June 12, 2009
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: I am so happy to be with you and your devotees.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Will you go to Russia again?
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: I will go straight to Moscow with Śuddhādvaitī Mahārāja. We are going to travel in Russia for three months.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Very good.
[To Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja] And you?
Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja: I am going back to France for fifteen days, then Germany, and then former Yugoslavia and Turkey.
Śrīla Gurudeva: [To Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja] And you?
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: Tomorrow I will go to Spain, and then to South America, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela.
Śrīla Gurudeva: When I go to South Africa, will you be there?
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: Yes.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I also requested Āśrama Mahārāja to go.
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: I will also go to Mauritius. I had a conversation with the minister of cultural affairs there. I told him you are coming, and he said he would make arrangements for your welcome.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Any questions?
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja:
sthapitam yena bhu-tale
svayaṁ rupah kada mahyam
(Śrī Prema-bhakti-candrikā, Introduction Verse 2,
by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura)
[When will Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī Prabhupāda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet?]
Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has realized Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mano-’bhīṣṭaṁ, His innermost heart’s sentiment. Your disciples would like to know how they can realize the mano-’bhīṣṭaṁ of their Gurudeva.
Śrīla Gurudeva: If one does not know the mano-’bhīṣṭaṁ of Gurudeva, he is not a disciple; a real disciple would know this. Try to be a real disciple, and then you will understand. Okay?
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: Śrīla Gurudeva, you are a very beautiful leader. Will you tell us what is the meaning of ‘leadership’?
Śrīla Gurudeva: You can learn by my example; by my life and behavior. Be equal to all, be kind to all, and preach. Don’t be selfish. Be broadminded.
No questions at all?
Aristanasana dāsa: Gurudeva, I think your next class will be about Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura.
Śrīla Gurudeva: It will be about Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī…
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: And something still remains to be discussed about Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī.
Aristanasana dāsa: What is the significance of Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s daily chanting sixty-four rounds loudly, sixty-four rounds softly, and sixty-four rounds in his mind? What are the teachings in that?
Śrīla Gurudeva: He did mānasī-japa (chanting within the mind) for himself, and he chanted aloud for the benefit of the trees, creepers, animals, and all living beings. Śrīmān Mahāprabhu told him, “You are doing both ācāra, devotional activities performed for the benefit of oneself, and pracāra, devotional activities performed for the welfare of all living beings.”
On one of his visits to the home of Hiranya and Govardhana Majumadāra [the father and uncle of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī], Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura was preaching about the glory of the holy name. Perhaps you know this history. At that time there was a dispute regarding the power of the holy name. A brāhmaṇa named Gopāla Cakravartī could not tolerate Haridāsa Ṭhākura’s words, and challenged him in the assembly: “After many millions upon millions of births, when one is complete in absolute knowledge, one still may not attain liberation, yet this man says that one may attain it simply by the awakening of a glimpse of the holy name!?!” He told Haridāsa Ṭhākura, “You don’t know anything. If I am right, then your nose will fall off from leprosy.”
Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura was not unhappy, but all the members of that learned assembly began to rebuke that brāhmaṇa, who was struck with leprosy on the next day.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: His nose and his fingers fell off.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Mahāprabhu once asked Haridāsa Ṭhākura “On this Earth there are many living entities, some moving and some not moving. What will happen to the trees, plants, insects, and other living entities? How will they be delivered from material bondage?”
Haridāsa Ṭhākura replied, “My dear Lord, the deliverance of all moving and non-moving living entities takes place only by Your mercy. You have already granted this mercy and delivered them. You have loudly chanted the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, and everyone, moving and not moving, has benefited by hearing it. When loud chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra is performed all over the world by those who follow in Your footsteps, all living entities, moving and non-moving, dance in ecstatic devotional love.”
Balabhadra dāsa (From Glastonbury): I just want to say that it is a great honor to be in your presence. I feel very touched by your sādhu-saṅga. Yesterday, I especially felt the importance of being in sādhu-saṅga, so, my question is this: If devotees have the chance to travel with sādhu-saṅga and they feel the desire to do that, should they take that opportunity and leave everything else behind?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Kṛṣṇa has given everyone free will, and by that free will devotees can take the opportunity of sādhu-saṅga. They can travel with a sādhu and hear hari-kathā. You can also do so.
Śrīpāda Sadhu Mahārāja: Śrīla Gurudeva, young devotees are usually advised to chant loudly in the first stages. What is the significance of chanting loudly for young devotees?
Śrīla Gurudeva: This instruction is not only for beginners. It applies to beginners and seniors.
Śrīpāda Sadhu Mahārāja: Many devotees chant silently or…
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yesterday, Bhagavat Mahārāja was loudly chanting, RAMĀ RAMĀ, HARE HARE. Ramā Ramā refers to Ramā-devī, meaning Lakṣmī-devī.
Kiśorī-mohana dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, when we travel around the world, we tell our audiences that everyone should hear from the mahā-bhāgavata rasikā-vaiṣṇava; this is the cure for all diseases of the heart. But then, when we came to the festival here, I see that most of the time you have the sannyāsīs and other senior devotees speak. You don’t speak very much, whereas others speak for a long time. So, what is the benefit of hearing from the others in comparison to hearing your kathā?
Śrīla Gurudeva: They are telling my kathā, not theirs. They have heard so much from me. When they speak, they say, “My Gurudeva has told this.”
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Also, if they make any mistakes, Gurudeva corrects them.
Śrīla Gurudeva: In the past I used to speak for two or three hours, but now the doctors have advised me against this. Therefore I tell something, and they tell something. Moreover, because they are being trained to speak, after I leave this world they will be able to preach everywhere. The ISKCON leaders are preaching in ISKCON, but they cannot speak like my brahmacārīs, what to speak of my sannyāsīs.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Gurudeva, when this question arose before, you expounded on the glory of sādhu-saṅga. You said that if one goes to a kerosene-oil go-down, after some time his clothing will begin to smell like kerosene. In the same way, if gurudeva is present somewhere, then by his mercy you will greatly benefit simply by his presence, without his speaking at all.
Devotee: Gurudeva, I am leaving today.
Śrīla Gurudeva: My blessings to you. Chant, remember, and distribute my books.
[To everyone] This instruction is for all of you.
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: Is there any benefit for the many ISKCON leaders who read your books and hear your hari-kathā but don’t give you credit for being the source of what they speak?
Śrīla Gurudeva: They will get something.
Devotee: Gurudeva, will you bless me today?
Brajanāth dāsa: It is his birthday today.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Maṅgalam bhavatu, kalyāṇam bhavatu. May your birthday be auspicious. May you be happy in this world and in the next world. May kṛṣṇa-bhakti enter your heart. May you attain the service of Śrī Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa.
Nṛhari dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, I have a question about book distribution. Śrīla Prabhupāda asked us to distribute books. ISKCON is doing that, and they are so proud that they are distributing half a million Bhagavad-gītās a year. Is there any benefit for them in this?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Oh, yes, yes. If you are serving your Gurudeva with pride in him, with the sentiment that “I am serving my Gurudeva,” what harm is there in that?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Whoever reads the books will benefit, and therefore the distributors will benefit.
[After the walk]
Śrīla Gurudeva: [To Śyāmārāṇī dāsī] What is your program?
Śyāmārāṇī dāsī: My program? We are going to Germany, England, Ireland, and South Africa, and then back to India.
Śrīla Gurudeva: South Africa also? Will you be there when I go?
Śyāmārāṇī dāsī: Yes.
This is Lavaṅga-latikā. She is a disciple of Śrīpāda Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī. She wants to have a relationship with you, but because she associates with ISCKON devotees, she is influenced by bad propaganda.
Śrīla Gurudeva: [To Lavaṅga-latikā dāsī] You can treat me as your śikṣā-guru. Your Gurudeva was my bosom friend.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2009”]