Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami Maharaja
A Brief Life Sketch of Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami
How to Find a Sadhu? - A Society Without Envy
Questions and Answers with
Devotee: How does one recognize a sadhu?
Gour Govinda Swami: Cry before Krishna. Only He can help you to find a sadhu. You can’t recognize a sadhu. You have no vision to see the sadhu. If you try by yourself to recognize sadhu, then you will be cheated. If you are serious, then cry before Him. “O Krishna! I am your servant!”
ay nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-
Mahaprabhu has taught us this. This is crying before Krishna. “O nanda-tanuja, son of Nanda Maharaja, I am your kinkara, your sevant. Somehow or other I am fallen here in this dreadful ocen of material existence and I have been drowning from time immemorial. But I want to serve you. How can I serve you? How can I become a speck of dust at Your lotus feet? Please help me.” Just cry. Without the help of sadhu you cannot approach Krishna. You can’t utter Krishna’s name. When you cry like that, Krishna is there in your heart as paramatma. He will say, “Oh now he is crying for Me.” Then he makes an arrangement.
This is the proper way. If by your own effort you try to recognize a sadhu, you will be cheated. You can’t see a sadhu. You have no vision at all. You see only all outward, external things. You can’t see the real thing. There are many persons who are only outwardly sadhus. You will be enchanted by their external activities: “Oh, he is a great sadhu! Yes, he is producing gold!” You will be cheated.
You can’t get a real sadhu [in this way]. A real sadhu is one who is competely absorbed in Krishna, day and night, twenty-four hours. He has gotten Krishna. He is with Krishna. He can give you Krishna. You can’t see him. You have no vision. Only you can cry for Krishna from the core of your heart. This is not an external cry. It is internal. Then Krishna, who is in your heart, will see that you are crying and he will help you. He will make arrangement for you to meet such a sadhu. That is the arrangement of Krishna. When you meet such a person you will feel some spontaneous attraction from the core of your heart. That attraction is the proof.
Devotee: To meet a sadhu is so rare. How can one get the opportunity?
Gour Govinda Swami: It’s a fact that it is rare, but if you are really crying for it then Krishna can make an arrangement. It is impossible for you, but nothing is impossible for Krishna.
--Home program in Vancouver, Canada: May 1993
A Society Without Envy
by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja
[This wonderful lecture was one of the last given by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja, before departing from this world]
Mayapura: February 21, 1995 - Srimad Bhagavatam 4.18.33 - 36
gunadhikam mudam lipsed
maitrim samanad anvicchen
na tapair abhibhuyate
Translation: Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him. In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this material world.
Purport by Srila Prabhupada: Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves, we become envious of him; when we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. Theses are the causes of all material tribulations. The great sage Narada therefore advised that a devotee should act perfectly. Instead of being envious of a more qualified man, one should be jolly to receive him. Instead of being oppressive to a less qualified man, one should be compassionate toward him just to raise him to the proper standard. And when one meets an equal, instead of being proud of one's own activities before him, one should treat him as friend. One should also have compassion for the people in general, who are suffering due to forgetfulness of Krsna. These important functions will make one happy within this material world.
Lecture by Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja
These are the instructions of Narada Muni. Narada Muni is a mahajana, and this is mahajana-vakya, the words of a great personality. Mahajana yei kahe, se satya mani --- what a sadhu-mahajana says, that is truth, satya. Mahasano yena gatah sa pranthah --- the mahajana has shown us the path, and that is the path we have to tread. We have to follow the footprints of the mahajanas. There is no need of manufacturing some new path. Here Narada Muni instructs Dhruva Maharaja how to be happy here --- how one should behave and how he should deal with others so that he will never be affected by the threefold miseries of the material world. "When he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him." These are the dealings of a Vaisnava, a devotee. One who is not a vaisnava, he behaves in the opposite way. As Srila Prabhupada has said in his purport: "Generally we find someone less qualified, we deride him; and when we find someone equal we become very proud of our activities. These are the causes of all material tribulations." Whatever is said here by Narada Muni describes the behavior of a Vaisnava, especially a madhyama-adhikari (second class) Vaisnava.
srimad-bhagvatam pramanam amalam prema pum-artho mahan sri caitany mahaprabhor matam idam tatradaro na parah (Caitanya matta manjusa)
Srimad-Bhagvatam is amala-pramana, the spotless proof, and prema-pum-artho mahan, prema bhakti is the highest truth. These are the opinions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
bhgavati je na mane se yavana sama
tara sasta ache janme hanme prabhu yama
(CB. Adi, 1.39)
On who does not accept Srimad-Bhagavatam is a mleccha and a yavana. He is to be punished by Yamaraj, not for one life, but janme janme -- life after life. So we should accept Srimad Bhagvatam, and all mahajana vakyas are there.
These are the dealings of a madhyama-adhikari:
balisesu dvisatsu ca
yah karoti sa madhyamah
Isvare, one who has developed love for isvara, love for the Supreme Lord Krsna; tad-adhinesu, one who has developed friendship with those who are equal Vaisnavas; balisesu, one who becomes compassionate or merciful towards balisa, ignorant fools, murkha, and dvisatsu ca, one who ignores an offender is a madhyama-adhikari. A madhyama-adhikari behaves in this way.
In Harinama Cintamani also Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahajana, a great acarya in our Gaudiya Vaisnava-parampara, has said like this:
krsne prema krsna bhakte maitri acarana
balisete krpa ara dvesi upeksana
karile madhyuama-bhakta suddha-bhakta hana
krsna-name adhikara karena arjana
Krsne prema krsna-bhakte maitri acarana, one who develops love for Krsna and makes friendship with krsna bhaktas; balisete krpa, one who becomes compassionate or merciful towards a balisa, a murkha, and ignorant fool; are dvesi upeksana, one who ignores an offender; someone who behaves like this is a madhyama-bhakta. Madhyama-bhakta suddha--bhakta hana, such a madhyama-bhakta becomes a suddha-bhakta, a pure devotee. Then what happens? Krsna-name adhikara karena arajana, then he gets adhikara (qualification) in chanting krsna-nama. This is Bhaktivinoda Thakura's instruction.
In this connection we'll also speak about who is a kanishta-adhikari:
arcayam eva haraye
pujam yah sraddayehate
na tad-bhaktesu canyesu
sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah
A kanistha-adhikari is one who offers worship to the Deity form of Lord Hari, arca-vigraha, according to laukika-sraddha (ordinary faith), not sastriya-sraddha (faith based on sastra). It is a question of sraddha. Two types of sraddha are there, sastriya-sraddha and laukika sraddha. When we speak of sraddha we mean sastriya-sraddha. One should develop sastriya-sraddha, not laukika sraddha. And, na tad-bhaktesu canyesu sa bhaktah prakrtah smrtah, one who doesn't pay respect to hari bhakta, the devotee of Lord Hari, and isn't compassionate toward other living entities in whom Lord Hari is present, he is a kanistha-bhakta.
Then who is an uttama-adhikari?:
sarva-bhutesu yah pasyed
bhutani bhagavaty atmany
"The most advanced devotee sees within everything the soul of all souls, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. Consequently he sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord and understands that everything that exists is eternally situated within the Lord." (Bhag. 11.2.45) Also in Caitanya-caritamrta, Stavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti
Sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti (Madhya 8.274)
This is uttama-adhikari. He sees the moving and nonmoving entities, sthaivara-jangama, but he never sees their outward form. What does he see? He sees his ista, his most beloved Deity, Krsna, everywhere, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti. This is a completely Krsna conscious person. And who is completely Krsna conscious and what is complete Krsna consciousness? Krsna says in Bhagavad-gita:
yo man pasyati sarvatra
sarvan ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na panasyami
sa ca me napanasyati
"One who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, he is completely Krsna conscious, tasyaham na panasyami sa ca mena panasyati. I am never out of his sight and he is never out of my sight. He sees Me, I see him. This is complete krsna consciousness. That is an uttama-adhikari. Stavara-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti, he sees moving and nonmoving entities but never sees the outward form. Everywhere he sees his ista, his most beloved Deity, who is there in the heart, Lord Krsna. That is an uttama-adhikari.
Then there is bhagavata-uttama. Who is a bhagavata-uttama?
visrjati hrdayam na yasya saksad
dharir avasabhihito Œpy aghaugha-nasah
sa bhavati bhagavata-pradhana uktah
"One who chants the holy name of the Supreme Lord, Hari, even unconsciously is freed from all sins. When Lord Hari grants liberation from sin to one who even unconsciously or negligently chants His holy name, the position of one who never abandons the shelter of His lotus feet must be considered highly exalted. Such a devotee can never give up the association of the Lord, nor can the Lord give up his association of the Lord, nor can the Lord give up his association. Krsna Himself dwells eternally within his heart. Such a great soul is known as bhagavata-pradhana --- the most exalted devotee of the Lord."
By uttering the name of hari all sinful reactions are destroyed, and that Hari is bound up in the heart of a Vaisanva, pranaya-rasanaya, but the rope of love. In other words, Lord Hari never leaves the heart of such a Vaisnava, a bhagavata-uttama.
According to Faith
Also in Caitanya-caritamrta Kaviraja Gosvami has spoken of these three types of Vaisnavas.
Sraddhavan jana haya bhakti-adhikari
Œuttama', Œmadhyamna', Œkanistha'---sraddha anusari
(CC. Madhya 22.64)
According to one's sraddha, faith, one's eligibility for bhakti is classified as uttama, madhyama or kanistha.
sastra-yuktye sunipuna, drdha-sraddha yanra
Œuttama-adhikari' sei taraye samsara
(CC. Madhya 22.65)
One who is very expert in presenting sastric evidences and who has unflinching faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, unflinching faith in Krsna, drdha-sraddha, he is uttama-adhikari. Taraye samsara, he can deliver the whole world.
sastra yukti nahi jane drdha, sraddhavan
madhyama-adhikari sei maha-bhagyavan
(CC. Madhya 22.67)
Who is madhyama-adhikari? He doesn't know so much sastra-yukti, logical arguments on the basis of revealed scripture, but he is drdha sraddhavan, he has strong faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, strong faith in Krsna. Sadgati-padata krsne karaha visvasa, put complete faith, unflinching faith, in Krsna, who is adgati-padata. One who does so is madhyama-adhikari. Sei maha-bhagyavan, he is very fortunate.
Two Kinds of Faith
Yahara komala sraddha, se Œkanistha' jana
Krame krame tenho bhakta haibe Œuttama'
(CC. Madhya 22.69)
One who has not developed sastriya-sraddha (faith in sastra) but has developed only laukika-sraddha (faith in what common people say), he is kanistha-adhikari. Sastriya-sraddha is described in Caitanya-caritamrta:
Œsraddha'‹sabde---visvasa kahe sudrdhna niscaya krsne bhakti kaile sarva karma krta jaya (CC. Madhya 22.62)
Sraddha means visvas, faith, sudrdha, very strong faith, unflinching faith. Faith in what? Faith in sadhu-sastra-guru, faith in Krsna. This is faith. If someone develops krsna-bhakti, all his activities are finished, krsne bhakti kaile sarva-karma krta haya. Nothing is left out if you have faith.
yahara koimala sraddha, se'kanistha'jana
krame krama tenho bhakta haive'uttama'
(CC Madhya 22.69)
Whose sraddha is soft, who has not developed sastriya-sraddha, only laukika-sraddha, he is kanistha jana, a neophyte. By associating with more elevated Vaisnavas, hearing from them and putting firm faith in their words, gradually he will make advancement and ultimately also become uttama.
What is sastriya-sraddha and what is laukika-sraddha? Sastriya sraddha means unflinching faith in the sastriya siddhantas, the teachings which are given especially as found in the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is the essence of all Vedas, Vedanta, and Upanishadas:
nanyatra syad ratih kvacit
Srila Jiva Gosvami has put emphasis on sastriya-sraddha. One should develop sastriya-sraddha, not laukika-sraddha. One who is a neophyte devotee, a kanistha-adhikari, he has only faith in the words of materialistic people, materialistic scientists, philosophers, etc. He has not developed faith in the words of sadhus, Vaisnavas, mahajanas, those who are acaryas.
For example, people in this locality say, "Oh there is a ghost in that tree." Then someone comes and hears from them. He says, "Oh, the people say there is a ghost in that tree." If he comes to this area when the electricity is off and there is dense darkness, he may see something --- as if someone is standing there wearing white cloth. "Oh, yes! A ghost is there." Because he has heard it from these people. This is laukika-sraddha. But when the electricity comes, he sees, "Oh, what is this" Oh, it is only a dead tree". Because it looks white he thinks it is a ghost.
We should not develop laukika-sraddha. We should develop sastriya-sraddha. Unless you develop sastriya-sraddha, unless you deal with others as Narada Muni has instructed here, then you will be affected by the threefold miseries of this material world. You will never be happy
So who are offenders? Skanda Purana states that there are six types of offenders and they all fall down and go to raurava, naraka (hell).
nindam kurvanti ye mudha
patanti pitrbhih sardham
hanti nindati vai dvesthi
krudhyate yati na harsam
krudhyate yati na harsam
darsane patanani sat
Skanda Purana says, nindam kurvanti ye mudha vaisnavanam mahatmanam --- those who blaspheme a mahatma Vaisnava, they are great offenders. Patanti pitrbhih sardham maharaurava-samhnite - they definitely go to maha-raurava, naraka. Not only them, but pitrbhih (all his ancestors also). The six types of offenders are: those who try to kill a Vaisnava; those who blaspheme a Vaisnava; those who upon seeing a Vaisnava do not pay pranama, obeisances, those who become angry with a Vaisnava; those who develop enmity with a Vaisnava; and those who upon seeing a Vaisnava do not become jolly, but instead curve their faces, "Oh who is he!" They are offenders. Here Prabhupada says, "Instead of being envious of a more qualified man, one should be jolly to receive him." Instead of becoming jolly, such a person becomes envious and covers his face. He is an offender. These six types of offenders fall down to maha-raurava, naraka.
See Krsna Everywhere
Srila Prabhupada formed this society for Krsna consciousness. It is a society of Vaisnavas. Why did he form the society? Because those who will become members of this society should develop complete Krsna consciousness. That opportunity is given here.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam camayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na panasyati
This Bhagavad-gita verse describes complete Krsna consciousness. Krsna says that one who sees Him everywhere, stharva-jangama dekhe, na dekhe tara murti, sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti, he sees the different moving and nonmoving entities, but he never sees their outward form. He sees his ista, his move beloved Diety, Krsna everywhere. Who is such a person?
bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare
jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare
(Cc. Madhya 25.127)
That devotee who as bound Me up in his heart with the rope of love, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare such a bhakta, wherever he looks he sees Me. Such a premi-bhakta, who has bound up Krsna with the rope of love in his heart, he can see Krsna everywhere. Otherwise no one can see Krsna everywhere.
Krsna also says:
naham prakasah sasrvasya
loko mam ajam avyayam
These are the words of Krsna. "I am never manifest before everyone, I am never manifest everywhere. I am covered by My yoga-maya potency. Mudho Œyam nabhijanati. Krsna says they are mudhas, rascals, "They cannot see Me. They cannot understand Me." In other words, Krsna keeps Himself hidden. But if Krsna keeps Himself hidden, how can we see Him? Who can see Him? Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare, jahannetra pade tahan dekhaye amare. Only such a premi-bhakta can see Him, one who has developed krsna-prema, who has bound up Krsna in his heart with the rope of love. This bondage is very, very strong. Even Krsna, who is almighty, cannot break it. He says na paraye na paraye na paraye, I cannot, I cannot, I cannot. Such bondage is so strong. Krsna cannot keep Himself hidden before the eyes of such a premi-bhakta. A premi-bhakta sees Him everywhere, though Krsna keeps Himself hidden.
Society Without Envy
This is the society for Krsna consciousness formed by Srila Prabhupada. One who becomes a member of this society gets the opportunity to develop complete Krsna consciousness, to see Krsna everywhere.
yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na panansyami
sa ca me na panasyati
This is the goal. Prabhupada has written in his books, "The Krsna consciousness movement aims at creating an atmosphere of non-envy. Of course, it is not possible for everyone to become Krsna conscious, but the Krsna consciousness movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy." Where is the question of enviousness? One who is envious is not a Krsna conscious person. In other words, he is not a Vaisnava. A real Vaisnava sadhu is not at all envious. He sees every jiva as Krsna's jiva. Krsna is the object of his love, so how will he be envious?
Enviousness means lust. What does that mean? Pride is your enemy, crookedness (kapata). If someone is making advancement on the spiritual path, others become envious of him. They cannot tolerate it. "Oh, he is making such advancement." They start to speak all nasty things about him. Combining together, they start pulling down on him and attacking him. This is enviousness. In a society of Vaisnavas that should not be done. A Vaisnava is not envious at all, atra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam. Who understands bhagavata-dharma-tattva? Only a Vaisnava, who is non-envious can understand. Others will speculate, "Oh, this is that, this is that." Only speculation will go on because they cannot understand. They are not Vaisnavas, they are all envious persons. Prabhupada says, "One who is envious of the success of a Vaisnava is certainly not a Vaisnava himself but an ordinary mundane man." He may be pretending to be a Vaisnava, but actually he is only an ordinary mundane man.
If the purpose of forming his society fails, how will Sria Prabhupada be happy ? This is a most important factor. So here it is said, "Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves, we become envious of him." This is the general nature of people who are avaisnavas; who are not Vaisnavas, they become envious when they see a person more qualified than themselves. But a Vaisnava, who is completely Krsna conscious, he'll never become envious. "Instead of being envious of a more qualified man one should be jolly to receive him." Krsne prema krsna-bhakte maitri acarana -- he who develops krsna-prema, he develops friendship with Vaisnavas, krsna-bhaktas. And when he sees a more qualified Vaisnava than himself he becomes jolly. That is a real Vaisnava, a pure Vaisnava. This is the purpose for which Srila Prabhupada formed this society for Krsna consciousness.
Therefore Prabhupada says, “The Krsna consciousness movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy at all." Prabhupada says in the concluding lines of his purport, "One should also have compassion for the people in general who are suffering due to forgetfullness of Krsna.” Who becomes compassionate for the people in general? One who is a completely Krsna conscious person, who sees Krsna everywhere; only he can become compassionate. Otherwise, how can one have compassion? The jiva is suffering. He is Krsna's jiva, so why is he suffering? It's because of his forgetfulness of Krsna. One who sees Krsna and who sess the jiva's relationsip with Krsna, he becomes compassionate. Otherwise, there is no question of compassion. This is most important. Only such a Vaisnava who sees Krsna everywhere is a completely Krsna conscious person. He becomes compassionate.
Prahlada Maharaja, a pure devotee, saw his most beloved Lord in a stone pillar. "Yes, the lord is everywhere." However when his very powerful demoniac father Hiranyakasipu, who had conquered the three worlds, heard his son Prahlada Maharaja speak like this, he became angry, "Why you say He's everywhere. Is He there in this stone pillar?" Who sees? A completely Krsna conscious person, a premi-bhakta, always sees. Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdanya-bhitare, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare; wherever he looks he sees Krsna. Krsna gives him darsana. Krsna cannot keep Himself hidden from the vision of such a completely Krsna conscious person, a premi-bhakta, always sees. Bhakta ama preme bandhiyache hrdaya-bhitare, jahan netra pade tahan dekhaye amare; wherever he looks he sees Krsna. Krsna gives him darsana. Krsna cannot keep Himself hidden form the vision of such a completely Krsna conscious person, premi-bhakta. The premi-bhakta says, "Yes, He's there." But his demoniac father, who had conquered over the three worlds, could not see.
It is a question of vision. One who sees Krsna everywhere, one who sees krsna-sambandha; the relationship with Krsna, that the jiva is suffering because of a lack of Krsna consciousness, he will think , "Let me go and inculcate Krsna consciousness into others." That is the real beneficial work. Therefore, if one develops Krsna consciousness, understands his position, and establishes his relationship with Krsna, there will be no suffering at all. Such a Vaisnava who sees Krsna and krsna-sambandha everywhere, his heart bleeds seeing the suffering of the jivas here. He cannot sit tightly. He will go out and preach the science of Krsna consciousness. "Yes, let everyone be Krsna conscious, let everyone be happy."
Therefore, in this verse Narada Muni sayus, "Every man should act like this." So there will be no miseries at all. This world will be turned into a vaikuntha jagat, "When he meets a person more qualified than himself he should be very pleased." There should be no enviousness. This enviousness is one of your enemies. Kama, kridha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya; in Sanskrit it is matsarya. Enviousness is one of your six enemies.
The second verse of Bhagavatam says, darmah projhita-kaitavo Œtra paramo nirmatsaranam satam vedyam. Who can understand bhagavata-dharma-tattva; what is said in Srimad-Bhagavatam? Paramo nirmatsaranam stam bedyam. Satam means devotee, Vaisnavas. Paramo nirmatsaranam; those who are not envious at all. Only they can understand Srimad-Bhagavatam. Only they can understand bhagavata-dharma-tattva. Otherwise the Bhagavata will never appear, never manifest at all. This is a most important thing and this is the purpose for which Srila Prabhupada formed the Society for Krsna Consciousness. The Krsna consciousness movement aims at creating an atmosphere of non-envy. "Of course it is not possible for everyone to become Krsna conscious, but the Krsna movement can create an exemplary society wherein there is no envy." This is the purpose of Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acarya of ISKCON, International Society for Krsna Conscoiusness; that all should be pure Vaisnavas, Vaisnava in the true sense. A Vaisnava is not envious. He's nirmatsara, not envious at all. That is Vaisnava. Here Prabhupada says, "Generally when we find someone more qualified than ourselves we become envious of him." All mahajanas have said. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has said. Sastra says. Narada Muni, a mahajana, here he says.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahajana, who is considered the Seventh Goswami, a great acarya in our Gaudiya-Vaisnava-parampara has said (Sarangati 4):
parere udvegadiyachi je kata
diyachi jivere klesa
I am such a rascal, such an envious person. I always give pain to others and put them in anxiety.
nija sukha lagi'pape nahi dori
I am very selfish for my own name, fame, adoration and prestige‹for my own happiness.
I am not afraid of committing any sinful activity. Daya-hita, I am a merciless preson a greatly selfish person.
Para sudhe dukhisada mithya-bhasi
When I see someone is becoming more advanced it is very painful to me, so I become envious. Sada-mithya, I only speak lies. Para-dukha sukha-kara, when I see someone is suffering I become jolly, "Yes, very good, very good!"
asesa kamanahrdi majhe mora
So many material desires are there in my heart. I gen angry in flimsy cases. Dambha-parayana. I am proud, puffed up fellow, "I am great! Is there anyone greater than I?" Especially in Kali yuga, the most degraded age, this pride is the measuring rod. Everyone thinks, "I am great" Then another says, "What? You are great? I am great!" Then fighting , quarrelling begins. This is Kali yuga. This dambha, pride, is the measuring rod. Two persons quarrel. Two groups quarrel. Two neighbors quarrel and fight. Two states, two nations, "I am great! Hey! What are you? You are great? I am great!!" Then fighting. This is dambha (pride).
mada-matta sadavisaye mohita
I am always puffed-up and proud, intoxicated with the desire for material enjoyment. I am a great materialistic person, and hims-garva, always envious and proud. These are my ornaments, vibhusana.
nidralasya hata sukarye virata
akarye udyogi ami
lobha-hata sada kami
Such a person is a lazy fellow. He sleeps too much and never does any good work. He is always very enthusiastic to do evil, nasty, abominable activities for his own prestige, name fame and adoration. Sathya-arcana, he acts in a very duplicitous, crooked way. Lobha-hata sada kami, so much lust is in his heart.
e heno durjanasajana-varjita
This is durjana, not sajjana. Such a person is rejected by sajjanas. He is always an aparadhi, a great offender, so his dealings are very crooked, duplicitous dealings. As it is said in the verse, "When one finds someone more qualified than himself he becomes envious of him. When one finds someone less qualified he derides him. When one finds someone equal with him he becomes proud of his activities. These are the causes of all material tribulations. "Such a person is a durjana, a most wicked person. He is not a sajjana. He's an aparadhi, always a great offender.
nana dukhe jara-jara
He never does anything auspicious. He's covered up, surrounded with so many anarthas. He's nana dukhe jara-jara, always afflicted, by the threefold miseries of this material world. He will never be happy at all.
This is the statement of Narada Muni, "Every man should act like this: when he meets a person more qualified than himself, he should be very pleased; when he meets someone less qualified than himself, he should be compassionate toward him; and when he meets someone equal to himself, he should make friendship with him." Otherwise he'll suffer. "In this way one is never affected by the threefold miseries of this world." This is the statement of sadhu-sastra-mahajanas.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Devotee: I appreciate very much that you explained to us how Srila Prabhupada's purpose is to create a society without envy.
Gour Govinda Swami: That I quoted from Prabhupada's purports from Srimad-Bhagavatam.
Devotee: We see that amongst devotees that are most advanced, the principle is trnad api sunincena taror api sahisnuna. It's not an artificial thing to actually believe…
Gour Govinda Swami: Not artificial, baba! How many days can you act like this? Before your svarupa (real form) will be revealed! How many days can it go on artificially. But with a Vaisnava it's quite natural.
Devotee: My question is, Srila Prabhupada has said that even if one does not have the practical vision that Krsna is behind everything, is in everything, and is connected to everything, still, if one understands this theoretically he is a devotee that is rightly situated.
Gour Govinda Swami: Rightly situated? One who sees theoretically is rightly situated?
Devotee: But if one has theoretical understanding that he has gotten form the words of the spiritula master, then one is rightly situated. So in your class you said that only the topmost devotee can be compassionate.
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, only one who sees Krsna.
Devotee: So my question is, does that mean no one else can be compassionate?
Gour Govinda Swami: One may be compassionate to fulfill his own selfish desire. One may be compassionate to some and not compassionate to others. He has raga and dvesa, liking and disliking. He is not equal to one and all. He cannot be. Unless one sees Krsna how can he be compassionate? He will see, this is Krsna's jiva suffering. His heart bleeds. He cannot sit tight. He will go out and preach Krsna consciousness. And who preaches? Prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara; one who has life? What is life? Jivanam sarva-bhutesu. Krsna says, "I am jivan, I am the life in all living entities." One who sees Krsna everywhere. Who sees Krsna's jiva suffering because of forgetfulness of Krsna, because of a lack of Krsna conscoiusness; he has prana, life. He goes out and preaches. He is completely surrendered to Krsna. Therefore Krsna came as Mahaprabhu, as a bhakta (a devotee), to teach devotion, to teach how to surrender unto Krsna (sikhaya sarangati bhakater prana). Saranagati is the life of the devotee who is completely surrendered. Krsna tare kore atmasara (then Krsna accepts him). Prana ache yara, sei hetu pracara (he has got life, therefore he goes out and preaches). Otherwise, who can preach? How can one preach unless one sees Krsna, sees Krsna's jiva suffering? He does not want anyone to suffer. Everyone should be Krsna conscious. Therefore, here Narada Muni says that everyone should act like this. This is the purpose of Srila Prabhupada forming the society for Krsna consciousness.
Uttama Acting as Madhyama
Devotee: Maharaja, a madhyama-adhikari has strong faith in the process of Krsna consciousness but he doesn't have a very good knowledge of the scriptures. How can he preach if he doesn't have good knowledge of the scriptures?
Gour Govinda Swami: He should have it by associating with an uttama adhikari. He should get it. Maha-bhagyavan, he's very fortunate [the madhyama-adhikari] because he has strong faith. This is most important. Adau sraddha, the first thing is your faith. He has strong faith in the words of sadhu-sastra-guru. He has strong fiath in Krsna. He puts faith in Krsna, in the words of Krsna. And sadhus, those who are mahajanas, they speak what Krsna has said.
Devotee: If an uttama-adhikari wants to preach, generally he comes down to the level of madhyama and acts like a madhyama.
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes. Otherwise he cannot preach, because an uttama-adhikari sees moving and nonmoving living entities, but he never sees the outward form. He always sees Krsna.
sthavara-jangama dekhe,na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya nija ista-deva-sphurti
He sees only Krsna. He says, "Oh, this living entity is Krsna's devotee, he is engaged in Krsna's service." He never sees the outward form. His vision is completely different. Therefore he steps down to madhyama, otherwise how can he speak? How can he see that the jiva is suffering from a lack of Krsna consciousness, from forgetfulness of Krsna? Therefore, one who preaches, he steps down to madhyama-adhikari; but he's uttama-adhikari, otherwise he cannot preach. Those who are uttama-bhagavata, cannot preach. Therefore, one who preaches steps down to the madhyama-adhikari stage. But he is not a madhyama as described here, sastra-yukti nahi jane; who doesn't know sastra. The uttama-adhikari knows sastra. Such an uttama-adhikari who acts as a madhyama-adhikari is not like the general type of madhyama-adhikari, madhyama-bhakta. This madhyuama-adhikari, he is uttama-adhikari, but he has stepped own. He knows sastra and he is very expert in presenting and quoting sastric evidences, because, tasmac chastram pramanam te karyakarya-vyavasthitau (Bg. 16.24). This is sastra-pramana. What is to be done, karya, and what is not to be done, akarya; how can we decide? Unless he presents sastra-pramana, how can he decide what is to be done and what is not to be done? He is not a general ordinary madhyama-adhikari.
Devotee: One who has laukika-sraddha has to act under the guidance of one who has sastriy-sraddha?
Gour Govinda Swami: Yes, he should have a guru, a bonafide Vaisnava guru. He should do bhajana under such expert guidance. He should not act whimsically. Unless you have guru, how can you preach? Sravana kirtana, preaching means kirtana. Unless one has heard from a bona fide guru, what will he preach? What he has heard, he will say that thing. "I have heard this from authorities, from my guru." Preaching is another name for sravana, another name for hearing. What I've heard I'm repeating. Therefore, only one who has heard, he can preach and do kirtana. Otherwise who can do kirtana? One who has not heard, what will he say, and who will hear all those nasty things?
Devotee: Many disciples of Srila Prabhupada were preaching under the orders of Srila Prabhupada and, seeing the miseries of the people, were spreading Srila Prabhupada's teachings. Now many have stopped preaching.
Gour Govinda Swami: One who has life and sees Krsna can never stop preaching. He sees, "Krsna's jiva is suffering." He will preach in spite of all obstacles. When Bhaktivinoda Thakura became very old he had to lift up his eyelids to see. But even at that age he would say "I want to ride on a horse and go out and preach." One whose heart bleeds, who has compassion, he says such a thing. It is a question of compassion. Are you preaching out of compassion? One who is not preaching out of compassion, he may preach for some days, but then he stops. "I lost all my enthusiasm." "Oh, why did you lose it? You lost Krsna?"
Devotee: There are some that are still trying to preach, can we say they are actually keeping the orders of Srila Prabhupada?
Throw the Vedas
Gour Govinda Swami: Prabhupada said to keep Krsna. He came to give you Krsna. Following the siddhanta, he said, "Let them somehow be attracted to Krsna." That was his aim. He went to the land of mlecchas and yavanas, the Western countries, and gave Krsna to them. How can they understand? They cannot understand all this sastra now.
Why did Buddha Deva, who was an incarnation of Lord Visnu say, "Throw out the Vedas." How can Visnu, who is the source of the Vedas, say like that? He is so compassionate. What were they doing? They were killing animals, sadaya-hrdaya darsita-pasu-ghatam. His heart became so compassionate, seeing this killing "Hey! Stop this killing!" They replied, "Oh, it is described in the Vedas. Why you are stopping?" So Buddha Deva said, "Throw out the Vedas." Why does he speak like that? Because unless they stop killing they cannot come ot the stage of sattva; goodness. They are in the modes of ignorance and passion. They cannot understand the Vedas. So he did like that. This is not siddhanta. Then all the Buddhists said, "Oh Buddha Deva said we can throw out the Vedas." The result was that they became nastika, atheists. But the Vedas can not be lost. The Vedas are apauruseya they come from the Lord, so they should be established. Therefore the Supreme Lord Narayana gave the order of the very powerful Lord Siva, "You go, Mahadeva. You go and establish the Vedas, but keep Me hidden." Then what did Siva establish? The gauna portion of the Vedas, the secondary portion (karma-kanda jnana-kanda). Sankaracarya came to do this. He thought. “This is the order of my master. I am the order carrier.”
Pure devotees of the Lord recognize each other when they meet in this material world. They know each other because they are eternally related and know each other from Goloka Vrndavan. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur recognized each other. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur recognized so many of his pure devotee disciples, Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Maharaj, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, Srila Bhakti
Promode Puri Maharaj, Srila Bhakti Kumud Santa Maharaj. Our Srila Prabhupada similarly recognized Srila B.V. Narayana Maharaj, who in turn recognized Srila Gour Govinda Maharaj. They are all Lord Caitanya's men, and if we are fortunate we can also recognize them as our gurudevas, vande ham sri-guroh sri yuta-pada-kamalam sri gurun vaisnavams ca sri-rupam sagrajatam saha gna-raghunathanvitam tam sa-jivam sadvaitam savadhutam prijana-sahitam krsna-caitanya-devam sri radha-krsna-padan saha-gana-lalita-sri viskanvitams ca.
“I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and unto the feet of all Vaisnavas. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Goswami along with his elder brother Sanatana Goswami, as well as Raghunatha Dasa and Raghunatha Bhatta, Gopala Bhatta, and Srila Jiva Goswami.. I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda aong with Advaita Acarya.”
Sri-gurun, plural not singular, unto the feet of all Vaisnavas.
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja’s Visit to Bali
December 17th thru 21st, 1998
by Sridam Sakha dasa
First Day, Thursday 17 December 1998
Srila Gurudeva arrived in Bali on 17th December with his Indian brahmacaris and immediate travelling party. Most of us had already arrived two days before.
Srila Gurudeva was driven from the airport to the house of Ananta Krsna prabhu and Rangavati didi where he also stayed one year before. His hosts had adorned their house very beautifully in traditional style to welcome Srila Gurudeva. Various exotic flowers had been strung crisscross between the gateway and front door and many palm leaf decorations had been hung wall to wall, woven ingeniously into a number of different designs. The temple room is the largest room of the house, and it was there that Srila Gurudeva spoke for a short while upon arrival. The temple's simhasana was made from wood and was beautifully carved in an ornate and intricate way. At the front were small wooden sliding doors, the right one of which had a carved relief of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on it, while the left was decorated with a corresponding Lord Nityananda.
Srila Gurudeva spoke praisingly about the beautiful culture of Bali and the many similarities between Bali and India, saying that he was reminded of the villages of Bengal and Orissa. He also remarked on the similarities of cultures too, particularly the beautiful art and architecture. He then expressed his appreciation at being able to stay in a place where Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Maharaja had sojourned in the past, on at least five occasions.
"The reverent and honorable Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja used to come and stay here also. You have kept a room for him here. You were so lucky to serve him. He was so bold to speak true siddhanta, too bold. That is why in a very few days he became so popular and the leaders became very fearful 'We'll lose all our disciples to Gour Govinda Maharaja' and that is why they wanted to ban him from ISKCON. And that is why he left this world. He thought that it would be better to leave than to be banned. He was not a person to be banned. He was following in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami preaching raga-marga, not only vaidhi, and I also want to be bold like him. The teachings of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura may seem like vaidhi-bhakti, but they are not. If you hear his teachings very patiently then raganuga will gradually come, some greed. But if not then you are bogus, you should go to another sampradaya like the Sri-sampradaya of Ramanuja or the Rudra-sampradaya of Sri Visnusvami. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not come to give only vaidhi. He came to give the seed of krsna-seva-barsana in the hearts of devotees, this was His main objective, and that of Srila Rupa Gosvami and his followers.
"We have not come to make any problem, to make money, to make disciples or take them from others. We've come to help as Lord Nityananda and Haridasa Thakura did even though they were abused. But no harm. We have not come for any rivalry. Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja came to preach the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and so have we, to touch the hearts of devotees and help them if they need it. But I know they do, surely. After Srila Svami Maharaja and Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja left, their disciples and followers were like a paddy (rice) field, starting to dry. So much rain was coming but it was not touching that field. And what is this water that is needed? The hari-katha from a pure devotee of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who has not come for self gain, but only to give what the Lord came to give. That water is hari-katha. So we want to give it to devotees, so that they should again become inspired. I want their creepers of bhakti to go up so that many sweet fruits should grow and that they will be able to taste them."
Srila Gurudeva then talked to Ananta prabhu about what the daily program should be during his stay in Bali. Ananta prabhu told Srila Gurudeva that he had invited many local spiritual leaders to come and hear Srila Gurudeva's classes. Srila Gurudeva asked Ananta prabhu how progress on the temple building project was going, to which Ananta prabhu said that it was 75% finished.
"Vande ham sru-guroh sri-yuta-pada-kamalam sri-gurun vaisnavams ca!" sri gurun!!! I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and unto the feet of all Vaisnavas. All glories to Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja! Satyam eva jayate (Bg. 10.4-5): truthfulness
A Brief Life Sketch of
Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami
Sri Srimad Gour Govinda Swami was born as Braja Bandhu Manik on the second of September 1929 in Jagannathpur, a small village near to Jagannath Puri, Orissa. In his youth he mostly lived with his maternal family the Giris in the village of Gadeigiri. The Giris were Gaudiya Vaishnavas and well known for their expertise in kirtana. Braja Bandhu’s maternal grandfather, Bauri Giri, was famous in the local area as a paramahamsa vaisnava. He was constantly chanting the hare krsna maha-mantra and worshiping the family deity of Gopal Jiu.
As a boy Braja Bandhu was very quiet and serious. Whatever free time he had from his studies he spent rendering services to Gopal and accompanying his grandfather and uncles in going from village to village, chanting hari-nama and singing songs of the vaisnava acaryas. He was very attached to Srimad Bhagavatam. As a young boy his mother found that whenever he would cry she need only place the Bhagavatam in his hands and he would stop. At night Braja Bandhu would go to sleep with the book clutched to his chest.
In 1952 his mother arranged for him to marry, and in 1955, when his father passed away, the financial responsibility to maintain the family fell on his shoulders. After obtaining B.A. and B.Ed. degrees from Utkal University, he took up government service as a school teacher.
Although busy with his family and teaching responsibilities, he maintained a strict daily sadhana of rising before 4:00 AM, chanting hare krsna, worshipping tulasi and speaking on Bhagavad-gita. Throughout his life Braja Bandhu made entries in his diary in the form of prayers to Gopal. His 1973 entries frequently mention his desire to renounce family life. From 10 October:
O Prabhu Gopal, please make me a yogi sannyasi! I don’t need anything, Prabhu. I’m not asking You for material opulence, respect, glory or anything else. You may give those things to my younger brother Kripa-sindhu. Let him maintain Your [my] family. Make me a samsara-vairagi-yogi, a renunciate of family life. Let me beg that prema-dhana, that wealth of love of Godhead! Let me distribute prema and ananda! Let me serve You! Please shower this mercy on me, Prabhu! Please bless me with prema-bhakti, ecstatic love for You!
In April of 1974, he left his family life, taking only a Bhagavad-gita, two gamuchas, and a notebook with him. At that time he adopted the name “Gour Gopal” — Gour for Gauranga Mahaprabhu and Gopal after his beloved childhood deity. Taking up the lifestyle of a mendicant sadhu, Gour Gopal set out to find a spiritual master who could teach him about the hare krsna maha-mantra, Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. His search took him all over India, from Kanya Kumari in the South to the Himalayas in the North. Finally in September of the same year, he resolved to go to Vrindavan the land of Krishna, thinking that surely his desire would be fulfilled there. Obtaining free passage from a train conductor, he arrived in Mathura. He stayed in a few different temples, and finally he made his way to Vrindavan where he saw a sign, “International Society for Krishna Consciousness.” Arriving there, a devotee gave him a copy of the society’s magazine, Back To Godhead. Seeing the articles in the magazine on Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Srimad Bhagavatam and the maha-mantra, Gour Gopal knew he had found what he was looking for. He requested to meet the founder of the society, and at midday was brought to the quarters of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. After speaking with him for a little while, Srila Prabhupada asked, “Have you taken sannyasa?”
Gour Gopal replied, “No.”
Srila Prabhupada said, “Then I will give you sannyasa.”
Gour Govinda Swami later commented:
I could then understand, ‘He is a genuine guru because he knows my heart. He is caitya-guru.’ I was in search of such a person under whom I could take shelter. I took shelter of him. My heart was naturally attracted towards him. I had full faith in Krishna and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and They helped me.
Hearing of his scholastic abilities, Srila Prabhupada immediately engaged Gour Gopal in translating his small book Perfection of Yoga into Hindi. A few weeks later Srila Prabhupada gave him initiation and the name Gour Govinda Das. Then, on 20 April 1975, Gour Govinda Das received sannyasa from Srila Prabhupada at the opening ceremony of the ISKCON Sri Sri Krishna Balaram temple in Vrindavan.
On Srila Prabhupada’s order, Gour Govinda Swami went to open a center in Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Orissa. Arriving there with no money and no resources, he stayed alone on the newly donated property, which at that time was nothing more than a jungle full of snakes, scorpions and ant hills.
In late January 1977 Srila Prabhupada arrived in Bhubaneswar and stayed for seventeen days on the property in a small hut that Gour Govinda Swami had arranged for him. On Lord Nityananda’s appearance day Srila Prabhupada laid the foundation stone for the upcoming temple. This was his last founded project. Prabhupada predicted that one day the temple on the isolated property would be one of the best ISKCON centers in the world and would be situated in the heart of the city. Prabhupada also instructed Gour Govinda Maharaja to translate his books into the Orissan language and to travel and preach to devotees around the world.
In early 1985 Gour Govinda Maharaja began accepting disciples. Two years later, on the request of senior devotees, he agreed to become a member of the ISKCON Governing Body Commission, and was given joint charge of the society’s projects in Orissa.
In the summer of 1985, pursuing Srila Prabhupada’s order, Gour Govinda Maharaja went overseas to preach. For the next eleven years he traveled all over the world speaking krsna-katha to interested devotees. His lectures inspired thousands of devotees and these lectures are now being compiled into books by his followers. During this time, despite his busy schedule, he strictly maintained a daily quota of translating Srila Prabhupada’s books into Oriya.
In 1991, after sixteen years of endeavor, Gour Govinda Swami opened the magnificent Sri Sri Krishna-Balaram temple in Bhubaneswar on the auspicious occasion of Lord Ramachandra’s appearance day. Today, the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir is the second most popular temple in Orissa, after the Jagannath Mandir in Puri, and the area around the temple is the fastest growing section of Bhubaneswar.
In late January of 1996, Gour Govinda Swami mentioned, “Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati said that this material world is not a fit place for any gentleman. Therefore, because he was disgusted, he left this world prematurely. I may also leave. I don’t know. I will ask Gopal. I will do whatever He wants.” The next day he went to Gadeigiri to see Gopal. While there he spoke to his cousin Ghanashyam Giri, who recalls:
We were discussing Gopal’s new temple and the planned installation of large deities of Radha Gopal to go with the existing small ones. Suddenly, Maharaja told me, “I won’t see this deity installation. You will see it but I won’t.”
I said, “How is that? You are ten years younger than I am. If you won’t see it how will I?”
Maharaja said, “No, no. You will see the inauguration of the temple and the deity because you have served Gopal so nicely.” That was the last discussion I had with Maharaja. After that he went to Bhubaneswar for a few days and then to Mayapur where he stayed forever.”
In Mayapur, on 9 February 1996, the appearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur, two senior devotees requested an appointment to meet with Gour Govinda Swami to ask some questions. They inquired, “Why did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu stay in Jagannath Puri?” Gour Govinda Swami began to enthusiastically explain the confidential significance of Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in Puri. He described the pain of separation felt by Srimati Radharani when Krishna was away from Vrindavan. He gradually unfolded the pastime to the point where Radha and Krishna were finally united after Their long separation. He described how Krishna became so ecstatic upon seeing Radharani that He manifested a form with big round eyes and shrunken limbs, Lord Jagannath. At that time the devotees noticed that tears had come to his eyes and his voice had become choked up. In a whisper he said, “Then the eyes of Krishna fell upon the eyes of Radharani. Eye to eye union.” Unable to continue, he folded his hands and in a barely audible voice, apologized, saying, “Please forgive me, I cannot speak more.” The devotees present began to chant as he calmly lay back on his bed, breathing slowly and deeply. Upon his request, a servant placed a picture of Gopal Jiu in his hand. Then, gazing lovingly at the picture of his worshipable Deity, Gour Govinda Swami said, “Gopal!” Then his eyes closed, he lost external consciousness and left this world.
His body was brought to the Sri Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir in Bhubaneswar where he was placed in samadhi in the small mud hut that had served as his bhajana-kutira for many years.
AS TRÊS GRANDES ONDAS DE SRI CAITANYA MAHAPRABHU NO BRASIL
(História do Movimento Hare Krsna no Brasil - por Vyasa Dasa)
Relato Histórico do Inicio do Vaisnavismo no Brasil em 1973, com A.C. Bhktivendanta Swami Prabhupada, e os demais momentos importantes que se seguiram com a continuidade evolutiva do Estabelecimento de Grandes Acaryas Vaisnavas, sendo Srila Sridhara Maharaja a partir de 1.980 e atualmente Srila Narayana Maharaja.
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