Hari-katha by Paramadhyatama Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, spoken on 14 June 1996, in Houston.
[The following is a translation of Srila Gurudeva’s lecture spoken in Hindi.]
Srila Gurudeva: Sankaracarya’s followers are advaita-vadis. They always say, “Sarvam khalv idam brahma, tat tvam asi, and aham brahmasmi.” But we are Vaisnavas. I was from a Tiwari family that belonged to the Kasyapa lineage. My village was on the banks of the Ganga.
We know what bhakti is. Ramacandra went to Sabari’s house and ate the fruits she had already tasted. He did not go the asrama of the risis who would always say, “I am Brahma.” He would not eat anything they offered. They did not have love for the Lord. To get Prema, Krsna came to Gokula. His stomach was not filled with the milk of one mother. He would steal butter and milk from the houses of all the gopis. Still, His stomach wasn’t full, so He became the calves of lakhs of cows. He also became the sons of lakhs of gopis and drank their milk. Baladevaji also didn’t know this; what to speak of Brahma?
Devotee: He who sees these pastimes of Krsna is fortunate.
Srila Gurudeva: But to “see” these pastimes is difficult. But, if one has darsana of these pastimes, then he will forget the world around him. He will think, “Where am I? What am I doing?” He will become Krsna’s.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: When I was in one place, one relative was greatly surprised to see me. He said, “You are here!” He sent word to my former village and all my family members from my previous asrama came to see me. The village elders also came. Everyone started crying on seeing me.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: I had only one dhoti. But during midnight, I went away from there. Catching a train, I travelled for some time and got down after three or four stops. No one asked me for any ticket.
[Break of audio]
Only Prema is our dharma. There is no other dharma in this world. If you have prema for Bhagavan, then you will have love for all beings. Thus, the person will be happy. But regardless of one being a Hindu, Christian, or a Muslim; if he doesn’t have prema for Bhagavan, then his worship is incomplete.
Krsna is only pleased by prema. Nothing else is as pleasing to Him.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: I went to England, Holland, and many other cities. Wherever I went, the people would start crying by listening to Krsna’s pastimes.
I don’t keep any money with me, the devotees arrange everything for me. Only prema can give you ultimate happiness. What bhakti can an impersonalist do?
[Break of audio]
Become a servant or a maidservant of Krsna. Don’t become entangled with the impersonalists. Don’t say, “So ham (I am that).” Rather, you should say, “Daso ham. Daso ham (I am servant).”
Krsna is seeing everything; He listens to everything.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: When Krsna saw Sudama, He started to cry. He made Sudama sit on Rukmini’s bed, where even Baladeva doesn’t sit.
Krsna told Sudama, “I was waiting for you from so long.”
He told His queens, “Bring some water in golden pots.”
Then, with His own hands, Krsna started to wash Sudama’s feet. All the queens were surprised to see this. They saw that Krsna was washing Sudama’s feet with the tears falling from His eyes. Krsna honored Sudama more than even Baladeva.
Sudama thought, “Maybe Krsna has mistaken me for someone else.”
Understanding his feelings, Krsna said, “My dear friend, when we were studying in Sandipani Muni’s gurukula, then he told us to bring some firewood. We went to the forest to get firewood. At that time, there was a big storm, and there was no way out for us. We put the firewood on our heads and stood shivering for the entire night. In the morning, guruji asked our fellow students, ‘Where are Krsna and Sudama?’ Do you remember this?”
Krsna then fed Sudama with great love and asked, “What have you got for Me?” Krsna gladly ate the flat rice His dear friend had brought for Him. This flat rice had no rasa and was not fit for Krsna to eat. But He took a morsel of this flat rice and ate with great relish, while saying, “My sister has sent this rice with so much love.” As Krsna reached out to eat a second morsel, Rukmini caught His hand.
She told Him, “Do You want to eat everything? Give a little to us as well.”
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Sudama thought, “Krsna is causelessly merciful. If He had given me wealth, then I would have forgotten Him.” Thinking this way, when he reached home, he thought, “Where is my old cow? Where is my hut?”
In place of his hut, he saw 16,108 palaces, and many animals like elephants and horses. He saw so many maidservants. Greatly surprised, Sudama wondered, “Where is my hut? Where is my wife?” Then, smiling, a kisori lady approached him with a golden plate full of incense and other paraphernalia meant for arati. She walked towards him with many maidservants.
“Why is this lady smiling at me? Where is my wife?” wondered Sudama.
As Sudama distanced himself from the lady, the lady fast approached him and performed his arati. She said, “I am that same brahmani. Krsna changed my form during the last night. If He had also changed yours as well, then I would have been unable to recognize you. Therefore, He didn’t change your form although He changed mine. Look at this opulence.”
Each of the 16,108 queens had given Sudama’s wife one maidservant, elephant, horse, and palace. They gave so much, that Sudama and his wife were stunned.
But, Sudama thought, “I am such a foolish sinner. I didn’t have a penny and Krsna gave all this opulence in one night. He is causelessly merciful.”
[Break of audio]
If you want to be kind and charitable, then don’t exhibit this to anyone. Don’t have a photo taken of your charitable act. If you want to give something, then even your left hand should not know. Whose wealth are you giving? You are giving Krsna’s wealth. So, don’t think, “I am giving.” Don’t take a photo. Silently give your donation. Even one’s ears should be unaware of this.
Krsna thought, “The entire wealth of the world belongs to Me. But this brahmana didn’t have anything in his house. His wife begged door to door and collected some flat rice for Me. Sudama gave this flat rice to Me and I have become indebted to him. Even if I give him everything, it will amount to nothing.”
Krsna is so merciful. Putana went to kill Him. She had smeared poison on her breasts. But, Krsna gave her a position of a mother. He thought, “She has come to see Me in the form of a mother.” Krsna only wants this and nothing else. Putana took Krsna on her lap and tried to breastfeed Him. But, Krsna gave her the position of a mother in Goloka.
[Break of audio]
The atma is immortal and is the part and parcel of Krsna. Even if all your duties are destroyed; no harm—if Bhagavan’s bhajan is done, then everything is done. Whatever wealth you have, consider it to be Krsna’s.
Do the worship of Krsna with your own hands. Pray to Him. Tell Him, “Hey Prabhu, I am Yours.” You can at least do this. Chant, “Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.” If you cannot do this, then chant, “Rama Rama. Krsna Krsna. Radhe Radhe.” Chant for five minutes even if many thoughts appear in your mind.
If any guest comes to your house, then give him some water and speak sweetly. If you don’t have anything, then at least speak sweetly to your guest and respect him. You should respect everyone—from the ant to Brahma, everyone should be respected. Don’t see the faults of anyone. See your own faults that are in your mind. You cannot take even a penny from this world; you cannot take anything. So, why should you commit sin? Krsna has given you food to eat and clothes to wear. He has given you a home, and children. So, for what reason should one lie and steal? This is His great mercy. Many people try earning wealth by various means, but all their efforts fail.
You should try to realize how merciful Krsna has been to you. There is nothing more glorious than prema; Krsna Himself can only be controlled by prema. Krsna didn’t accept the offerings of Duryodhana, but He accepted the offerings given by Vidura’s wife.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: It would be better, if you can sing a bhajan without the song book. But if you cannot, then you can use the song book.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: This devotee is an artist. She has painted wonderful pictures. I gave her the mood and she painted.
To listen to hari-katha, so many people have accompanied me. By listening to hari-katha, Krsna will enter your heart. He is crooked in three places. When He will enter your heart, He will not want to go out. He will sit in the heart that has love for Him.
If you have love for Krsna, then you will always be happy and peaceful.
Devotee: This human form of life is received after so many other lives.
Srila Gurudeva: This human form of life is received after 8.4 million species of life.
Devotee: So, having attained this human form of life, if we don’t engage in the bhajan of Krsna; then what is to be? This life must be used in the service of God.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: He is arranging everything for me—my schedule, stay, and everything. He is like my shadow. He arranges for me to go to all the countries. Like, he arranged for me to go England, Holland, and other places.
[A devotee sings a bhajan]
Srila Gurudeva: How does Radhaji serve Krsna? She serves like His shadow. She will do whatever it takes to please Krsna. Sometimes, She is in maan and Krsna tries so hard to break Her maan. Even this maan, this sulky mood is for Krsna’s happiness. She calls Him, “Hey dhurta. You are a thief.” She calls Krsna names that shouldn’t be told. Krsna is not pleased by Brahmaji’s prayers. But the rebukes of Srimati Radhika and the gopis please Him so much.
Krsna says, “Except for Radhaji, I don’t have anyone in this world.”
Mirabhai would sing, “Merato Giridhar Gopal aur dusro na koi, except for Giridhar-Gopal, I have nobody. He is my real husband, friend, and relative.”
The gopis left their loka lajja—worldly shame and everything else to please Krsna. We cannot leave our worldly shame, it is very difficult.
[Break of audio]
Giving her poison, they told Mirabhai, “This is caranamrta.”
As soon as she heard that it was caranamrta, she immediately drank the poison. And the poison became caranamrta. There was a poisonous snake kept in a room. But, Mirabhai was told, “Go and take the salagrama from that room.”
With great happiness, she rushed to the room to take the “Salagrama.” Indeed, she saw that there was really a salagrama there. Being absorbed in her love for Krsna, she forgot her house and everything. Krsna would come and play on His flute while she would dance.
Alarmed, her husband shouted, “Open this door.”
But Mirabhai was completely absorbed in dancing to the tune of Krsna’s flute. Her husband broke the door and asked, “Where has that man gone? I will not leave you.”
“He is right here.”
“Where is He?”
Mirabhai kept her hand on her husband and he saw Krsna. She then left home. Why didn’t she live in her house? She had written a letter to Tulasidasji and asked, “What should I do? They don’t let me engage in Krsna’s bhajan.”
Tulasidasji replied, “Just as Prahlada, Bharata, Vibhisana, and Bali forsook their father, mother, brother, and guru respectively—you should do the same.”
You sang a beautiful kirtana.
It is said, “Those who oppose the worship of Sita-Rama or Radha-Krsna should be seen as millions of enemies, and should be abandoned.”
Prahladaji gave up his father—Hiranyakasipu, because he was opposed to Bhagavan. He would not allow his son worship the Lord. He would say, “Don’t chant Hari’s name!” But Prahlada chanted undeterred. Hiranyakasipu had Prahlada poisoned, thrown from a mountain cliff, surrounded by snakes, he also tried to have him trampled by elephants; he did everything to have Prahlada killed—but could not have him killed. Krsna came in the form of Nrsimhadeva and delivered Hiranyakasipu.
Vibhisanaji abandoned Ravana because he stole Rama’s sakti—Sita Devi. Even before the war against Ravana, Vibhisana was coroneted. And he would remain as the king up until his stay in this world. Bharata severed his ties with Kaikeyi Devi because she had His elder brother, Rama, exiled to the forest for fourteen years.
After His return from His uncle’s house, Bharata asked Kaikeyi, “Where is father? Where is My brother, Rama?”
“They are not here.”
“Where have they gone?”
“Your father has passed away.”
“Where is My brother?”
“He has gone to the forest?”
“I wanted You to be the king. So, I had Rama exiled to the forest. Your father died in separation from Rama and Rama went to the forest.”
“Then you are not My mother from today.”
Shattered, Kaikeyi said, “My son, what are You saying?”
“Don’t you dare call Me your son. You are not My mother.”
After Rama returned from His exile, many years had passed. But up until Rama’s return, Bharataji never addressed Kaikeyi as “Mother.”
One day, Kaikeyi started crying before Ramacandra. She told Him, “My son never calls me, ‘Mother.’ If he would call me, ‘Mother,’ only once, then I will die in peace.”
Rama called Bharata and said, “I have a request to You.”
Bharata replied, “I will fulfil any order of Yours, My dear elder brother. But I will not do one thing; I will never call Maharani Kaikeyi as, ‘Mother.’”
When Rama heard Bharata speak this way, He started bitterly weeping. There was no one who was a devotee like Bharata.
Bali Maharaja abandoned his Guru, Sukracarya, because he told him to not give in charity to Bhagavan. The gopis left their husbands for Krsna, and now, the entire world worships them. Radha-Krsna’s names are chanted everywhere. Krsna is always addressed with names that are in relationship with the gopis. He is called, “Gopinatha. Gopijana-vallabha.”
He is not called, “Rukmininatha,” the Lord of Rukmini.
A person’s auspiciousness is assured if he has no relation with persons who are against Krsna-bhakti no matter what relationship he has with them.
Your lives should always be centred on cultivating prema for the lotus feet of Radha-Krsna and the spiritual master. Don’t strive for sense enjoyment and attaining wealth, thinking that this will give you peace. There is no shortage in your homes.
Thus, your lives will be auspicious.
[In the following section of the audio file, Srila Gurudeva speaks with the devotees in English]
Devotee: Canakya Pandita says that, don’t live in a country or go to a place where you are not wanted.
Srila Gurudeva: But, the Vaisnava theory is somewhat different, not like Canakya Pandita’s. It is like Vidura, and other personalities. When we go to any place to preach, and if the people there are against, then we should determine what is the mood behind their actions. Then we should be satisfied. If a little sneha is there, then we will be welcomed. But I want to know where Svamiji has kept his foot dust. I must go to all these places he has left his foot dust in, whether they invite me or not. But the devotees in the places here were not in a good mood. And Svamiji has not come here. So, we should not be disturbed.
Even if a person is very wretched, unqualified, and neglected, he should be welcomed. In India, if the host is so poor that he cannot give an asana, a seat to the guest, then he will at least speak sweet words to the guest. When I go to the houses of some poor people, they give me corn. They have nothing else. And, I tell them, “You are so pious. I will also take the roti and sabji, you are making.” Their preparations are without salt or anything else. I take what they give and I give my heartly blessings to them.
I am glad to be here. So many devotees have also assembled. Yesterday, there were so many people. They want me to stay here for more time.
Devotee: Gurudeva, they say that you should stay here forever.
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: Do you know what Hari-priya means? Hari means Krsna and Priya means His beloved, Srimati Radhika.
Now we will have to go, because from ten to eleven, I will have to give a class on Caitanya Caritamrita. In the evening, I give Hindi classes. That is why I want to give classes on Caitanya Caritamrita in English. So, anywhere I go, I will try to give the essence of Sri Caitanya Caritamrita.
Devotee: I heard that Sri Jahnava Mata was the leader of the Vaisnavas.
Srila Gurudeva: Jiva Gosvami, Rupa Gosvami, and all the devotees would take the foot dust of Srimati Jahnava Thakurani.
[Srila Gurudeva speaks to a devotee]
I will give you a new name, so you should not be worried. Do you know who Anuradha is? Who is she?
Lalita is called Anuradha. She is like Srimati Radhika. Srimati Radhika Herself is called Radha. Lalita is called Anuradha. So, you should be happy to have the name, Anuradha. You should not be worried. Otherwise, I will have to be worried for you.
You are maidservant, the dasi of Anuradha.
Devotee: And Jahnava Mata will not be angry with her?
Srila Gurudeva: I will keep that name reserved for another person. Are you happy now?
[Break of audio]
[In the following section of the audio file, Srila Gurudeva speaks with the devotees in Hindi.]
Srila Gurudeva: Krsna’s father Nanda Baba called Gargacarya, who was a world famous astrologer at that time. He knew past, present, and future.
Devotee: For the past seven years there has been a temple here. They are also Radha-Krsna bhaktas, and…I should have the same respect for all of them…
Srila Gurudeva: There is no harm in going for darsana there.
Devotee: But their teachings are a little different.
Srila Gurudeva: You should always remember what I have spoken. There is no harm in going for darsana there.
Devotee: But their teachings are a little different.
Srila Gurudeva: You should remember what I have spoken. Always remember what Mahaprabhu has said. Read the books of Svamiji, whatever is in those books is correct.
Sripada Madhava Maharaja: They eat differently also. They don’t stop one from eating onion and garlic.
Srila Gurudeva: You must not eat onions and garlic. Or else, you will have tamasika buddhi—your mind will be influenced by the mode of ignorance.
Devotee: What about associating them?
Srila Gurudeva: Don’t accept their conceptions. Offer pranama to them. You only have a relationship with Thakuraji. Offer your obeisances to Thakuraji and try to accept the line of pure bhakti. If someone says, “This place is Vrndavana. There is no need to go anywhere else,” this is not correct. I heard that this is being told in some places. Isn’t there a need for liberation? Being liberated from this world, the pure soul will go to that place to render Krsna’s service.
Varsana and Vrndavana are in Goloka Vrndavana. But, for some days, these pastime-places have descended here. So, by this body and senses Srimati Radhika cannot be served. One day, you will have to give up this body to serve Srimati Radhika and Krsna in the spiritual world.
Devotee: Prakasananda’s sevikas have bhakti.
Srila Gurudeva: It is all right. But if their bhavas are against bhakti, then don’t accept this. A swan separates milk from water and drinks the milk. Everything will be all right in a place where there is genuine bhakti for Radha-Krsna. The conceptions of Bhagavatam and the Gita should be there. These scriptures are immaculately pure. If they are following Gita, Bhagavatam, Ramayana, and the Vedas, then it is very good. Otherwise, you should offer your pranama to them.
Devotee: In the Gita, it is said, “Man-mana-bhavo.” So, they say, “Engage in bhakti from your mind.”
Srila Gurudeva: No, daughter, this is not correct. Okay, remember Bhagavan in your mind. But, is it said that you should eat by your mind? Is it said, “Don’t pass stool and don’t breathe?” So, they don’t chant and remember. It is not written anywhere that you shouldn’t take milk, so they should also not take milk.
Devotee: They say, “No need to chant. You can chant by your mind.” They criticize mala-japa. They claim it takes away their concentration from Krsna.
Srila Gurudeva: Do they offer something?
Srila Gurudeva: Why do they offer? Because their offerings are made of material things, so they should not do this.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: So Gurudeva is telling that they can eat by their mind and they can also pass stool by their mind.
Brajanatha Prabhu: They can also make money by their mind.
Srila Gurudeva: They should take milk by their mind. They should do everything by their mind. In this world, you will have to follow the processes by which any sadhaka can go up because by chanting by your mind, your mind will go here and there. But, if you sit in one place and chant Hare Krsna Hare Krsna by your mala, then your mind will come there.
Otherwise, your mind will wander if there is no mala. In the beginning, your mind turns. If you are matured like Rupa Gosvami, Narada, and the others, then these personalities can follow anything. In the beginning, you will have to do all these things—practically—because we have this body.
You should think, “Am I following the same process that I followed yesterday and today; not less than that?”
You will have to advance. So, if there is no mala, string of beads, then how is this possible?
[Break of audio]
Srila Gurudeva: They are not an authority. We should always follow authorities. Krsna, Rama, Vyasadeva, Jiva Gosvami, and personalities like them are authorities. They are realized souls. We should follow the path the realized souls follow. We follow Ekadasi, but we never feel weak. Rather, we feel stronger and stronger. So, we should not follow someone who is not bona fide. We should follow what the Gita, Bhagavatam, and other scriptures say.
In the Bhagavatam, the history of a king is explained. His name was Ambarisa Maharaja. When he would follow Ekadasi, he would not take anything. He would not take a drop of water also. On the next day, when he was going to break his fast, at once Durvasa came. He was a very powerful yogi. On seeing him, the king became very happy and said, “You have come at the best time. Firstly, you should take something.”
Durvasa replied, “I am going to take a bath in the Yamuna. I will return soon.”
But there was little time left for Ambarisa Maharaja to break his fast. Durvasa was late purposely. Ambarisa Maharaja thought on what to do. Consulting the brahmanas, he said, “I have invited the sage to honor prasadam, but the time is passing. If the time for breaking the fast passes, and if I don’t take any mahaprasadam offered to Krsna within that time—then my observance of the whole Ekadasi will be destroyed.”
So, he called the brahmanas and asked, “What to do?”
They replied, “You have not taken any water. So, you should worship Krsna and take a drop of His remnant water, caranamrta. This is equivalent to not taking any maha-prasadam, and your fast will be broken by honoring caranamrta.”
As told by the brahmanas, Ambarisa Maharaja took one drop of the caranamrta, to complete his observance of Ekadasi. Why? By honoring lakhs and lakhs of brahmanas, you can have some little things. But if our Ekadasi goes in vain, then our everything is lost. So, the king gave preference to bhakti and not to brahmana-seva. It may be that the brahmana will curse, but no harm. Bhakti will save us. Bhakti is Krsna Himself. Hence, bhakti is so much more powerful than all the brahmanas.
Therefore, Ambarisa Maharaja thought, “I should try to save my Ekadasi and my bhakti. I don’t want to go to heaven. Neither do I want salvation.”
Thus, he took caranamrta, which also amounted to taking nothing. When Durvasa Rsi knew that Ambarisa Maharaja had taken something, then he returned to the king and said, “You have dishonored me. So, I will give you a curse.”
Ambarisa Maharaja thought, “I have not done anything wrong. Let me see what the risi does.”
Durvasa at once tore apart one of his matted locks and throwing it on the ground, said, “The king should be burned at once.” A fiery demoness emerged from that matted lock and ran to attack the king. But Krsna was there, bhakti was there. Sudarsana came and burned that krtya raksasi to ashes. Then, he immediately pursued Durvasa Rsi.
Terrified, Durvasa Rsi thought, “Oh Sudarsana-cakra will burn me.” Sudarsana followed Durvasa to every place he went. If Cakra-Sudarsana wanted to burn Durvasa Rsi, then he could have done so in a moment. But he wanted to instil fear in the sage and not to burn him. Seeking shelter, Durvasa went to Brahma and Sankara. He went everywhere but he could not be helped anyone. Sudarsana pursued the sage relentlessly. Durvasa Rsi then went to Narayana, or Krsna and said, “Save me. Save me.”
The Lord replied, “I cannot save you. You should return to Ambarisa Maharaja and apologize. Otherwise, there is no one in this whole world who can save you.”
He returned and fell flat at the lotus feet of Ambarisa Maharaja. And the king began to offer prayers to Sudarsana-cakra and said, “Save him. Save him.” Then, Sudarsana-cakra returned to Lord Narayana. Then, Ambarisa Maharaja gave mahaprasad to the risi. For one entire year, Ambarisa Maharaja did not take any food. He only stood and patiently waited for the risi to return.
Glorifying Ambarisa Maharaja, Durvasa risi said, “Today, I realized the glories of devotees.” He again fell flat at the lotus feet of Ambarisa Maharaja and offered many prayers to him. Durvasa risi was so moved that from that day, he also followed Ekadasi.
[Break of audio]
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: They had also gone to Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja.
Srila Gurudeva: After listening to them, he became upset. Puri Maharaja told them, “Narayana Maharaja is preaching bhakti all over India and all over the world. So many people are coming to listen from him.”
Visnu das: Jiva Gosvami and Bhaktivinoda Thakura in his Jaiva-dharma, have clearly written that the soul has not come from Krsna’s abode.
Srila Gurudeva: All the authorities say this. People have no doubt that the soul has not fallen from the realm of Krsna. How can a jiva attain Krsna and fall down from His abode? There is no maya in Krsna’s abode. How can the soul fall when there is no maya there? How can the soul fall when there is no mayik-influence? The soul can never forget Krsna there. Therefore, this is not the meaning of forgetting Krsna—Krsna-bhuli. There are two kinds of souls—nitya-baddha and nitya-mukta. Nitya-mukta jivas are the souls who are always liberated and have never come under the influence of maya. And, nitya-baddha jivas are the souls who have been conditioned since time immemorial. It is not that they were in Vaikuntha or Goloka Vrndavana and coming under the influence of the material energy, fell down from there. To think otherwise means one has not understood siddhanta. If this was true, then would all of Krsna’s associates also fall down from there? This can never happen. To make the general people understand, it is said that the jivas “forgot,” Krsna and fell down.
Svamiji has not written anywhere in his books that the jivas fell from Goloka Vrndavana.
Visnu das: Someone said, “Ramanujacarya said, ‘The conditioned souls will always remain conditioned. They will never be liberated.’”
Srila Gurudeva: He has never said so. This is bogus. By listening to Krsna’s pastimes, the souls will remember them and do bhajan. Then, they will go to the eternal abode of Krsna. Sankaracarya, Ramanujacarya, and no other Vaisnava has written like this.
In the Gita, Krsna has said, “That person who engages in My bhajan, will cross maya and attain supreme, everlasting peace in My abode.”
So, is the Gita correct or is the opinion of these people correct? Ramanujacarya has also written a commentary on the Gita. So, how can this be explained?
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: When Yasasvini Devi asked you the question about the jiva’s conditioned state, you said, “I can give thousands of examples that prove that the soul has never been to Krsna’s abode. But I only speak from the examples Svamiji has given in the purports of his books.”
Listening to the misconceptions on jiva-tattva being explained, Sivarama Svami, Giriraja Maharaja, and others [unclear]
Srila Gurudeva: So many like them came before and questioned me.
Visnu das: The main consideration should be on how to advance in bhajan.
Srila Gurudeva: Where have you come from? What is your svarupa?
Where will you go after leaving maya? At the other end of maya is Vaikuntha.
krsna-bahirmukha jiva bhoga-vancha kare
nikata-stha maya tare japatiya dhare
[“Turning his face away from Krsna, the jiva develops the desire to enjoy. Standing nearby, Maya slaps him and seizes hold of him.”]
—From Sri Jagadananda Pandita, Prema Vivarta
Srila Gurudeva: But can bahirmukha happen in the spiritual realm? This happens in this material world. The souls become attracted by maya in this world. They forget Krsna in this world.
In the Bhagavatam, it is said:
bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad
isad apetasya viparyayo ‘smrtih
tan-mayayato budha abhajet tam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 11.2.37
[Fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord. When the living entity thus turns away from the Supreme Lord, he also forgets his own constitutional position as a servant of the Lord. This bewildering, fearful condition is effected by the potency for illusion, called maya. Therefore, an intelligent person should engage unflinchingly in the unalloyed devotional service of the Lord, under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master, whom he should accept as his worshipable deity and as his very life and soul.]
The jiva comes to this material world from the tatastha realm. If he thinks about Vaikuntha, he will go there or else he will come here. Therefore, it is said that the jiva is bahirmukha to Krsna. Then, maya will catch the jiva. There is no maya in Vaikuntha, so how can it be possible for maya to catch the jiva?
There is only Yogamaya in the spiritual world. There is no question of the jiva becoming against Krsna in the spiritual world. After performing sadhana for millions of lives, the jiva goes there. So, how can he go against?
When we came first, we thought like this. We never thought that the jiva has fallen from Goloka. They can never go against Krsna. The jiva is cetana, conscious. His svarupa is like this. To explain to the general people, something is said. Krsna has always been the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The sun is giving heat and light since time immemorial. This is not something new.
To obtain power for his function of destroying the obstacles of the three worlds, Ganesa offers his prayers to Krsna. Krsna is the Adi-purusa; He is the personality described in the Puranas. Ganesa offers his pranama to the lotus feet of Govinda from a distance, like we do. The lotus feet of Krsna are held by Ganesa on his head. Thus, he becomes qualified to destroy all the obstacles of the three worlds by Krsna’s mercy.
yat-pada-pallava-yugam vinidhaya kumbha-
dvandve pranama-samaye sa ganadhirajah
vighnan vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami
—Brahma Samhita 5.50
[I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda. Ganesa always holds His lotus feet upon the pair of tumuli protruding from his elephant head in order to obtain power for his function of destroying all obstacles on the path of progress in the three worlds.]
Therefore, while instructing Mother Devahuti to meditate on Bhagavan, Kapiladevaji said:
tirthena murdhny adhikrtena sivah sivo ‘bhut
dhyayec ciram bhagavatas caranaravindam
—Srimad Bhagavatam 3.28.22
[The blessed Lord Siva becomes all the more blessed by bearing on his head the holy waters of the Ganges, which has its source in the water that washed the Lord’s lotus feet. The Lord’s feet act like thunderbolts hurled to shatter the mountain of sin stored in the mind of the meditating devotee. One should therefore meditate on the lotus feet of the Lord for a long time.]
Lord Kapila said, “By bearing the Ganga who had come from Govinda’s lotus feet on his head, the auspiciousness of Mahadeva increased, although he is the personification of auspiciousness.”
Therefore, Ganesaji, Siva, and the others always meditate on the lotus feet of Govinda. It is also said that Ganesa is an amsa, a part of Nrsimhadeva who is Govinda’s expansion.
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Srila Gurudeva: Tell them, “You should chant Hare Krsna.” And then, you will see that they have changed in no time by chanting harinama. So, why should one say, “You should not hear hari-katha from him or from him?” Some say, “This is our territory.” Dogs are also territorial; they prevent others from entering their territory. This is God’s kingdom, we are free to go anywhere.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]