June 8, 2007
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Gurudeva, when the devotees translated your kathā in Houston about the rāsa dance, they quoted you as saying that Kṛṣṇa showed that He was dancing with His own shadow – and that nobody cares about one’s own shadow. So, Kṛṣṇa was dancing with the gopīs, but He was not attached to them.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That was not the meaning. As an ordinary boy plays with his shadow without attachment, in the same way Kṛṣṇa was also playing with His shadow. The gopīs are like His shadow. The words ‘Kṛṣṇa has no attachment’ mean that He was not controlled by the gopīs lust; and the gopīs also had no lust.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: So when you say ‘attachment,’ you mean ‘material lust’?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes.
Devotee: Gurudeva, the mañjarīs are also present in the rāsa-līlā. Are they participating, or are they serving?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This is not a subject matter to be discussed at present. Once you come to that stage after successfully performing bhajana, you will understand all this by yourself.
Devotee: Gurudeva, in Vraja, the Pāṇḍavas are still performing austerities to attain vraja-bhakti. Have they not attained this yet?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It is not so easy to attain vraja-bhakti. They will have to perform austerities for millions of years.
Devotee: Then how will I attain it?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: There is a reason why you will be able to attain it. You are performing one-pointed devotion under the guidance of Vrajavāsīs, and you have been serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa from the beginning. The Pāṇḍavas initially served Dvārakādhīśa Kṛṣṇa.
Therefore it is harder for them, and it is easier for you, to attain it. It is easy for those who have taken shelter of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Devotee: You mentioned that in Bhāgavatam Kṛṣṇa is called Keśava, meaning ‘He who combs Rādhārāṇī’s hair,’ and then you also gave another meaning. Is there any difference between the two meanings?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Ka refers to Brahmā, īśa refers to Śaṅkara, and va refers to their worshipful Deity, Kṛṣṇa, or Keśava.
Devotee: So, are They different?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: They are the same person.
Devotee: What is the duty of the daughter to her father when her father is all alone? I am asking this because after marriage the daughter cannot do anything independently.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: The daughter will do whatever is easily done. Daughters are dear to the father, and sons are dear to the mother. The daughter will have affection for the father and do whatever is appropriate. At the time of marriage, the father gives something to the groom so that the daughter is maintained. At all times, the son will do whatever he can do to maintain his parents.
Devotee: Is the daughter obligated to do something?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Only if the father becomes unable to do anything for himself, or is very poor,
Devotee: Sometimes there are no sons in the family.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In India, when the father gives his daughter in marriage, like a charity, he never accepts anything from the daughter even if he is helpless.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: He never even accepts water.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Because he has already given his daughter away, he doesn’t even drink water at the house of the son-in-law or at the house of the daughter’s in-laws.
Devotee: Can he honor prāsadam at his daughter’s house?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In India [in traditional times], he would not do this.
Devotee: I am asking whether the father should follow the same customs here in the U.S.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Here in the U.S. it is not possible to follow the same customs, because this place is bhoga-rājya, the kingdom of sense enjoyment. It is like Svarga, the heavenly planets. Here it is not easy to do sādhana, as there are so many objects of sense gratification and twenty-four hour-a-day-desires – “I want a car,” and so many things like that.
Devotee: And still there is no peace.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Everyone wants two of everything; two cars, and so on.
[To another devotee] You can sit on a chair.
[To another devotee] Don’t cry. Why are you crying? You are building a maṭha, temple, here. I will come to your maṭha. I will also stay with you and speak hari-kathā.
Devotee: Gurudeva, please call us to come to Badger. Your programs in Badger are always so nice, but we haven’t been able to go there.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: We do not need to call you. You can come.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Haven’t the programs been good here? They are not good, and that is why you want to go there?
Devotee: No, the programs here have been very good. But no matter how much we take your darśana, it is still not enough.
Devotee: Mahārājajī, Akṣaya prabhu did a lot of service this time for your programs.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Didn’t he go to his office for work?
Devotees: No Mahārājajī, he was always busy here, doing some service. He was always helping in the kitchen, and also bringing so many things. In the evenings he cleaned everything and then went home. Sometimes it was midnight by the time he reached home.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Everyone did so much endeavor.
Rādhārāṇī dāsī: This morning, Premamayī dīdī called and also offered her daṇḍavat praṇāma (prostrated obeisances).
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: She will become a big doctor.
Rādhārāṇī dāsī: By your mercy.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: When she did her exams, she got 99%.
Rādhārāṇī dāsī: She was quite sick at that time, but due to your mercy she got such a high grade.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Śyāmarāṇī will be here for two to four days. Where will she stay?
Devotee: With Lakṣmī dīdī.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To Śyāmarāṇī dāsī] You will speak hari-kathā to them.
Houston is like a mini-India. The area where I was staying with the devotees is just like a mini-India.
Bimalā dāsī: Gurudeva, two years ago, a big hurricane was supposed to pass through Houston. But it didn’t come. In my mind I was always thinking that because of Gurudeva it didn’t come.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It was due to Bhagavān.
Bimalā dāsī: No, it was by your mercy.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To a guest] Why aren’t you taking harināma? What lacking is there in you? Are you eating meat and fish?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You must give this up, otherwise those animals will eat you. Māṁsa, meat.5At present you are happily eating meat. But when those animals eat you in the future, you will be in distress. So quickly, today, give up eating meat, fish, and so on. Don’t gamble, and don’t engage in any immoral or cheating activities.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: We need to go to the gate.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publicaition “Walking With a Saint 2007”]