To attain an eternal relation with the rūpānuga guru-varga and rāgātmika Vrajavāsīs, we must follow the footsteps of Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. By this there will be some hope that one day we may attain that relationship. Like one person who came to the ocean but how can he cross the ocean? He is clueless. He waits and contemplates how to cross.
You don’t know the process. If you don’t take shelter of the guru-varga, then this ocean of material existence is very dangerous. If you take shelter of any rūpānuga Ācārya, then he will come with a boat and help you easily cross.”
Paurṇamāsī Devī is very kind for everyone. Without her mercy, no one can enter Vṛndāvana Dhāma. They don’t know the real process.
Many people sit and wait at Rādhā-kuṇḍa but they don’t know how to establish a relationship, or gain darśana of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. If one has no adhikāra, then he can’t touch or see Rādhā-kuṇḍa.
But by remembering Rādhā-kuṇḍa’s glories, and by chanting, praying and being related to any Vrajavāsī, it is very easy to understand everything.
The 16th verse says—
pādābjayos tava vinā vara-dāsyam eva
nānyat kadāpi samaye kila devi yāce
sākhyāya te mama namo ‘stu namo ‘stu nityaṁ
dāsyāya te mama raso ‘stu raso ‘stu satyam
“O queen, I shall never ask You for anything other than direct service to Your lotus feet. I offer my respectful obeisances to Your friendship. I offer my respectful obeisances to Your friendship again and again. May I find Your service as sweet as nectar. May I find Your service as sweet as nectar.”
“He Devī, O brilliant Devī, you manifest a relationship in the jīvas’ heart. All souls are near the Supreme Soul, but they have no desire to interact with or serve Him. Since millions of lives we have been serving the senses and mind, and the expansions of the senses. We have a relation with the body made up of five elements. We continuously serve them and thus become blind, unable to see the supersoul.”
“O Devī, please help me. I have come to your lotus feet. Where? In Vraja-maṇḍala, at the bank of Govardhana. Not only there, I am waiting close to Rādhā-kuṇḍa.”
Like an ordinary boy tries to take admission in school but how will he be accepted as a student? He has to do oral and written tests. His tutor will ask, “Follow these rules and principles. Come to all the classes, and slowly, one day you will be a good student.”
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays with a simple mood, “He Devī! I came close to Your lotus feet at Rādhā-kuṇḍa and am praying for Your service. You have many followers and servants, may they teach me, accept me, and help me become Your servant. Give me this boon. Then they will accept me. Otherwise without Your desire and instructions, no one will care for me or accept me. Then I will be a failure and useless. I pray to You today for dāsya. Don’t think that I will pray for Your friendship. No! Never, never, never in my life do I want to be directly Your sakhī or close friend? I only want to be your servant. I will stay with Your servants and serve you continuously. I promise that my desire is only for this. I request You again and again only for this post as a small servant of Your lotus feet.”
Many ordinary people come and stay near Rādhā-kuṇḍa, praying for mundane things with many supplications. They wait until their desires are fulfilled and then run without ever returning. Taking something mundane they then run away.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “Caitanya-candra offered me to the lotus feet of Girirāja Govardhana and to Your lotus feet as guñjā-mālā. From that day I was very greedy to attain Your service. Please accept me. Caitanya-candra offered me and said, “You are the servant of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.” Then for a long time I studied this process and have now come to Your lotus feet. Now I am only praying to You for dāsya, service. Please bestow this boon upon me. May I never have desire for the service of any other.”
In this world many people come near Guru, Vaiṣṇavas, God, and holy dhāmas, but they don’t pray for dāsya, they pray, “Please give me a boon,” for something material. And then they go and make a relation with other ordinary people, and follow their footsteps. Now they are servants of ordinary people, they are slaves of companies, their wife, children, parents, husbands, and so forth. They have a deep desire to serve others. But they don’t pray, “How will I be your permanent servant?” This prayer is necessary. We must follow svarūpa-siddha-praṇālī. True relationship is permanent. But we have no desire for this permanent relation. Today we are near Guru and serving Gurudeva and the Vaiṣṇavas. We are following their footsteps, but some days later we run to one dog and continuously serve this dog and other animals. This is a great problem. We came, but we return back. We achieve many things, but use them all for the wrong purpose. How can we use everything for the service of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī? This is good. If we give up Their service, then we will have to suffer for millions of more lives. Why is there this cycle of birth and death? For many lives I served many others and because of that result, I suffer from sinful reactions.
maj-janmanaḥ phalam idaṁ madhu-kaiṭabhāre
mat prārthanīya mad-anugraha eṣa eva
bhṛtyasya-bhṛtyam iti māṁ smara lokanātha
O Supreme Lord of all, slayer of the demons Madhu and Kaitabha! Please be merciful to me and grant my prayer that You may remember me as a servant of Your servant’s servant, a servant of such a servant of Your servant’s servant, a servant of a servant of Your servant’s servant, and a servant of Your servant’s servant servant.
ayi nanda-tanuja kiṅkaraṁ
patitaṁ māṁ viṣame bhavāmbudhau
kṛpayā tava pāda-paṅkaja-
“O Nanda-nandana, as a result of my fruitive activities, I have fallen into this fearful ocean of material existence. Please bestow Your mercy upon this eternal servant of Yours. Consider me to be just like a speck of dust at Your lotus feet and always accept me as Your purchased servant.”
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays to Rādhārānī, “I don’t desire anything else; only the post as Your servant. This is my prayer. Please accept me.”
This is called deep faith, deep desire, deep love and deep attachment. I don’t like the service of any other, I don’t like any other post, I only desire Rādhārānī’s service.
“He Śrīmatī! I came to the bank of your Rādhā-kuṇḍa, please give me Your dāsya, nothing else. If I become Your sakhī, I would be very proud and think that I am great. Then I would go the wrong way. Give me this small post as Your servant, meaning, please give me instructions at any time. I will do everything by Your order. Give me an order like, ‘Go to Nanda-bhavana and clean pots.’ Yes I am ready to do that. Or order me, ‘Clean the drains of Nanda-bhavana.’ Yes, I will clean the drains and dry them.
“When You are coming from Yāvaṭa with your sakhīs, I shall decorate the pathway with flowers. I will be ready for this service. Please accept me. Please give me any order.”
This is our permanent relationship, permanent service, and our prayer to attain this highest thing.
“No, no, no, don’t neglect me, give this dāsya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught me and Svarūpa Dāmodara taught me. I swear that I like nothing else but the position of a servant. I have this deep desire, please accept me nearby your lotus feet and give me instructions.”
Ānandinī-śakti, hlādini-śakti, kriyā-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, gives this active mood. How can we run continuously serve? Anyhow, anywhere You send me, I am ready for service. I will clean and do everything.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays like this. When you come to Vṛndāvana, first pray to svarūpa-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. If She accepts us and gives us service, then automatically, very easily, Kṛṣṇa will give all blessings to us and will give us entrance, and He will be very happy.
Therefore this rule is very important in our gauḍīya-rūpānuga -paramparā.
First Dāsa Gosvāmī did not run to Rādhā-kuṇḍa. His Guru Mahārāja was Yadunandana Ācārya, Balarāma Ācārya was his priest and Advaita Ācārya his helper and guardian. Haridāsa Ṭhākura went there daily to meet and help him. Then with the mercy of Nityānanda Prabhu he went to Jagannātha Purī, to the lotus feet of Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu offered him to Svarūpa Dāmodara, who taught and took care of him. Later he came to Rādhā-kuṇḍa and prayed to svarūpa-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārānī.
If Śrīmatī Rādhārānī accepts us, then we will have problem in life. If we don’t know the process and come to jump in Rādhā-kuṇḍa and try to stay there by force, our desires will take us out of Vṛndāvana. We will have no relation with Vṛndā-devī and the Vrajavāsīs. Why? We have no desire to serve. If we are not a servant of Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, we will run for the service of others.
This is a disease. This treatment is necessary. Without treatment, without any nursing system, without medicine, this disease cannot be cured.
Yesterday we heard what medicine is necessary. This vraja-raja, kuṁkum, alta, alakya, smear this vraja-raja on your body and roll in this dust. Take this dust, raja. This raja is the most helpful. No other medicine will help us. Yesterday we heard that verse.
Now, we hear the 17th verse—
tatibhir adhika-tuṣṭyā cihnitī-kṛtya bāhū
nakha-dalita-haridra-garva-gaurī priyāṁ me
caraṇa-kamala-sevāṁ hā kadā dāsyasi tvam
“O queen whose fair complexion scratches with its nails the pride of yellow turmeric, when, happily marking my arms with auspicious markings embraced by charming red lac, will You give me the dear service of Your lotus feet?”
“He Gaurāṅgī Rādhe, Gaurī, you are the golden-limbed. Not only this, Your body is made up of kṛṣṇa-prema, it is the deity of Kṛṣṇa’s heartfelt love. How can I go to Your lotus feet?
“When will that day come that You will give me some order like, ‘Oh, smear flower pollen on my feet.’ When will that day come? I will decorate nice barley, sesame, and small designs on Your lotus feet. Kṛṣṇa’s loveful eyes will look and be very happy, ‘Oh, who has decorated Rādhārānī’s lotus feet today? This is a very beautiful decoration.’
Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is the color of melted gold. But gold is generally hard and Rādhārānī is very soft and sweet. All Kṛṣṇa’s love is present there, and from Her it spreads everywhere in this world to all living entities.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “Please give me some chance for the service of decorating your feet. Taking kuṁkum and saffron flower pollen full of anurāga, I will decorate Śrīmatī Rādhārānī’s feet.”
Then he feels, “I serve Her feet for some time, but am not present there continuously.”
He then prays, “How can I be one particle of kuṁkum, and continuously be close to Your lotus feet serving You, not going any other way. I will present continuously at Your feet. O Śrīmatī Rādhārānī, when will that day come that, in the early morning, I will wash Your feet and then smear a mixture of sandalwood paste, saffron mehindi and gorocanā on them?”
He then prays, “As you walk from Yāvaṭa to Nandagāon to cook in the kitchen for Kṛṣṇa, I will arrange for Your cooking by cleaning, and bringing pots and utensils. When will that day come that you give me this chance and order for service?”
Does Dāsa Gosvāmī only pray for this? No! With his soul svarūpa, in the early morning he is in Yāvaṭa with Śrīmatī Rādhārānī. From there he comes to Nandagrāma and continuously serves. He prays simply to give indication for the sadhakas to show them how to attain this.
Now we will hear the 18th kusumāñjali.
praṇālīṁ kīlālair bahubhir abhi saṅkṣalya madhurair
mudā sammarjya svair vivṛta-kaca-vṛndaiḥ priyatayā
kadā bāhyāgāraṁ vara-parimalair dhūpa-nivahair
vidhāsye te devi pratidinam aho vāsitam aham
“O queen, when with great love and happiness will I daily rinse the drains of Your house with pure water, dry them with my own hair, and then scent Your garden pavilion with an abundance of sweetly fragrant incense?
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “Everyday, with clean water I will clean all the drains nearby Nanda-bhavana.”
Many bad things are in my heart, the guru-varga carefully do this ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam, they clean my heart, which is now like a filthy drain. The guru-varga clean our anarthas. The Vaiṣṇavas take a broom and brush to wash our hearts, performing this ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. They do this very carefully and softly, not very hard. They squeeze and smash but very politely and with a soft brush and cloth. There is so much dirt inside our heart, collected from millions of lives.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “The drain is my good friend. I will daily clean the drains in Nandagrāma, Varsānā and Yāvaṭa. Then I will place nice perfumes, scents, and incense inside to make that area fragrant.”
If we follow this example of service then there will be nothing dirty remaining in our hearts and no bad desire will come and pull us away from service.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “He Devī, when will that glorious day come?” He is crying and his tears are flowing.
There is the process of prayer. First Dāsa Gosvāmī prays for the service of Her lotus feet. Then he says, “This is not enough for me. My Śrīmatī Rādhārānī walks on this path. If I don’t clean it, then how can I feel well?”
A temple doesn’t mean only the pūjārī’s room, or the Deity’s room. The temple area is everywhere. The garden, drain, kitchen, the brahmacārīs’ rooms, and all other places in the temple compound all part of the temple. If everything is dirty then that is not God’s place, it is then not a temple, it is a tāmasika dark place. Should it be rājasika or sātvika? No! A real temple must be nirguṇa and always clean. Therefore I tell many times that one should be neat and clean, fresh and green, white and quiet, and then everything is right.
Everywhere Śrīmatī Rādhārānī goes, everything is fragrant. If you can do this then you are a sevaka. Only cleaning your own body and wearing a nice clean dress is not everything. Because of your internal and external uncleanliness, your anarthas do not leave you, and you become disturbed and suffer, and make no relation with Vṛndāvana. Don’t you know that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śyāmānanda, and Śrīnivāsa and many others came near Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī to learn from him.
One day Śyāmānanda Prabhu asked, “Prabhu, you taught all the Gosvāmīs’ books, but how can practical realization come?”
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī said, “Practically follow what you have been taught by serving. Go and sweep the pathways of Vṛndāvana.”
But now we only talk and if we have to take a broom and sweep, after a few minutes we will say, “I will feel back pain. I am a high class person, how can I do such a demeaning service?”
Śrī Prabhodānanda Sarasvatī prayed:
yat-kiṅkarīṣu bahuśaḥ khalu kāku-vāṇī,
nityaṁ parasya puruṣasya śikhaṇḍa-mauleḥ
tasyāḥ kadā rasa-nidheḥ vṛṣabhānu-jāyās
O daughter of Vṛṣabhānu Mahārāja, ocean of rasa, that beautiful boy who wears a gracefully tilting peacock feather in His hair is actually the original Personality of Godhead. Still, He is always falling at the feet of Your maidservants and pitifully begging them with many humble words to gain entrance into Your kuñja where the two of You engage in Your playful loving pastimes. My life would be successful if I could even be one stick in the broom Your maidservants use to clean Your delightful kuñja.
Our guru-varga pray like this.
But now we stay in Vṛndāvana and don’t serve Vṛndāvana at all, thinking, “This is cow dung, I can’t touch it! It smells so bad!” Or, “How will I clean the kitchen? My body will get dirty.” Because you have dirt within, you see only dirt without. You say, “But I am Queen Elizabeth, how can I clean?” “I am a great famous sportsman.” Or, “I am a hi-fi Hawaiian.”
I can’t do anything. Why? My heart is a garbage dump. Then how can I clean outside?
Even a dog cleans some place with its tail before it sleeps.
If I can’t clean my heart, then everything will be dirty around me. Like a piglet, I will sleep in any dirty place. But if one is clean within, then one will clean everywhere without, and one will have to desire for continuously serving.
Dāsa Gosvāmī told, “I learnt from Gaurahari the process of service in Vraja-maṇḍala.”
Therefore he said, “With my hair I will clean the drains and decorate the pathways of Vraja very nicely. When Śrīmatī Rādhārānī walks along with the sakhīs and mañjarīs, all will see, ‘This area is very nice and clean.’
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu had a desire to come to Vṛndāvana, and was on the way, Nakula brahmacārī sat far away in meditation, and within he was making the way very nice with soft grass, and placing banana and palm trees on the sides of the pathways, and wells of pure water, then at one point he announced to the devotees, “Mahāprabhu is not going to Vṛndāvana, my service has stopped. Mahāprabhu will not go forward. I was serving him and he accepted my service, but then the flow of service stopped, and I knew he would not go any further.”
If you have desire for eternal service, then svarūpa-śakti will give all types of power, potency, taste—everything.
Otherwise the heart becomes dry like a desert, you become restless and will suffer everywhere. Anywhere you go you will burn because you have no desire for service. Only theory and thesis is not everything. This is knowledge, but how will knowledge be active? Only if you practically do something! Our Dāsa Gosvāmī and our guru-varga always follow everything as it is, showing us by their example.
Dāsa Gosvāmī has no hair in sādhaka body, he is old. Where did this hair come from?
siddha-rūpeṇa cātra hi
“He who has developed greed for rāgātmikā-bhakti should closely follow in the footsteps of the particular associates in Vraja whose moods he aspires for. Under their guidance, he should engage in service both in his external form as a sādhaka, and internally with his perfected spiritual body.”
In the sādhaka body you must serve very strongly with a strong mood and deep vairāgya. Externally the bona fide sādhaka follows all rules and regulations, while within, he meditates on his service with his siddha-svarūpa.
The 19th verse says—
prātaḥ sudhāṁśu-militāṁ mṛdam atra yatnād
āhṛtya vāsita-payaś ca gṛhāntare ca
pādāmbuje bata kadā jala-dhārayā te
prakṣālya bhāvini kacair iha mārjayāmi
“When, at Your house early in the morning, will I carefully wash Your two lotus feet with camphor-scented water and then dry them with my hair?”
“He Bhavānī! He Sundarī! In the early morning, I will clean the ground in the house. I will mix sand, clay and cow dung with camphor and will then clean the ground.”
If you go to villages you will see that every morning villagers mix cow dung with water, camphor and clay until it becomes like a liquid. They clean all places and smear this on the ground. Then no ants, bacteria, dirty smell, or insects will come. The smell is very nice and it will dry soon, it is not wet for a long time but quickly dries, and then after this they make artful decorations on the ground.
If you go to those homes you will see that they are very clean and simple living.
A stone floor is hard, although it may appear nice, but if you clean your room everyday with cow dung, it will become soft, and won’t be slippery when wet. If anyone falls the ground will give soft impact. Also, in the hot summer the floor will be cool, and in winter season it will be insulating, and will keep out the cold.
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “When you wake and come out of Your room, I will wash your feet and dry them with my hair.”
If you place water in a clay pot and put a cotton cloth on top of it, and then put some camphor and flowers down and also cover them, then the next morning you will see that this water has a very nice fragrance. The smell of camphor, roses and lotuses goes inside. When you look in the early morning, the flowers are still very fresh, and a good smell is inside the water.
Dāsa Gosvāmī says, “I will not only wash Your feet with this water. For the flow of this water many ṛṣis, maharṣis, and others are waiting to drink this caranamrta, but without Your permission I will not give one drop to anyone.
When Caitanya Mahāprabhu went into to Jagannātha’s temple in Purī, He would first wash his feet. But He had Govinda Prabhu wait with Svarūpa Dāmodara to not allow anyone to touch or drink this water.
But now all are mahā-bhāgavatas. They put their feet forward and say, “Wash my feet and take caraṇāmṛta, then your life will be successful.”
This is not our paramparā. Śrīmatī Rādhārānī is very strong, She will not give a drop of Her foot bath water to anyone unqualified.
Caitanya Mahāprabhu only gave to one person, Jhoda Ṭhākura. How
I have heard that some say on Facebook, “There are no Vaiṣṇavas in our saṅga.” How is there idea?
If Jhoda Ṭhākura heard that anywhere, anyone was doing nāma-saṅkīrtana, even if they were a dog-eater, a cobbler, or the lowest of people, if anyone was chanting harināma and doing bhajana of Hari, he went and gave them a gift and anyhow took their remnants and came back.
Jhoda Ṭhākura would eat the remnants of Vaiṣṇavas and thus made his body sanctified.
He came to Jagannātha Purī in his old age and he took a handful of Mahāprabhu’s footbath water as Mahāprabhu entered the temple, and all the people present there were very surprised, thinking, “How did Mahāprabhu allow this?”
Mahāprabhu said, “I know you, you faithfully take the mahā-prasāda of all Vaiṣṇavas.”
If you don’t think there are any Vaiṣṇavas, it means you don’t take the mahā-prasāda remnants of any Vaiṣṇavas. You eat contaminated māyā prasāda, by this your intelligence has been defeated. You are now blind and can’t see any Vaiṣṇavas. Without Vaiṣṇavas, how can bhakti run on in this world? How can God be pleased and happy? This world will be destroyed without any Vaiṣṇavas. But you are eating the remnants of māyā, and by this you have become contaminated, dirty and blind. Therefore you can’t see any Vaiṣṇavas. If you take the mahā-prasāda of Vaiṣṇavas, then realization will come to you.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays, “He Rādhārānī! With camphor I shall clean this room and shall wash Your feet. I will carefully save this water. I will not give it to anyone without Your will. I will wait for your order to come to me.”
The next verse says—
prakṣālya pāda-kamalaṁ kṛta-danta-kāṣṭāṁ
snānārtham anya-sadane bhavatīṁ niviṣṭām
abhyājya-gandhitatarair iha taila-pūraiḥ
prodvartayiṣyati kadā kim u kiṅkarīyam
“When will this maidservant brush Your teeth with a twig, wash Your lotus feet, and, when You have entered another room, massage You with scented oil?”
“O Rādhe, when will that day come that I will wash your feet and smear arbhata, kuṁkum, mehindi and candana on them, and offer some flowers at your feet. Then I will arrange for you a bath. First I will massage your body with oil, and then I will arrange water for your bath.
After washing the foot, one gives a nice toothbrush, not a plastic one, one of a tree branch, making it soft and giving that.
Like Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Jagannātha Purī, would go to maṅgala-āratī, and after maṅgala-āratī, the pujārīs gave the toothbrush of Jagannātha to Mahāprabhu. Mahāprabhu took this and respectfully touched it to his head. He then went and met with Haridāsa and told. “Today Jagannātha gave me a presentation, I will give this to you. This is your guardian and helper. You are alone here, this is your good friend. God’s prasadam is the good friend of all.”
Mahāprabhu dug in the ground and planted this toothbrush. After some days there was a big tree with nice shade, this was daru-brahma manifesting Himself. Jagannātha Himself came near Haridāsa Ṭhākura to give him darśana and to continuously hear harināma and the songs of the Vaiṣṇavas. Under that tree, everyday, all the devotees came along with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and they met there to perform nāma-saṅkīrtana.
This toothbrush is not ordinary. This toothbrush is also present now after 550 years.
Dāsa Gosvāmī prays to Radharani, “I will give You a toothbrush and will then arrange nice oils of many kinds, sesame oil, mixed with camphor, and saffron oil, and also will massage You with arbata.” Arbata is a mixture of pasted neem, raw turmeric and mustard seeds.
If you go to temples of the Lord in Indian, you will see that in the early morning, after maṅgala-āratī, the pujārīs smear nice oils on the Deities, like sesame oil, or coconut oil mixed with camphor, and then use arbata, candana, and kuṁkum on the Deities. They then bath the Deities and make designs on Them with alta.
Then a relation comes. But it is not possible for all. One pujārīs or two are in a temple doing puja, but how can all the other devotees do this? Therefore they should do mānasi-pūja everyday. How can devotees establish relationship? Therefore during guru-mantra, they worship Gurudeva and serve Gurudeva. And in the time of Gaura mantra, Gaurahari should be internally worshipped, and during Kṛṣṇa mantra, then Kṛṣṇa should be worshipped. This is called really chanting guru-mantra. Not only quickly chanting mindlessly and running away. Then one won’t make a relation with God and His associates. Mantra means Manah trāyate iti mantra. While chanting mantra one should throw out all dirt from the mind and engage the mind in service of the mantra-devatā, the Lord of the mantra. This is the process of chanting a mantra. Then the mantra liberates the mind. Practice this, then slowly you will cross māyā and get a relation with the eternal world and the Vrajavāsīs and will have no problems in life.
[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]