Ānitā dāsī: Śrīla Gurudeva, today I’m going to visit my material family.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Where?
Ānitā dāsī: In Denver. Can you help me realize that you are my father, and my mother, and my everything?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Go and meet with them, and again come to me.
Ānitā dāsī: I want to see you in Houston.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: And then in Badger as well.
Ānitā dāsī: Śrīla Gurudeva, Śyāmarāṇī dīdī wanted me to ask you this: If we have Gaura-Nitāi Deities and we are performing maṅgala-ārati, is it okay to think of the Deity of Nityānanda as Anaṅga Mañjarī and Mahāprabhu as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Where there are Deities and you are doing Their arcana, you should think of Them as Gaura-Nityānanda. Because you are engaged in arcana-mārga, you should think first about whatever Deity is present.
Ānitā dāsī: But your gurudeva’s maṅgala-ārati song is for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Mahāprabhu can be with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, but Nityānanda Prabhu cannot.
Ānitā dāsī: So, it’s okay to sing this maṅgala-ārati song as worship of Gaura-Nitāi?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: We should meditate upon what has been told in the ārati-kīrtana.
Ānitā dāsī: Are you saying that there should be a separate ārati song for Gaura-Nitāi?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Separate.
Ānitā dāsī: If there are Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Deities and Gaura-Nitāi Deities on the same altar, but somewhat separated, which ārati song would we sing in the morning?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: There should be one altar with a dividing structure of any material. First sing to Gaura-Nitāi (Udilo aruṇa) and then to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa (Maṅgala Śri Guru-Gaura). If you only have time to sing one song, then you can sing Maṅgala Śri Guru-Gaura and meditate on Nityānanda Prabhu as akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva (the complete, undivided, original guru).
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To Kṛṣṇa-mayī dāsī, who is a teacher in a public school] You have trained your students very well.
Kṛṣṇa-mayī dāsī: You have trained them very well.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: They are small, small children, yet they know Kṛṣṇa.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: They have two good teachers; you and Kṛṣṇa-mayī.
Kṛṣṇa-mayi dāsī: They naturally love you so much, and they love to hear about Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. It is so beautiful.
Ānitā dāsī: I visited the school, Gurudeva. They know so many stories of Gopāla – more than I do.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Are there any questions?
Mālinī dāsī: How can I stay one-pointed in bhakti when I am at school? What are the things I should do?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do some chanting and remembering, reading books, and studying. Become qualified to preach my mission.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: I have a question, Gurudeva. When you are giving class, as you sit on the vyāsāsana looking at all of us, sometimes you look stern and sometimes you are smiling. What are you doing with us through your eyes?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: By my eyes I am giving you kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Guru does this in order to impregnate your heart with bhakti.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: Sometimes when you are looking at us, it’s like, “Whoa!” Sometimes I don’t know where to look. Should I keep looking at you even though [making a gasping sound as if overwhelmed]? Keep looking? Where else to look, right?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is why a living dīkṣā-guru, or śikṣā-guru, is needed. Without guru, one cannot advance. Some gurus put their hand on the disciples’ head and say, “May you go to Goloka Vṛndāvana.” Nārada, for example, can do this. A madhyama-adhikārī cannot do this. He can inspire by his hari-kathā. Regarding a kaniṣṭha-adhikārī, he will take that devotee to a sad-guru (self-realized guru).
Ānitā dāsī: Śrīla Gurudeva, Mahāprabhu met with so many of His associates outside of Navadvīpa. In nitya-līlā He is always in Navadvīpa. How do we think that Rūpa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and other associates are with Mahāprabhu in aprakaṭa-līlā [in Navadvīpa in Goloka Vṛndāvana], if they were not living in Navadvīpa when He was here in prakaṭa-līlā (His manifest pastimes in this material world)?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: They are certainly present there. You should see that although Śrī Rūpa-Sanātana, Bhaṭṭa Raghunātha, Śrī Jīva, Gopala-bhaṭṭa, dāsa Raghunātha, and Svarūpa Dāmodara and Rāya Rāmānanda are not in Navadvīpa with Him outwardly [they were with Him in other places], they are with Him outwardly in aprakaṭa Goloka Śvetadvīpa (Navadvīpa in Goloka).
Ṛṣabhadeva dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, in Los Angeles, Prema-prayojana prabhu is preaching to the academic and yoga communities. Can householder devotees also go to hear from him?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It depends on them. He is writing, or perhaps any of his followers are writing, that he is the sole authority on bhakti. I never say that I am the authority, and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has not told this.
He is not the authority. Is it that he is the authority because he was a sannyāsī and now he is a householder? What can anybody learn from him if he has personally deviated? I want to correct him and take him back to sannyāsa. What I told in my class was only for him.
Everything I told about Purūravā and the prostitute was only for him.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: I thought it was for me.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Purūravā lamented, “Oh, this Urvaśī has cheated me. She has taken my paramārtha (transcendental) kṛṣṇa-bhakti. I should leave her.” He thus gave her up, came to this world, and began to chant and remember Kṛṣṇa.
Ṛṣabhadeva dāsa: Is there benefit for beginners, like persons in the academic or yoga communities, to hear from him? He is also directing people to you.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I call him only to attract him to come, and to give up that lady and come to me. I am giving him a chance.
Sāvitrī dāsī: Guru Mahārāja, yesterday an opportunity came for us to put articles about bhakti-yoga in one of the biggest magazines in L.A.; two yoga magazines and one big website where so many people can read these bhakti-yoga articles that contain your hari-kathā.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Very good.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: Gurudeva, in the story of the king and Urvaśī, you say that Urvaśī cheated the king. Isn’t it that he cheated himself by his own desire?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is why he was saying, “I lost my heart and gave it to Urvaśī. Her beauty and loving affairs attracted me, and in this way she cheated me. I have deviated from Kṛṣṇa.” Then he left her.
So, by chance one may have given up sannyāsa and become entangled with a lady – or vice-versa any lady may be entangled with a male person – and then they realize, “What have I done?!” Repenting for this, they can again come to the proper path.
Śrī Vṛndā dāsī: Well, Gurudeva, you were a good surprise here in Los Angeles. I was accepting that, “Oh, Gurudeva is not coming to Los Angeles. I have to wait to go to see him in Badger.” I wasn’t even dreaming that you were going to come, but you’re a dream come true! And I wasn’t even dreaming!
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I thought that I must come to L.A., even for one or two days. So I changed my ticket.
Cāru-candrikā dāsī: Gurudeva, my name is Caru-candrikā. I am working hard with Govinda Mohiṇī to have an āśrama for the ladies here in L.A. In that way we can preach, and have a space for other ladies to come and be strong and preach your mission. So please bless us…
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If any lady desires, she can stay there in the temple – we have some room with Śyāmalā.
Sāvitrī dāsī: Guru Mahārāja, they already have an āśrama, in Venice. They are running it.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Oh. You are doing well? You are distributing books? How many of you are there?
Caru-candrikā dāsī: Two for now.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Two only? There should be more than three.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2008”]