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sexta-feira, 18 de junho de 2010

With Greed In The Center

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Discussions with the ISKCON GBC on Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 7]
Mathura, India: 1991 India

[Respected Harikatha Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
For those of you who did not receive Parts 1-6, which we sent out a few days ago, you can find them on and Moreover, for those of you who would like to hear the original sound-files from which these transcriptions were typed, please logon to:
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura will now further explain the five aspects of raganuga-bhakti.
Abhista-bhava-mayi: Whatever practices we execute at the time of our sadhana (the practice executed to attain our goal) will be the same at the time of sadhya (the goal of life, the stage of siddhi, perfection). Sadhakas remember Krsna, Govinda, now, at the time of their sadhana, and they will do so in siddha-sarira (spiritual form as a gopi-manjari) as well. Both remembrances are the same, but one is unripe and the other will be ripe. The subject of the mood will never change, just as kirtana will never be changed, whether in the stage of sadhana or siddha. The sadhakas’ absorption in their constitutional mood is called abhista-bhava-mayi.
They think of themselves as kisori-gopis (teenaged gopis) engaged in Radhika’s service. In their meditation, they see themselves as cowherd maidens making very beautiful garlands and giving them to Rupa Manjari. In turn, Rupa Manjari gives those garlands to Lalita and Visakha, who place them on the necks of Radha and Krsna. This type of meditation is called asta-kaliya-seva, or asta-yami-seva. [*See Endnote 1:] With such thoughts in mind such sadhakas may utter the prayers of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in Vilapa Kusumanjali, and in siddha-seva (service rendered at the time of perfection, performed with one’s spiritual body) they will actually engage in such seva. So there is no change. It is only a question of being in the unripe or ripe stage. This is called abhista-bhava-mayi.
Now let us consider the second principle, abhista-bhava-sambandhi.
Everything has two causes: upadhana-karana [the eminent, or prominent, or ingredient cause] and nimitta-karana , Do you know the meaning of these two words?
Dhanurdhara Svami: The material cause…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: And the efficient cause. The material and efficient causes.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What is the meaning of efficient?
Dhanurdhara Svami: The doer and the…
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Let us take the example of an earthen pot. The earth, both raw and baked, is upadhana; and the man himself is nimitta.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: The potter.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We can also take the example of the thread, or other materials. They are upadhana-karana.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: The immediate cause?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In the matter of cosmic creation, Karanadakasaiyi-Visnu is nimitta-karana, and Advaita Acarya is upadhana-karana. Do you understand? *[See endnote 2].
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: We were recently teaching this in Brahma-Samhita class.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The creation of the material world has two causes – nimitta and upadhana – of which upadhana is more important. The ingredient, or eminent, cause (upadana) is prakrti, and the instrumental cause (nimitta) is Karanadakasayi-Visnu.
Here in Raga-vartma-candrika, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura tells us about the upadhana-karana (eminent, or prominent, cause) of greed. One eminent cause is sravanam, hearing from our diksa- or siksa-gurudeva about Krsna: that Krsna who is a beautiful teenage youth, who looks extremely sweet as He holds His flute to His lips, and who inspires gopi-prema. Guru will also tell us about those particular gopis, namely Rupa Manjari and all of Srimati Radhika’s other manjaris, who are the asraya (abode) of that gopi-prema for which we aspire. We should remember them and talk about all of their activities, and we should also go to all the places of their pastimes.
Burijana dasa: Lila-sthana.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should go to the lila-sthana, the places of their pastimes, such as Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, Giriraja Govardhana, Vrndavana, and Vamsivata. Such devotional services are upadhana-karana, essential practices, which will hastily bring us to our goal.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: And nimitta?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I was just about to say; some practices are nimitta-karana, such as putting on tilaka, wearing…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Kanti-mala.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Wearing kanti-mala, and taking sannyasa and wearing saffron cloth. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is gradually clarifying the subject matter.
Some practices are upakarak. Do you know the meaning of upakarak?
Burijana dasa: Primary. Is ‘primary’ the proper translation for this word? Primary means ‘completely necessary.’
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Upakarak means that if you engage in those practices your bhakti will progress, you will gain; and if you don’t, you will be the loser. Such practices include reading Srimad-Bhagavatam and similar Vaisnava literature. [Upakarak means ‘beneficial,’ and therefore it refers to both upadhana-karana, and nimitta-karana practices.]
Gurupadasraya (taking shelter of the bona fide guru), mantra-japa (chanting mantras), dhyana (meditation), hearing and remembering – these practices are bhava-sambandhi upadhana-karana.
These practices are necessary, and in all such practices it is essential to always keep in the center the root bhava for which we have greed – dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya. In sadhana (the stage of practice), that bhava (abhista-bhava) is unripe, and in the siddha stage (the stage of perfection) it is ripe.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Still, the idea of upadhana and nimitta is not clear yet.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: First is bhava-mayi, actual greed for that particular mood: manjari-bhava. Second is bhava-sambandhi, which is upadhana-karana – engaging in those essential practices which quickly give that mood. Without gurupadasraya, one cannot attain this greed. Hearing from Sri Guru and serving him are essential practices, and are therefore called upadhana-karana bhava-sambandhi.
To remember the gopala-mantra, kama-gayatri, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mantra are all bhava-sambandhi. When remembering klim gauraya svaha, will we utter words only? Something should come in our hearts; that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna Himself, and that His kindness is causeless. He is always in a mood to give krsna-prema through His mantra, klim gauraya svaha. To that Gauranga, in order to attain His service, we offer ourselves by the word svaha. We are therefore advised to chant all these gayatri mantras given to us by guru – three times every day. This is also upadhana-karana. We must do this.
nijabhista krsna-prestha pacheta' lagiya
nirantara seva kare antarmana hana
"Actually, the inhabitants of Vrndavana are very dear to Krsna. If one wants to engage in spontaneous loving service, he must follow the inhabitants of Vrndavana and constantly engage in devotional service within his mind." (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 22.159)
Following one of Krsna’s beloved associates according to his inner desire, the sadhaka always chants the maha-mantra. This is upadhana-karana – not only chanting, but remembering the qualities of krsna-nama. What qualities? The qualities of Rama [meaning Radha-Ramana] in “Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.” In “Hare Krsna,” “Hare” is Srimati Radhika. Harati kunje itik hare krsnam harati. This means that Krsna is attractive to all, but Srimati Radhika attracts Krsna and enchants Him in the nikunja. She is therefore Madana-mohana Mohini, the enchantress of the enchanter of Cupid. Meditating in this way, we chant harinama.
The Hare Krsna maha-mantra is a siddha-mantra, and therefore no anusthana (ceremony) of purascarana (preliminary purificatory procedures) need be performed along with its utterance. Chanting the mantra in this way is a practice of bhava-sambandhi (that practice which quickly gives its performer his cherished goal), and therefore such chanting is upadhana-karana (essential practice). Nimitta-karana practices are not bhava-sambandhi.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains about the asta-dasaksya (eighteen-syllable) mantra, and the dasaksya (ten-syllable) mantra that Caitanya Mahaprabhu received from his Gurudeva. With the addition of klim krsnaya govindaya, the mantra is asta-dasaksya, and with only gopijana vallabhaya svaha it is a dasaksya mantra.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: The last thing you just said – can you clarify that further please?
Burijana dasa: The mantra that Mahaprabhu received?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What does dasaksya mean?
Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: Gopijana-vallabhaya svaha is the dasakshya mantra.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Ten-syllable mantra.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Without klim.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the mantra?
Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: Your Guru has given this to you, and I have also given it: gopijana-vallabhaya svaha.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But no klim.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Klim is not counted within the ten syllables; it is separate. It is the bija-mantra; The bija itself is a mantra, and it has combined with the other syllables.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What happened to krsnaya govindaya?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: With the addition of these two words and klim, the mantra becomes an eighteen-syllable mantra.
Some persons say that there are twenty-four syllables in the kama-gayatri, and others say there are twenty-six, but when Radhika gave the correct information in the svapna (dream)…
Burijana dasa: In a dream to Visvanatha Cakravati…
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Then he knew…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Twenty-four and a half syllables. He knew what that half syllable is.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: These mantras are also bhava-sambandhi, and hearing and telling about Krsna with His dear ones are also bhava-sambandhi.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that in raganuga there are two primary activities – smarana (remembering) and kirtana (chanting). In this regard which is superior, kirtana or smarana?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Smarana.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You say that smarana is superior?
Burijana dasa: Brhat-Bhagavatamrta clearly says that kirtana is superior.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that smarana seems to be superior., but for Kali-yuga it has been declared, “Hare nama, hare nama, hare nama eva kevalam.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has come only for kirtana, and those who engage in kirtana-yajna (harinama sankirtana) are called sumedhasah.
krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam
yajnaih sankirtana-prayair
yajanti hi su-medhasah
“In the age of Kali, intelligent persons perform congregational chanting to worship the incarnation of Godhead who constantly sings the names of Krsna. Although His complexion is not blackish, He is Krsna Himself. He is accompanied by His associates, servants, weapons and confidential companions.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 11.5.32)
In this sloka, the word sumedhasa means very….
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Intelligent.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Here, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that what Caitanya Mahaprabhu has decided is the decided fact. Therefore smarana is not superior; rather it is in the anugatya of kirtana (it follows kirtana).
Srila Sanatana Gosvami has explained in his Brhat-Bhagavatamrta why this is so; but sahajiya babajis do not follow his idea. He has especially written that smarana should be executed under the supervision of sankirtana. When a person is engaged in remembering the pastimes of Krsna, if there is any noise or if we would loudly chant sankirtana, that person’s concentration would be interrupted. If that person is pure, even if we loudly chant kirtana, his silent meditation would not be disturbed.
On the other hand, even if a person’s mind is very chancal…
Dhanurdhara Svami: Flickering.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Even if his mind is flickering, if he performs loud kirtana, then all his senses are bound to become silent. Therefore, chanting and remembering together is bhava-sambandhi.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura refers us to Srila Rupa Gosvami’s book, Sri Ujjvala-Nilamani, which discusses the rsis who performed tapasya. Do you know the meaning of tapasya?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami and Dhanurdhara Maharaja: Austerities.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should not think that in this regard ‘austerities’ means surrounding oneself by fire in the summer, taking bath in very very cold water in the winter, not eating, taking a vow of silence, or accepting any other such bodily hardships. Here, ‘austerities’ refers to aradhana, worship. Sixty-thousand rsis performed aradhana by mind, and by the grace of Lord Ramacandra, all of them became gopis.
So these practices are all bhava-sambandhi.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: When you mentioned before that kirtana is superior to smaranam, does this kirtana mean japa (chanting softly on beads), or does it mean congregational chanting with many people doing kirtana together?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Which one is not important. The important thing is having greed, being in the anugatya (under the guidance) of a rasika Vaisnava, remembering the pastimes of Krsna while chanting by tongue, and being in Vrndavana by body or by mind. This type of kirtana is best.
If our Guruji is performing kirtana and we have participated in that, our kirtana will not be the same as his, because we are not equal to him. He is remembering the pastimes of Krsna and weeping, but we are not doing so. We are only singing along with him; our chanting is not the same.
Chanting may be of two types: vyakti-gata and the other is samasti-gata.
Dhanurdhara Svami: Individual and congregational.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, ‘individual and congregational.’ Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami was performing kirtana ‘individually,’ alone; but when he was chanting with Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s kirtana party, that chanting was not individual. When Caitanya Mahaprabhu spoke with Raya Ramananda, their discussion was ‘individual.’
Nimitta-karana practices include vratas (vows, religious observances), such as Ekadasi vrata and Janmastami vrata, and performing any austerity for Krsna – while having that greed.

Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But why the comparison with upadhana and nimitta? Why is he choosing these two words – upadhana and nimitta – to explain the difference between these two groups?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Upadhana-karana practices must certainly be performed. If we do not perform nimitta-karana practices at any time, it is harmful, but not as harmful as the neglect of upadhana-karana practices.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: You gave the example that upadhana is the clay and nimitta may be the potter.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Without the potter, and without earth, nothing can be done; but the earth is especially crucial, and therefore upadhana is superior. Hearing the pastimes of Krsna and serving Gurudeva are upadhana-karana, and these other practices are secondary.
Burijana dasa: ‘Primary and secondary’ is the proper translation. One is supportive, or secondary. Nimitta means ‘it supports,’ and upadhana means ‘the basis,’ or ‘the primary.’
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: That’s what it means here; but when describing creation, those two words are not used.
Dhanurdhara Svami: It is the same, though.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is not same, but similar.
Dhanurdhara Svami: One is the ingredient. Without the ingredient, you cannot cause anything; so it is more important.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If anyone says that we should not observe Ekadasi – like Hit Hari-Vamsa – this is not right.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What do you mean?
Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: We must observe Ekadasi and Janmastami, even though they are nimitta-karana, and even though they are not as important as the practices which quickly induce internal absorption. Ekadasi, Janmastami and similar observances, like placing tilaka marks on the body, are beneficial for remembering the main objective. They support the practices of bhava-sambandhi, which in turn leads to abhista-bhava-mayi.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Can you repeat that one more time please?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: First is abhista-bhava-mayi, and then bhava-sambandhi. The practices of bhava-sambandhi are superior to those of nimitta-karana. The bhava-sambandhi practices are the mula-karana, the main cause, in the development of abhista-bhava-mayi, and Ekadasi, Janmastami etc. are secondary.
Dhanurdhara Svami: If the secondary practice is not present, still the primary cause is sufficient?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Suppose someone gives stress on Ekadasi, Janmastami and Rama-navami, but that person is not hearing harikatha, chanting, and remembering; the injunction that Ekadasi is secondary is for him.
What is the harm in neglecting Ekadasi? For one who has greed, and is so engaged in bhava-mayi or bhava-sambandha that he is unaware of the day, there is no harm. Vamsidasa Babaji Maharaja is an example of this. He was observing Ekadasi for three or four days, for example, on Astami (the eighth day of the moon) and Navami (the ninth day of the moon). Then, when Ekadasi (the eleventh day of the moon) came, he was completely unaware of the day. Similarly, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami would be internally absorbed in remembering his services in the pastimes of Radha and Krsna for many days, and Ekadasi would go by at that time. Because these two maha-bhagavatas were performing raganuga-bhajana, there was no harm in their missing Ekadasi. However, if one misses Ekadasi when one is externally conscious, this would be very harmful for his bhakti.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the difference between bhava-mayi and bhava-sambandhi? What is the distinction?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I have told you all these things.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I know, but I got confused on the point when you went into the differences between upadhana and nimitta, and how they refer to each one.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: First I explained abhista-bhava-mayi, which may be in an unripe or ripe stage. In the stage of sadhana it is the absorption that “We are gopis;” and in the siddha stage we will actually become gopis. In both cases, it is abhista-bhava-mayi.
Next is bhava-sambandhi upadhana-karana. These are activities we must perform, like hearing and remembering. These practices must not be neglected for any reason. Regarding nimitta-karana practices, if we cannot follow them under certain circumstances, it is not harmful; therefore it is considered secondary.
Vamsidasa Babaji Maharaja or Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami were fully absorbed in Krsna-lila for so many days, and Ekadasi came and left during that time of absorption. For them there was no harm. On the other hand, if there are occasions that we do not follow it, this is harmful for us. That is why nimitta-karana is called ‘secondary.’
[to be continued…]
[*Endnote 1: Lord Krsna's eternal pastimes (nitya-lila) in Vrndavana are called asta-kaliya-lila. The twenty-four-hour day of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna is divided into eight parts, beginning with nisanta-lila (pre-dawn pastimes), pratah-lila (morning pastimes), purvahna-lila (forenoon pastimes), madhyana-lila (midday pastimes), aparahna-lila (afternoon pastimes), sayama-lila (dusk pastimes), pradosa-lila (evening pastimes) and ratri-lila (nighttime pastimes). From Srila Narayana Maharaja’s lecture in Navadvipa, India: March 17, 2005)]
*Endnote 2: “Lord Visnu Himself is the efficient (nimitta) cause of the material world, and Narayana in the form of Sri Advaita is the material cause (upadana).” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 6.16)
“Just as the original cause of an earthen pot is the potter, so the creator of the material world is the first Purusa incarnation (Karanadakasayi-Visnu).” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 5.63)
“Lord Advaita Acarya is the incarnation of Maha-Visnu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of maya.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 6.4)
“He (Advaita Acarya) helps in the pastimes of the Purusa, with whose material energy and by whose will He creates innumerable universes.” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 6.11)]

The Five Principles of Raganuga-Bhakti

Tuesday, 08 June 2010
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 6] (links for Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5; Audio link for part 6)
Mathura, India: 1991
gdrvc6Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We have completed the explanations of the first two slokas quoted and discussed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his Raga-vartma-candrika, but in summary.
The first sloka is:
krsnam smaran janam casya prestham nija samihitam
tat tat katha ratas casau kuryad vasam vraje sada
["While remembering Sri Krsna and His beloved associates whom we desire to follow, being fully absorbed in discussions of their pastimes, one should always reside in Vraja. If this is not possible, then one should reside there by mind." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.294)]
We should remember Krsna and those associates for whose service mood we have greed. We should remember them, hearing and repeating their pastimes with Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. And we should live in Vrndavana, if not by body than at least by mind.
The second sloka is:
seva sadhaka rupena siddha rupena catra hi
tad bhava lipsuna karya vraja-lokanusaratah
["On this path of raganuga, being charmed by the intense love of Krsna's beloved Vrajavasis, the sadhaka should live in Vraja under the guidance of those devotees who have taken shelter of the Vrajavasis (like Sri Rupa, Sanatana and Raghunatha dasa Gosvamis), always eager to serve them in his present physical body. And, in the perfected stage of his siddha-rupa, the internally conceived spiritual body suitable for performing prema-seva, he should engage in the cherished service of Sri Krsna according to his chosen mood. In this regard he should follow in the footsteps of the eternal residents of Vraja, such as Sri Radhika, Lalita, Visakha, and Sri Rupa Manjari." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.295)]
Sadhaka-rupena refers to Srila Rupa Gosvami and siddha-rupena refers to Rupa Manjari. Vraja lokanusaratah refers to Sri Krsna's nara-lila (human-like pastimes) with Nanda Baba, Yasoda, and the gopis. They have 'ordinary,' human-like relations with Krsna, but neither they nor Krsna are humans.
And the third sloka is:
sravanotkirtanadini vaidhi-bhakty uditani tu
yany angani ca tanyatra vijneyani manisibhih
["In vaidhi-bhakti one should practice the limbs of bhakti like sravana, kirtana, and so on according to one's qualification. Similarly, for raganuga-bhakti also it has been advised by scholars who are well versed in the principles of bhakti to follow these practices." (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.296)]
If a person develops sraddha (faith) by reading or hearing the order of sastra and is consequently inspired to cultivate bhakti, this is called vaidhi-bhakti. On the other hand, if a devotee has genuine greed to attain service like that of the gopis, even though he is performing the limbs of vaidhi-bhakti, he has actually developed madhurya- or raganuga-bhava. The mood of his vaidhi-bhakti performance will change; it will not be the same as the mood of vaidhi-bhakti. A raganuga-bhakta may follow all sixty-four limbs (angas) of bhakti, or nine, or five, or three (sravana, kirtana, and smarana), or only one (harinama-kirtana) – but with the mood of raganuga.
In his explanation of this sloka, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that a raganuga devotee need not follow each and every one of the sixty-four, or nine, limbs of bhakti. He adopts only those practices which are favorable for his development in raganuga-bhakti. He will not incur any offense if he neglects any one of those limbs for his mula...
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Root
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: His root bhava (constitutional mood). This is also called amsi-bhava. Amsi means...
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Essence.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What do you mean by 'essence'?
Burijana dasa: Sara [the Hindi word for 'essence']
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Essence means 'the essential thing.'
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What essential thing?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: The essential thing is to get greed.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That devotee already has greed.
Burijana dasa: To cultivate or nourish.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: To cultivate or nourish what?
Burijana dasa: His affection, his love
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: What affection?
Burijana dasa: His affection for Krsna in a particular way or mood.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The root is gopi-bhava, or more specifically manjari-bhava – the mood of personal service to Srimati Radhika like that of the manjaris; this is the essence, the root mood (mula/amsi-bhava). In order to obtain this, the devotee executes those activities which are favorable and avoids those which are unfavorable. For example, he avoids ahangrahopasana,
Do you know the meaning of ahangrahopasana?
Sripad Giriraja Maharaja: To worship oneself as God.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is not the meaning here. It means to think that "I am Lalita," "I am Visakha," "I am Citra," or "I am Rupa Manjari." Sahajiya babajis meditate that "I am Lalita sakhi," rather than thinking, "I am Lalita dasi." This ahangrahopasana, considering oneself to be non-different from the object of worship, is very dangerous; be careful to escape from this.
Another unfavorable practice is mudras. Do you know the meaning of mudra?
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: All the unimportant things in relation to arcana and puja.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We do not hold kusa grass in our hand while taking sankalpa (a vow), nor do we adopt nyasa (hand-movements along with the recitation of mantras as one touches the various parts of ones own hand or body, or the various parts of the body of the Deity). We do not do Dvaraka-dhyana (meditation on Dvaraka-lila) or Rukmini and mahisi-puja (worship of the queens of Dvaraka), even though these are included within the sixty-four limbs of bhakti.
Then, regarding the worship of Ramacandra – be careful; this is for others, not for us. Even though Rama is Krsna, we should be very careful in this regard. We can offer obeisances, saying, "O Krsna! You have manifested such a beautiful form as Rama, in which You are performing many wonderful pastimes." [When such a devotee worships Rama on His appearance day, he does so with this mood. -ed] We will not address Him as Rama, but as Krsna, and we will not worship that form of Rama. Worship (puja) of Dvarakadhisa-Krsna is better than worship of Rama, but that has also been warned against.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What about Nrsimhadeva?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We can do pranama to Nrsimhadeva as the protector of bhakti. [Such a devotee worships Him on His appearance day with this mood. -ed]
Sastra presents various rules and regulations, instructing that such worship be performed; but these are for ordinary persons, for the general public, not for those sadhakas who are specifically going to serve Srimati Radhika. Raganuga means 'to serve Radhika, with Krsna,' so we should be aikantiki, single-pointed. Our guru-parampara has established so many Deities for the general public, which are not meant for those engaged in aikantiki-bhakti, one-pointed worship.
Perform your worship very carefully, in such a way that no one will think that you are against Rama or Dvarakadhisa. Others should worship them, and you should execute all your bhakti activities with greed.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: There is that verse in the Bhagavad-gita which states, "Do not disrupt the minds..."
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:
na buddhi-bhedam janayed
ajnanam karma-sanginam
jonayet sarva-karmani
vidvan yuktah samacaran
["So as not to disrupt the minds of ignorant men attached to the fruitive results of prescribed duties, a learned person should not induce them to stop work. Rather, by working in the spirit of devotion, he should engage them in all sorts of activities [for the gradual development of Krsna consciousness." (Bhagavad-gita 3.26)]
So, even though it is written in the bhakti-sastras that one should perform these particular practices, a raganuga devotee will not do so. Sastra says one should not commit any offence by neglecting any of the limbs of bhakti. Sastra says that one should not do avajna...
Sripad Giriraja Maharaja: Disobedience
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: One should not be disobedient to any limb of bhakti, yet, there is something to understand in this connection: Those practices which are not favorable in raganuga are not to be done.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that there may be a time when a person who is following this principle of raganuga comes to a temple of Satyabhama, Rukmini, Ramacandra, or some other Deity, and by chance he may be obliged to worship them. However, even if he does not do so, he incurs no offense. For a general person it would be an offense to avoid such worship, but in the case of a person with genuine greed, he is not avoiding this worship in a mood that would be considered offensive.
Let us take the example of Hanuman. Garuda told Hanuman, "Your worshipful Deity is calling you. Your worshipful Sri Krsna wants you to come and take His darsana."
Hanuman replied, "My health is so bad. I am sick. I cannot go. I am seriously ill."
Garuda repeated, "Krsna is calling you."
Hanuman replied, "I know, but I am so tired that I cannot do anything."
Garuda tried to take him by force, but Hanuman flicked Garuda with his tail, throwing him with such tremendous force that he at once landed near the palace of Krsna in Dvaraka.
Krsna told Garuda, "Go again, and this time tell him that Rama is calling him."
Garuda returned to Hanuman and told him, "Your worshipful Deity, Rama, is calling you."
Hanuman immediately became very joyful and said, "I will just take my bath, and as soon as I put on tilaka, I am coming. Please go ahead and tell Rama that I am coming right away."
Garuda said, "I will go very quickly, as quickly as the mind. So please come with me and ride on my back."
Hanuman said, "No, there is no need. I am coming just now. You can go ahead."
In the meantime, as Garuda reached half-way to Rama, flying so fast, he saw Hanuman coming back, jumping back, from having just seen Rama. Hanuman had already seen Krsna in the form of Rama. He had already spoken with Him and paid his respects. He was now returning, while Garuda was only half-way there.
Thus, even if we are not following the various limbs of the nine-fold practices of bhakti, namely padasevanam (parikrama of the Lord's pastime places), arcanam (temple worship), vandanam (offering prayers), dasyam (carrying out His order), sakhyam (becoming His friend), and so on, if we have that root bhava, this 'neglect' is not an offense. That root bhava will fill up all the gaps in the form of the missing practices.
sruti smrti puranadi pancaratra vidhim vina
aikantiki harer bhaktir utpatayaiva kalpate
["Devotional service to Bhagavan that ignores the authorized Vedic literatures like the Upanisads, Puranas, Narada-Pancaratra, etc., is simply an unnecessary disturbance in society."]
Do you know this sloka? This is a very important sloka from Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.101). The purport is that if one is engaged in the exclusive worship of Krsna (aikantiki hari-bhakti) but he is not following the instructions of sastras like the Srutis, Smrtis, Pancaratra, and Puranas, there will be some disturbance (utpatha).
For a person with genuine greed to serve Radha and Krsna, for a person truly established in this root bhakti, that alone is sufficient. If that person does not execute whatever limbs of bhakti are unfavorable for advancement in raganuga, even though sastra instructs that all the limbs of bhakti should be observed, there is no chance of committing an offense.
One important thing to note in this connection: It is a fact that those who have actual greed and exclusively follow the principles of raganuga-bhakti will attain the service of Radha and Krsna in gopi-bhava. But Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura tells us: It is sometimes said that if a sadhaka has an ambition, or greed, to serve Sri Sri Radha and Krsna with raga, and he is engaged only in the hearing, chanting, and remembering (sravanam kirtanam visnu smaranam) of vaidhi-bhakti, he will attain Dvaraka-bhava and become a maidservant of Rukmini and Satyabhama.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: If a person has...what?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is a question, a supposition: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written, "If someone says..."
He writes that it is also sometimes said that if a sadhaka has greed and performs vaidhi-bhakti plus raganuga-bhakti, he will become a maid-servant of the queens (mahisis) of Mathura.
He says that these conceptions are not correct. Why not correct? The 'queen' of Mathura is Kubja [*See Endnote 1] and the queens of Dvaraka are Rukmini, Satyabhama, and others like them. It is not correct to say that a person performing vaidhi-bhakti receives the service of the queens of Dvaraka, whereas a person with greed who performs both vaidhi-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti will have the maid-service of Kubja.
Kubja's prema is not actually proper, and therefore it is naturally less than that of the queens of Dvaraka. The queens of Dvaraka are so much superior to Kubja.
Vaidhi plus raganuga is superior to vaidhi alone; do you understand? It is against the principles of bhakti that a person performing vaidhi-bhakti plus raganuga-bhakti would receive the inferior service of Kubja, whereas the performance of vaidhi-bhakti would yield more than that.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Maybe Candravali's service?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No. It has been written in Gopala Campu that Rukmini's marriage was performed in Mathura, and therefore some persons say that Rukmini must be present there as Krsna's queen. But this is against our Vaisnava principles.
It is against our Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy to say that by following vaidhi-bhakti one will receive the same award as one who is engaged in vaidhi mixed with raganuga. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti states that the idea of Rukmini's marriage in Mathura is against sastra, and has been told only in Gopala Campu. Actually, when Gopal Campu says 'Mathura,' it means 'Dvaraka,'
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Because they (Mathura and Dvaraka) are more or less the same?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The same.
From our study of Srimad-Bhagavatam and all other authentic bhakti scriptures, we know that the idea of Rukmini's marriage in Mathura is not authentic. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura will explain this later on, but he is mentioning it now in order to make this point clear.
Which limbs are practiced in raganuga-bhakti? Which are essential and which are disregarded? To answer this, Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura has described five categories of devotional practices for a person with genuine greed:
1. Abhista-bhava-mayi: Absorption in one's siddha-bhava; the mood of a manjari.
2. Abhista-bhava-sambandhi: Those practices related to one's cherished mood. Such practices surely deliver the desired goal.
3. Abhista-bhava-anukula: Those practices which are favorable to one's cherished mood.
4. Abhista-bhava-avirudha: Those practices which are neutral, not unfavorable, not opposed.
5. Abhista-bhava-virudha: Those practices which are detrimental.
The first is abhista-bhava-mayi. Always thinking about one's siddha bhava; the bhava of a manjari. This will never be changed.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the meaning of abhista?
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: The object of desire.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Abhista refers to what we want. Istha means 'what we want,' and abhi means 'surely.' Absorption in this mood will surely give us the attainment of our cherished goal.
Then comes abhista-bhava sambhandi, and after that, abhista-bhava anukula. Do you know the meaning of anukula?
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Favorable.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. Also, we should adopt whatever practices are not unfavorable (abhista-aviruddha bhava), and those practices that are abhista-bhava viruddha, unfavorable, we should avoid. If a practice is favorable we should accept it, and those practices that are neither favorable nor unfavorable (abhista-aviruddha bhava) can be accepted or rejected according to...
Burijana dasa: Practicality.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: According to the atmosphere.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura will now further explain the five aspects of raganuga-bhakti.
Abhista-bhava-mayi: Whatever practices we execute at the time of our sadhana (the practice executed to attain our goal) will be the same at the time of sadhya (the goal of life, the stage of siddhi, perfection). Sadhakas remember Krsna, Govinda, now, at the time of ,,,, and they will do so in their siddha-sarira (spiritual form as a gopi-manjari) as well. Both remembrances are the same, but one is unripe and the other will be ripe. The subject of the mood will never change, just as kirtana will never be changed, whether in the stage of sadhana or siddha. The sadhakas' absorption in their constitutional mood is called abhista-bhava-mayi.
They think of themselves as kisori-gopis (teenaged gopis) engaged in Radhika's service. In their meditation, they see themselves as cowherd maidens making very beautiful garlands and giving them to Rupa Manjari. In turn, Rupa Manjari gives those garlands to Lalita and Visakha, who place them on the necks of Radha and Krsna. This type of meditation is called asta-kaliya-seva, or asta-yami-seva. [*See Endnote 2]
With such thoughts in mind such sadhakas may utter the prayers of Srila Raghunatha dasa in Vilapa Kusumanjali, and in siddha-seva they will actually engage in such seva. So there is no change. It is only a question of being in the unripe or ripe stage. This is called abhista-bhava-mayi.
[*Endnote 1: Kubja was a prostitute from Mathura. By only one day's association with Sri Krsna, she also became transformed into a devotee.
Kubja was a hunchbacked woman who also wanted Krsna whose desire for Krsna was almost mundane, and so her love cannot be compared to the love of the gopis.
*Endnote 2: Lord Krsna's eternal pastimes (nitya-lila) in Vrndavana are called asta-kaliya-lila. The twenty-four-hour day of Sri Sri Radha and Krsna is divided into eight parts, beginning with nisanta-lila (pre-dawn pastimes), pratah-lila (morning pastimes), purvahna-lila (forenoon pastimes), madhyana-lila (midday pastimes), aparahna-lila (afternoon pastimes), sayama-lila (dusk pastimes), pradosa-lila (evening pastimes) and ratri-lila (nighttime pastimes).]

Sri Guru’s Spiritual Form

Wednesday, 02 June 2010
Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
Discussions with the GBC on the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 5] (links for parts 1, 2, 3, 4)
Mathura, India: 1991
Srila Maharaja speaking at Sri Sri Krsna-Balarama Temple in Vrndavana in the early 1990s

Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is the third of the three important slokas discussed by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura in his Rag-vartma-candrika:
sravanotkirtanadini vaidhi-bhakty uditani tu
yany angani ca tanyatra vijneyani manisibhih
["In vaidhi-bhakti one should practice the limbs of bhakti like sravana, kirtana, and so on according to one’s qualification. Similarly, it has been advised by scholars who are well versed in the principles of bhakti to follow the same practices on the path of raganuga-bhakti." (Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, 1.296)
Sravanotkirtanadini: This refers to all the nine limbs (angas) of bhakti; or to the five main limbs, namely sadhu-sanga (association of pure devotees), nama-kirtana (chanting the Lord’s holy names), bhagavata-sravana (hearing narrations of Srimad-Bhagavatam from the pure devotee), mathura-vasa (living in Vraja, Navadvipa, and Puri); and sri-murtira-sraddhaya-sevana (serving the Deity with faith). Whatever limbs of bhakti are executed in vaidhi-bhakti should be adopted in madhurya (raganuga)-bhakti also, but the bhava will be changed.
I will tell something more on another day.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: When we are doing japa, we are remembering the services described by Raghunatha dasa Gosvami in Vilapa-Kusumanjali – how he is preparing the cottage house near Radha-Kunda where Radha and Krsna will meet, how Rupa Manjari is massaging Krsna’s feet and Rati Manjari is massaging Srimati Radhika’s feet *[This conception is against Gaudiya Vaisnava siddhanta. Please see endnote. -ed]; this type of meditation. If we remember these activities while we are chanting, that is alright? We are not thinking that we are doing it; we are remembering that they are doing it.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Remembering, and having some greed to serve like that. Moreover, if you hear the meanings, which are very deep, then you will feel more joy and you will be able to remember with more greed. For now do as you are doing, and after that, when Krsna and your Gurudeva reveal what they want you to do, you should do that.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Can I ask some questions? When we are meditating on the activities of Sri Rupa Manjari and Sri Rati Manjari, we know that our Guru is also assisting them. So I want to know: when you are meditating on your Gurudeva, do you also meditate on assisting him in his service to Rupa Manjari?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We do it as assistants of Vinoda Manjari.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: How does a disciple – just as you are his disciple – how do you meditate on assisting Vinoda Manjari?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I will tell you afterward. You will also know your Gurudeva by his grace, and you will meditate accordingly.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I am asking this because you are always saying that we should meditate on Rupa Manjari or Rati Manjari. So I am only asking if we should meditate on our Gurudeva as you are meditating on serving Vinoda Manjari.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: As our acaryas have done, we meditate on our Gurudeva as a very near and dear sakhi of Rupa Manjari; and who has qualities like those of Rupa Manjari, but not exactly the same.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: As we are assisting our Gurudeva in our sadhaka form here, will we also be assisting him there?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The form of your Gurudeva which you have seen and served will surely come to you, so you can pray to him that his form as a sakhi will manifest in your heart. Then, when he gives you his darsana, at that time your meditation will be very easy for you. It is certain that he will somehow give an idea, and after that you will be able to realize and serve him there. Now you should only pray to him, “Please manifest yourself as you serve in Krsna-lila.”
Burijana dasa: “Tan no guroh pracodayat.”
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, that is the guru-mantra. We should know that he is certainly a sakhi of Rupa Manjari, performing all varieties of services to Srimati Radhika under Rupa Manjari’s guidance.
Regarding your Gurudeva’s sadhaka-sarira (the form as a devotee engaged in sadhana-bhajana in this world), that is already known to you. You can realize what you have seen and who you served as you watched him engage in sadhana-bhajana.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I can hold these questions ‘till next time, if you want, but I have a question to ask you about Caitanya-lila. Actually, I have a number of questions on this subject. For example, what form does our Guru take in Caitanya-lila?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: As he is – as he is now. You have seen him.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But we may have seen him over a period of so many years; we see that his form has somewhat changed.
Srila Narayana Maharaja: What you have seen, you can remember. Sri Advaita Acarya was old, and Srinivasa Acarya was mature, as were so many others.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But may I ask: I have some doubt on this point. We understand that the siddha-deha, the spiritual body, is eternally youthful, just as Krsna is always very youthful (nava-yauvana). But our Gurudeva’s body was elderly. So do you mean to say that in Svetadvipa of Goloka-dhama he will have an elderly body?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You will realize his form by his grace. As far as his sadhaka-sarira (the form of the raganuga practitioner in this world) is concerned, you should only remember what you have seen.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Does one also get a different body in Caitanya-lila?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is essential to know that neither your Guru nor our Guru has a material physical body. Their bodies are spiritual; their bodies are not at all like the body of a conditioned soul (baddha-jiva). His body and mind and soul is sat-cit-ananda.
But we see something created by the illusory maya because we are under the illusory maya. It may be that we cannot see his form as it is actually, but we will see what we have seen as his sadhaka-sarira. We can remember this form; no kalpana (imagination) is needed. Then, after some time, your Gurudeva will see the necessity to show you the form in which he serves Caitanya Mahaprabhu there; he may reveal that form.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Just as your Gurudeva has shown you his eternal identity as Vinoda Manjari, he may have an eternal identity in Caitanya-lila.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I do not do any kalpana…
Burijana dasa: Imagination.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Imagination.
I witnessed our Gurudeva serving Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in this body. As I have seen how he served, you have also seen your Gurudeva. We should always remember his sadhaka-sarira (his form as a devotee practitioner). This is his sadhaka-sarira, and he has another, siddha-sarira (spiritual form as a gopi maidservant in Goloka-Vrndavana) to serve Radha and Krsna.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: But what about Caitanya Mahaprabhu? I cannot grasp this point fully, because Radha and Krsna are in Goloka Vrndavana, and Vrndavana is manifest here. So a certain portion of Goloka is Navadvipa.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He can also go there in the form you saw; I have belief in this. And if anything is hidden, he will reveal it when there is need. We have seen our Gurudeva; always serving, always thinking of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and always preaching Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s instructions and mission.
In Gaura-lila, Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami served Him by rendering many services, among which was writing literature, and your Gurudeva has also done all these things. When he was in Gaura-lila at that time, it is not sure that he would have performed that same service. He played this role now, so in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila he may not have done so.
He has preached throughout the entire world. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami only served in Navadvipa, here in Mayapura, in Vrndavana, and in Puri, and your Gurudeva served all over the world. We need not imagine anything. We should understand that in the sadhaka-sarira that we have seen and realized, he has served Caitanya Mahaprabhu. And, if he has any other form as a parikara (associate) at the time of Caitanya Mahaprabhu in Caitanya-lila, he will reveal that to you when he will think it proper to do so.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In Goloka-dhama there is Vraja, there is Mathura, and there is Dvaraka; and we understand there is also Navadvipa. So, there is also Purusottama-ksetra (Jagannatha Puri)?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, Purusottama-ksetra is in Goloka-dhama. Purusottama-ksetra, Dvaraka – they are all in Goloka.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Does this means that since in Navadvipa Sri Caitanya is a grhastha (householder) and in Purusottama-ksetra He is a sannyasi, then these are all going on as nitya-lila?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Krsna is in Vrndavana, also in Mathura, and also in Dvaraka. His pastimes there are aprakata-lila.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What about when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went to South India? How is that shown in Goloka?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: There are some pastimes that are called nitya-lila (eternally taking place in the spiritual world and manifesting in the material world as well) and some are called…
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Naimittika (pastimes like killing demons and teaching the living entities. taking place only in the material world). Sannyasa lila is naimittika. Purusottama-ksetra is situated in Goloka-Svetadvipa, but there is no sannyasa-lila there.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The pastime of Mahaprabhu in South India is naimittika-lila, because it is part of the Lord’s teachings to the jiva souls. On the other hand, Navadvipa-lila is present in aprakata-lila, Mahaprabhu’s unmanifested pastimes in Goloka Svetadvipa.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: And Purusottama-ksetra-lila (Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s pastimes in Jagannatha Puri) is also there?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is secondary. [Just as Krsna complete in Dvaraka, more complete in Mathura, and most complete in Vrndavana, so Mahaprabhu is most complete in Navadvipa.]
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Navadvipa-lila is primary?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Primary.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I have one last question, regarding Srimati Tulasi-devi. Is there a separate jiva in each Tulasi plant? If so, how do we…?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Each plant is a manifestation of Tulasi devi. Tulasi devi can manifest anywhere, just as Krsna and Radhika manifest everywhere. Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika manifest in unlimited universes as well as in murti forms. Similarly, Srimati Tulasi devi manifests in unlimited universes and in unlimited places in the form of a plant.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: I mean to say that in a normal tree there is a jiva soul. So, since there are so many tulasi plants, are there…
Srila Narayana Maharaja: We can understand from the example of the salagram-sila. There are so many salagram-silas, but this does not mean that Narayana is different in each sila. He is not like the jivas. In the same way, Tulasi is one. All the Tulasi plants are the same Tulasi; they are not separate.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: These are not jivas?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, certainly not.
There are so many pieces of Govardhana silas – hundreds of millions of silas – and in each sila Govardhana is fully present. As the silas are not different Govardhanas, Tulasi is one.
In Krsna’s Vrndavana pastimes we see that Vrnda devi is a separate personality and Tulasi Manjari is a separate personality; and there is another Tulasi, who is a duti (messenger) of Vrnda devi. Also, here in this world, Tulasi (the plant) is a manifestation of Vrnda devi.
Sometimes the name Tulasi Manjari is used for Rati Manjari, that is, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has two names in his siddha form: Tulasi Manjari and Rati Manjari.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Is this the same person?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The same.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is Tulasi Manjari? She is under Vrnda devi? She is a duti of Vrnda?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No, Tulasi is a separate personality. Tulasi Manjari is one personality, and Tulasi is another. Tulasi is a dhuti, not a manjari. Later on, you will know. By and by, you will learn everything.
How are you?
Sripad Satsvarupa dasa Gosvami: Glad to be here.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Bhurijana said we should select the days on which we will do some parikrama.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We can select on another day. I have a very little something…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: A feeling in your heart?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, yesterday night, for half a minute. The doctor said, “You may have these symptoms for the next three months, so don’t fear.”
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: So tomorrow you will take rest. We will not come tomorrow.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, at least one day there should be rest. The subject we discussed today is enough for you.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: More than enough; and there will be many tomorrows.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can think about what we discussed.
Sripad Giriraja Maharaja: The day after tomorrow is Sunday.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: No problem.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: This is no problem for you? Many people do not come on Sunday morning?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They come, but you will come at this time in the morning.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: We will try to come by 9:30 sharp. Sunday will not be a problem for you?
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can come like they come.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: That is also nice – to see them seeing you. We become happy to see this.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They are very good devotees; they help me in so many ways. I respect them as Vrajavasis.
(End of the day’s conversation. To be continued…)
*[Endnote (from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s discussions with several GBC members, on the subject of Vilapa Kusumanjali, Mathura, India, 1991:
Rupa-manjari-kararcita-pada-padma/ gosthendra-nandana bhujarpita-mastakayah from Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s Vilapa-kusumanjali, verse 72). There are two meanings here. One meaning is that Krsna's feet are worshipped by Srimati Rupa Manjari, or in other words, Rupa Manjari is massaging Krsna's feet. Radha and Krsna are lying down on a bed, Srimati Radhika’s head is on the lap of Krsna, and Krsna is holding Her head in His hand. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is praying that, “O Svaminiji, O Srimati Radhika, can You bless me, give me some mercy, that I will serve Your feet at that time?”
The commentary above, given by Radha-kunda babajis, is not correct. Gaudiya Vaisnavas do not accept this; they do not consider it a good thing. We follow anugatya-dharma (the principle of following in the footsteps of guru and guru-parampara, following under their guidance, and taking their remnants).
Bhakti is of anugatya. If Krsna's feet are served by Rupa Manjari and Srimati Radhika's feet are served by Rati Manjari, then there would be no anugatya of Rupa Manjari; they would not be in the same category.
Another thing is that a manjari wants to serve Radhika more than Krsna. So it is not possible that Rati Manjari's guru-sakhi, Rupa Manjari, would be serving Krsna and Rati Manjari, being subordinate, would take the feet of Srimati Radhika.
The idea of guru and Vaisnavas is like this: Krsna is sitting. Srimati Radhika is overjoyed and She has become svadhina-bhartrika. Svadhina-bhartrika means that if Srimati Radhika tells Krsna, “You should stand up,” Krsna will stand up. Fully controlled by Her, He will reply, “O yes.” Then, if She tells Him, “You should put on My earrings. O, You should comb and decorate My hair,” Krsna will do everything for Her.
Only Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari are present on this occasion. Srimati Radhika’s head is in the lap of Krsna. If both were lying down, as the babajis say, it would not be possible for Her head to be on Krsna’s lap. Actually Krsna is sitting, and Srimati Radhika is lying down with Her head on His lap. Krsna has Her head in His hand, and He is very softly caressing Her hair. If anything is ‘wrong’ there, He is making it right and smoothing it out; and Radhika is so pleased with this service.
At this time Rupa Manjari is serving Radhika's feet, and Rati Manjari is praying to Rupa Manjari, “I want to take your prasadam remnants.” What is the meaning of ‘remnants’ in this connection? Rati Manjari prays, “You are serving Radhika's feet. Will you give me the order that I should also come and serve Her feet?” Rupa Manjari then places one of Radhika’s lotus feet on the lap of Rati Manjari, and both massage Her feet. This is anugatya-bhava.
We should always try to be in the anugatya of our Gurudeva: Gurudeva, parama-gurudeva, paratpara-gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Kamala Manjari, Nayana Manjari, Vilas Manjari, Narottama Thakura, Rupa Manjari, Ananga Manjari, Lavanga Manjari, and so on. This is in the line of anugatya-dharma, which we never disobey.
This meaning is very pleasing and so good for all, so we accept this meaning and not the other one.]

To Be Covered By Sweetness

Sunday, 30 May 2010
Discussions with the GBC
On the book, Raga-Vartma-Candrika [Part 4]
Mathura, India: 1991
[Respected Harikatha Readers,
Please accept our humble obeisances. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
In 1991, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja led several members of the ISKCON GBC discussions on Raga-vartma-candrika, a famous Sanskrit treatise written by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura. Below is the Part 4 in that series of discussions, and we hope to send you the rest, one after another (Links for Parts 1, 2, 3).
Your aspiring servants, the Harikatha Team]
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: As Lalita trains Srimati Radhika in this way [for Radhika’s nocturnal meeting with Sri Krsna], Rupa Manjari watches, and our guru in this world, as sakhi-manjari in that world, also watches.
The manjaris know everything – at what time they should go and how they should go – and they very cleverly make all arrangements. This is abhisara (the nocturnal meeting).
Krsna is waiting at Sanketa. The night is dark, and it is raining. The manjaris come there first to find Krsna and tell Him that Srimati Radhika will not come that night. Actually, Radhika has already come and is hiding, watching to see Krsna’s reaction. In order to further increase Krsna’s desire for Srimati Radhika, the manjaris lie to Him, saying, “She will not come tonight.” Krsna practically faints at that time, and anxiously suggests a way for Radhika to meet with Him. If the manjaris see that Krsna is sincerely hankering to meet with Radhika, they at once go and tell Her, and She then comes to Him. Otherwise, She will not come.
Sometimes, when it is time for abhisara, it may be that their fathers-in-law or mothers-in-law, or all of their sisters-in-law, are present in their homes. The manjaris must be so clever that they can find a way to cheat their in-laws, telling them lies and cleverly devising a way for Radha and Krsna to meet. This is called abhisara. The manjaris perform all these activities; they know so many clever tricks.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: What is the exact meaning of that word abhisara?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You should know the meaning of abhisarika. It is a Sanskrit word referring to the heroine who leaves her home and travels to meet her lover at the assigned rendezvous bower. There are eight kinds of gopis: 1) abhisarika, meaning ‘the gopi who arranges the abhisara (meeting).’
2) Vasaksajja, meaning ‘the beloved gopi who beautifies the bower with various types of decorations in the mood of preparing the bed-chamber for her dearmost lover.’ She is always thinking that “Krsna is coming just now, just now, just now.” As she makes the bed, she is always listening for any noise. If she hears a rustling sound of leaves, she thinks that Krsna is coming.
3) Utkanthita, meaning ‘the gopi who repeatedly glances down the path in great eagerness, anxiously anticipating the arrival of her beloved Sri Krsna.’ She is so eager for Krsna to come, thinking, “Krsna is just coming, just coming, just coming. When will He come? When will He come?” Then, if Krsna does not reach there, she is called khandita.
4) Khandita: When Krsna arrives late and His body bears some signs of having enjoyed with another lover, the heroine becomes extremely jealous, either chastising Him or pouting. On the occasion that the time for meeting Krsna is over and He has not yet come, she wonders why not. “Why has He not come? There must be some reason. Perhaps He has gone to another gopi, or He may have fallen into danger. There are so many demons in Vrndavana. Perhaps He had to…”
Sripad Dhanurdhara Maharaja: Watch out?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yudha karna.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Fight.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: “Perhaps He had to fight with some demons, or something else may have happened.”
Krsna finally comes, well after the appointed time, when it is about to be morning. Seeing some signs on Krsna’s body indicating that He has just come from another beloved, the heroine becomes so furious. She then has a lover’s quarrel with Him, and after that does not speak to Him.
5) Kalahantarita: When, due to some quarrel with Krsna the heroine sends Him away, in Her anguish she becomes even more bereaved due to dismissing Him.
On the occasion that Krsna apologizes, falls at the feet of Radhika, and at last convinces Her to give up Her anger, Srimati Radhika commands Him, “Put on My ankle-bells; braid My hair and decorate it.” and Krsna follows Her order. At this time, She is called 6) svadhina-bhartrka. There is no English equivalent for this word, but the meaning is that the lover is…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Under her control.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: That lady who has gotten her lover under her control.
[The other two kinds of heroine are: 7) Vipralabdha: If the heroine sits waiting in the secluded bower, and her lover does not show up at all, then She feels greatly disappointed; and 8) Prosita-bhartrka, whose lover is far away in a distant place.]
In each situation that manjari has some duty – to rebuke Krsna, to make Him understand, or to give consolation to Radhika. All the qualities required for service at these times reside in the manjaris. They prepare, give sympathy, decorate, and make so many arrangements:
nikunja-yuno rati -keli-siddhyai ya yalibhir yuktir apeksaniya
tatrati-daksyad ati-vallabhasya vande guroh sri caranaravindam
["Sri Gurudeva is always present with the sakhis, planning the arrangements for the perfection of Yugala Kisora’s amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kunjas of Vrndavana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Sri Radha and Krsna. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Sri Gurudeva."]
So many arrangements are required to serve Radha and Krsna when They meet in the kunja and engage in Their pleasurable amorous affairs (vilasa). The sakhis and manjaris must cheat others, meet with Krsna, rebuke Him, and so on. Rupa Manjari is highly experienced – quite fit to do all these services.
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Well-trained.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Well-trained. We should always remember what she does in her siddha-sarira (form as a gopi) as Rupa Manjari, and we should adopt her mood. However, until we receive our sthayi-bhava (our constitutional mood in one of the four rasas), which comes from hladini-sakti, we can only pray to have all these things as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays in Vilapa Kusumanjali.
We cannot perform these services in our present stage, and the guru warns his neophyte disciples not to try. We can only pray, “When will my good fortune come, so that I will actually be able to render service like Rupa Manjari, Ananga Manjari, and our gurus?”
Tad bhava lipsuna karya [tat means ‘of that,’ bhava means ‘the mood,’ lipsuna means ‘desiring to obtain,’ and karya means ‘to be executed.’] The devotee with genuine greed follows the mood and activities of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and our Gurudeva in his sadhaka-rupa (his form as a practitioner of raganuga-bhaki in this world), and in his siddha-rupa (his internally conceived form of a manjari), he follows Rupa Manjari, Rati Manjari, and Labanga Manjari in their service to Radha-Krsna Yugala (the divine couple).
Vraja-lokanusaratah [vraja-loka means ‘of a particular servant of Krsna in Vrndavana, and anusaratah means ‘following in the footsteps]: Those who have genuine greed must do just as the Vrajavasis have done. Here, ‘Vrajavasis’ refers to Rupa Manjari and other manjaris in madhurya-rasa.
Krsna performs two kinds of pastimes, aisvarya-lila and madhurya-lila. What is aisvarya-lila? Krsna is always full of six opulences: jnana, vairagya, sri, and so on (full knowledge, renunciation, beauty, strength, fame, and wealth). He always exhibits these, whether He is in His form as Narayana or whether He is in His original form as Krsna.
We see that Krsna is full of these six virtues even in Vrndavana; He is never without them. When He killed Putana, He was a baby of only a few days. She tried to fly away when He took her breast in His mouth, but Krsna would not let her go: “Oh, I will take your milk, and at the same time your…”
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: “Your life.”
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: “Your life. I will keep you with Me always; I will never leave you.”
Putana had the power of 10,000 elephants, yet she could not break away from Krsna. Baby Krsna was doing nothing, only gripping her breast in His mouth, yet He took her life. This is truly aisvarya-lila,
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Full power.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But Krsna never changed His form. He remained as a baby and simply kept hold of Putana’s breast.
The residents of Vrndavana (Vraja-loka), are all engaged with Krsna in nara-lila, His sweet human-like pastimes. This pastime of killing Putana is in the category of nara-lila, even though Putana was killed by aisvarya. There is also aisvarya in Vraja, but side by side with madhurya. Moreover, the gopis see only madhurya, not aisvarya. Aisvarya is there, but…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Covered by madhurya.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is covered by madhurya. It is not that in Vrndavana there is no aisvarya-lila. In fact, the aisvarya in Vraja is greater than in that of Dvaraka or even that of Vaikuntha, but it is always covered by madhurya. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has written that if there were only nara-lila and no aisvarya in Krsna, He would be simply an ordinary human child performing human activities. Without the quality of aisvarya, He cannot be God, and He would not be worshipped as the worshipful Deity of the various rasas. Without aisvarya…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: He is not God.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is not God, nor would He be the gopis’ object of worship (upasya).
There is an interesting point to be noted here. We see that Nanda Baba, Yasoda, and all the gopas and gopis accept Krsna as Nanda Baba and Yasoda’s son, or as their friend; and they behave accordingly. When everyone saw seven year-old Krsna lifting Govardhana Hill on His left pinky finger, the elderly gopas told Nanda Baba, “This child is not an ordinary boy. He is just like Narayana, and perhaps He‘s even Narayana Himself.”
Nanda Baba replied, “He may be Narayana ; but He is still my son. At the time of Krsna’s name-giving ceremony, I heard this from…”
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Paurnamasi.
Burijana dasa: Garga Rsi.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, Garga Rsi. Garga Rsi had told Nanda Baba and the other Vrajavasis at the time of Krsna’s name-giving ceremony that Krsna is not less than Narayana, and that He was previously Vasudeva’s son. This is why all the elder gopas were now saying, “So, don’t treat Him as your son, and don’t rebuke Him or tie Him up. Don’t abuse Him. Don’t call Him “Little thief” or “Cheater, rascal.” *[See endnote 1]
Nanda Baba at once laughed and said, “You are saying that He is God and that He held up Govardhana on His finger. Garga Rsi has also told us this. But I see that you are over sixty. Your mind is not working correctly. Krsna comes and begs from His mother, ‘Give me bread and butter.’ And He always weeps.
If He doesn’t get what He wants when He wants it, He becomes furious with anger; and sometimes He steals. These are not the symptoms of God. So whether or not He held up Govardhana, He is my son.
Nanda Baba concluded, “But in my opinion, He did not do it; it was actually our Deity of Narayana, our grha-devata.
Burijana dasa: The worshipful Deity of our home.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes, the Deity of our home. It was He who lifted Govardhana upon hearing our prayer. We prayed to Narayana, and therefore He answered our prayers. It only appears that Krsna has done this.
He is my son. If for argument’s sake we say that He is God, still He is my son. I will rebuke Him, I will discipline Him, and I will do whatever else is needed to make Him behave properly. I will keep him by my side.”
Here, Nanda Maharaja is actually seeing that all of Krsna’s virtues make Him appear like God, but even though Krsna had performed an act of God, Nanda Baba still cannot give up his belief that Krsna is his son.
Vasudeva and Devaki have a different conception. After killing Kamsa, Krsna and Balarama went to them in prison and untied their hathakari berhi
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami and Sripad Dhanurdhara Maharaja: Shackles.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Shackles and handcuffs. The two boys wanted to offer obeisances to Their mother and father, who were standing with folded palms and praying, “Oh, You are God. We saw You…
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: In the wrestling arena?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We saw You when You originally appeared to us in a four-handed form, and now You have also come here before us.”
Krsna thought, “My pastimes will be…”
Sripad Tamal Krsna Gosvami: Spoiled?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: “My pastimes will be spoiled by their mood of aisvarya.” He therefore called for Yogamaya to come. Yogamaya came, and at the same time Krsna climbed onto Devaki’s lap and began to weep. Then, by the effect of Yogamaya, Devaki also began to weep; and Baladeva fell at the feet of Vasudeva, who began to weep as well. But Vasudeva and Devaki never saw Krsna as their son; they always considered Him as God.
Here we see the aisvarya mood of Vasudeva and Devaki. It is accompanied with some madhurya, but so little that that madhurya cannot cover the aisvarya. But in Vraja, even if there is an abundance of aisvarya, Yasoda and Nanda do not forget that He is their son; they always remember this. For example, their breasts swell with pride as they observe, “Oh, Krsna has lifted Govardhana Hill. My son has done this? Oh, now all of Vraja can see how strong and powerful is my son.” *[See endnote 2]
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given these good examples, as he has also given examples for madhura-rasa. Regarding the gopis, he gives the example of the occasion that Uddhava went to Vraja to give them consolation. At that time Uddhava heard Radhika telling the bumblebee, “O bee, go at once! Get out of here. We will have no sandhi with Krsna. What is the meaning of sandhi?
Burijana dasa: Connection, no connection.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: When two parties come to some agreement in court, what is that called?
Sripad Dhanurdhara Maharaja: Settlement.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Mutual settlement.
Sripad Giriraja Maharaja: I looked it up in the Brahmara-gita, and it means ‘reconciliation.’
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Yes. “We cannot make any reconciliation with Him. We know who He is. We know who this person is, from His many previous births; not just from this birth.”
This is the ‘aisvarya’ mood of Radhika and the gopis. This is how they ‘realize Krsna’s Godhood.’ They say, “Paurnimasi has told us about Krsna, and we have faith in her words. She told us that in His previous birth He was Rama, and He had the same blackish color as Krsna [deep green is also called ‘syama’] He loved Sita so much that He became Her servant; when He went to the forest He even took Her with Him and became her order-supplier. He cannot live alone, just as Krsna cannot live alone. Krsna always has to keep some lady with Him.
“Sita once told Him, ‘Oh, look at that golden deer! Please go and bring it to me, either dead or alive. If it is alive I will take it to Ayodhya when our time of exile is finished, and at that time I will give it to Kaikeyi Ma or Bharata. And, if it is dead, I will make a mrgachalla from it.” Do you know the meaning of mrgachala? It is used as an asana.
Burijana dasa: Deerskin
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: “‘Or, I will make a very soft deerskin asana. In either case, I want it.’
“Laksmana warned Rama, ‘I think this is the maya (illusory creation) of demons. You must not go.’
“But we know that even Lord Brahma cannot change the mind of a lady once she has determined something, and what to speak of Rama, who is a servant of that lady. So Rama went to capture the deer.
“At another time Surpanakha (a man-eating demoness) came disguised to Rama, saying, ‘I am so beautiful, and You are so handsome. I want to marry you. Your wife is not as beautiful as I. I am available for you.’ Rama replied, ‘Better to go to Laksmana. He is unmarried. My wife is here, so I cannot accept you; but He is single, so you can go to Him.’ Surpanakha then went and told this to Laksmana, who asked her, ‘Do you want to be a maidservant or do you want to be the queen?’ She answered, ‘I want to be the queen.’ Laksmana replied, ‘I am the servant of Rama. If you wed Me, you will be a maidservant. Rama can have many marriages and every wife will be a queen. So return to Rama.’ Again Surpanakha went to Ramacandra, who directed her back to Laksmana. Finally she became furious and was ready to eat Sita. At that time Rama told Laksmana, ‘Don’t joke with her. Great harm will come of this.’”
Don’t ever joke with ladies. Don’t laugh with them or make them laugh.
The gopis continued, “Rama was so cruel and lusty. Why did He cut Surpanakha’s nose and ears? He purposely marred her, just to make her ugly so that no one would ever marry her, and even her husband would not keep her. In her next birth Surpanakha came as Kubja, who was again so ugly that no one would marry her. So see what kind of person He is. See how cruel He is.
“Then, in Satya-yuga, Krsna came as Vamana, and for no good reason He cheated Bali Maharaja, telling him, ‘I will take only three steps of land.’ Bali Maharaja agreed, ‘Yes, I will give you this.’ But when Vamana began to take His steps, He became so tall that with two steps He covered all three planetary systems and pierced the covering of the universe with the toes of His left foot. He then needed somewhere to place His foot for His third step, and Bali Maharaja offered himself, but still He was not satisfied. He tied Bali up and threw him down to hell.
“That is what we know about that person, so we will not make any reconciliation with Him. Go away from here at once.”
This is what Srimati Radhika was saying to the bumble-bee.
Here, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti states that the gopis heard from Paurnamasi that Krsna is God, that He came as Rama, Vamana, and all other incarnations, but nonetheless they personally recognized Him only as their lover.
In this way, there is aisvarya in Vraja, but it is always covered with madhurya. Moreover, this aisvarya-bhava in the gopis comes only in viraha-bhava, in their mood of separation, not in meeting. Their aisvarya-bhava is like a piece of grass in three or four manas [1 mana = 40 kilos] of milk as the milk is being boiled over a very big fire. After much time, when that milk becomes very hot and begins to boil, the piece of grass comes up, but at once goes down.
So only in the heat of separation is that ‘grass’ of aisvarya-bhava seen in the gopis. It is not visible all the time. Moreover, even when there is aisvarya, the gopis love Krsna only as their lover. They never think of Him as God.
When aisvarya is anukula…
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Favorable.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: When aisvarya is favorable to nara-lila, in other words, when Krsna continues to act like an ordinary human, then it is madhurya.
Here is an example of the madhurya-bhava that is sometimes in the heart of Devaki and Arjuna. For instance, when Krsna was sitting on the chariot, Arjuna told Him, “O Krsna, take my chariot to the middle of the battlefield.” And Krsna did that. But then, when Arjuna saw the Visvarupa, Krsna’s universal form, he became very nervous and said, “I will not address You as ‘Friend.’ You are God Himself.”
Arjuna became…
Burijana dasa: Aisvarya covered him.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Aisvarya was more powerful. Arjuna was overpowered by aisvarya and forgot that Krsna was his friend. Arjuna’s mood, as well as the mood of all other associates in Dvaraka-lila, is full of aisvarya. Sometimes there is madhurya, but it is always defeated by aisvarya.
In nara-lila the devotee thinks that Krsna is the lover of the gopis, and He is Radha-kanta, the lover of Srimati Radhika. So, just as the gopis in nara-lila serve Radha and Krsna, we should also serve Them, as manjaris. This is the meaning of vraja-lokanusaratah.
Nanda Baba, Yasoda, and the gopis have a relationship with Krsna as human beings even though they are not humans – this is nara-lila.
You can see the meaning in Sri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu.
Bhurijana dasa: The whole verse: “In this Vraja, one engaged in spiritual practices under subservience to the residents of Vraja, with an eager longing to follow in the mood of their bhavas, (the feelings, and sentiments, of one’s desired dearest one of Sri Krsna) should serve Them both – Sri Krsna and his dearest Sri Radha (or Sri Nanda-Yasoda, as the case may be). This is applicable both in the stage of a sadhaka, the stage of spiritual practices while still in bondage, and also in the stage of siddha, when one has attained the object of such spiritual practices.”
["In the transcendental realm of Vraja one should serve the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, with a feeling similar to that of His associates, and one should place himself under the direct guidance of a particular associate of Krsna and should follow in his footsteps. This method is applicable both in the stage of sadhana and in the stage of sadhya , when one is a siddha-purusa, or a spiritually perfect soul." [We have included this translation, as quoted in Srila Prabhupada’s Nectar of Instruction Verse 8, for any readers who may find this translation clearer.]
Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja: I have also told this...
Bhurijana dasa: You have explained it very nicely.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is the second sloka quoted by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura.
[*Endnote 1 (Jagannatha Puri, Oct. 13, 2001)
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] But it is only in viraha (separation) that the gopis, and all the Vrajavasis, sometimes say, "Oh, He's God, the Supreme Lord." And in what context do they say this? They say, "Paurnamasi has told us this." Or, "Gargacarya has told us." Somehow they have heard this from them, but they themselves have no realization that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
[Prema-prayojana dasa:] Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura is always using the word 'jnana'. "They have the jnana that Krsna is Bhagavan; that He's Paramesvara."
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] They 'knew,' but 'know' in this connection means 'knowing (hearing) from others.' It does not mean, "I know; I have realization." It means they were 'hearing' that Krsna is God.
[*Endnote 2 (Holland, June 28, 2002)
[Syamarani dasi:] In the middle of your class you were explaining that none of the Vrajavasis know, or believe, that Krsna is the Supreme Lord.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes.
[Syamarani dasi:] Someone who doubted that principle once asked you, "What about the pastime in which Krsna became Visnu and Radhika became Laksmi?" You replied, "No. There's a deep meaning there…"
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] This was play.
[Syamarani dasi:] Can you please explain further?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] It was only play. No associates – not even the grasses, creepers, parrots and birds, what to speak of any Vrajavasis like Nanda Baba or Yasoda Ma – ever believe that Krsna is the Supreme Lord. Krsna may be the Supreme Lord, the Lord of lords. He may be; but to the Vrajavasis Krsna is a friend, a son, or a beloved; only this.
[Syamarani dasi:] So they were playing a game?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Yes, it was for the recreation and entertainment (mano-ranjana) of Radha and Krsna and the gopis. Actually they do not know. They are all greater than Brahma, Sankara, and even Narada. They can teach bhakti to Narada, but still they don’t know that Krsna is the Supreme Lord. If anyone would tell them that He is God, the Vrajavasis would reply sarcastically, "Oh yes, you are right. Be right. Very good. If He is the Supreme Lord, then I want that everyone will attain bhakti to His lotus feet." Then bas [a Hindi word meaning ‘that’s the end of it’]; nothing is felt regarding Krsna's being God, and nothing is said further.