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Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

 

 

Rpnuga-Vaiavas

 

Strong faith in the self-realized Guru, and in the entire guru-parampar, is the backbone of bhakti. If you do not have such strong faith, your life is unsuccessful.

That strong faith brings you to akhaa-guru-tattva (the embodiment of the complete principle of guru), r Baladeva Prabhu. You will ultimately see that Gurudeva is the manifestation of r Nitynanda Prabhu or r Baladeva Prabhu. If you pray for something from your Guru, Nitynanda Prabhu and akhaa-guru-tattva Baladeva Prabhu will at once arrange everything. This is because Gurudeva is not separate from r Nitynanda Prabhu.

You should not think that rla Bhaktivednta Swm Prabhupda has discovered something new, and that we are Prabhupdnugas. Some think, Just as there are rpnuga-vaiavas, so we are Prabhupdnuga. This conception is completely ignorant.[1]  All our cryas have told us to follow the rpnuga-vaiavas.

r Caitanya Mahprabhu inspired within the heart of rla Rpa Gosvm the essence of all spiritual truths: knowledge of the Vedas, Upaniads and all other scriptures. Then, by the Lords mercy, rla Rpa Gosvm knew Mahprabhus heart:

 

r-caitanya-mano-bha

      sthpita yena bh-tale

svaya rpa kad mahya

      dadti sva-padntikam

 

When will rla Rpa Gosvm Prabhupda, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet? (r Prema-bhakti-candrik 1.38)

 

By the mercy of r Caitanya Mahprabhu, rla Rpa Gosvm manifested many books, such as r Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu, r Ujjvala-nlamai and r Upademta. He explained everything about vraja-bhakti in r Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu and r Ujjvala-nlamai, and he wrote the latter especially to give gop-prema.

He explained in Bhakti-rasmta-sindhu that bhakti can be experienced in five moods and five kinds of services: nta, dsya, sakhya, vtsalya and mdhurya. Among them, three are prominent: sakhya, vtsalya and mdhurya. The mood of the Vrajavss, the residents of Vraja, is vraja-bhakti; the mood of the gops is mdhurya-rasa in vraja-bhakti; and the mood of rmat Rdhik is the pinnacle of vraja-bhakti.

Those who follow the path of rgnuga in any rasa other than majar-bhva in mdhurya-rasa are not rpnuga. Those following the path of sakhya- and vtsalya-rasa are rgnuga, but they are not rpnuga. Those who follow in the personal mood of r Rpa-majar and rla Rpa Gosvm are actually rpnuga.

What is the mood of Rpa-majar? She is a ds, maidservant, of Ka and Rdhik, but with an inclination towards rmat Rdhik. Actually, she is a ds of rmat Rdhik, and in this way she serves Ka also. If rmat Rdhik is happy, then Ka will automatically be happy. If Ka has been neglecting someone but that person has taken shelter of rmat Rdhik, then Ka is bound to accept him.

 

yasya prasdd bhagavat-prasdo

      yasyprasdn na gati kuto pi

dhyya stuvas tasya yaas tri-sandhya

      vande guro r-cararavindam

 

Only by the mercy of r Gurudeva can one receive the mercy of Ka; without his grace the living entities cannot make any advancement, nor can they be delivered. Meditating three times a day on the glories of r Gurudeva and reciting stava-stuti, I offer prayers unto his lotus feet. (r Gurvaakam, verse 8)

 

Suppose you have made a mistake and committed an offense at the lotus feet of r Ka, or you have neglected Him, but at the same time you have taken shelter at the lotus feet of your qualified Guru. In that case Ka may forgive you. r Guru will tell Ka, You must forgive him. You are bound to forgive him, because I have accepted him.

On the other hand, if Ka is about to accept that person, but Guru is neglecting him and is upset, then Ka will also neglect him.

In the same way, even if Ka has neglected someone, if that person takes shelter of the lotus feet of rmat Rdhik, Ka is bound to give him special mercy.

 

rdhik-ds yadi haya abhimna

sigrai milai taba gokula-kna

 

If you develop pride in being rmat Rdhiks exclusive maidservant, then very quickly you will meet Gokula Kna. (r Rdh Bhajana Mahim 5)

 


 


[1] Unless you become rpnuga, you cannot understand the Gauya philosophy.

(Nectar of Devotion. Vndvana, October 18, 1972)

 

 

At the time of his divine departure from this world, Parama-pjypada rla Bhaktivednta Swm Mahrja ordered me, You should serve me by performing my samdhi ceremony. He knew the meaning and significance of entering samdhi, as well as the proper procedures to be performed at that time.

Samdhi is a Sanskrit word consisting of the two syllables, sama-dhi. Sama means the same and dhi means intelligence. When the pure devotee takes samdhi, it means that upon departing from this world he enters the same level, position and spiritual mood as the personal associates of his worshipful Deity. He is serving in that realm according to his own svarpa (constitutional form), with equal qualities, intelligence and beauty as those associates. rla Swm Mahrjas worshipful Deity is rmat Rdhik, and he serves Her under the guidance of Her personal associates, the majars.

Your rla Prabhupda has preached about Lord Jaganntha-deva, r Ka-Balarma and various manifestations of r r Rdh-Ka. But from his writings, books and personal meetings and visits, I am absolutely sure that his worshipful Deity is rmat Rdhik, and he sees r Ka as Her Beloved.

The Complete Conception

 

At the time of rla Swm Mahrjas entering samdhi, his desire was to assist rmat Rdhik in that very place where She renders Her services to r Ka. He was one with the mood of Her maidservants, and he requested my service at that time.

The leader of the majars, r Rpa-majar, serves rmat Rdhik when Rdhik wants to meet with Ka. In the dark of night she dresses Rdhik in black clothes, and ties Her ankle-bells in such a way that they will not make any sound. At the time of dressing Rdhik, she may decorate Her with a necklace, with the Syamantaka jewel as its centerpiece. At that time she may say, This jewel is the friend of r Kas Kaustubha jewel. In this way, Rdhik is reminded of Her pastimes with Lord Ka and bestows all Her mercy upon r Rpa-majar魭, who always gives so much uddpana (inspiration) to Her bhva

If one has the mood to assist in his Gurus service to r Rpa-majar or rmat Rdhik, he renders the best service. I do not know why rla Swm Mahrja gave me the mercy of giving him uddpana as he entered samdhi. I performed this service by decorating him with tilaka and by writing certain sacred mantras with sandlewood paste on his chest. These decorations indicated his personal services to his worshipful Deity, rmat Rdhik.

Just before his departure from this world, he requested me to sing r Rpa-majar-pada:

 

r rpa-majar-pada,               sei mora sampada,

            sei mora bhajana-pjana

The lotus feet of r Rpa-majar are my dearmost treasure. They are the topmost object of my worship and inner devotional practices. (r Rpa-majar-pada 1)

sei mora pra-dhana,               sei mora bharaa,

             sei mora jvanera jvana

 

Her lotus feet are my most cherished wealth, more dear than my own life. They are the exquisite ornament of my life, and indeed, the very essence of my existence. (r Rpa-majar-pada 2)

 

This is the best sakrtana of r Rpa-majar, who can lead us to Rdhiks service. While I sang this bhajana, I saw that rla Swm Mahrjas face was sometimes colored with one transcendental mood and sometimes with another. I requested my brahmacr, eay prabhu, to sing with me as I personally performed this krtana for him just as I did for my Gurudeva at the time of his entering samdhi. There were many similarities between my dk-guru, rla Bhakti Prajna Keava Gosvm Mahrja, and rla Bhaktivednta Swm Mahrja. I did what rla Swm Mahrja ordered me to do for him, and I feel so fortunate that he gave me this service. 

Also just before his departure, he ordered me: You should advise and help my disciples, all GBC (Governing Body Commision) devotees, and all devotees connected with me.

I did not think I could help them at that time, for I considered them higher in rank than myself. I thought, They have so much guru-nih, faith in the lotus feet of their Gurudeva. They are far more advanced than I am. They know the conclusive truths of the Ka Consciousness philosophy better than I. How can I help them? But my ik-guru gave some inspiration in my heart.

By rla Swm Mahrjas inspiration I came to know that many disciples were misunderstanding his real identity. They were guessing that his constitutional form is that of a cowherd friend of Ka. When I heard this, I experienced so much pain in my heart for them they did not have accurate knowledge or feelings about him. I realized that it is my duty to give them faith in the complete conception of him, that he is in mdhurya-rasa. Sakhya-rasa is included within mdhurya-rasa [See Endnote 1], so sakhya-bhva is also within him. 

 

How Deep is the Mountain

 

There are two ways to see our Gurudeva, and in this connection an analogy can be given of the Himalayan Mountains. The height of the Himalayas is one thing and its depth is another. We can somewhat see its height, but we cannot see what is hidden deep within the ground. We saw that rla Swm Mahrja collected a large number of disciples throughout the world in practically no time; we saw all varieties of his height. He loved everyone, and everyone felt, He loves me so much. We also saw this in our Guru Mahrja.

However, we cannot know how deep r Guru is. rla Swm Mahrja used to sing r Gurvaakam with a profound mood and tears in his eyes in samdhi. He did not see who was looking at him and who was not, who was taking part and who was not. He was simply absorbed in singing and playing his karatlas.

The first four verses of r Gurvaakam contain very high subject matter that we can realize and see. But at present we cannot realize the next two verses:

r-rdhik-mdhavayor apra-

     mdhurya-ll-gua-rpa-nmnm

prati-kasvdana-lolupasya

     vande guro r cararavindam

At every moment r Gurudeva is experiencing intense greed in his heart to taste the unlimited sweetness of the holy names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of r r Rdh-Mdhava in Vndvana. I offer my prayers unto the lotus feet of r Gurudeva. (r Gurvaakam, verse 5)

nikuja-yno rati-keli-siddhyai

     y ylibhir yuktir apekany

tatrti-dkyd ati-vallabhasya

     vande guro r cararavindam

 

r Gurudeva is always present with the sakhs, planning the arrangements for the perfection of Yugala-kioras amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kujas of Vndvana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to r Rdh and Ka. I offer my prayers unto the lotus feet of r Gurudeva. (r Gurvaakam, verse 6)

Only one who is equal to his self-realized Guru can understand his depth. A kaniha-adhikr (novice devotee) and a madhyama-adhikr (intermediate devotee) cannot guess how deep his feelings are. They cannot begin to imagine the fathomless moods of ka-prema and rdh-prema in their Gurus heart. Without being an uttama-adhikr, a topmost pure devotee, one cannot understand.

Kaniha- and madhyama-adhikr devotees can see his height, his aivarya (opulence), the way in which he collected disciples and very quickly preached all over the world. But it is more valuable to see his depth. He has not collected disciples just so we can experience his height. Ultimately, he brought us to him with the sole aim of giving us his deep thoughts. Of course this will take time; it could take many births to realize this.

When I look towards him and remember his orders, I become moved, knowing that he is engaged in nikuja-yno rati-keli-siddhyai. The main reason he came was to give this very same service. {See Endnote 2} He came to obey the orders of r Caitanya Mahprabhu, Nitynanda Prabhu [See endnote 3] and r r Rdh and Ka, but he had to spend a great deal of time laying the groundwork for this.

His Gurudeva was in a similar situation. rla Prabhupda Bhaktisiddhnta Sarasvat hkura has said, I came to give some valuable conceptions in rgnuga-bhva, but I could not do so in the way I desired. Most of my life was spent in sweeping and cutting jungles.

This type of preaching is essential. Without preaching vaidh-bhakti the main thing cannot be given, because vaidh-bhakti is a prerequisite for further advancement. rla Sarasvat hkura also used to say that when the Myvda philosophy is present, there can be no preaching of bhakti. We will therefore have to cut the jungles of atheism, Myvda, sahajiyism and other non-Vedic philosophies. We will have to spend time defeating their arguments.  

Now I think that by obeying rla Swm Mahrjas orders, I have been fortunate to play a small role in this deeper mission. If I can inspire rgnuga-bhakti in the hearts of devotees, I will see that I have fulfilled the orders he gave me. This is the best service I can render to his lotus feet.

When you are situated in rgnuga-bhakti, you will be able to factually see his relationship with r r Rdh and Ka in gop-bhva. Then you can deeply think of his services to the Divine Couple in nikuja-yno rati-keli-siddhyai.

He used to sing daily, Jaya rdh-mdhava jaya kuja-bihr gop-jana-vallabha jaya giri-vara-dhr.

rla Swm Mahrja has so much transcendental greed to serve Kuja-Bihr. A cowherd boy does not have these sentiments and exalted conceptions. {See Endnote 5}  The reference to gop-jana-vallabha in this song is also in our gopla-mantra, and it filled his heart. He desired to give the service of gop-jana-vallabha as performed by the gops.

He saw that there were only a few in this world who were qualified for this; the number could be counted on ones fingers. Thus, in order to gradually bring his audiences to a level of understanding, he preached about Lord Jaganntha-deva and established Deities of r St-Rma and r Ka-Balarma.  

The gops also spoke about Rma-Ka in rmad-Bhgavatam, but they were not referring to Balarma. Balarma is sometimes called Rma, but the gops were indicating Ramany-Ka, that is, r Ka the enjoyer of r Rdh. The gops Rma is Ka. Qualified devotees, who have actually received the mercy of their Gurudeva, will understand this.

The best service I can render to his lotus feet is to give even an atom of the feelings of these exalted conceptions to his disciples and followers.

 

Endnote 1:

 

Without the gops, these pastimes between Rdh and Ka cannot be nourished. Only by their cooperation are such pastimes broadcast. It is their business to taste these mellows. (r Caitanya-caritmta, Madhya-ll 8.203)

 

Unless one practices devotional service himself, he cannot teach it to others. This conclusion is indeed confirmed throughout the Gt and Bhgavatam. (r Caitanya-caritmta, di-ll 3.21)

 

 

Endnote 2:

 The Vednta says that God is nandamaya, full of bliss and pleasure, and we are part and parcel of God, we are also of the same quality. nandamayo bhyst. So our whole process is to join the supreme nandamaya, Ka, in His dance party. That will make us actually happy. (Bhagavad-gt 6.1 Los Angeles, February 13, 1969)

 

Endnote 3:

Unless you take shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Nitynanda, rdh-ka pite ni,  it will be very difficult to approach Rdh-Ka. This Ka consciousness movement is for approaching Rdh-Ka, to be associated with the Supreme Lord in His sublime pleasure dance. That is the aim of Ka consciousness. So Narottama dsa hkuras advice is If you actually want to enter into the dancing party of Rdh-Ka, then you must take shelter of the lotus feet of Nitynanda. (Purport to Niti-Pada-Kamala, Los Angeles, December 21, 1968)

 

Endnote 4:

Without the help of the gops, one cannot enter into these pastimes. Only one who worships the Lord in the ecstasy of the gops, following in their footsteps, can engage in the service of r r Rdh-Ka in the bushes of Vndvana. Only then can one understand the conjugal love between Rdh and Ka. There is no other procedure for understanding. (r Caitanya-caritmta, Madhya-ll 8.204-205)

 

The means for returning home, for going back to Godhead, is devotional service, but everyone has a different taste in the Lords service. One may be inclined to serve the Lord in servitude (dsya-rasa), fraternity (sakhya-rasa) or parental love (vtsalya-rasa), but none of these can enable one to enter into the service of the Lord in conjugal love. To attain such service, one has to follow in the footsteps of the gops in the ecstasy of sakh-bhva. Then only can one understand the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. (r Caitanya-caritmta, Madhya-ll 8.204-205, purport)

 

Endnote 5:

 

 

               

 

 

 

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