Īśa dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, your daughter Sudevī from Alachua said she was told that you said it is okay to read the books of Ananta dāsa Bābājī. I am asking, for her, if this is true.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Gurudeva never told this to anyone.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I have not told that.
Paramānanda dāsa (from Ireland): The ahaṅkāra (false ego) of the baddha-jīva (conditioned soul) is making the body dance according to the vibration of the ahaṅkāra. By guru’s mercy, is it possible to rise above this?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If you practice the principles of bhakti, the rest will be done by gurudeva. If you are not practicing, gurudeva will not give you the spiritual result. He can do so, but he will not.
Īśa dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, is it possible to make advancement by just doing service without doing harināma japa?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: No. Nothing will be there.
Rohiṇī-nandana dāsa: By a sādhaka’s chanting, he cannot achieve prema-bhakti in this body. The maximum he can achieve in this body is bhāva-bhakti. You told us that when he achieves bhāva, vastu-siddhi is still very far away.
When he leaves his body, he will gradually go to that planet where Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is performing his sādhana, and later, in a future birth, where the Gosvāmīs are performing their sādhana.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You will hear their kathā, and you will follow them. Then you will take birth at the time of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and others. Then, gradually, you will come to Mahāprabhu. When you attain svarūpa-siddhi (the stage of bhāva in its maturity), you will reach Mahāprabhu.
Rohiṇī-nandana dāsa: So my question is this: will we go there and see the same svarūpa of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura that we are seeing now in his photographs? For example, he is a little heavyset and Śrīla Gaura-kisora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja is hunched over. Every day we perform āratī to them, and it is the vision from their photos that comes in our heart.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Uni thākben. Himself. He will not have a proxy (a person empowered to stand in for another). He will personally be there, and he may have the same features.
Rohiṇī-nandana dāsa: Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja will be there?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is what I am telling. He himself will be there.
Īśa dāsa: Gurudeva, you are the sum total of our guru-paramparā – Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Lokanātha Gosvāmī, etc. You are giving everything that they are giving us. So, why can’t we take all of this from you? Why do we have to take so many births?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It is necessary to take many births. When a devotee attains the stage of svarūpa-siddhi, there will be no more births after that.
Īśa dāsa: How high can we go by your association?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You can progress to an advanced stage of bhakti by this association; by hearing daily. You will progressively graduate to higher stages by the association of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, and then Mahāprabhu.
Īśa dāsa: You can give us everything Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura can give us.
Brajanāth dāsa: Gurudeva, you were telling that if we are lucky in this life, and if we are performing sādhana-bhajana, we will take our next birth in the association of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura to receive more training, because we have not attained the level of rati, or āsakti. So they will help us further and further.
Īśa prabhu is saying that you can give us everything, and I am telling him that our container is not so good.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes, you are not able to take what I am giving. Can you take it?
Īśa dāsa: Not yet, but I am begging, begging, begging for your mercy.
Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja: Our container is full of holes.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: But you cannot take, meaning that at present you are not able to receive much. I give according to your stage. There are so many things I am telling that you cannot follow.
Rohiṇī-nandana dāsa: Yesterday, Brajanāth Prabhu was telling me that in Vṛndāvana ISKCON they are playing Śrīla Prabhupāda’s lecture, with a microphone in front of his mūrti. Everyone sits and watches, as if his mūrti is speaking. Is the siddhānta all right?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It is not all right.
Rohiṇī-nandana dāsa: But you have said he is eternally present.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: He is eternally present; that is true. But there is no need to do this. What is the necessity to put the microphone in front of his mouth? What is necessary is that we repeat his instructions to each other and to others.
Will he speak from the mūrti what is on his mind at the moment? Will he speak, or not? Why this imitation?
Young man: I came from Brazil to study yoga. By accident I came to this association. I found out that bhakti-yoga is the highest form of yoga, so I have come to learn from you.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You should follow me, otherwise you will not be able to understand. First take harināma initiation, and also hear hari-kathā and read my books.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2010”]