June 13, 2007
After the walk
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: One of my god-brothers has a sentimental relationship with another god-brother and has, up to now, accepted him as a śikṣā-guru. He is in saffron cloth. He is worried that he will have to give up being a brahmacārī, because his śikṣā-guru wants him to put on white cloth, get married, and engage in business. He is now attracted to your teachings and wants to do bhajana.
I heard that if the guru tells a disciple to get married, that disciple can reject his order. Is this true? Or, would the bona fide guru never give this instruction?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Why is that guru saying this? If he were bona fide, he would not say this. He can be rejected.
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: My god-brother is now rejecting his śikṣā-guru, and he is accepting you.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: A bona fide guru would not say, “Oh, you are a brahmacārī; you should get married.” Has Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja said this? No. And I would also never say this.
The bona-fide guru laments for that former brahmacārī, thinking, “I warned him, but still he insisted on being married.” In our eyes, that brahmacārī has gone down. Do you understand? If a person is engaged in Kṛṣṇa’s service and hearing sweet pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, the life history of Prahlāda Mahārāja, the glories of Hanumān, the Pāṇḍavas, and Uddhava, and superior to them, the gopīs – he should be able to give up material life forever, as Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Gopala Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī have done. We follow them.
We inspire disciples to give up worldly life, but they do the opposite. They take sannyāsa and then again marry.
If you are actually preaching the mission of our guru-paramparā, you will not deviate. If you are chanting, but not preaching and not hearing hari-kathā from superiors, you will certainly become weak.
Śrīpāda Bhāgavata Mahārāja: In Badger, in 2004, you said that if someone is worshiping one hundred śālagrāma-śilās every day, but has no taste for hearing hari-kathā, he will fall down from his position in bhakti.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes, he will sell or distribute his śālagrāmas.
Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja: You said that this is like cutting a tree in pieces and then giving water to the different parts. In that case there will be no benefit to the tree.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Nothing.
yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena
prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā
[As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs, and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the senses and limbs of the body, simply worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality.]
If you water the leaves and flowers of a tree, but not the root, the leaves and flowers must die. On the other hand, if you give water only to the root, all the leaves and flowers will automatically be watered.
If you give water to both the roots and flowers, the flowers will rot. If you give food to your mouth and also to your eyes, what will happen? It is better to put the food only in the mouth and not in any other part of the body.
Śrīpāda Bhāgavat Mahārāja: But Kṛṣṇa can eat with His eyes.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This has been told for the jīvas of this world. It has been said in the Vedic scriptures that Acyuta (a name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, meaning ‘infallible’) is the root of the entire world. If you simply please, worship, and serve Him, the entire world is benefited.
[Speaking with Kṛṣṇa-devī from Italy, who has just phoned] Hare Kṛṣṇa. Oh, my heartly blessings to you, and to your daughter and sons. I was just asking your husband about you. I think you are translating one of my books now? Very good. You should preach and translate books.
Your daughter is okay? What is she doing now?
I want to come to Italy again, for another hari-kathā festival there on the lake. It is very beautiful there. I have just told your Prabhu (husband) to arrange this, and we may come there in the summer-time. When Prabhu returns, please discuss this with him and make a plan.
Giridhārī dāsa: In the stage of aniṣṭhitā-bhakti (unsteady bhakti, the stage of bhakti wherein the practitioner is still full of anarthas that act as obstacles to his advancement), is there some sequence of how the symptoms come and go, or can they come and go at any time?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: There must be some sequence.
Giridhārī dāsa: They won’t come, for example, two at a time?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: They may all be present at the same time. But gradually one after another will be given up. The first symptom is utsāha-mayī (false confidence) and then ghana-tarala (sporadic endeavor). First he will learn something, and in learning something he will have taste and sometimes not. Then there is vyūdha-vikalpā (indecision), visaya-saṅgarā (struggle with the senses), niymāksamā (inability to uphold vows), and taraṅga-ranginī (enjoying the facilities offered by bhakti). There is a sequence.
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: Gurudeva, Śrautī Mahārāja remembers so much hari-kathā, but when you ask him to give class, he becomes shy.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: [To Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja] You should preach boldly. When you give class, you can think that those in the audience are like dry straws, knowing nothing.
Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja: What if they think the same thing about me while I am speaking?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You must think that way about them. Then you can speak; otherwise, you will be too shy.
I see that our preachers – like Vana Mahārāja, Nemi Mahārāja, and Tīrtha Mahārāja – go alone to a specific country, and so many devotees follow them and join their party as they travel in that country.
It will be good if you do that too. Don’t be discouraged. You know so much hari-kathā. You must do this. Don’t be weak.
Śrīpāda Śrautī Mahārāja: But these preachers are traveling all over the world.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You can also do that. You can travel all over France; you can go to Nigeria and so many other places.
Śrīpāda Nemi Mahārāja: Śrautī Mahārāja thinks that you ordered him not to leave Toulouse.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I suggested that he preach there only because he knows French. The devotees there should be helped.
Brajanāth dāsa: If he stays there, he loses his inspiration.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: In that case he need not remain there.
Vṛndā-devī dāsī: There are so many countries where people speak only French. He is our only French sannyāsī.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Oh, yes.
Śrīpāda Sajjana Mahārāja: For example, the people speak French in Montreal, French Guyana, Trinidad, and Mauritius.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: He can preach there.
[Excerpted from the Gaudiya Vedanta Publication “Walking With a Saint 2007”]