vrajavasis, even these foolish deer have so much affection for Krsna. The demigoddesses also have much love and affection for Krsna. Even these cows and calves have so much affection for Krsna. When the calves listen to Krsna’s flute, then they just stand still – like a statue while not drinking any milk. The cows also become motionless and don’t swallow the grass.
[Break of audio]
Devotee: In one of his prayers of Stavavali, Srila Raghunatha das Gosvami has prayed to Radha Kunda in the following way:
vraja-bhuvi mura-satroh preyasinam nikamair
asulabham api turnam prema-kalpa-drumam tam
janayati hridi bhumau snatur uccair priyam yat
tad ati-surabhi radha-kundam evasrayo me
It is translated here that by serving Radha Kunda, the prema-lata for Krsna will grow. And this prema-lata for Krsna bears the flower of prema and seva to Srimati Kisoriji. So, my question is that so many people have prema for Vrajendra-nandana, but they don’t necessarily get the flower of prema and seva to Srimati Radhika. So how is it that this prema for Krsna will turn into prema for Srimati Radhika?
Srila Gurudeva: Like Subala has prema for Krsna. He is the eternal parikara, associate of Krsna. But do you know how he serves Srimati Radhika?
Devotee: He dressed up like Srimati Radhika when Krsna could not go to Her and brought Krsna to Her.
Srila Gurudeva: What Krsna cannot do, Subala does and he brings Srimati Radhika to Krsna. But Krsna cannot do so by His flute. His Venu tells Subala and in a moment, by his tricks, Subala pleases Srimati Radhika. So, there are so many kinds of devotees of Krsna. Those who think that Krsna is Parabrahma like how the Brahmavadis like Sanaka-Sanandana do – they sometimes don’t give importance to Srimati Radhika. They think that Srimati is only the power, the energy of Krsna.
They think, “If Krsna is worshiped, then His power is worshiped as well because there is no difference there. Krsna and His power are one.”
But, there are so many devotees whose number is more than them, who think, “Krsna and Radha – both, should be served. Although both should be served, Krsna should be served more. And Radhika should be served secondly.” Gopis like Dhanista think like this.
And more than this, gopis like Syamala and others also consider Krsna and Srimati Radhika equal, but they have an inclination for Srimati Radhika. Rupa Manjari’s love for Srimati Radhika is the highest. She always serves Srimati Radhika, and serves Krsna only with the intention that “Krsna is the beloved of Srimati Radhika.” So, this sloka of Srila Dasa Gosvami you quoted applies to those who are following Rupa Manjari. Those, who are in the line of Dhanista will think like that. And those who are in the line of Subala will think in another way. Those who are in sakhya-rasa will not serve Srimati Radhika; they will serve Krsna. Those who are in santa-rasa will only serve nirakara-brahma-Krsna.
So, Raghunatha das Gosvami has written this prayer. Hence, he is speaking his view. If anyone serves Krsna like the followers of Rupa Manjari, then Krsna will come and ask for a benediction. At that time, the follower will pray, “O Syamasundara, O Sikhanda-Shekara, we want that You should give the benediction that we may be the palya-dasi of Srimati Radhika.”
Krsna will say, “O yes. I will give you this benediction.”
For them, this sloka has been told. This sloka has not been told for all. This sloka is for those who are Rupanuga, Raghunatha-anuga, Bhaktivinoda Thakura-anuga.
Srila Gurudeva: Then they will think like this. Otherwise, they cannot think like this. Others will think, “Don’t listen to this. It is an offense to listen to such topics. We should not listen because we are not qualified.” So, they will not hear. For ages and ages, they will never hear because they will not be qualified. But those who have greed to hear all these topics, they will not hear anything else. They cannot hear anything. They will only hear this.
Devotee: Gurudeva, I have another question?
Srila Gurudeva: What is the question?
Devotee: You are always telling such one-pointed katha that even we just do pranama to sakhya-rasa; even we just do pranama to vatsalya-rasa; even we just do pranama to sakhi-bhava.
Srila Gurudeva: We also do pranama to mayavadis. Why?
Devotee: Because Krsna…
Srila Gurudeva: We offer pranama to mayavadis because they act as a fence and stop those who are unqualified from entering and listening to Krsna-katha like Sankaracarya did. So, we also do pranama to them.
Devotee: So, anyone who comes to you, they are very fortunate to hear such one-pointed katha right from the beginning. You had said before that when a qualified guru takes a disciple, then that disciple is like a flower that Gurudeva is offering to the feet of Kisoriji in Vraja. So my question is that after having been offered once to Srimati Radhika’s lotus feet, surrendering her life to Gurudeva, putting all her faith in Guru and Radhika alone, then if that same person starts putting her faith in things like palmistry, astrology, numerology, and these different occult things like the stars and the devas; then how does Kisoriji feel about that?
Srila Gurudeva: Like Tungavidya and Citra know all kinds of the sixty arts. They are very qualified astrologers. They can predict when Krsna will come and how He will come. They can educate lessons to parrots and say, “Take this letter and only give it to Srimati Radhika.”
They also tell the parrots, “Fly to Candra’s groves, and see what they are doing. Then come and tell me.”
They know the language of the birds. They know the languages of the trees, creepers, animals, and all other beings and they use it in Krsna’s seva. So, anyone can use their knowledge and expertise if he is a bona fide Vaisnava. Like the gopis know all the arts. They know how to paint; they know how to make a very good tilak for Srimati Radhika and Krsna. They know how to decorate the feet of Srimati Radhika. One gopi drew a figure of Krsna for Radhika’s pleasure. Anyone cannot do like this. So, all the various kinds of arts and knowledge are meant to serve Srimati Radhika and Krsna. But unfortunately, you are not using your expertise in the Divine Couple’s service. Rather, you are using it for your sense gratification. If all the vidyas and kalas, like Madhavi knows how to play on the piano. Yesterday, I told her, “You should sing while playing on the piano.” She sang very beautifully. If you know how to play the tabla, and any other instrument, then use it in the service of Krsna. If you know any tricks and like to cheat others, then engage in this tendency in the service of Krsna as well. Krsna tries to cheat Srimati Radhika as well.
The gopis gave their golden bangles to a person who knows the mantras of the serpents. He taught the gopis how a serpent can be controlled by mantras. Citra knows all these mantras. When Srimati Radhika goes to meet Krsna in the night, then Citra controls all the serpents, ghosts, and other beings by chanting mantras. Wild beasts cannot attack by chanting these mantras. So, they use all things in Krsna’s service. But, you should see that these various forms of arts are not used for your sense gratification. They should be used only for Radha-Krsna’s service. Taking money from general people is also an art. Everyone cannot do this. But if by that art, we can collect so much money for Krsna’s satisfaction, then it is good. Otherwise, if you collect one farthing, one pence, and use it for yourself, then this is an offense. So, everything should be used for Krsna. This intelligence should be used for Krsna consciousness. If it is done, it is so good.
Svamiji collected so many intellectual giants from every field. He collected such qualified devotees from all sections of society. He sent his scientist-disciples to scientists. He told them, “You should go and preach to the scientists.” For those devotees who were like karmis and business persons, Svamiji said, “Control all these things.” For those devotees who were interested in arts like Syamarani, Svamiji told them, “You should paint very good pictures. They will be used for the Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavad Gita, and many other books to attract all the general people.”
So, every quality can be used in the service of Krsna. If they are used as such, then very good. But these qualities should not be used for one’s sense gratification. But we should also consider the following fact:
Srila Sanatana Gosvami had a touchstone. He never used it for himself. He knew that it cannot serve Krsna. Only our hearts can serve Krsna. So, we should realize all these things and try to develop our hearts. Whatever we have, we should use in the service of Krsna. If you don’t have something that can be used, then don’t try to acquire it. Only use what you have. So many people come to the Matha, but when they see that “Oh all are learned persons,” then they desire to learn Sanskrit.
But they think, “We cannot learn so much here. So we should join a Sanskrit college.” And then, they go to learn Sanskrit. They join classes to learn and read Sanskrit although there was no need to do so. They never needed to learn. Desiring to learn Sanskrit, they went forever. I know so many such persons. There are many Sanskrit schools in Navadvipa and all other places. They wanted to learn; especially I wanted that they should be a learned person to know the Gita, Bhagavat, and other scriptures. I gave some people the idea that “You should learn Sanskrit.” But, after learning something, they left the Matha and went to Sanskrit colleges. There, they lost everything. After learning, they went home and married. Then, they became school teachers and earned only forty rupees a month. And they had ugly wives and didn’t have any sons. That ugly wife began to beat him with a broom… I know so many such people. So, what you have, you should try to use in Krsna consciousness. Anything you have, use it in Krsna’s service. Any learning, art, and knowledge should be used for Krsna. If we know how to sweep, then we should try to sweep the temple, Guruji’s room, and everywhere. If you know how to cook, then cook for Krsna. If you know any art, then use it for Krsna consciousness. This is bhakti.
Gaura Premanande! Haribol!
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]