Mahābuddhi dāsa: [Introducing a guest] Gurudeva, he was the pūjārī at one of the local temples in Miami, and now he teaches yoga in San Francisco. He knows Bhagavad-gītā by heart and is also teaching it; and he is reading Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. He saw you the last time you were here. Since then, he has developed some faith and he has been coming to our programs. He has the desire to accept a real guru and follow instructions. He wants to ask for initiation.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You are a priest?
Nityānanda dāsa: Yes, this is my job. I chant gāyatrī in the morning.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: The generally-accepted meaning of gāyatrī is not the actual meaning. The deep meaning is hidden within. Who is Gāyatrī? We will have to know this. Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Gāyatrī is His power. Gāyatrī-mantra is also known as brahma-gāyatrī. Who is the Absolute Truth, brahma? The Sun-god Sūrya is not brahma.
aho bhāgyam aho bhāgyaṁ
pūrṇaṁ brahma sanātanam
How greatly fortunate are Nanda Mahārāja, the cowherd men, and all the other inhabitants of Vrajabhūmi! There is no limit to their good fortune, because the Absolute Truth, the source of transcendental bliss, the eternal Supreme Brahman, has become their friend.
Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead (parama-brahma), the one-without-a-second Absolute Truth. His personal power, hlādinī-śakti, is Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and Gāyatrī-devī is Rādhikā’s manifestation. Savitur vareṇyaṁ means that the Sun gives light, heat, and life to all the fourteen worlds in each universe. But who gives life to the Sun? Kṛṣṇa’s power, Gāyatrī, gives it life and light. We meditate on this and utter dhīmahi, which means “May She come in my heart.” This is the real meaning of the gāyatrī-mantra. Generally people think this is the mantra of Sūrya, but it is not so.
So this is the only difficulty; your job requires you to worship Gaṇeśa, Durgā, and Kali.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: That is his job. But he was telling me that first he worships Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and then he worships the other paṣcopāsanā deities (Durgā, Śiva, Gaṇeśa, Sūrya, and an impersonal idea of Viṣṇu).
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvām Mahārāja: There is something you can do in this regard. You can first worship Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, and then offer Their caraṇāmṛta and the prasādam of Their foodstuffs and flowers to the demigods. In this way the demigods’ pūjā can be done. If you do this, I can give you initiation.
Your job is to offer pūjā to these deities; so you can do this pūjā, although we never do it. We only offer the demigods praṇāma.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: If someone has a job, not as a priest but also not so favorable for bhakti, it is almost the same. He still worships Kṛṣṇa first, but in that person’s job he may be…
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Kṛṣṇa will personally be merciful to him. Kṛṣṇa will sprinkle His mercy upon him.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: Now we have about seventy-five to one hundred devotees who are, more or less, active in this Miami saṅga.
Is your writing going well? We are very hopeful for that.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes; very interesting. If these books are published, devotees will be very happy. Your Gurudeva, parama-pūjyapāda Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, has hidden something, and I am opening his hidden meanings.1 I am taking his remnants.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: I think the whole world will be benefitted by getting the Eleventh and Twelfth Cantos from your Divine Grace.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I will do it.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: But you have to complete it.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Then you will have to pray to Kṛṣṇa that He will give me long life and health.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: My prayers have no value.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If everyone prays, then Kṛṣṇa is bound to hear.
Go on preaching in your university. Many Ph.D scholars will come from that program, and they will preach.
Mahābuddhi dāsa: We are happy to see that it is now growing. Many devotees are coming and participating.
We are all waiting for the English translation of Śrī Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi. We are not qualified to read some of the books you are publishing, so we are putting them on the altar and worshiping them. Unless you give us the qualification, how can we read them?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: When you read these books, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī will personally give you the power and qualification to understand them. The process is that while reading we should pray to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī to make us qualified to understand and realize the deep secrets given in his books.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2008”]