Acaryas QuotesGurudeva said todayWhat is the Essence of all the Instructions of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī?...

What is the Essence of all the Instructions of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī? Darśana

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the essence of all the instructions of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī?

Kundalatā dāsī: It is the verse beginning anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyam.

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the essence of all the instructions of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī?

Kundalatā dāsī: Oh [softly recites the verse]:

tan-nāma-rūpa-caritādi-sukīrtanānu-
smṛtyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi janānugāmī
kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram
(Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Verse 8)

[While living in Vraja as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja, who possess inherent spontaneous love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one should utilize all his time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulous chanting and remembrance of Kṛṣṇa’s names, form, qualities, and pastimes. This is the essence all instruction.]

Śrīla Gurudeva: Has anyone spoken anything?

Brajanāth dāsa: Gurudeva is asking you to speak more loudly.

[Kundalatā dāsī and Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa chant the verse loudly.]

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the meaning?

[To Sītā dāsī] Listen very carefully.

Kundalatā dāsī: The meaning is that we should reside in Vraja and perform bhajana there. If one can’t live there physically, then he can be there by mind.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Your explanation is not clear.

Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa: Tan means ‘His’ or ‘Kṛṣṇa’s’ – Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, and activities. Su-kīrtana means ‘always doing kīrtana and remembering Kṛṣṇa.’

Śrīla Gurudeva: Anu means ‘continually,’ and it also means ‘under the guidance.’ Under whose guidance? We will come to this in a minute.

What is the meaning of krameṇa?

Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa: Krameṇa means ‘steadily,’ and rasanā-manasī niyojya means ‘engaging the mind and tongue.’

Śrīla Gurudeva: By one’s tongue one chants the names of Kṛṣṇa, and by mind one meditates on His pastimes. For example the name Dāmodara leads to remembrance of the pastime of Mother Yaśodā binding Kṛṣṇa, and the name Rāsa-bihārī inspires remembrance of rāsa-līlā.
Furthermore?

Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa: In order to do this, tad anurāgi janānugāmī, tiṣṭhan vraje. Even if one cannot be in Vraja physically, he can meditate on Vraja and be under the guidance of the residents of Vraja.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Tad anurāgi janānugāmī means ‘being under the guidance of those who are anurāgi (deeply attached) to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, such as Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.’

Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa: Kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram. One must do this continuously, all the time. This is the essence of all instructions.

Śrīla Gurudeva: If you have no taste in chanting the holy name, what should you do?

Kundalatā dāsī: Keep chanting… Hmmm, what is that verse in Upadeśāmṛta? Sitāpy avidyā… Mmmm. Because right now we have jaundice [the jaundice of ignorance], so the medicine is to keep chanting and then one day the taste will come.

Śrīla Gurudeva: [To Brajanāth dāsa] Can you explain?

Brajanāth dāsa: In Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī tells us that if we have no taste for chanting, it is because of some spiritual disease. If in a jaundiced condition we take sugar candy, that sugar candy tastes very bitter. Nevertheless, sugar candy is the medicine for jaundice. Therefore, if we continue to take the sugar candy, gradually our disease will go away and we will be able to taste the sugar candy’s sweetness.

Similarly by chanting harināma, even if in the beginning it is a little difficult and our minds don’t want to continue, if we practice daily as a discipline, and especially if we follow the order of śrī gurudeva, then everything becomes sweet. Our disease of wanting to enjoy this world will gradually decrease, and we will only want to serve śrī guru and the Vaiṣṇavas. Then, under their guidance we can follow this verse: tan-nāma-rūpa-caritādi-sukīrtanānu.
Śrīla Gurudeva: By what activity can we engage in sādhu-saṅga?

Kundalatā dāsī: By following the sādhu’s instructions.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Can you utter the śloka?

Kundalatā dāsī: Uh… sādhu saṅga, sādhu saṅga, sarva śāstra kaya.

Śrīla Gurudeva: What sort of conduct is required in relating with the sādhus?

Kundalatā dāsī: Oh, from Upadeśāmṛta:

dadāti pratigṛhṇāti
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
ṣaḍ-vidhaṁ prīti-lakṣaṇam
(Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Verse 4)

[Offering pure devotees items in accordance with their requirements, accepting prasādam, or remnant items given by pure devotees, revealing to devotees one’s realizations concerning bhajana, inquiring from them about their confidential realizations, eating with great love the prasādam remnants given to devotees and lovingly feeding them prasādam – these are the six symptoms of loving association with devotees.]

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the meaning?

Kundalatā dāsī: There are six loving exchanges between devotees: Giving something, accepting the prasādam remnants… uh…

Śrīla Gurudeva: What does dadāti mean?

Gopāla-kṛṣṇa dāsa: Dadāti means ‘giving.’

Śrīla Gurudeva: Giving what? Giving that which is necessary and of use to that sādhu. What might these items be? Cloth, shoes, foodstuffs, and whatever is necessary for his services. We first give these things to the Vaiṣṇavas, and then we take their remnants.

Guhyam means ‘confidential topics.’ What confidential topics? Regarding bhajana. The disciple asks about the confidential methods of bhajana, and the sādhu explains (ākhyāti). Pṛcchati means that whatever is needed to know, the disciple will ask gurudeva and Vaiṣṇavas.

Bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva means that one offers foodstuffs to the Vaiṣṇava and then accepts his remnants. By this, sādhu-saṅga will develop.

If one has no taste for sādhu-saṅga, no taste for harināma, and no taste for hearing and chanting, but he knows that there is no other remedy, what should he do? If we know intellectually that bhajana is essential but we are devoid of taste and interest in its engagement, what should we do? Should we give up chanting, hearing, and remembering?

utsāhān niścayād dhairyāt
tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt
saṅga-tyāgāt sato vṛtteḥ
ṣaḍbhir bhaktiḥ prasidhyati
(Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Verse 3)

[Progress in bhakti may be obtained by the following six practices: (1) enthusiasm to carry out the rules that enhance bhakti, (2) firm faith in the statements of śāstra and guru, whose words are fully in line with śāstra, (3) fortitude in the practice of bhakti, even in the midst of obstacles, or patience during the practice stage of bhakti, even when there is delay in attaining one’s desired goal, (4) following the limbs of bhakti such as hearing (śravaṇa) and chanting (kīrtana), and giving up one’s material sense enjoyment for the pleasure of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, (5) giving up illicit connection with women, the association of those who are overly attached to women, and the association of Māyāvādīs, atheists, and pseudo-religionists; and (6) adopting the good behavior and character of pure devotees.]

What is the meaning?

Kundalatā dāsī: We must have utsāha, enthusiasm. We must have firm faith that…

Śrīla Gurudeva: That what? “So many bhaktas, like Prahlāda, Nārada, and others attained bhakti, so why shouldn’t I? I need patience.” What type of patience?

Kundalatā dāsī: Patience that it will come one day.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Even if we do not feel anything now, in due time we will feel the result of our practices.

What is the meaning of tat-tat-karma-pravartanāt?

Kundalatā dāsī: Following the proper process.

Śrīla Gurudeva: What is that process?

Kundalatā dāsī: Following the rules and regulations.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Hearing hari-kathā.

śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
sakhyam ātma-nivedanam
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.5.23)

[Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind, and words) – these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service.]

Also this:

sādhu-saṅga, nāma-kīrtana, bhāgavata-śravaṇa
mathurā-vāsa, śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana
sakala-sādhana-śreṣṭha ei pañca aṅga
kṛṣṇa-prema janmāya ei pāṅcera alpa-saṅga
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.128–129)

[One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, reside at Mathurā, and worship the Deity with faith and veneration. These five limbs of devotional service are the best of all. Even a slight performance of these five awakens love for Kṛṣṇa.]

Are you able to understand this? If you do not perform bhajana, what will be the result?

Sītā dāsī: We will continue our material existence.

Śrīla Gurudeva: What harm is there if we are in the rotation of the world? We will enjoy very well. What is the harm? We are young, we can make money, and we can bring all facilities as Gopāla prabhu has brought here. He is like a king. Everything is here, so no harm to remain in this material world.

Is this a fact? No. One day you will become old, and you will have to give up everything and die. You will not be able to take your televisions or anything else; and then, in your next life you will become hogs, pigs, dogs, cats, etc.

Do you chant sixteen rounds?

Sītā dāsī: Yes.

Śrīla Gurudeva: Never chant less than this, and also read the scriptures. Your father has all the scriptures.

[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2009”]
[CC-by-ND GVP]

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