sábado, 27 de noviembre de 2010

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sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year-3, Issue 11
Posted: 26 November 2010

Dedicated to
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada

Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Inspired by and under the guidance of

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Sri Guru Is Present In All Things

by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada

(Portrait of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada)

Question 1: Are genuine saints (sadhus) respected in this world?

Answer: In a world full of duplicity, only duplicitous persons are honoured. Genuine saints, who do not lead the masses along the wrong path, are not respected in this world. In modern times, simply getting cheated by those who mislead the masses through a pretentious form of spiritual discourse has somehow emerged as the religion of the age (yuga-dharma). And because the true saints wish to expose wicked and unholy persons (asadhus), those same unholy cheaters bewilder the masses by condemning the true saints as unholy, duplicitous and thieves themselves in a ploy to secure their escape. The illusory potency of the Lord, maya, never allows the jivas to be sincere (niskapata) and to that end she has even devised various expert strategies for depriving the jivas of the association of genuine sadhus.

Question 2: Is it possible to have darsana of the Supreme Lord without first having darsana of sri guru?

Answer: Definitely not. Sri guru is the fully transcendent (aprakrta) temple of Sri Bhagavan, and Bhagavan always resides within that temple. Bhagavan Sri Krsna, who is controlled by love, manifests Himself within sadhu-guru and remains there always. It is written in the scriptures:

srutim apare smrtim itare
bharatam anye bhajantu bhava-bhitah
aham iha nandam vande
yasyalinde param brahma

Padyavali (126)

Others may serve the Srutis, Smrtis, the Mahabharata and other scriptures, fearing material existence, but I shall worship Nanda Maharaja, who is so great that the Supreme Brahman, the Absolute Truth Himself, plays in his courtyard.

Many people present themselves as being highly eager to have darsana of Bhagavan, but they do not understand that darsana of Bhagavan is only possible through darsana of guru. Without having darsana of sri guru, having darsana of Bhagavan is not even imaginable. Even bhakti herself does not begin to manifest if the entity known as sri guru is not present.

Sri guru is the sole medium by which we are connected to Sri Krsna and given direct audience of His lotus feet. And the way Sri Krsna demonstrates His infinite mercy is by sending the greatest Vaisnavas, His dear-most servants, to this world. Indeed, sri guru is the personification of Krnsa’s infinite mercy. Only he who teaches us about serving the Deity and the Holy Name is sri gurudeva.

It is not sufficient to serve sri guru only with awe and reverence from a distance. We must serve sri guru with intimacy, that is, with deep love and faith (visrambha guru-seva), just as Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami intimately served Sri Svarupa Damodara Prabhu.

Question 3: What will happen to me if I forget sri guru?

Answer: The moment I deviate from sri guru, the moment I become forgetful of he who keeps me attracted to his lotus feet at every single moment, I will, without a doubt, diverge from the Truth. And when I am thus separated from sri guru, countless misgivings and deficiencies will engulf me. I shall simply spend my time bathing when I’m hot and bundling up when I’m cold. In other words, I will become more anxious to arrange for my own comfort than to serve sri gurudeva.

If at the beginning of every year, every month, every day and every moment, I do not remember my gurudeva, who saves me from absorption in that which has no connection to my constitutional nature or are separate from krsna-bhakti, then I will definitely fall into greater and greater difficulty. I will try to present myself as guru and will be swallowed up by the ill-mentality of believing that others should worship me as such. This alone is dvitiya abhinivesa – infatuation with the worthless purposes of our unnatural state. To come and offer guru-puja just for one day is insufficient. It is our duty to serve gurudeva at every moment.

Question 4: Who sees shortcomings in the Vaisnavas?

Answer: Only those who are averse to hari-bhajana, and who are purely dependent on their material senses – their eyes, ears, nose and so on – which are doomed to perceive only the external aspect of things, look for faults in the Vaisnavas. In Srimad Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krsna has declared that a devotee of the Lord is never touched by inauspiciousness; he never perishes – na me bhaktah pranasyati (Srimad Bhagavad-gita 9.31).

How can those who are engaged in exclusive bhajana of the Lord ever become degraded? Verily they attain only the greatest welfare. Because my vision is imperfect, I see faults in others. Thus I am unable to attain my own welfare.

If I become completely dependent on the observations and perceptions of my senses, then I will be deprived of service to Adhoksaja – the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is beyond the reach of the senses – and I will be deprived of service to sri gurudeva. It is because of my own dismal state that I allow my mind to happily dwell on the misfortune of others. I am only so attracted to finding faults in others because I myself am full of faults. If I am able to achieve my own welfare, then no time will remain for seeing faults in others.

Question 5: Is sri guru present in everything?

Answer: Yes. The acaryas who comprise our asraya-jatiya guru-varga* are present in various forms in order to bestow mercy upon us. All these forms are manifestations of sri gurudeva himself – he who imparts transcendental knowledge (divya-jnana). The image of the jagad-guru is reflected in various idealistic entities. My sri gurudeva is being reflected in every entity. The visaya-jatiya aspect of Krsna (Krsna as the object of love) is one half of the Absolute Reality. The other half is the asraya-jatiya aspect (wherein love of God takes shelter). The completeness of the Absolute Reality exists in the variegatedness of the transcendental pastimes of these two aspects. The complete perception of the visaya-jatiya aspect is Sri Krsna, and the complete perception of the asraya-jatiya aspect is my sri gurudeva. The transcendental reflection of the asraya-jatiya aspect in all the conscious cosmic manifestation is the manifestation of my gurudeva alone, in diverse forms. He who teaches us at every moment that we should engage in serving Bhagavan for our entire life is certainly sri gurudeva. This very same gurudeva is reflected in the heart of every living being. He is present in every single entity in his asraya-jatiya aspect.

* The line of pure gurus in whose hearts Sri Bhagavan resides

Question 6: When does someone attain a sphurti (momentary vision) of Bhagavan in his heart?

Answer: By good fortune, someone may perceive sri gurudeva wandering in his heart – that is to say, he may have darsana of sri gurudeva in his heart. Only in such a pure heart does the momentary vision (sphurti) of Bhagavan take place. There is no other means to attain service to the Supreme Lord than serving and pleasing sri guru, he who inspires us to engage in serving Sri Bhagavan by all means and in every activity.

Question 7: If I do not completely surrender to the lotus feet of sri guru, am I simply deceiving myself?

Answer: Definitely. I may consider that I have received mantra from guru, but in real terms, if I am not prepared to accept full shelter at the lotus feet of sri gurudeva, then to whatever extent I act with duplicity, I will be cheated.

Translated by the Rays of The Harmonist team
from Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta
Questions re-numbered for this on-line presentation

Srila Prabhupadera Upadesamrta is a compilation of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada’s instructions in question-and-answer form.


Special On-line Edition: On the disappearance day of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, 25 December 2010
Next Issue – Year 3, Issue 12: “Don’t Take God’s Name in Vain”, 26 December 2010
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viernes, 26 de noviembre de 2010


Bhagavat Maharaja on Thursday, November 25, 2010 

Please reply to  bvbhagavat@gmail.com


Dandavats and Pranams to ONE and ALL,

Reading test results on MRI, PET, and CT scans is sometimes difficult. It is not just a case of we saw one thing before and we see another thing now. The overall condition of the patient can be vastly improving even while it appears on the test that no progress is being made. All this time since September when they had the first test and Srila Gurudevas over all health went into a crisis mode where he was not eating and there were many physical disturbances to his health, his daily vital functions, and the very stability of his life they have been trying to get him stabilized. So as I have said before they have not addressed the cancer directly or aggressively because he was not able to handle the basic functions of life what to speak of fighting off and eliminating the disassembly of a tumor. 


His present condition is stable. His vital functions like blood pressure, and blood sugar, oxygen levels in the blood, and other things are stable. He does not have excessive mucous and the tube in his nose and throat  has been removed. He is eating himself and eats a little more each day. He is drinking a lot more, water and electrolyte fluids, which help him to be more hydrated. Also he is retaining most of what he consumes. His pain and discomfort are greatly reduced. He sits up, walks a little, talks to others, and in general has been increasingly performing more and more of his regular bodily activities on his own or with a little assistance. These are all good signs. 


The test results have shown that the tumor in the sigmoid/rectum area has increased in size. However it cannot be said that this is really a bad sign because in fact they have not been agressively treating the cancer. Until now they have been nourishing Srila Gurudeva and getting him ready for the agressive treatment of the cancer. Furthermore even though it has increased in size it is not obstructing his bowel functions which is a good sign. Most importantly it has not spread to any vital organs in the body and all of his vital organs like liver, pancreas, brain, lungs, and other organs where the cancer usually travels to have not been affected and are functioning well at this point. Again these are all really positive signs.


Also most of you know that cancer just doesn't go away in a few weeks from the time of the observation of its presence in the body. It has been ten weeks since the last test and with this test they now have a much better idea of where Srila Gurudeva is at present. This information was absolutely essential because based on these results they are now better informed and are better able to develop various treatment plans for aggressively fighting the cancer at its present stage. 


So although the test results were not what all of us had hoped for, which would have been that the tumor had not grown or had even reduced, still there are many good reasons for all of us to remain hopeful. Madhava Maharaja and Brajanath Prabhu are not giving up. They see positive signs and are hopeful. 


I want to tell you a few stories about the glory of our Srila Gurudeva. I spoke with one of his disciples who told me that when she had her diagnosis of cancer she went to see Srila Gurudeva. He did not even ask her what was on her mind. He just said Oh I am glad you have come I have so many services for you. She began engaging in Srila Gurudevas service and taking her naturopathic products and her cancer disappeared. My sister sang My Sweet Lord for Srila Gurudeva and inspired all the devotees to chant enthusiastically. He gave her his garland in appreciation for her service. He was not informed she had a tumor at the time. 3 weeks later when she had the test the doctor said that the cancer has so thoroughly disappeared from your body that if I did not know you had cancer I would say you never had cancer. There was also an elderly woman in Hong Kong who had cancer and Srila Gurudeva blessed her and she has no more cancer. 


Is it possible that the person who has performed all of these miraculous healing's in others can fall victim to this condition himself? Please remember who our Srila Gurudeva is! He is the sum total of of all of the demigods, the external manifestation of the Supreme Lord, he is as good as God! I mean lets get real we are way beyond any of the imaginary superheros here and his powers are real! So, you may be asking, then what is going on here? Why is this lila taking place? If Srila Gurudeva is so powerful and in control why is he going through this? If we are a little selfish we may even be asking why he is putting all of us through this emotional roller coaster? 


Srila Gaura Govinda Maharaja once said that the Guru having a diseased condition is very difficult to understand. He also said that there is some special Rasa which is being tasted in this condition between the Supreme Lord and his representative. When I was a young Brahmachari I approached Srila Prabhupada once to question him about what was going on when he was ill. How was he suffering for his disciples and why. As I asked my question his face developed a scowl and he arched his eyebrows and looked at me fiercely. Raising his hand and making a motion of complete dismissal with it, he chastised me with a raised voice "you cannot understand this DO NOT ASK!"  So personally I feel that it is better for us to stop trying to penetrate the mysteries of this mystical spiritual event with our mundane mind and intelligence and focus on our personal spiritual development of becoming more attached to Srila Gurudeva and his service.


Just as Krishna was observing the various moods that the Gopis were going through in the forest after He left the rasa dance Srila Gurudeva is also observing us in this drama. Just as Krishna was seeing how much the Gopis were feeling His presence in His absence so Srila Gurudeva is seeing how much we are learning the art of serving in separation and feeling his presence in his absence. The Gopis approach to this was totally selfless. Whatever was going on for them emotionally was being offered as a service to Krishna, to satisfy Him. The Gopis expressed to Krishna that everyone in the world is happy except us. We who love you so much are suffering in your separation yet still you do not appear before us. We love you so much and yet we are suffering so much that we want to die in separation from you. In Srila Vishvanath Chakravarti Thakuras commentary Sri Krishna responds to them by saying 'If you really loved me then you would die" The commentary continues as the Gopis response is astounding: "We know that you are enjoying some pleasure in our suffering (observing their spiritual emotional maturation) therefore we cannot die because then your pleasure would end. This is unconditional love in its highest form.


In the spiritual dance of love between Krishna and his devotees the primary concern is always is Krishna receiving pleasure from this service of mine. We should be focused on giving Srila Gurudeva pleasure by taking this seriously and showing him how we can put what he has taught us into practice and prepare ourselves to be in the mood of service in separation. If not now at some point we will have to face this prospect and right now Srila Gurudeva the perfect spiritual master is guiding us through the process. This is our chance to develop so much love and attachment to Srila Gurudeva who will in turn offer that to the divine couple Sri Sri Radha Vinode Bihari.


Srila Gurudeva Ki Jaya!


Your Uncle

B.V. Bhagavat Swami

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jueves, 25 de noviembre de 2010

No Separation Between Us - Badger - June 14, 2010

Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
No Separation Between Us
June 14, 2010: Badger, California

After hearing from the gopis, and especially after hearing Brahmara-gita from Srimati Radhika, Uddhava was astonished. He was especially astonished to hear and see Srimati Radhika’s divyonmada, of which citra-jalpa is one of the features [*See endnote 1-3], and which is one of the symptoms of Her adhirudha-modana-mahabhava [*see endnote 3]. He had never before seen or heard anything like this.

Uddhava then began to convey Krsna’s message to the gopis, as Krsna had requested him to do. Sri Krsna told them: “You are never actually separated from Me, for I am the Soul of all creation. Just as the elements of nature ‒ ether, air, fire, water and earth are present in every created thing, so I am present within everyone's mind, life air and senses, and also within the physical elements and the modes of material nature.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.29)

In other words, Krsna is everywhere. Even if you want to be separated from Him, you cannot be separated.

Uddhava told the gopis about brahma-jnana, transcendental knowledge about the individual soul and the Supreme Soul; but the gopis did not like hearing it. The result of Uddhava’s speech was not that their mood of separation diminished. Rather, the fever of their mood of separation climaxed.

Uddhava then relayed to them that Krsna had said, “The gopis should close their eyes, and then they will see that I am there.” They closed their eyes and saw that Krsna was there with them, dancing and singing and performing all the activities of rasa. Seeing this, all the gopis became satisfied.

After this, Uddhava began to pray:

nayam sriyo 'nga u nitanta-rateh prasadah
svar-yositam nalina-gandha-rucam kuto ’nyah
rasotsave ’sya bhuja-danda-grhita-kantha-
labdhasisam ya udagad vraja-vallabhinam

[“When Lord Sri Krsna was dancing with the gopis in the rasa-lila, the gopis were embraced by the arms of the Lord. This transcendental favor was never bestowed upon the goddess of fortune or any other consorts in the spiritual world. Indeed, never was such a thing even imagined by the most beautiful girls in the heavenly planets, whose bodily luster and aroma resemble the lotus flower; what to speak of worldly women who are very beautiful according to material estimation.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.60)]

Uddhava glorified the gopis, saying, “These gopis are so lucky that at the time of rasa-lila Krsna put His arms around their necks.” Why did He do this? He was showing them that He will never leave them. This kind of love and good fortune has never been experienced by the demigods’ wives or even by Laksmi-devi. No one in the world is as lucky as the gopis.

asam aho carana-renu-jusam aham syam
vrndavane kim api gulma-latausadhinam
ya dustyajam sva-janam arya-patham ca hitva
bhejur mukunda-padavim srutibhir vimrgyam

[“The gopis of Vrndavana have given up the association of their husbands, sons and other family members, who are very difficult to give up, and they have forsaken the path of chastity to take shelter of the lotus feet of Mukunda, Krsna, for which one should search by Vedic knowledge. Oh, let me be fortunate enough to be one of the bushes, creepers or herbs in Vrndavana because the gopis trample them and bless them with the dust of their lotus feet.” (Srimad-bhagavatam 10.47.61)]

How Uddhava glorifies the gopis! He prays, “Aho (Alas)! I want to be a thin blade of grass, or a creeper growing on the ground. In this way I will be blessed by the dust of the gopis’ lotus feet as they – their ornaments and clothing disarrayed, on the wrong parts of their bodies – run to meet with Krsna in rasa-lila. Even the Vedas and Srutis are not lucky enough to touch the foot-dust of those gopis.”

Uddhava is praying, “In my next birth I want to be the foot-dust of the gopis.” That is why, even today, in Uddhava-kunda in Govardhana, he is residing as grass and thinking, “When the gopis come, they will put their feet on my head.” If Uddhava had directly prayed to them, “Please put your foot-dust on my head,” the gopis would never have agreed. He therefore considered it better to ask to be a blade of grass, so that the gopis would place their lotus feet on him as they went to the rasa dance with Krsna.

ya vai sriyarcitam ajadibhir apta-kamair
yogesvarair api yad atmani rasa-gosthyam
krsnasya tad bhagavatah caranaravindam
nyastam stanesu vijahuh parirabhya tapam

[“The Goddess of Fortune herself, along with Lord Brahma and all the other demigods, who are masters of yogic perfection, can worship the lotus feet of Krsna only within their minds. But during the rasa dance, Lord Krsna placed His feet upon these gopis’ breasts, and by embracing those feet the gopis gave up all distress.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.62)]
Uddhava continued, “The gopis are so fortunate! Sri Laksmi-devi, who is worshipped by the entire world, as well as Brahma and others like him, also desire the dust of the lotus feet of Krsna upon their heads. Those very feet are directly placed by the gopis on their breasts during rasa, but this is impossible for others.”

vande nanda-vraja-strinam
pada-renum abhiksnasah
yasam hari-kathodgitam
punati bhuvana-trayam

[“I repeatedly offer my respects to the dust from the feet of the women of Nanda Maharaja’s cowherd village. When these gopis loudly chant the glories of Sri Krsna, the vibration purifies the three worlds.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.47.63)]

“I offer vandana (prayers) to the gopis who live in the village of Nandagaon, who glorify Krsna by their singing and weeping. The hari-katha (narrations of the glories of Sri Krsna) emanating from their mouths as they weep purifies the entire universe.” For example, when Krsna disappeared from them during rasa-lila, the gopis sang:

gopya ucuh
jayati te ’dhikam janmana vrajah
srayata indira sasvad atra hi
dayita drsyatam diksu tavakas
tvayi dhrtasavas tvam vicinvate

[The gopis say, “O most beloved, because of Your birth in this land of Vraja, the entire area has become more glorious than Vaikuntha and other planets. It is for this reason that Laksmi, the goddess of beauty and wealth, eternally decorates it with her presence. O beloved, in this blissful land of Vraja, it is only we gopis who are not happy. We maintain our lives solely for Your sake, being extremely anguished in separation from You, and are wandering from forest to forest in search of You. Therefore, please appear before us now.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.31.1)]

No one before them has ever given such hari-katha; no one can do so now, and no one will be able to do so in the future. The gopis’ hari-katha purifies the entire world.

Uddhava lived with the gopis for three months. He went with them to Nandagaon, Varsana, Govardhana, Ter-kadamba and many places, and pacified the them. Weeping, the gopis spoke the hari-katha of each place.

After the three months were over, Uddhava said, “Oh Nanda Baba, Mother Yasoda, and all of you Vrajavasis, I want to return to Mathura to tell Krsna of all I have seen and heard here.” The gopis warned him, “Don’t tell all of this to Krsna in one day, otherwise His heart – which is very soft – will break. Please tell it to Him gradually – little, by little, by little.”

When Uddhava was seated on his chariot as he was leaing Vrndavana to return to Mathura, Nanda Baba came to him with all the utensils that Krsna had previously used, including His flute and His ornaments.

“What is the use of keeping all of these things here?” Nanda Baba said in a mood of great separation as he handed the items to Uddhava. “We know that Krsna will not return here, so please take these things and give them to Krsna. Tell Him that I have heard from many people, such and Paurnamasi and Gangacarya, that His qualities are like those of Narayana. I pray to Lord
Narayana that He be merciful to me. Wherever we take birth, may all of our existence be an offering to Krsna.”

Neither Nanda Baba, nor Mother Yasoda, nor any of the Vrajavasis believe that Krsna is God, the Lord of lords. By this statement of Nanda Baba's it seems that his madhurya-bhava has dissipated somewhat, but that is not the case. Sometimes thoughts, which appear to indicate that the Vrajavasis have a conception of Krsna’s Godhood, surface during their moments of sadness and suffering , but this is not their true thinking. Nanda Baba's madhurya-bhava is indicated by his mentioning that he had heard this from others. Also, there is some sarcasm in his mood. He is in a state of suffering, which is why he spoke as he did; but when he was okay, he never did so.
In this way, we have finished Uddhava-samvada.


*Endnote 1:
[“It is virtually only within the princess of Vrndavana that the ecstasy of bewilderment arises. She has attained to a special stage of this bewilderment, a wonderful state that resembles delusions, known as divyonmada. Divyonmada has many aspects, which come and go unsteadily, and one of these manifestations is citra-jalpa (talking like a mad person). This talk, induced by Her seeing Her beloved's friend, is filled with covered anger and comprises many different ecstasies. It culminates in Her intense, anxious eagerness.” (Ujjvala-nilamani, by Srila Rupa Gosvami)]

*Endnote 2:
[“When one is highly elevated in love (adhirudha) of Krsna, he becomes transcendentally mad (divyonmada) and talks like a madman (citra-jalpa).” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 14.15)]

*Endnote 3:

[“Only in the conjugal mellow are there two ecstatic symptoms called rudha and adhirudha . The advanced ecstasies are found among the queens of Dvaraka, and the highly advanced ecstasies are found among the gopis. Highly advanced ecstasy is divided into two categories ? madana and mohana. Meeting together is called madana, and separation is called mohana. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 23.57-58)]

[“The situations known as rudha and adhirudha are possible in the conjugal love relationship. Conjugal love exhibited by the queens at Dvaraka is called rudha, and conjugal love exhibited at Vrndavana by the damsels of Vraja is called adhirudha. The highest perfection of adhirudha, affection in conjugal love, involves meeting (madana) and separation (mohana). In the ecstasy of madana (meeting), there is kissing, and in the ecstasy of mohana (separation), there is udghurna (ecstatic unsteadiness and incoherence) and citra-jalpa. As far as citra-jalpa is concerned, in Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a portion known as Bhramara-gita in which various kinds of citra-jalpa are mentioned. (Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 14)]

[Vijaya: “Kindly explain in detail the bhava par excellence, adhirudha-bhava.”
Gosvami: “When the anubhavas of rudha-bhava reach their climax and sparkle with extraordinary splendor, then the loving emotions enter the realm of adhirudha-bhava.”
Vijaya: “How many kinds of adhirudha-bhava are there?”
Gosvami: “This wonderful bhava is of two hues: modana and madana.”
Vijaya: “What is modana-adhirudha-bhava?”
Gosvami: “In maha-bhava, when the entire spectrum of sattvika-bhavas being exchanged between the nayika and nayaka, Sri Radha and Sri Krsna, scintillates exceptionally, higher even than the uddipta, blazing level, then this is called modana-adhirudha-bhava. In modana-adhirudha-bhava, both Srimati Radhika and Sri Krsna are overcome with anxiety and discontent. Furthermore, in modana-adhirudha-bhava, the love of Srimati Radhika touches heights of ecstasy unknown to all the other gopis.”
Vijaya: “Gurudeva, I am eager to learn about some particulars of modana-adhirudha-bhava. For instance, in whom does this bhava reside?”
Gosvami: “Modana-bhava is only present in the yutha of Srimati Radhika, nowhere else. Modana is the favorite pleasure arena of the hladini- sakti. At a certain stage, in viraha-dasa, the anguish of separation, modana converts to mohana and then, as viraha-dasa becomes all-encompassing, all the magnificent sattvika-bhavas radiate at the level of suddipta, greatest brilliance.”
Vijaya: “What are the anubhavas in the state of mohana?”
Gosvami: “Some of the symptoms are that Sri Krsna swoons unconscious in the embrace of a nayika who is not Srimati Radhika. For example, this may occur in Dvaraka when He is in the embrace of Queen Rukmini and remembers His amorous pastimes with Srimati Radhika in the leafy bowers of Vrndavana. Srimati Radhika accepts the severest hardship and grief in the pain of separation, and yet wishes only for Krsna to be happy. Yearning for union with Krsna brings such a pang of separation to the heart of Srimati Radhika that the entire material creation and even Vaikuntha are plunged into the deepest sorrow. Even birds and beasts shed tears as Srimati Radhika expresses to Her intimate sakhis that Her heart-pangs may cause Her death, and if this were to happen then Her body should be covered with earth so that the burial spot may bring consolation to Her beloved, Sri Krsna. Only Srimati Radhika, the Queen of Vrndavana, is embellished with the infinite depth of these anubhavas of mohana-adhirudha-bhava. Furthermore, the super-excellent splendor of the sancari-bhavas of mohana-adhirudha-bhava is fully manifested in Srimati Radhika alone.”
Vijaya: “Prabhu, if you consider it appropriate, kindly elucidate the divya-unmada-laksana, symptoms of spiritual madness, which you have just briefly described.”
Gosvami: “When mohana-adhirudha-bhava enters its zenith, an amazing and inexplicable condition of the mind known as divya-unmada is created, which is a mental state very similar to bhrama, or delusion. Divya-unmada is of many different varieties, two of which are udghurna and citra-jalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is udghurna?”
Gosvami: “When many astonishing but helpless endeavors are made in divya-unmada, this is known as udghurna, ecstatic unsteadiness and incoherence. Srimati Radhika was in the grip of udghurna after Krsna had left for Mathura, Her mind benumbed by the pangs of separation. At times, She thought that Krsna was on His way back, and She hurriedly arranged everything in the kunja. Sometimes, like an outraged wife, She chastised the black clouds for infidelity, mistaking them for Krsna. Sometimes, in the darkness of night, She secretly hurried to an imagined rendezvous with Krsna.”
Vijaya: “Kindly explain citra-jalpa.”
Gosvami: “When the nayika meets the intimate friend of the nayaka, feeling the acute pangs of separation, she unburdens her love-laden heart by discussing many confidential matters that may go through a whole range of emotions from garva, awed respect towards the beloved, to utkantha, excessive eagerness for union. The term for such conversations is citra-jalpa, varieties of mad emotional talks.”
Vijaya: “What are the variations in citra-jalpa?”
Gosvami: “The ten limbs of citra-jalpa have been delineated in the Bhramara-gita section of the tenth canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam. They are prajalpa, parijalpa, vijalpa, ujjalpa, sanjalpa, avajalpa, abhijalpa, ajalpa, pratijalpa, and sujalpa.”
Vijaya: “Kindly explain prajalpa.”
Gosvami: “On account of the innumerable and wonderful inflections in the amazing range of bhavas, citra-jalpa is very personal and difficult to fully describe, but some of its aspects can be expressed.
To narrate insultingly with gesticulations induced by feelings of malice, envy, and pride, about the tactless inappropriate behavior of one's beloved is defined as prajalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is parijalpita?”
Gosvami: “In the madness of love, to expertly point out the personal faults of one's beloved, Krsna ? such as cruelty, treachery, fickleness, heartlessness, and ingratitude ? is called parijalpita.”
Vijaya: “What is vijalpa?”
Gosvami: “Within Her heart the nayika feels deep love for Krsna, but externally She uses harsh and cutting remarks towards Him. These are symptoms of vijalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is ujjalpa?”
Gosvami: “When with offended pride and feeling both jealousy and respect, the nayika angrily slanders Krsna for his cheating ways in the art of love, it is known as ujjalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is sanjalpa?”
Gosvami: “Feeling deep resentment, the nayika exposes Krsna's ungratefulness in love with many cryptic and humorous words of derision. This is called sanjalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is avajalpa?”
Gosvami: “In the anger of avajalpa, Krsna is declared to be hard-hearted, lusty, and sly, and therefore one is fearful that one's hopeless attachment to Him may prove to be self-destructive.”
Vijaya: “What is abhijalpa?”
Gosvami: “Lamenting and making witticisms such as: ‘When Krsna causes the pain of separation even to innocent birds such as His pet parrot and peacocks, it is certainly futile to become attached to Him,’ is defined as abhijalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is ajalpa?”
Gosvami: “Feeling despondency, the nayika professes apathy towards Krsna because of His deceitful and merciless ways in love that bring only distress to Her. She suggests how pleasurable it would be to forget Him and pay attention to something else. These are the symptoms of ajalpa.”
Vijaya: “What is pratijalpa?”
Gosvami: “In pratijalpa, the nayika soliloquizes about Krsna's libidinous desires being more befitting a pirate or the like. Therefore, if She were to meet with Him, that would certainly be rash and foolhardy when He is already romancing so many other women ? but pretending to be interested in Her alone. This message is given by the nayika to the awaiting messenger sent by Krsna.”
Vijaya: “What is sujalpa?”
Gosvami: “When the nayika is grave, humble, and listless because of pangs of the heart, but straightforwardly and repeatedly enquires about Krsna with unrestrained eagerness in love, this is called sujalpa. This completes the list of citra-jalpa.” (Jaiva-dharma, Chapter 36)]



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domingo, 21 de noviembre de 2010

News from Govardhan, November 21st

 News from Govardhan, November 21st

Dear devotees,

Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-Vinodebihariji.

Here is the direct translation of Srila Gurudeva's message in Hindi to the assembled devotees yesterday, after he had blessed us with one hand and with both hands. "I have brought you all here from many different parts of the world. You have all been hearing hari-katha and doing parikrama of Vraja-mandala for the past month. You are all extremely fortunate to be here. What more can I say? Tomorrow is Purnima, and you will all go back to your countries. I am inviting you all to come again next year for Kartika." Srila Gurudeva then asked the brahmacaris with him, "What else?" The brahmacaris said, "Navadvipa parikrama." Srila Gurudeva then said, "Please also come to Navadvipa parikrama. I will also be there." (That's what he said: "I will also be there.")

Yesterday, devotees presented one volume of the three-volume set of Brihad-Bhagavatamrita in English. Srila Gurudeva said, "I want to see the other two volumes personally." 

Last night, Srila Gurudeva slept quite well. Today we are celebrating the completion of the Kartika-vrata. There was a sannyasa ceremony for devotees who had already received the sannyasa mantra, especially our Rasananda Prabhu (now BV Sridhara Maharaja) and Vrajendra Nandana Prabhu (now Niskincana Maharaja). There was one unexpected addition: Krishna-kripa Prabhu from Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha is now BV Siddhanti Maharaja. Bhaktivedanta Siddhanti Maharaja kijay!

At about 12.30 am, Srila Gurudeva again gave a darshan on his steps to the assembled devotees. Devotees waited for over an hour, joining in kirtan led by BV Sridhara Maharaja. Srila Gurudeva came out onto the balcony in his wheelchair, and devotees cheered and called "Jaya Gurudeva!" ecstatically. One wonderful thing is that the feeding tube is out! Srila Gurudeva has had it for about six weeks, but Doctor Rey just took it out. Such a wonderful step forward. 

Srila Gurudeva requested Mathuravasi Damodara Prabhu to sing a kirtan, and then Srila Gurudeva addressed the devotees in English. His speech was very clear and his voice quite strong. The gist of what he said is as follows (almost the same as yesterday): "I have called you from many different countries. You have all been performing parikrama for a month. We had 18 buses and 25 cars. This year has been good." (That was an understatement, hearing that from Srila Gurudeva at the end of Kartika.) "Premananda Prabhu has made good arrangements." (That was quite surprising, because Premananda Prabhu has been in Mathura the whole of Kartika. He has also performed Govardhana parikrama every day for Srila Gurudeva's health.) "Lodging has been alright. You should all come for parikaram during Kartika next year. And if possible you can come to Navadvipa for Gauda-mandala Parikrama." Srila Gurudeva was then taken back into his quarters.

A Mathura astrologer who predicted Srila Vamana Maharaja's disappearance very accurately said some time ago that if Srila Gurudeva lives past November 20th (yesterday), he will be with us for some time.   

Doctor Rey told Ashrama Maharaja that, speaking simply from a medical point of view, Srila Gurudeva is "out of the danger zone" and will be here "for some time." 

 Several times duing the last six weeks, it was almost impossible to imagine seeing Srila Gurudeva in this state of health and strength at the end of Kartika. I know that Srila Gurudeva is a transcendental personality, but from a certain point of view, how he has struggled with so many painful and unpleasant situations and conditions for so long, just because his beloved devotees desire so much that he stay with us. (Srila Gurudeva said to one devotee in Delhi, "You are saying that is lila, but I am feeling pain." That does not mean that he feels pain as we feel pain, but nonetheless, Srila Gurudeva is not just pretending that he is feeling uncomfortable, to put it mildly. ) Really it is a miracle. Personally, I have to think how I will respond to this miraculous gift. 

Srila Gurudeva ki jaya! Kartika vrata ki jaya! Giriraja Govardhan ki jaya!

Aspiring for service Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas,

B V Nemi






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What to Speak of Srila Gurudeva - part 4

What to Speak of Srila Gurudeva (Part 4)
By Syamarani dasi

     On many occasions, Srila Gurudeva has explained that we can understand the greatness and power of a devotee by the greatness of his worshipful Deity (istadeva). The more complete and powerful the Deity is, the more complete and powerful the devotee.
     For example, Sri Prahlad Maharaja’s worshipful Deity is Lord Nrsimhadeva, who is Sri Krsna’s plenary portion and the personification of Krsna’s disc weapon. Prahlada is a jnani-bhakta, a maha-bhagavata devotee who has knowledge of his Lord’s omniscience and omnipotence. The Lord arranged to show us Prahlada’s greatness by having Prahlada’s father poison him, throw him off a cliff, hurl him into a great fire, and place him in a pot of boiling oil – but Prahlada was not at all disturbed. He remembered Krsna, he was blissful, and he preached Krsna consciousness.
     Srila Haridas Thakura, a combination of Prahlada Maharaja and Lord Brahma, was beaten in twenty-two marketplaces, so severely that his skin and muscles were practically ripped to shreds – but he was not disturbed. In fact, he told his prosecutors, “Even if you cut me into thousands of pieces, I’ll never give up my chanting the holy names.” The men who were given the charge of beating him by the Muslim Kazi became afraid, thinking, "If this man is not dead, then the Kazi will punish us." They begged him, "If you do not die, we'll be dead. Our life is in great danger." Haridasa Thakura then ‘died’ and was brought before the Kazi, who became most pleased. Haridäsa Thakura was then thrown into the river Ganges, and he came out on the opposite bank unharmed and very beautiful.
     What to speak of great Vaisnavas, Srila Gurudeva told the history of Kumarila Bhatta [see footnote 1], a smarta brahmana who showed amazing power in the face of reverses. Kumarila Bhatta attended a Buddhist university, where, much to the annoyance of the other students, he defeated his Buddhist teacher in philosophical argument. The other students were angered by this insult to their teacher. “Kumarila Bhatta is not a Buddhist,” they said to each other. “Perhaps he is a Vaisnava, or a member of some other sect,” and they conspired to kill him. They accosted and seized him, and took him to the top of a tall building. “We are going to hurl you to the ground,” they told him. “But if your God is really true and if the Vedas are also true, you will be protected. If not, you will simply die.” Kumarila Bhaööa concurred, “If the Vedas speak the Absolute Truth and if my God is real, then surely no harm will come to me.” They threw him onto the ground below and then ran down, fully expecting to find him dead. Instead, they saw him walking, talking and uninjured, except for a broken finger. They firmly took hold of him and asked derisively, “You did not die, but if you were fully protected, why did your finger get broken?” Kumarila Bhatta replied, “I made the mistake of saying ‘if’ my God is real.” “Had I not said ‘if,’ I would not have been injured at all.”
     More powerful than all such smarta-brahmanas, or even all other devotees, are the Vaisnavas whose worshipful Deity is Sri Sri Radha-Krsna. In his last days, Srila Madhavendra Puri, the grand-spiritual master of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, manifested a pastime of such illness that he could not move at all. Two of his prominent disciples saw him in two different ways.
     Ramacandra Puri thought that Srila Madhavendra Puri was in material consciousness. Seeing his Gurudeva weeping and not knowing that he was weeping in ecstatic separation from Krsna, Ramacandra Puri thought that his lamentation was mundane. He would tell his Gurudeva, “O Gurudeva, do not lament. Just meditate on Brahman (the Lord’s impersonal feature).” Hearing this instruction, Sri Madhavendra Puri ordered him, “Immediately leave this place, you sinful rascal! Do not show your face to me. If I die seeing your face, I shall not achieve my life’s goal.”
     Sri Isvara Puri, on the other hand, understood that his Gurudeva’s body was transcendental, full of knowledge and bliss. He never considered him to be an ordinary human being, who experiences physical or materially emotional pain. He lovingly served his Gurudeva with care and attention, sang kirtana to him and recited the pastimes of Radha and Krsna, and even cleaned up his stool and urine with his own hands. What was the result? Sri Madhavendra Puri embraced him and blessed him that he would be enveloped with pure love of Krsna. As a result of this blessing, Sri Isvara Puri became the spiritual master of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
     Mahaprabhu appeared in the Brahma-Madhva Sampradaya, and by His contribution that line of parampara became our Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya. The adi-guru, or first guru, of our sampradaya is Lord Brahma. Empowered by Lord Krsna Himself, Lord Brahma is not only the secondary creator of the universe, but he is personally manifest as a mountain in Varsana called Brahma-parvat. In the form of that mountain, Brahma is not only able to witness the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna there, but he is able to experience the happiness of having Their sportive pastimes enacted upon his heads.
     Pure rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnavas are the most powerful of all devotees, because their worshipful Deity is Srimati Radhika. Srimati Radhika is the worshipful Deity of even Sri Krsna [see footnote 2], the source of all incarnations and worlds, and She is in fact the personification of Krsna’s power. Even Krsna is controlled by Her loving power. Srila Gurudeva has often recited the Gita-Govinda verse in which Krsna says to Radhika, “Please place Your lotus feet on My head.” And He says the same to the maidservants of Srimati Radhika. In Vrndavana, 1992, Srila Gurudeva told a few siksa disciples, “You are pursuing Krsna, but you don’t know that if you become a playa-dasi of Srimati Radhika, then Krsna will pursue you.”
     Srila Rupa Gosvami is indeed the embodiment of rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnavism. In Goloka Vrndavana, he is Sri Rupa Manjari. To instruct us, he assumes the role of an ordinary sadhaka, praying for the time that he will be the maidservant of Radhika, guarding the doorway of Her kunja. He yearns for the day that Radhika orders him, “If any black person comes, do not allow Him entrance.” He says, “I will vigilantly guard the door, and when Krsna comes I will scornfully say, ‘Where have you been!? You are late. You can just go back to where You just came from, because no cheater will be allowed in to see my Svamini.” Then Krsna will have no choice but to How down before me and beg my mercy to allow Him in. At that time only will I take him to the lotus feet of my Svamini, my Mistress, Srimati Radhika.”
     Besides sharing the above statement about Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Gurudeva said in a darsana in Vrndavana in the 1990’s that our Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja is also one of those ‘guards’ in Svananda Sukhada Kunja.
     In the late 1960’s, the great rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnava acarya, our Srila Prabhupada, performed a pastime of having a heart attack. When he recovered, he wrote letters to two of his disciples about a third disciple, who had been massaging him, cooking for him, and rendering so many other services to him. He wrote that that disciple had been thinking that Prabhupada’s existence was dependent on him and that Prabhupada really needed him. As a result, that disciple was again allured by Maya. He had not appreciated the reality of the situation: it was Prabhupada who was giving him the mercy by allowing him to serve him; it was not the other way around. Srila Prabhupada did not have a body made of material blood and bones.
     Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, another great rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnava acarya, was initiating brahmanas, although he was not a brahmana himself, having been born the son of a king. His preaching was so powerful that many brahmana families became his disciples, which caused disturbance in caste brahmana sectors, for those who neither understood Vaisnava principles nor the glory of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. They alleged that his initiating brahmanas was against scriptural injunction, and they challenged him to a debate.
     Srila Gurudeva explained that before the debate Srila Narottama dasa Thakura became paralyzed – he had made himself like that. All his disciples went to him and prayed, “O Thakuraji, O Gurudeva, if you die now, giving up your body and going to Lord Krsna, all the brahmanas will say it is because you are initiating brahmanas. They will say you have suffered and gone to hell. So we pray that you become completely cured.” Hearing this, Narottama dasa Thakura became like a young man and began to run here and there. This was observed by those very brahmanas who were declaring that he was destined for hell. Some of them became paralyzed, some became blind, some were bitten by snakes, etc. Eventually they approached his lotus feet and apologized. He excused them, and again enacted being paralyzed.
     Sri Krsna has such great compassion for the souls of this world that He Himself comes in the form of the spiritual master. Krsna manifests two forms in this material world in order to deliver aspiring devotees. Internally He manifests as the Supersoul and externally as the topmost devotee.
     Even those pure devotees who are not Gaudiya Vaisnavas, who do not have the Srimati Radhika as their worshipful Deity, have so much mystic power as a small by-product of their devotion. One example: Referring to the history of King Citraketu in the sixth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Srila Gurudeva said that to teach the King a lesson for the benefit of the King and the benefit of the world, Angira Rishi took the form of the king’s newborn son and lived with him for a few years. That ‘son’ then died, was ‘brought back to life’ by the words of Narada Rishi, and then spoke transcendental knowledge to ‘his father.’ The King was liberated and became a perfect devotee, and the world advances in bhakti by reading and hearing that narration under proper guidance.
     A second example: Visvamitra Muni wanted to teach his disciple King Hariscandra a spiritual lesson and make him qualified to have Lord Ramacandra appear in his dynasty. He therefore appeared one night in the King’s dream, and later on manifested as a snake that bit and killed the king’s son, who was later brought back to life. [See footnote 3]
     And what to speak of the powers of Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Once, in a January, 2001 darsana in New Zealand, Srila Gurudeva told his audience, “Even Krsna can never control me, because I am already under the control of Srimati Radhika. Radhika is so powerful. If Krsna will be angry upon me, I will say, "Why are You angry? You should not be angry. My Svamini is Radhika, You know." Then Krsna will say, "Oh, your Svamini is Radhika? Then, namaskara to you."
     In Sri Radha-krpa-kataksa, an exquisite glorification of Srimati Radhika, it is stated: “Meditation on even one of Your toenails grants an infinite variety of perfections.” Although it may not be perceptible to us conditioned souls, the fact remains that our rupanuga Gaudiya Vaisnava acaryas have these perfections.
     Knowing Srila Gurudeva’s divinity and being filled with a mood to care and serve him are not mutually exclusive, as we can see in the story of Sri Madhavendra Puripada and Sri Isvara Puri above. We give our one hundred percent attention to caring for Srila Gurudeva with love, as if we are actually needed by him, and at the same time we know that he is fully independent and that it is we who need him.
     We can have full faith that if we take full shelter of such a bona fide guru as Srila Gurudeva, surrender to his instructions and serve his mission together – as if we are needed to assist, and at the same time knowing that the mission will be spread by his power and the power of his guru-parampara, not ours – we will certainly make our lives successful.

[Better late than never: I am offering my millions of thanks to Srimati Vaijayanti-mala didi. She edited and thus improved all the seven or eight articles I then submitted to backtobhakti.com and keepintouch.com on the subject of Srila Gurudeva’s identity and present pastime of apparent illness. It was also she who chose the two extracts of the writings of Parama-gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, from the Rays of the Harmonist Magazine, which were the basis of two of the articles.]

[footnote 1: quoted in Srila Gurudeva’s English commentary of Gopi-gita ch. 3]
[footnote 2: Srila Gurudeva’s comment on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 4.83]
[footnote 3: Please see Srila Gurudeva’s booklet, Secrets of the Undiscovered Self for more details on this history]





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sábado, 20 de noviembre de 2010

News from Govardhan Nov 19th

 News from Govardhan, November 19th

 Dear devotees,

 Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga. All glories to Sri Sri Radha-Vinodebihariji.

 Earlier this morning devotees had a darshan on the large screen in the temple room, somewhat like the darshan two mornings ago. Srila Gurudeva cleaned his teeth with his electric toothbrush, and was then shown a new Hindi book, and the first volume of BV Madhava Maharaja’s new biography of Srila Gurudeva.

 At about 11.30 am, Srila Gurudeva gave a darshan on his steps to the assembled devotees. Devotees were waiting for quite a long time, to an enthusiastic kirtan by Chinese devotees (12 bar melody instead of the 16 bar melodies we are used to). At last, Srila Gurudeva came onto the steps to a fervent welcome by the devotees. He was sitting straight in his wheel chair, and held up his hands to bless the devotees. After some time, the devotees brought a microphone and Srila Gurudeva spoke very clearly in Hindi for a few minutes. Pujyapada Madhava Maharaja translated into English afterwards. The gist of what he said was as follows: “I am very happy that devotees have filled 18 buses and 20 cars to perform parikrama for the month of Kartika. Now I want you to do the same next year during Kartika. Also, I am inviting you all to come to Navadvipa for Gauda-mandala Parikrama. My heartly blessings to you all.” Srila Gurudeva was then taken back into his quarters.

 It is difficult to specific details about how Srila Gurudeva slept last night. Doctor Rey is here from the Philippines, and a new regime is in operation. Srila Gurudeva is obviously responding very favourably.

 Aspiring for service Sri Hari, Guru and Vaishnavas,

B V Nemi


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Rays of The Harmonist Number 22

This article from the Rays of The Harmonist Number 22, Karttika 2010, is being resent by keep_in_touch@purebhakti.tv.
The Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo is being used with permission.

Special On-line Edition for the Disappearance Day of
Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

sri sri guru gauranga jayatah!

[Rays of The Harmonist Monthly On-Line Edition Banner-logo]

Year-3, Special On-line Edition
Posted: 20 November 2010

Dedicated to
nitya-lila pravista om visnupada

Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

Inspired by and under the guidance of

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Offerings Unto the Lotus Feet of a Vaisnava

In remembrance of the transcendental life and teachings
of Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

Portrait of Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

A glorification written for the auspicious occasion of
his 112th Vyasa-puja celebration, 11th October 2010

~ His Appearance and His Taking Shelter of Sri Guru

Most worshipful nitya-lila-pravista Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja appeared in the village of Ganganandapura, in the district of Yasohara in present day Bangladesh. His childhood name was Sri Pramoda Bhusana Cakravarti. In His youth he had the good fortune to listen to recitations of the sacred literatures written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. In 1915, on the auspicious day of Utthana-ekadasi, Paramahamsa Srila Gaura Kisora Dasa Babaji Maharaja entered nitya-lila. On that most auspicious day, Sri Pramoda Bhusana had the fortune of taking his first darsana of his eternally worshipful gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura, Srila Prabhupada. Thereafter, in 1923, on the auspicious day of Sri Krsna Janmastami, Sri Pramoda Bhusana completely surrendered unto the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada and accepted both harinama and mantra-diksa (initiation) from him. He was given the name Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari.

~ Serving The Innermost Desire of Srila Prabhupada’s Heart

Srila Prabhupada entrusted Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari with the responsibility of two extremely important services: mrdanga (kirtana) and brhad-mrdanga (book publication). Under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada, Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari used to lead kirtana at many events. And at times, his kirtana performances would even be aired on the radio. Many times when Srila Prabhupada heard him sing “gopinatha! mama nivedana suno”, he would experience deep pangs of separation and wanted Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari to sing the song again and again.

Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Thakura rested the responsibility of serving the brhad-mrdanga upon Srila Maharaja (Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja). For many years Srila Maharaja offered his services as the editor of the daily spiritual journal Dainika Nadiya-Prakasa, carrying out the orders of Srila Prabhupada with steadfast dedication. Many articles of his were also published in the weekly periodical, Gaudiya. Recognizing his genius for preaching Sri Caitanya’s message, Srila Prabhupada awarded him the titles upadesaka (instructor) and pratna-vidyalankara (exquisitely decorated with all ancient scriptural wisdom).

Even after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Maharaja served as the editor of the then monthly periodical Gaudiya, which was published directly from Sri Caitanya Matha (in Mayapura), and for nearly forty years after that he remained the editor of the periodical Sri Caitanya-vani, which was published from Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Matha (in Kolkata).

Along with his service to the mrdanga and the brhad-mrdanga, he also had the fortune of directly serving Srila Prabhupada’s transcendental body when Srila Prabhupada exhibited the pastime of being ill.

~ His Service After the Disappearance of Srila Prabhupada

For almost seven years after the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Srila Maharaja rendered service by accepting the responsibility of head pujari in the temple at Sri Yoga-pitha in Sridhama Mayapura. But a number of years after that, when some disturbances arose in Sri Caitanya Matha by the will of providence, Srila Maharaja, seeing no other alternative, left Sri Caitanya Matha with a heavy heart. My beloved gurupadapadma, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, established Sri Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, and Srila Maharaja stayed with him for some time. It was then that I had his darsana for the first time and was fortunate enough to render some service to him.

~ His Acceptance of Sannyasa

After the disappearance of Srila Prabhupada, Sri Pranavananda Brahmacari accepted sannyasa from his Godbrother Srimad Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanasa Maharaja on the most auspicious day of Sri Gaura-purnima, in 1947, at Sri Gaura Gadadhara Matha, in the village of Sri Campakahatta, Sri Navadvipa. Upon accepting sannyasa, he received the name Sri Bhakti Pramoda Puri Maharaja.

~ A Life Full of Anugatya

Srila Maharaja was truly the embodiment of “trnadapi sunicena…”. He would always speak hari-katha with perfect impartiality, keeping his eyes closed. He would profusely glorify the sri bhagavata-parampara and sri harinama. Srila Maharaja lived an exemplary life, full of anugatya (being under guidance). From the beginning of his devotional life and for many, many years after that, Srila Maharaja demonstrated the ideal of living and practising devotional life while remaining completely under the guidance of his very qualified Godbrothers. Even after establishing Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha some time around 1990, he used to say, “I am not the acarya or governor of this matha; rather I am an insignificant servant. Indeed Srila Prabhupada and his associates are the acarya and governors of this matha.”

Nowadays, most people practising devotional life find it quite difficult to genuinely accept as their superiors those who are on the same platform as they are or even those who are more advanced. However, it was seen in the exemplary life of Srila Maharaja that whoever he saw as the object of Srila Prabhupada’s mercy, in whomever he saw an intense desire to serve Srila Prabhupada, he unconditionally bowed his head to. For instance, although Srila Bhakti Gaurava Vaikhanasa Maharaja was his junior Godbrother, he still accepted him as his sannyasa-guru. And even though Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja took shelter of Srila Prabhupada’s lotus feet much later than Srila Maharaja, he nevertheless devoted almost thirty-five years of his life to fulfilling the innermost desires of Srila Bhakti Dayita Madhava Gosvami Maharaja by editing books and magazines for him and by contributing articles to the magazines.

Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja was first drawn to the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada on account of regularly hearing hari-katha in Kolkata from the divine lips of this same great personality, Srila Maharaja. Yet, when the intimate associates of Srila Prabhupada accepted Srila Bhakti Raksaka Sridhara Gosvami Maharaja as a highly exalted devotee, Srila Maharaja did not even slightly hesitate in also accepting him as his siksa-guru. And even though it was Srila Maharaja in fact, along with Srila Bhakti Hrdaya Vana Gosvami Maharaja, who first brought Srila Bhakti Kumuda Santa Gosvami Maharaja from his home to the matha during his childhood, later, Srila Maharaja personally used to inspire so many devotees to take shelter of Srila Bhakti Kumuda Santa Gosvami Maharaja. It is impossible to find so much magnanimity in an ordinary person.

~ Entering Into the Eternal Pastimes of the Divine Couple

During the last days of his manifest pastimes (prakata-lila), he lived in vipralambha ksetra, Sri Jagannatha Puri*. It was there that by the orders of his isvari (the empress of Vraja, Srimati Radhika), to enhance the beauty of Her service, Srila Maharaja entered into the eternal pastimes of the Divine Couple on the eve of the autumnal rasa-purnima of Sri Sri Radha-Gopinatha on the 21st of November, 1999.** On the autumnal rasa-purnima of Kartika, in the courtyard of Sri Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha in Isodyana (the garden of his isvari), which is very close to sri rasa-mandala – or in other words, Srivasa Angana in Sridhama Mayapura, which is non-different from sri rasa-mandala in Vraja – he entered into the permanent state of complete absorption in his eternal service (samadhi).

* The place where Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu relished the moods of Srimati Radhika in separation from Sri Krsna.
** His divine body was transported from Jagannatha Puri to Sridhama Mayapura.

~ His Relationship With My Gurupadpadma

Most revered Srila Maharaja had a very intimate transcendental relationship with my beloved gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja. In 1990, for the occasion of my srila gurudeva’s disappearance day, Srila Maharaja penned his humble expression of separation, which was published in Sri Gaudiya Patrika (Year 41, Issue 4). Therein he wrote,

“Due to receiving divine guidance in the shelter of your feet and due to being affectionately blessed by both* of you, in the initial days of his matha life this fallen younger Godbrother of yours had the good fortune of serving the lotus feet of the most worshipful Srila Prabhupada for three years. It was then that both of you made your unqualified, fallen brother full of intense enthusiasm to serve, by completely opening to him the unlimited storehouse of your affection. At that time, I had thought that I would spend my whole life in Sridhama Mayapura, serving our most worshipful Srila Prabhupada, while constantly protected and guided solely by your divine affection for me.”

* The two Godbrothers mentioned here are Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja – who was known as Sripada Vinoda-bihari Brahmacari at the time – and Sri Narahari ‘Seva-vigraha’ Prabhu.

From these words, it is clear that Srila Maharaja spent the first three years of his devotional life in Sridhama Mayapura, and that he had deep nistha in my worshipful gurudeva. Because of that, he wrote elsewhere that Sripad Vinoda-bihari Brahmacari was not just one of the exalted, renounced disciples of Srila Prabhupada living in the matha, rather, he was the greatest of them all.*

* From an article published in Sri Bhagavat Patrika (Year 41, Issue 12)

Srila Maharaja has also expressed in his article entitled “A Humble Submission – My Life Story”:

“Srila Prabhupada used to address all of his disciples with apa, the respectful form of ‘you’. But when he spoke to Paramananda Prabhu, Vinoda-bihari Brahmacari, Narahari ‘Seva-vigraha’ Prabhu and Vaisnava Dasa Babaji, he used the extremely intimate form, tu. It is certainly true that Vinoda-bihari Prabhu and Narahari Prabhu were the life and soul of the Mayapura asrama (Sri Caitanya Matha). Their pleasing, lovable conduct would fill the hearts of the devotees with bliss, and that is why they were objects of Srila Prabhupada’s boundless affection. I think that throughout my entire life I have never received such guileless affection from anyone as I have received from these two Godbrothers.”

~ Accepting Rupanugatya, Following in the Footsteps of Srila Prabhupada

Under the guidance of Srila Prabhupada and his internal associates, and in their association, the path that Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja traversed to achieve perfection in following the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami (rupanugatya) – he who fulfilled the innermost desire of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s heart – is truly evident in the internal emotions he has expressed through his writings.

For example, in the preface to the edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta published by Sri Caitanya Gaudiya Matha, Srila Maharaja has explicitly stated:

“In Sri Raya Ramananda Samvada, the love experienced by Srimati Radhika is recognized as the crest-jewel of perfection (sadhya-siromani). But when Sri Raya Ramananda further explained about prema-vilasa-vivarta – the aspect of love in which the experience of actual meeting occurs even at the time of separation, by virtue of adhirudha-bhava* – Sriman Mahaprabhu accepted that form of love as the highest limit of perfection. Subservience (anugatya) to the sakhis is the only way to achieve the sadhya-vastu, the ultimate objective of life.

* Adhirudha-bhava is the final limit of mahabhava, which is the very essence of Krsna’s pleasure-giving potency. Adhirudha-bhava is characterized by the feeling that each moment is like a day of Brahma when one is separated from Krsna and that a day of Brahma is like a moment when one is meeting with Him.

nijendriya-sukha-vancha nahi gopikara
krsne sukha dite kare sangama-vihara

sei gopi-bhavamrte yanra lobha haya
veda-dharma-tyaji’ se krsne bhajaya

raganuga-marge tanre bhaje yei jana
sei-jana paya vraje vrajendra-nandana

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta (Madhya-lila 8.217, 219–220)

There is no desire for personal enjoyment in the heart of any gopi. They meet with Krsna and joyfully play with Him only to give Him happiness.

Whoever develops greed for the ambrosia of love of God tasted by these gopis abandons the religious duties prescribed in the Vedas in order to render perfect loving service to Sri Krsna.

And he who worships Krsna on the path of spontaneous love (raganuga-marga) attains Vrajendra-nandana in Vraja.

“Therefore, one cannot earn the qualification to perform vraja-bhajana (perfected internal service in the mood of the residents of Vraja) if there is even a trace of desire for the pleasure of gratifying one’s own senses. It is a fact that, “vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti – devotion governed by the regulative principles (vaidhi-bhakti) has no power to grant vraja-bhakti” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 3.15). And since raga-bhakti is so difficult to attain, it has been explained that, “nama-sankirtanaثalau parama upaya – in this age of Kali, nama-sankirtana (chanting of the holy names) is the ultimate limb of bhakti” (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila 20.8). When someone is able to chant harinama without offences, then harinama alone mercifully bestows upon him the qualification to enter into raga-bhajana. Merely displaying that one has acquired the qualification to perform raga-bhajana without taking complete shelter of the holy name is nothing more than impertinence. It never leads to favourable results.”

Srila Maharaja has also stated in an article entitled “Sri Sri Radhastami”* published in Sri Caitanya Vani,

* Published in English in Rays of The Harmonist, No.14, Kartika, 2004.

“With such a vast depth of emotion, Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and other Gosvamis have lovingly sung the glories of Srimati Radharani. Sri Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada has relished the nectar of Her glories in such an unprecedented and astonishing way in his Sri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi. And the way Sri Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has composed Sva-niyamastaka and other prayers gloriously demonstrates his intense longing to attain sri radha-dasyam, the role of a maidservant of Sri Radha.

“This same mood is also found in the writings of the most worshipful Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada. It is found in his Anubhasya commentary on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta and in his Anuvrtti on Sri Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Upadesamrta. It is found in his poetic translations of Sri Bhramara-gita, Sri Mahisi-gita and the ten states of divyonmada that Sri Rupa Gosvami described in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani. And it is found in the mangalacarana, or auspicious invocation, of his Prarthana-rasa-vivrti commentary on Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya’s Prarthana and in the mangalacarana of his Gaudiya-bhasya commentary on Sri Caitanya-bhagavata. The goal of our constant endeavour is to imbibe these wonderful expressions of yearning for sri radha-dasyam.

“The day when my most revered spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, first met his spiritual master, om visnupada Sri Srila Gaura-kisora Prabhu, he saw him walking towards Sri Svananda-sukhada-kunja. His appearance was that of an avadhuta* and he was singing one particular song over and over. Srila Prabhupada wrote that song down with his own hand and kept it with him, regarding it as the dear-most treasure of his bhajana. As the servants of the servants of Srila Prabhupada, our sole objective is to seek out that secret treasure. The Six Gosvamis have demonstrated the ideal of weeping in profound anxiety as they wandered throughout Vraja, crying “ha radhe! ha radhe!” In performing bhajana, our sole asset is our unpretentious cries to attain the undisguised mercy of the embodiment of mercy Herself, Srimati Radharani. There is no other means to attain this treasure of devotion than by the causeless mercy of sri gurudeva. The song of devotion that Srila Babaji Maharaja used to sing goes like this:

* Monier Williams Sanskrit dictionary defines an avadhuta as ‘one who has shaken off from himself worldly feeling and obligation’.

kothaya go premamayi, radhe radhe
radhe radhe go, jaya radhe radhe

Only when I sincerely offer my life and soul to attain this extremely valuable treasure, feeling true anxiety and deep yearning for it, shall I understand that Sri Gurudeva has genuinely accepted me. Oh, when will such good fortune arise for me! The number of days of my life is almost exhausted!

So many examples such as these can be given, but for now, to prevent this offering from becoming too lengthy, I have only presented these two.

~ The Causeless Mercy My Srila Gurudeva and
Other Disciples of Srila Prabhupada Bestowed Upon Me

In 1954 my most worshipful spiritual master, nitya-lila pravista Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, established Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha in Mathura and entrusted me with the complete responsibility of caring for the matha, from that time on. Because of this causeless mercy from Srila Gurudeva, I had the great fortune of serving and associating with most of Srila Prabhupada’s intimate disciples. Whenever they would come to Vraja, they would unfailingly visit Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha, since the only inter-city bus and railway stations in Vraja are both located in Mathura. Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja also came and stayed in Mathura Matha many times. Moreover, on many occasions like Sri Navadvipa-dhama Parikrama, various special festivals, deity installations and so on, I received the association of Srila Maharaja. In this way, I had the great fortune to hear about the precious treasure of bhajana that I mentioned before, directly from the lips of the associates of Srila Prabhupada, and to store the glory of this precious treasure in the core of my heart by virtue of rendering service to them and receiving their mercy.

To prevent this extremely rare treasure of rupanuga-bhajana from disappearing from this world with the passage of time, and to prevent the conditioned souls from being deprived of it forever, wherever I travel in my service of preaching, I provide aspiring devotees clear insights, in line with the current of thought of our rupanuga guru-varga; insights about sri guru and sri guru-parampara; about the message of Sri Rupa-Ragunatha and the teachings of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta; about the profound purpose of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s advent and the speciality of His contributions to the world; about the glory of sri harinama-sankirtana; about chanting without making offences; and insights into the glories of vraja-bhakti, the transcendental love of Sri Radha and Krsna, and the sadhya (ultimate goal) and sadhana (process) of devotional service. In truth, my srila gurudeva along with Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja and the other associates of Srila Prabhupada are the inspirational source of every insight I have. I am simply an insignificant servant of my beloved gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and of the other intimate followers of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, totally dependent upon the spiritual inheritance they have left for me. Besides this, I do not have any independent existence or identity.

On the auspicious occasion of the appearance day of Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja, I offer my dandavat pranamas unto the lotus feet of my srila gurudeva, nitya-lila pravista Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and unto the lotus feet of Srila Maharaja, and I beg for their causeless mercy so that by following in their footsteps I may attain the qualification to engage in fulfilling the innermost desire of their hearts (mano’bhista-seva) – that is, to practice and preach that most precious treasure of bhajana, more and more.

Praying for a particle of the mercy of Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas,
Sri Bhaktivedanta Narayana

(Originally written in Hindi)
Translated from Sri Sri Bhagavat Patrika, Year 7, issues 8–9
by the Rays of The Harmonist team in collaboration with
the producers of Bhagavata Dharma (the magazine of Sri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha)


Next Issue – Year 3, Issue 11: “Sri Guru Is Present In All Things”, 26 November 2010
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