June 11, 2010
Brajanāth dāsa: Prabhu is asking about what you explained in Hawaii some years ago, that sambhoga (the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and His associates in meeting) is higher than vipralambha (the pastimes in the mood of separation).
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I have also sometimes told that vipralambha dances on the head of samhhoga. But, do any of you want the separation of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do any of you want this?
Devotees: No, never.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: So, which is greater?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yet, Kṛṣṇa wants everyone in the world to know that Rādhikā’s love for Him is superior to anyone else’s love – not only in meeting, but also in separation.
Śrīpāda Bhāgavata Mahārāja (from Canada): Śrīla Gurudeva, now, because you have written the book Journey of the Soul, some persons are saying that the jīvas have not fallen from Goloka Vṛndāvana, but that they are in Goloka sleeping, and their dream is the dream of this world.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: They are the ones who are seeing a dream.
Śrīpāda Bhāgavata Mahārāja: They are trying to change their philosophy now.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: Why does the jīva forget his previous life? I never got a good answer about this.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Lokavat tu līlā kaivalyam. Kṛṣṇa has made the world like this. If we do not forget everything after taking our next birth, we would not be able to survive. We would die. We cannot imagine how much suffering one experiences at the time of death.
Śrīpāda Viṣṇu Mahārāja: Rāgānuga-bhakti is very high; it is rare that a person can follow it. And in vaidhī-bhakti there are so many rules and regulations and mantras for arcana (worship). So, what are we doing here? Vaidhī-bhakti, or rāgānuga-bhakti, or something else? Vaidhī-bhakti leads to Vaikuṇṭha. We are hearing hari-kathā from you and the Vaiṣṇavas – not about Vaikuṇṭha – but still I don’t think we are following rāgānuga.
Brajanāth dāsa: He is saying that rāgānuga-bhakti is very rare and difficult to attain. Vaidhī-bhakti is also very difficult, because there are so many rules, regulations, mantras…
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: No. Vaidhī-bhakti is easy. Anyone can perform vaidhī-bhakti – anyone.
Śrīpāda Bhāgavata Mahārāja: What are your followers practicing? Are we practicing vaidhī or rāgānuga?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You are doing vaidhī-bhakti and aiming for rāgānuga-bhakti. Some, those who are qualified, are practicing rāgānuga, and some propose to be qualified but are not.
Brajanāth dāsa: Sajjana Mahārāja is preaching everywhere – in South America, North America, Middle America…
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Dāmodara Mahārāja is not doing less.
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: Gurudeva, some devotees say that they are following rāgānuga-bhakti, so there is no need for them to perform the activities of vaidhī-bhakti – no need for maṅgala-āratī or any other regulations.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do they think they are also higher than Kṛṣṇa?
Nityānanda dāsa (from Los Angeles): I have read, that part of our siddhānta is that there must be at least one devotee in the world who is performing worship of Śrīmatī Rādhikā on the level of bhāva – otherwise the world would be destroyed. I read this in an article by Śrīla Vāmana Gosvāmī Mahārāja. I don’t understand why the world will be destroyed if there is no such devotee in the world.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This is correct, but such devotees are rare.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: He can’t understand why the world will be destroyed.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This is the rule and regulation of Kṛṣṇa; no one can change it.
Prāṇa-govinda dāsa (from England): When the jīva first falls into the material world, does he always take a human form first, or might he take any other form?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: He may take any form among any of the 8,400,000 species of life.
Abhirāma dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, when you will perform prāṇa-pratiṣṭhā (installation of the Deities) in Houston, will the temple be the same as your temples in Vṛndāvana?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I have told them to make their temple like our temple in Govardhana.
Abhirāma dāsa: Will the speciality of the Govardhana temple – which is Girirāja Govardhana Himself – be the same in Houston? Will you bring the same Girirāja Govardhana to Houston? Will both places be non-different?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I will see.
Śyāmasundara dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, I also have a question about prāṇa-pratiṣṭhā. On page 422 of the biography of your gurudeva, that is, our parama-gurudeva, you quote Parama-gurudeva saying that if the vigraha (Deity) is not installed by a mahā-puruṣa, a fully self-realized soul, then Ṭhākurajī (the Lord in His Deity form) is not present – only a statue is present there. But some persons are saying that if we simply have some faith that Kṛṣṇa is there, then He is there. How do we reconcile that?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is right. The Deity should be established by a mahā-puruṣa. It is not that anyone can do this. “Kṛṣṇa se tomāra…” Kṛṣṇa, Govinda, is resting in the heart of the mahā-bhāgavatas, or mahā-puruṣas.
Śrīpāda Āśrama Mahārāja: If a mahā-puruṣa (topmost transcendentalist) doesn’t establish Ṭhākurajī, then is Ṭhākurajī not there?
Brajanāth dāsa: Gurudeva, Mahārāja is asking that if any general devotee – not a mahā-puruṣa – performs the prāṇa-pratiṣṭhā ceremony, then is Ṭhākurajī not there?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Not there.
Śrīpāda Āśrama Mahārāja: If people who are worshiping the Deities commit vaiṣṇava-aparādha, offenses to any pure devotee, is it possible that Ṭhākurajī may leave, or is He always there?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In that case, there is no use of their Ṭhākurajī worship. If one is committing such aparādha, no fruit will come from such worship and that person will go to hell.
Are there any more questions?
Śrīpāda Āśrama Mahārāja: Sometimes devotees worship their Deities for a long time, and their Ṭhākurajīs are not installed by a mahā-puruṣa. Yet, sometimes Gurudeva has said to continue worshiping Them.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes.
Brajanāth dāsa: Jñāna-śakti Prabhu is from Canada. He is the father of Kṛṣṇa-prema.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [to Kṛṣṇa-prema dāsa] He is your father? Very good.
[To Jñāna-śakti dāsa] You are happy that he is in the maṭha?
Jñāna-śakti dāsa: Very happy.
Devotee: Gurudeva, if the jīva’s constitutional position is that he is an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa, then why do some jīvas go to Vaikuṇṭha to serve Nārāyaṇa there?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Oh, Nārāyaṇa is Kṛṣṇa. All the manifestations of Kṛṣṇa are Kṛṣṇa, in tattva (by philosophical truth).
Vṛndāvana dāsa (from Hawaii): If a madhyama-adhikārī performs prāṇa-pratiṣṭhā, is there no result?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes, there is some result.
Devotee: What is the method for a sādhaka to perform viśrambheṇa guru-sevā (intimate loving service to gurudeva) from far away?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: One simply needs to have the ambition to do that sevā, and then one can serve him by his money, his energy, and by doing the needful in any circumstance.
Brajanāth dāsa: One time you told us that if a person has to go far away for his job, he is always remembering his family. He saves money for them, sends them that money, calls them, and writes them letters; he is always serving them. Similarly, this can be done with gurudeva.
Paṅkaja dāsa: This is Danny. He is coming from Indiana. He wants to take harināma tomorrow.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes, if he wants to take, he can take.
Rādhā-kānta dāsa: In Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, there is this verse:
kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya
tat tat kathā rataś cāsau
kuryād vāsaṁ vraje sadā
[The devotee should constantly remember Śrī Kṛṣṇa along with the dear most associates of Śrī Kṛṣṇa whom he chooses to follow. While permanently living in Vraja, he should become attached to always hearing about them. (If one is unable to live in Vraja by body, then one should live in Vraja by mind.)]
Preṣṭhaṁ nija samīhitam. What is that process of choosing a very near and dear associate? Is it manifested through our sādhana, or do we choose him by hearing?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has written:
smṛtyoḥ krameṇa rasanā-manasī niyojya
tiṣṭhan vraje tad-anurāgi-janānugāmī
kālaṁ nayed akhilam ity upadeśa-sāram
[While living in Vraja as a follower of those who are attached to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one should utilize all his time by gradually transferring the absorption of his tongue and mind from matters other than Kṛṣṇa to the chanting and remembering of narrations of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes. This is the essence of all instructions.]
This verse tells the process. The devotee will be in Vṛndāvana, the place of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes. Tan nāma – He will always chant the holy names. And smaraṇa – he will remember the pastimes connected with these particular names, such as Dāmodara, Rāsa-bihārī, and Rādhā-kānta. Under the guidance of a rāgānuga-bhakta he will remember these important names – names that are connected with Rādhā.
This is the process. If one cannot physically reside in Vṛndāvana, then he should think, “I am in Vṛndāvana.”
Rādhā-kānta dāsa: Are we personally choosing, or is it something that manifests in the heart?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It will come by hearing. We should try to hear more and pray more, and then it will come.
Rādhā-kānta dāsa: The second part of the verse says that one should always hear and chant about those dear associates. But in preaching, so many subjects need to be told, like Prahlāda caritra and Dhruva caritra (the life and character of Prahlāda Mahārāja and Dhruva Mahārāja).
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You are not engaged in preaching all the time – only from time to time. In the end, everything external will go away and you will become internally absorbed. Kṛṣṇaṁ smaran janaṁ cāsya preṣṭhaṁ nija. You will follow the dear associate for whom you have greed in rāgānuga-bhakti. In this regard, you will remember Rūpa Gosvāmī and Rūpa Mañjarī: Rūpa Gosvāmī as an associate of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu [his sādhaka-svarūpa], and his siddha-svarūpa in Vraja as Rūpa Mañjarī.
Who has brought that chair?
Brajanāth dāsa: Śivānanda.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To Śivānanda Sena dāsa] Oh, you. That is why I sat on it.
Devotee: I would like to ask you a question. I now live in Oregon and work as a mechanic. I would like your permission to change my occupation.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes.
Devotee: My friend has many cows that she offered to me. I would like to start a dairy. I would like to ask your blessings.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You can do that.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2010”]