Dear Friends and Devotees,
By the grace of Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga, kindly allow me
to present my Bhakti-Yoga lessons to all of You!
All Glories to Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya-varya
Astottara-sata-sri - Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami Maharaja!
Sri Gaura-premanande! Hari hari bol!
Dear Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas,
I beg your causeless mercy.
Please accept my humble Namaskar
and Dandavat Pranamas.
vancha-kalpa-tarubhyas ca krpa-sindhubhya eva ca
patitanam pavanebhyo vaisnavebhyo namo namah
All Glories to Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission!
Ananta-koti vaisnava-vrinda ki jaya!
Samagata bhakta-vrnda ki jaya!
Nagar Sankirtan all over the World:
All Glories to Nagar Sankirtana! Sri Harinama-sankirtana ki jaya!
Lesson 21 – How to perform kevala-bhakti?
When Uddhava, the most faithful follower
of Sri Krishna, approached the Lord in seclusion,
he said in S.B. Ch.6, Text 45:
“Oh Lord! I am always serving You in all sorts of activities like sleeping, sitting, walking, standing, bathing, playing, eating etc. as You are most dear to me. Hence, how can I leave You?”
Here in this verse we can see clearly how a Devotee feels and acts in his performance of kevala-bhakti. Yesterday in our zoom-meeting our Bhajana-Guru said that kevala-bhakti means one-pointed devotion, love in action. Srila Gurudeva told us that there is only one way to please our Svamini, to follow the words of the navigator like a friend in that relationship between Guru and Sisya (disciple, follower as a friend). That is so beautiful. And in one class my Paramahamsa Gurudeva said:
“To hear is to obey!”
This class yesterday from our Bhajana-Siksa-Guru was exactly in the same mood like that class of my Diksa-Guru many years ago. I remembered immediately, that my Srila Gurudeva always said that through submission and service we can get the blessings of the Lord. ‘To hear is to obey’ is the most important thing in the life of the sisya (disciple). Without that obeying to the words of our Guru there is no progress in our daily sadhana. I know that from my own experience. I joined Krishna consciousness in March 1989 and since that, from the very first day I am attentively trying to apply that good advice from the spiritual navigator in my practical life. Love in action is really taking place after listening carefully and applying that transcendental knowledge in our practical sadhana and seva to Sri Guru and Gauranga. That was not always easy in the beginning, since I was born in a family who was completely averse to Krishna consciousness. Like Prahlada Maharaja I had to survive on the battlefield of my material environment and I had a lot of struggle and strive during several life threatening physical and mental attacks. I risked my life many times in the service to Radha Krishna. My only quality was in the beginning that I obeyed completely to the spiritual guidance from the books of A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada. That was my good fortune, that I simply obeyed what I read in his books. He blessed me so much. All Glories to A.C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada! As it is stated in S.B. Ch. 6, Text 46:
To follow in the mood of kevala-bhakti, means
to being unable to leave the Lord. One always is praying to the
Lord to get allowance to accompany Him. That is not out of fear
of illusion, since there is love and friendship.
Yesterday my Sannyasi-godbrother from Vienna talked in his skype-class about this pure devotee Sri Prahlada Maharaja, that unalloyed devotee of Sri Hari, who always was praying to the Lord out of love. Even living in this material world which is full of dangerous beings we will transgress insurmountable sorrows of this world by remembering and glorifying the transcendental pastimes of the Lord of Love, His human form, His gait, smiles, glances, jokes, activities and advices, in association with the devotees. That is also my personal experience. My first service as a new bhaktin was book-distribution on the streets. We were travelling through several citys and sold Srila Prabhupada’s books far and wide. There were innumerable hardships for female devotees while travelling with a big van, since that was very austere service and very hard work for the physical body, too. It was also dangerous from the material point of view, but we where not afraid. We had so many blissful experiences, spreading the teachings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to our brothers and sisters. But sometimes people were not pleased and even were stealing our books from the car, or they threatened us once with a weapon, when we were parking at a secluded place in the forest. I always chanted Prahlada-Nishingadeva-Mantras during these difficult times and I always got divine protection throughout my whole life.
I cannot count all these many dangerous moments during
that time when I was in preaching mission.
The funny thing was, that superior devotees told me that I was useless, since I could sell only a few books during the whole day. It was always a meager result compared to the other sankirtana-devotees who distributed sometimes 100 or more books a day. But I always had a lot of spiritual surprising during my attempts. Sometimes people where running after me and shedding tears, begging for the books of Srila Prabhupada. One Lady demanded the whole set of Sri Caitanya Caritamrita from me at Friedrichshafen in South Germany. Hahaha. That was special. Usually people liked to get one book, the Bhagavad Gita or the two Krishna-books. One person had no hands and was driving a wheelchair. He said that I saved his life by giving him Krishna in form of this book. Once a day hooligans wanted to beat me up, but I simply chanted ‘Namaste Narashimaya-Mantra’ and I pressed the book to my body like drowning in the ocean. The Bhagavad Gita was my Lifebuoy. Hahaha. I could not feel their blows and I had no fear at all, since the Lord always was in my mind and heart. Always there were some nice People who helped me out of trouble. Once, a big angry dog wanted to bite me during my preaching on the street … and a miracle happened. While he was jumping in direction of my throat …I was chanting JAY SRI NISHINGADEVA! … and suddenly that angry dog was beaten down … from an “invisible hand” of the Lord. That dog was spun through the air and thrown to the ground. That is not a joke. I was in ecstasy, and I realized that when we risk our life for God, He is protecting us 24/7. That is natural and wonderful.
Since my sankirtana-leader said that I was “useless” on book distribution they sent me to the kitchen, where I was allowed to cook for the Deities and Devotees in the Temple.
Hahaha. After I got Brahmin-initiation in 1993, I was cooking in temples of several countries, travelling from place to place. Again there happened many miracles during cooking-service. Once in the German Temple of Radha Madana Mohana, the Deity wanted ice-cream in the late afternoon. It was very hot summer time and I had already performed 8 hours in the kitchen, sweating like mad and I was very tired. But the head pujari showed up and was very excited when telling me that the Lord wants ice-cream from “ME” – PRONTO! Ahhh, first I was thinking that this pujari made a joke and simply wanted delicious ice-cream for himself and the devotees; and I was speculating …. maybe he had a sunstroke or that he was a little mad. But when I went up to the altar …. seeing Madana Mohana in shorts and chaddar, looking very charming at me … I fell in love with Him and obeyed to the words of the head pujari. I did not feel tired any longer and made happily the favorite ice-cream for Sri Sri Radha Madana Mohana. In the morning we could see that there happened a miracle on the altar at nighttime.
The flower garland of Radha Madana Mohana was wrapped around the legs of the Deities. Hahaha.
The pujari told us that he was offering that flower garland to the necks of Their Lordships in the late evening. That was a big miracle, since we all knew that nobody had entrance at night into the deity room.
And once in the evening I wanted to go to bed early since I was very tired from a lot of seva during the daytime; but my Svamini called me with Her sweet voice to the 24-hour kirtana at night time in order to sing for Her. I was already dressed for bed and had to shower and dress a fresh sari again, before I could do my service in front of the altar. I tell you frankly: That was not an ordinary kirtana …
Or once in the Swiss temple I was cooking chocolate cake for Their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra. I was meditating about streams of nectar of honey … and was thinking that Lord Balarama likes honey so much. Therefore I used a lot of the expensive honey for the chocolate cake. After the offering on the altar of the Deities I was cleaning the kitchen when the head pujari rushed in and was crying and laughing and jumping. I did not understand what happened. He called the Brahmacaris from their rooms and all the devotees where standing in front of the altar with open mouths and stunned eyes. I could not believe what I saw. Lord Balarama’s face was smeared with the chocolate cake around His Lotus mouth. Hahahaha. His face was full of chocolate cake with honey. We all knew that nobody had entrance on the altar during the sweet offering in the afternoon. There were very very strict kitchen-rules and regulations in our Deity-worship. I can never forget that day, since the devotees where crying and laughing and I was so much in ecstasy that I could not use my speech for some hours. During more than 30 years in devotional service I experienced a lot of miracles. And I can really confirm what that unalloyed devotee Uddhava says to Sri Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam 11 Canto, Ch. 6., verse 42:
“Oh my Lord! Hearing and chanting of Your glories make a man sacred. You are the Lord of all the demigods. You are the master of all mystic power. You are the Lord of the universe and being capable of doing everything You did not counteract the Brahmana’s curse. Hence, it seems that destroying the Yadava dynasty You will leave this material world.”
How can we understand these wonderful pastimes of the Lord? We only can get a small drop of the nectar of our Isthadeva and that is so overwhelming that our body cannot take so much bliss at once. Hahaha. Even at night we cannot escape this sacred relationship with our Isthadeva. In all sorts of activities the Deity of our heart appears suddenly and melts our heart, even during sleeping and dreaming at night. We cannot even find a secluded place where we can hide from the Lord during daytime. Everywhere my beloved Isthadevi is waiting for my service. How can we leave our service? Not even for a moment we can forget our svarupa (spiritual body and relationship) when we perform kevala-bhakti. That one-pointed devotion is the secret for success. And when we do kirtana with the devotees we can taste our relationship with Radha Govinda right on the spot. As soon as I was hearing the kirtana yesterday on skype meeting with my Sannyasi-godbrother in Vienna I could taste his mood of worship. I tell you frankly: There is no secret in our spiritual life. All tastes and moods of the devotees are revealed in front of the altar to an experienced devotee. And the altar in our heart is that unseen place, where Their Lordships are tasting our love and devotion for Them in our service.
When service is done with love and devotion, Their Lordships reciprocate accordingly without delay.
We can even feel Their blessings physically. That is the beauty of kevala-bhakti, there is no speculation, but pure taste. I am sure that my Sannyasi-godbrother will reach his spiritual goal soon, since we can see that Radha Krishna are pleased with his devotional attitude and practical seva. And at this point I tell you again: We do not need to overuse our brains, finding and reciting perfectly the right Sanskrit verses of the scriptures during preaching. Hahaha. Everything which we need, is coming spontaneously to us. Even our mental attempt counts for the Lord. Sometimes we do not need to act it out perfectly. We simply get the spiritual reward, when we are ready to follow the advice of the navigator. We simply need to remember the essence. Let’s remember: To hear is to obey. Within us there is a nonstop lecture going on, the language of the heart, which belongs to our Isthadeva. 'To hear is to obey' should be our 24/7-mantra, which is always fresh and new for those devotees who are practicing love in action. That must be said. We should reveal our inner spirit to each other in the service to Their Lordships, since devotees can help and inspire each other. Not only Guru and disciple have that relationship of friendship to each other, since all devotees have that friendly mood. Most important in our dealings among devotees is that we remember ‘The Nectar of Instruction’. In verse 6 it is said:
“Devotees in this world should not be seen from a material perspective. Any imperfections found in their natures of their appearance should be overlooked for such faults are like the foam and mud in the water of the Ganges. Such things appear due to the nature of water, but the divine nature of the Ganges is never diminished.”
Sometimes a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi seems to be a little greedy, a little angry, a little sleepy; or he/she may be physically disabled – but the saintly character of the Vaisnava/Vaisnavi is independent of his/her mental or physical characteristics. Such qualities do not affect his/her status in the Vaisnava world. For example: When my service was book-distribution and preaching when I was a young Vedic nun, the people on the street where thinking that I was a “model” advertising a bookstore or commercial company. I was looking pretty good and that was my handicap in spiritual life. Nobody took me serious. Although I dressed as a nun, men only saw my “female beauty” and were not listening to my words. I had a lot of troubles out on the street, when I was a travelling preaching nun. Hahaha. Therefore I shaved my long hair and tried to look like the monks with a sikha on the back of my head. I dressed like a man, but that also worked not out. My relatives were cursing and almost beating me up, when I tried to give them Krishna-books. My father chased me out of the house and I took shelter in the temple ashrama for Matajis. In the temple community the Brahmacaris had a problem with my female appearance. I had really hard challenges from all sides around me in the beginning of my devotional carrier. So many difficult tests, but that was also big blessing, since I had to become mature and detached from family life and all advantages of material life. When it seemed to be that I lost everything in this material world … I was blessed with the service to my Isthadevi. I got all blessings. I lost most dear family members, dear friends, I lost jobs and money, I had innumerable health issues at that time, I lost all my stable social connections … but I got best friends in Krishna consciousness. Finally, when we do not give up our hope and spiritual service - Krishna gives us more happiness and blessings than we can carry. And here my good advice to the devotees who want to join in the ashram of the temple community:
We should not make distinctions between male and female devotees in the temple. We are not this body, we are all servants of the Lord.
All devotees belong to Radha Krishna. That I want to tell to this world. Our Acaryas in Guruvarga say that whatever may be externally seen in the character of a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi, is like the mud, bubbles and foam found in Ganges water. The purifying capacity of Ganges water is separate and cannot be disturbed by any foam or dirt mixed with it.
The spiritual capacity of a devotee does not depend
in any way on the apparent material capacity.
We know the example from Gauralila - that pastime with Mahaprabhu and Sanatana Gosvami, who was a devotee of a pure type. Mahaprabhu embraced him, although he had sores all over his body, which was emitting a bad odor, since that sores were oozing. Sanatana had decided, “I shall either leave this place or I shall invite death by falling under the wheel of the cart of Lord Jagannatha.” But as the Lord in the heart of all, Mahaprabhu knew Sanatana’s mind. He chastised him and embraced him forcibly. All the sores disappeared, and Sanatana’s body immediately became like gold. The body of a devotee is sac-cid-ananda. If we think that it is mundane, then this shall be offensive to Krishna. The Vaisnava conception is atma-dharma, the souls function. Any bodily contamination is absent there. In Bhag. 10.84.13 it is stated:
“He who considers the true self to be this corpse-like body that is full of mucus, bile and air, who believes that his family belongs to him, who thinks this country of birth is worthy of worship, who thinks that a body place is merely an ordinary body of water and who never seeks the association of the wise, is no different from an ass.”
It is also important that we try to find only good things in others. We should try to please another Vaisnava, especially one that we do not like. That means we are forced to find the goodness in that devotee whom we dislike. That is the medicine for our material disease. It is stated in the Gita 9.30)
“Even if the most sinful person worships Me with one-pointed devotion, such a person should be considered to be saintly because his/her determination is perfect.”
And in verse 9.31 of Gita it is said that “He quickly becomes virtuous again and attains everlasting peace. Oh Kaunteya, go and declare that My devotee never perishes.” The devotees of the Lord will be never ruined. The fact is that one who has accepted Krishna exclusively has no taste in other things, so really he/she is not duracara (sinful). Internally he/she is always connected with the Lord and he/she is indifferent to external life. Whoever has surrendered to the Lord, He has accepted that person as His own. Those that are accepted by the Lord will gradually be purified. But we are sometimes eager to point out the faults of others. We are quick to judge the case of others. Why should he/she receive causeless mercy? We think that he/she has got so many defects. This is a very poor attitude, a disqualification. But for ourselves we want mercy. If we especially mark the faults of another devotee, they will be transferred to us. From our own experience and also from the sastra we have seen this.
It is therefore not correct to discriminate against female devotees just because they are women. Some old-fashioned devotees still believe that women are inferior, that women are less intelligent and less qualified for devotional service. This attitude would be sexist and not worthy of a Vaisnava.
The greatest enemy to our progress is vaisnava-aparadha, especially for a beginner on the journey in this domain. Vaisnava-aparadha has been said to be most dangerous. Generally a humble Vaisnava or Vaisnavi will always think, “I can’t serve perfectly. There are so many defects in my service.” Even Srimati Radharani says, “I can’t serve Krishna properly,“ but She is serving to the highest degree. A vaisnava-aparadha is greater than any aparadha directly made to Krishna, because the Vaisnava or Vaisnavi is serving Him properly with earnestness and we may abusing him/her unnecessarily. That is like committing suicide. To stand against the Vaisnava or Vaisnavi is to stand against one’s own vital interests. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the maha-bhagavata does not care for any offences made against them, but the foot-dust of those maha-bhagavatas cannot tolerate the dishonour of their master. We should therefore not criticize others. Don’t be hungry to find the faults in others. But if someone finds fault in you, then you may consult a higher authority - a more senior Vaisnava or Vaisnavi in order to get his/her opinion and good advice. Generally we can say:
“Physician, cure thyself, before you attempt to cure others.”
We shall also pray to the Supreme Lord for a humble attitude, “Oh Lord, my bad temperament stands in the way of my association with the devotees - please remove it.” Association with the devotees of the Lord is a primary necessity. It vastly improves our position with the Supreme if we always remain in prayer. One disciple of our Bhajana-Siksa-Guru told to Srila Gurudeva a wonderful prayer during his zoom-class yesterday. It goes something like this:
“Dear Srila Gurudeva, please grant me one drop from your deep kunda of loving feelings to Srimati Radharani, so that I may be able to serve Her as a maidservant in the same way as you do.”
That prayer is so beautiful. All glories to that fortunate devotee, who perfectly understands the mood of his Guru! Let’s continue with the Verse 7 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
1) Krishna’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes are all comparable to the sweetness of sugar-candy.
2) Ignorance is compared to the disease of jaundice which inflicts the tongue. Such a disease arrests the tongues power of taste.
3) If one accepts the Holy Name and chants it constantly, then the disease of ignorance will vanish.
4) Gradually that sweet-like Name of Krishna will pacify all material desires and the taste for the Holy Name will bring all auspiciousness.
In my next lesson 22 I will be continuing with the explanation for this verse 7.
Lesson 20 – What is the proper conception of Gurudeva?
“If we are sincerely searching after the Lord, then the Lord is also approaching us and the meeting point is Sri Guru, His representative. Srila Gurudeva/Srimati Gurudevi must always be seen as the representatives of God, not as ordinary human beings. Though we find that he/she is sleeping, eating or he/she is suffering from some disease, it is just like the Ganges water – physically it may be filthy, but still it can purify everything. The purifying capacity of the Ganges is not lost by physical dirtiness. Therefore the Guru and the Vaisnava/Vaisnavi should not be seen through the material eye – there is another vision, the spiritual eye, through which they should be estimated.”
It is said in Bhag. 11.2..46:
“The devotee in the intermediate stage of devotional service is called a madhyama-adhikari. He/she loves the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is a sincere friend to all the devotees of the Lord, shows mercy to the innocent and disregards the envious.”
In Bhag. 11.2.45 it is said:
“The first class devotee sees Krishna in everything, and everything within Krishna.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura gives a commentary to that Sanskrit sloka in his Upadesamrta 5.1, that is very important.
“Within my mind I will honour and consider as most dear one who avoids the fault of bad association and sings Your Holy Name, be he/she formally initiated or not.”
Krsneti yasya giri – giri means if one is pronouncing so many words and you find he’s/she’s chanting the Holy Name of Krishna, then you may adore him/her. You will only bow down to him/her when he/she is diksita – when the agent of the Lord accepts him/her, when he/she has the Holy Name in his/her ear and his/her heart. The Holy Name has been distributed to him/her. Diksa means connection with sad-guru. Krishna has accepted him/her as His devotee through his real agent (Sri Guru). When in the temple of the heart of a devotee Krishna has descended then we shall show our physical honour to him/her – not only mental but physical also. Diksasti cet pranatibhis – if he/she is connected with the higher Vaisnava then we shall bow down our head to him/her.
If we find any devotee who serves the Lord with a
continuous serving mood, whose connection with the
Divinity is incessant, we shall serve him/her.
We will try to do anything and everything for him/her if we find that he/she has completely devoted himself/herself and immersed himself/herself in the taste of the sweetness of the Holy Name of the Lord and His pastimes etc. Such a person sincere chanting of the Holy Name of Krishna is not imitation, not namaparadha or namabhasa. Only the real Name is on his/her lips. The Holy Name is not a physical sound. It has a greater and higher aspect, it is fully spiritual. That must have the reference of Vaikuntha. Kuntha means limitation, and vai-kuntha means above limitation. The sound has its original conception above the realm of limitation. That immeasurable force is invited in the form of sound to do away with all the anomalies in this mundane world. We are in the plane of marginal existence; therefore a higher connection is necessary. Then that wave will start form some higher spiritual realm and will come down to us. In sound also there is classification. A sound from the proper plane will be effective but not any imitation sound. Imitation means namaparadha and namabhasa. There are ten types of namaparadha to the Holy Name:
1) To plaspheme the devotees who have dedicated their lives for propagating the holy name of the Lord. 2) To consider the names of demigods like Lord Siva or Lord Brahma to be equal to, or independent of, the name of Lord Krishna. 3) To disobey the orders of the spiritual master. 4) To blaspheme the Vedic literature or literature in the pursuance of the Vedic version. 5) To consider the glory of chanting Hare Krishna as an exaggeration. 6) To concoct interpretations of the holy name of the Lord. 7) To commit sinful activities on the strength of chanting the holy name of the Lord. 8) To consider the chanting of Hare Krishna to be on the same level as the ritualistic karmic activities mentioned in the Vedas. 9) To instruct the faithless in the glories of the Holy Name. 10) To not have complete faith in the chanting of the Holy Names and thus maintain material attachments, even if in the beginning one chants the Hare Krishna mantra with offences, one will become free from such offences by chanting again and again (and faithfully serving the pure devotee). (Padma Purana, Brahma-Khanda, 25.15 – 18,22-23)
Here you find the class ‘The Holy Name has life’ by
Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhava Puri Goswami:
Regarding the four kinds of namahasa it is said in Bhag. 6.2. 14, that one who chants the Holy Name of the Lord is at once freed from all the reactions of unlimited sins, even if he chants indirectly (sanketa), jokingly (parihasa), for musical entertainment (stobha), or even neglectfully (helana). All the learned scholars of the scriptures accept this. We are asked to avoid both namaparadha and namabhasa. We must avoid these two with the earnestness of attaining the service of the Lord, as well as His servitors. Hankering for the pure Holy Name should be there and that will be suddha-nama.
Everything else should be eliminated and the real Holy Name,
which is one and the same with the Lord, should be taken.
But the real Name must be received from a real sadhu. Sadhu-Sanga is rarely to be found. There is no exertion by the uttama-adhikari Vaisnava to dismiss this world of matter; he/she has no connection with it. The madhyama-adhikari may have some consciousness of this mundane nature, but in the view of a paramahamsa, there is nothing but Krishna-bhajana. If by your fortune you meet such a rare sadhu, then you will try to do anything and everything for him/her. But that sadhu is sudurlabha – rarely to be found. Very few souls are found that are really conscious of their innermost necessity, “I want Svamini, I want Krishna. I want Vrindavana.” It is said in Gita 7.3:
„Amongst thousands of men, one may try to achieve perfection. Amongst those rare
persons that endeavour for perfection, one may actually know Me.”
Without that sat-sanga-seva the direct association and service of the sadhu there is no possibility of advancement on the positive side. The whole heart must be brave enough to take this opportunity. We must not waste our time and we must come to give ourselves wholesale to Svamini and Krishna under the guidance of a true Vaisnava/Vaisnavi. Whatever progress we make, that is a very valuable thing. Therefore our Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission and other branches of Gaudiya Math in the Line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu have opened so many centres in this World. Sadhu-sanga is rarely to be found and we are making arrangements for that indispensable necessity. Whatever we do, the whole thing must be utilized in the service of Radha Krishna, under the guidance of a bona-fide sadhu. Whatever we do, the whole thing must be converted and then we will comprehend the value of everything, being under the divine guidance. In CC. Madhya 22.54 it is said:
“It is the opinion of all the scriptures that by even a moment’s association
with a sadhu, one can attain all perfection.”
Sukadeva Gosvami says in Bhag. 2.1.12, “One moment is sufficient for your highest attainment if it is utilized properly.” Varam muhurtam vidhitam – if one moment can be used sufficiently, then there is no necessity of a long, long life. Only one moment is sufficient to solve all the problems of our life, if it is properly used along with sadhu-sanga. The real capital is sadhu-sanga and our cooperation is required also. What is the necessity of ages and ages if we are unconscious of our own interest? If used properly, one moment is sufficient to solve the whole problem of our life for which we are eternally wandering. We must be wakeful to our interest; we must not be negligent. It is within you. When you are to eliminate all negative unwanted things from your heart, then you will find a temple of Krishna within. If you search your own heart, you will find Krishna there with the help of a proper guide. Sri Guru is the best navigator and can bring you back home back to Godhead. Every heart is a temple of the Lord. It is our home.
Therefore Mahaprabhu says, “Go on with sankirtana. “
But it must be Krishna-sankirtana and sankirtana of no other. For that sadhu-sanga is necessary. It cannot be an empirical attempt but the attempt that descends from the higher spiritual realm known as Goloka Vrindavana, to help us here. We must have that connection - that is all-important. Now let’s continue with the Verse 6 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
1) Although natural faults may be found in a pure devotee of Krishna, one must never become disturbed at the bodily defects found within him/her.
2) If one sees such faults with material vision, know that such a vision is certainly offensive.
3) If one, having insufficient qualifications and knowledge, sees the ‘faults’ of a great devotee who has attained perfection, then one can never become happy and peaceful.
4) The waters of the sacred Ganga are always considered to be divine although bubbles, foam and mud may be found within it.
5) When any other water is mixed with the Ganga, it is still never considered to be impure. Similarly, the so-called faults found in a pure devotee will not remain in him/her.
6) Those that see faults in a sadhu reject the instructions of Sri Krishna. Due to pride, their devotion becomes incinerated and at the time of death they fall down.
In my next lesson 21 I will be continuing with the explanation of Verse 6 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Lesson 19 – Which process is the supreme religion?
“Oh Uddhava! This process of devotional service
unto Me is the supreme religion and free from material
contamination for it is appropriately determined by Me.
Hence, one who follows it has no fear or loss of anything.”
(Lord Sri Krishna speaks to Uddhava – Srimad Bhagavata
Mahapurana Ch. 29, Text 20)
Yesterday our dear Sannyasi-godbrother gave class via skype meeting here in Vienna. There was a question from a devotee: “how can a go-dasa (servant of the senses) become a gosvami (controller of the senses)? Maharaja was telling us that Sri Krishna personally is the controller of the senses of a devotee who fully surrenders himself/herself to the process of devotional service. Of course it is not cheap to reach such a high level of being a gosvami in Krishna consciousness. Bhakti-yoga is from the outwardly standpoint of view not complicated and everyone (no qualification needed!) is invited to take part. Srila Rupa Gosvami told us that there are two categories of candidates: those for vaidhi bhakti and those for raganuga bhakti. The definition for vaidhi-marga’s candidates is as follows:
“When, through incredible happiness, a person, having had association with great saints, finds trust and pleasure in serving Krishna (bhakti marga) but does not yet have firm attachment to the Lord and is only a little averse to physical attachment - such a person is fit for sadhana bhakti.”
In the Raga Vartma Candrika of Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada with commentaries of Sri Radhakunda Mahanta Pandita Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja it is said: The candidate for vaidhi bhakti gradually progresses through trust in the explanations of the scriptures in his sadhana, and some ruci gradually awakens as a result of his respectful attitude towards the Lord. But this ruci remains a secondary factor and his bhajana continues mainly on the basis of his sraddha. The definition for raganuga-marga’s candidates is as follows:
“A person who is simply greedy for the unconditional, ecstatic ragatmika bhakti love of the Vrajavasis for Krishna is a candidate for raganuga bhakti.”
The candidates for raganuga bhakti are awakened by greed for the sweet feelings of nitya siddha Vrajavasis. Your practice of ruci-sadhana gradually develops and meets deep sraddha; but here sraddha remains the secondary factor and ruci the primary one. The devotee remains engaged in bhajana, who has the form of sraddha, but in which ruci is serious. This is certainly different from the type of sraddha that awakens vaidhi bhakti and is also much more powerful. Ruci is the function of the heart. All the components listed as components of vaidhi bhakti, such as hearing and chanting, are also performed in raganuga bhakti.
So lobha, divine greed, is needed if one longs for the sweetness of the mutual feelings of Krishna and his eternal companions in Vraja regardless of the arrangement of the scriptures and logical arguments.
There are two types of greedy devotees: the praktana devotee and the adhunika devotee. Those praktana devotees who have attained the lobha by the grace of raganuga saints in previous births awaken the cultivation of that lobha in their present birth and continue with raganuga bhajana according to their samskara (cultivation) from past lives. They take refuge in the lotus feet of a guru, who follows in the footsteps of Vraja-vasis and who is fixed in the relationship of dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or madhurya rasa. Those who have not cultivated such greed in past lives (adhunika devotees) first take refuge at the lotus feet of a guru - and then they hear about the great love of Sri Krishna and his eternal companions. Only then does divine greed awaken in them. There is no other way than the grace of Sri Krishna and his pure devotees to attain this greed for raganuga bhajana. Let’s remember: Sri Jiva Gosvami said:
“Sri Krishna will appear personally before the person who remembers Him, which means that He will be conquered by the devotees who remember Him. "
First we do kirtana in the association of devotees, in order to purify our senses and heart. The more purification takes place during chanting and hearing, the faster we can start with lila-smaranam, which is very dear to the most advanced devotees of the Lord. Even if we make mistakes in our sadhana bhakti, we cannot go wrong. In the Eleventh Canto of Srimad Bhagavata, the Nine Yogendras said to King Nimi, “Oh King! A person who takes refuge on the path of devotion will never be in danger. Even if he walks on this path with his eyes closed, he will not stumble or fall! Hence, one who follows it has no fear or loss of anything.” When that greed for raga-anuga (a relationship in dasya, sakhya, vatsalya or maturya (following the sakhis) or rupa-anuga-bhajana (following the maidservants of Srimati Radharani) ripens, this lila-smaranam will be the main item of that raganuga marga. But before that can happen the heart must be purified with kirtana in the association with sadhus and saintly devotees. In the Prema Bhakti Candrika of Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya it is said:
“What we meditate on in our sadhana we will attain
in our Siddha deha (spiritual body).”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gives to the unqualified people in the age of Kaliyuga the very rare gift to obtain the service of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani under the guidance of Sri Rupa Manjari. We should not miss that rare opportunity to get the blessings from Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga for becoming a maidservant of Svamini on that pusti marga (the path of grace). By following in the footsteps of our Srila Gurudeva (Gurumanjari) and our Guruvarga who are all Radha-dasis, we can become by the process of Rupa-anuga-bhajana also a maidservant of Svamini. That is sublime. It is said that 90 % of those who took shelter in the madhurya rasa, are following in the wake of the sakhis.
Only 10 % of the devotees who took shelter of
madhurya rasa are following in the wake of the
That is a fact. For all devotees in all relationships to the Lord - Krishna-prema is the goal of our sadhana. The qualification for attaining prema comes when one just wants prema without worrying about any personal gain. To such a person who deserves it, Sri Hari gives prema. But it is not cheap. Maharaja mentioned in his skype class yesterday that the phase after you have given up everything material is the most difficult one. One is faced with nothing, so to speak, if one has only just taken up Krishna consciousness and has not yet had any spiritual realization. Maharaja said: “No risk, no gain.” This is really true, because only when one is willing to risk everything and even one's life for Sri Hari – one will be rewarded with success in bhajana, greed and spontaneous attraction to the pusti-marga in the community of advanced devotees, who are self-realized. In the meantime we use our time wisely reading ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ again and again. In verse 4 it is said:
“Offering gifts and accepting gifts, revealing one’s mind in confidence and inquiring confidentially, accepting prasada and offering prasada – these are the six symptoms of love shared by devotees.”
These are the six kinds of association with a sadhu. Higher association is only possible with a serving attitude, otherwise there is no sanga. Lower association means exploitation and enjoyment, but higher association can only be achieved through service. By proper association the quality of our service will increase. Sadhu-sanga and sadhu-seva is of the utmost importance. If we accept the energy or gifts of materialistic men then generally our minds will become polluted and impure. And if the mind is impure, then the remembrance of Krishna will not be very clear. One will suffer if he/she collects another’s energy for his/her own purpose. Bit if he/she can utilize the energy of someone for the service of Krishna in the congregational chanting of ‘The Divine Name’ to purify the whole world, then there is no apprehension of being contaminated by that energy. We use everything in our Sankirtana-yajna. Srimati Radharani will curse us if we try to utilize material energy for the service of other purposes. All things in this world are meant for serving Their Lordships and for Their pleasure. It is said in Bhag. 11.6.46: “By decorating ourselves with the garlands, scents, clothes and ornaments that You have already enjoyed, and by eating the remnants of Your food, we, Your servants, will certainly conquer Your illusory potency.” And in Gita 3.13. it is said:
“Saintly persons are liberated from all types of sins by accepting the remnants of foodstuffs offered in sacrifice. However, those who cook for themselves eat only sin.”
By honouring the Lord’s prasada we can conquer all worldly illusions. (Saranagati 3.5.) The word prasada means anugraha, kindness or grace. Whatever service we do, we expect nothing in return. And what we get, is the grace of our Lordships. We shall take prasada then we shall be out of all entanglement, although we are in the midst of it. In every action in this material world we disturb the environment. But when we offer everything to the Lord, we will get no bad reactions. Our undivided self surrender to the prime cause is important. If we follow these guidelines we shall come closer to a saintly person. If we deal in these ways with a bad man we shall become bad, and with a good man we shall become good. There are two types of water: filtered and filthy. Filthy water can be purified. The higher sadhus can take evil thoughts from others without becoming contaminated. In their hearts resides Govinda. Govinda is infinite and He can consume any quantity of filthy things, therefore their hearts cannot be contaminated. If we get the association of a real sadhu even for a moment, then that may turn the direction of our life. A sadhu is like a very valuable gem. What he/she gives is far more valuable than anything else in this world. We can find higher things only through the connection of service. We also should try to collect the secrets for success in life from a sadhu. We shall try to follow that example in order to get out of our present circumstances. It is said in Gita 4.34:
“Such knowledge should be achieved through submission, inquiry and service to those, who are wise and have seen the Supreme Truth.”
In CC Madhya 29.108 it is said that the constitutional position of the living entity is as an eternal servant of Krishna. Because the living entity is of the marginal potency of Krishna, his manifestation is simultaneously one with and different from Him. Our International Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission (branch of Gaudiya Matha) in the line of Caitanya Mahaprabhu stands for the eternal dignified position - friendly service to the Supreme Entity. There is complete self-abnegation, self-surrender to the prime cause. To give is divine and the aspiration that, “I can get,” that is devilish. But Krishna is such that slavery to Him is the highest attainment for us in this sweet relationship to the Supreme cause of all causes. That is not easily achieved. Against all odds, Please always have hope and determination dear devotees, since on that pusti-marga “everything is possible”. Let’s continue with the verse 5 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ of Srila Rupa Gosvami, which is very significant:
1) Those that know that Krishna and the Holy Name are non-different, exclusively accept the spiritual practices of devotion.
2) Those who are initiated into chanting the Holy Name should be given respect from the heart and considered as members of our own family.
3) And one who serves Krishna by the practice of nama-bhajana, while always living in the spiritual Vraja internally – such a person is known as a madhyama Vaisnava (an intermediate devotee).
4) One should offer respect at the feet of a madhyama Vaisnava. One should remain subservient to him/her in both thought and deed.
5) By the process of nama-bhajana, such a devotee attains his/her svarupa and sees nothing but Krishna in all things.(uttama Vaisnava)
6) Within this material creation he/she (the uttama Vaisnava/Vaisnavi) sees that nothing is separate form Krishna and all living entities are serving Krishna equally.
7) One should cultivate the desire to know such an advanced soul and become attached to serving him/her with thought, word and deed.
8) One must serve such an uttama Vaisnava/Vaisnavi devotee as much as possible and, by his/her mercy, one may attain Sri Krishna’s lotus feet.
In my next lesson 20 I will be continuing with the explanation of verse 5 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Lesson 18 – What is the universal necessity?
The universal necessity is to learn and acquire a serving
attitude, and if that is applied to our bhajana,
that will be of great help to us.
(Upadesamrta – Illuminations by Srila
B. R. Sridhara Deva Gosvami)
Today on Ekadasi (7 th April 2021) we should remember the BRS verse 1.2.234:
Atah sri krsna-namadi na bhaved grahyam indriyaih
Sevonmukhe hi jihvadau svayam eva sphuratyadah
“The Holy Name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Sri Krishna are divine and transcendental. They cannot be experienced by material senses. The Lord manifests Himself spontaneously on the tongue of a devotee who is eager to serve Him.”
Jihva means the tongue, and namadi means the nama, rupa, guna and lila. On the tongue the Lord’s Name will appear; within the eye, His form; within the mind, His qualities; and in the heart, His pastimes. All these will come down to you, and everything about you will connect with that vaikuntha-tattva. Your sadhana-bhakti can only develop into bhava-bhakti by doing kirtana in the association of sadhus. The Lord is there as Caitya-guru in the heart, but His grace is coming through His agents. His agents should be welcomed and dealt with properly. Sadhu and sastra are our two best friends everywhere. Why sometimes devotees on the level of bhava-bhakti fall down again to the beginning stage of sadhana-bhakti? Because of lacking a serving attitude and when doing aparadhas (offences) against other devotees. That is the whole secret in our spiritual life. We need to always stay humble in that serving attitude towards Sadhu, Guru and sastra. My dear devotees, I tell you frankly:
If we only would study ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ repeatedly again and again, and if we would apply all these 11 verses in our practical sadhana-bhakti, we were able to reach our goal of suddha-sattva within short time and never fall down again.
During kirtana, singing our holy songs of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, we can develop that pure taste. Of course to read and study all the Vaisnava scriptures and literature is important for our sadhana, but more important is to do kirtana in the association of sadhus in order to get fast realization of the transcendental plane, where the Holy Name, form, qualities, and pastimes of Sri Krishna will appear during chanting. What is the proof of the quality of our bhajana? In Text 3 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ it is said:
“Eagerness, confidence, forbearance, following the spiritual practices ordained by the scriptures, giving up the company of materialists and following in the footsteps of the pure sadhus – these six practices enhance devotion.
Lila-smaranam will naturally come during our kirtana. We do not need to meditate at a secluded place, since that would be difficult in the beginning. We Rasika-devotees like to read the pastimes of the Lord, and then doing our japa, remembering what we were reading before. That is the proper way in order to get the rasa, the taste. In our practical sadhana in our stage of saranagati (surrender) while performing our duties in society and family life we always take shelter of the Lotus feet of the Lord. We have that earnest desire to pay the price and reach the goal within this lifetime. We will have so much confidence that our Isthadeva will protect us from any danger. One may run to protect oneself knowing there is danger, but still we are thinking, “My divine guardian will save me.” I shall risk everything for the Lord on the path of saranagati; and if necessary, my Isthadeva may come to my relief. Jiva Gosvami Prabhu has discussed that goptrtve-varana (praying for the Lord’s shelter) is the main thing in the whole of saranagati. That is the whole gist, the substance – to pray for shelter. All other points are subsidiary.
So many obstacles and attacks are coming in our life.
Forbearance is the only way to conquer all challenges.
We should not show opposition, we should rather try to see that insults, poverty, punishment, and unfavourable dealings are all coming to purify us. These things are necessary and with the least punishment I am going to be released. We should be confident that we are going to attain the highest fulfilment of life, simply by practicing trinad api sunicena, taror api sahisnuna manina manadena. If still someone is aggressive towards us, we shall try to tolerate. And amani - we must never insist on any fame from the environment, still we will always be ready to give honour to all. With that serving attitude we should march on our way of saranagati.
To become a Vaisnava/Vaisnavi we must be deceit-free
and have discipline of this type and this comes from
none other than Mahaprabhu Himself.
Our attitude should be this - whatever comes, this is earned by my previous karma. My previous karma has earned such an environment and it is a necessity to teach me. And whenever my reaching will finish, the environment will change. Whatever the circumstance, the environment may be undesirable but if we are sincere we must take it with a good motive because the Lord has sent it. Without His sanction nothing can happen, not even a blade of grass can move. Currently that pandemic and all its dark effects are giving pain to the world, but our Lord is watching and by the sweet will of our Lord this necessity ends and all those miseries will be removed and we shall be placed in another environment. There is no error in the decision of the Lord. In the divine decision there cannot be an error. We have to face all circumstances with such an attitude. It is stated in Bhag. 10.14.8:
“One who lives his life while joyfully seeing everything as Your mercy even as he experiences the adverse conditions arising from his past deeds, and constantly pays respect to You with his mind, body and words, is certain to attain your lotus feet, the object of all devotion.”
Let’s remember dear Devotees: The undesirable things have not come suddenly to punish us, but it is necessarily self-acquired and it will get its fulfillment and then vanish, and then we shall get another chance. But if we avoid this struggle, it may be finished for now but again it will come to clear our debt. With this attitude we should face that pandemic and all circumstances, and that will be the best attitude of any progressive devotee. We should patiently follow spiritual practices ordained by scripture. It is stated in Bhag. 7.5.23:
“Hearing about the Lord, chanting the Lord’s glories, remembering Him, serving His lotus feet, worshipping His transcendental form, offering prayers to Him, becoming His servant, considering Him as one’s best friend, and surrendering everything to Him. These nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service.”
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has again given five practices of devotion: sadhu-sanga nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana madhura-vasa sri-murtira sraddhaya sevana. Of these five, Mahaprabhu has given nama-sankirtana (chanting of the Holy Name) the highest position. Nama-sankirtana is considered best of all – designated as such by the acaryas. Also my Srila Gurudeva especially promoted kirtana, as indicated by sastra. But if other acaryas are showing preference for smarana in any instance, it is in the sense that kirtana may be performed within the material environment, whereas smarana is independent of any material consideration. From this point of view, smarana may be deemed ‘higher’, but that is not accepted in a general way. It is a special opinion.
But the serving attitude, sevonmukhata - that must be present
in all types of bhakti. Otherwise it is all imitation and for
millions of lives we may imitate without any success.
No matter in which varna or ashrama we are placed, the most important items on our path of saranagati are devotion, eagerness, confidence, forbearance, and following in the footsteps of pure saints. Our Sankirtana movement (by propagating the Sanatan dharma) and Rupa-anuga-sadhana-dhara stand above the varna-ashrama-system of culture and religion and the rules and regulations of Vaidhi-bhakti-sadhana. It is said that a man/woman is known by his/her company. The test that is the criterion is whether he/she is hankering for the association of the good or for the material environment. What is our taste? What do we like? Do we have taste in our kirtana, bhajana, reading sastra and spiritual association of sadhus? Are we standing still or are we going back? We should be our own witness from within, weather we are gaining or losing. It is said in Bhag. 11.2.42:
Devotion, direct experience of the Supreme Lord, and detachment from other things – these three occur simultaneously for one who has taken shelter of the Lord in the same way that pleasure, nourishment and relief from hunger come simultaneously and increasingly, with each bite, for a person engaged in eating.”
Let’s remember: The negative side loses its charm as the positive side gives us a peep into the world of the higher realms of spiritual taste. Faith is the light in the darkness. Our sraddha, our firm faith (seva-nistha, guru-nistha) can guide us to bhava-bhakti and prema-bhakti. This human body can be compared to a perfectly constructed boat having the guru as the captain and the instructions of the Lord as favourable winds impelling it on its course. That is stated in the Bha. 11.20.17. Considering all these advantages, a human being who does not utilize his human life to cross the ocean of material existence should be considered the killer of his own soul. It is a horrible ocean with so many waves and so many sharks and other things - full of danger. The footsteps of the saints, the mahajanas are our only hope. It is only for our relief that so many lighthouses, the footprints of the saints, are in the infinite ocean to guide us to that place of shelter, to the Lotus feet of Radha Krishna.
The instructions of the mahajanas are always true
and useful but their conduct or practice may not always
be useful to the beginner.
A mahajana may do something that may not be helpful for the level of sadhana of a beginner. He/she has such great spiritual power that a little defect may not harm him/her in any way in his/her practice. An intelligent person will accept those practices that are backed by his/her words. When a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi has realized a higher state he/she may not be very ardent to follow the conduct of the lower stage in Vaidhi-bhakti. But when he/she comes to advice the devotees, he/she will tell them what is necessary for their position. But he himself/she herself may not accept the same thing as his/her own conduct. He/she is above that. He/she has finished that class and he/she is reading in a higher class and when a student of that class comes he/she gives the lessons of his/her level, isvaranam vacah satyam. But their own practice is not always the same as their advice.
We should not imitate but rather we should follow,
not imitation (anukarana) but anusarana
(to follow in the footsteps).
We must understand the difference. Anusarana means sincerity and anukarana is only for pratistha - without inner purity, only to imitate things outwardly, to get the glory of being a sadhu. Anusarana means sincere progress from the heart. Anukarana is artificial. We don’t want to come in touch with that awkward imitation. There are two classes of people who without a slight touch of divinity, can show the public so many high sentiments (shedding tears, signs of ecstasy etc.). Without the least touch of suddha-sattva they can freely exhibit all these things to deceive people. Devotion does not mean only to shed tears and to shiver and to wear tilaka and tulasi and dance and chant - these are all external feats. We must not be misguided seeing these imitating aspects, these feats of devotion. We must try to save the ordinary people from the false exhibition of the higher Vaisnava’s character. An honest devotee will be able to distinguish a sham from a real performance of bhakti. Sometimes non-devotees are dressed in the cloths of Vaisnavas, they are making a big show of performing puja and other devotional practice, but they are only pretender. In order to detect this unfavourable behaviour and betray we have to follow in the footsteps of saints. The true Vaisnavas will be guiding us in the right direction and can tell us what is what and who is who. He/she will bring us to the Lotus feet of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu. Let’s continue with Verse 4 of ‘The Nectar of Instruction’.
1-2) Giving gifts and receiving gifts; speaking confidentially and inquiring from others; accepting prasadam and feeding others prasadam – these are the symptoms of love when two devotees meet.
3) These are the six loving exchanges amongst devotees. Such fortunate souls find no attraction in associating with non-devotees.
In my next lesson 19 I will be continuing with the explanation of this verse 4.
Lesson 17 - Why should sadhakas collect the nectar-like words
of honey that comes from the harikatha of the pure devotees?
How to come from the plane of Mahamaya to Yogamaya?
„In assemblies of great saints, unlimited rivers of pure nectar flow from the lotus mouths of these great souls in the form of descriptions of the transcendental character, pastimes and qualities of Sri Krishna. Those who drink without satiation through their thirsty ears from these rivers of nectar, are never touched by hunger and thirst and they become free from lamentation, illusion and fear.“ (SB 4.20.25)
How can we switch from the plane of Mahamaya to the plane of Yogamaya and save our devotional life?
That ask the busy bee-like transcendentalists and aspirants
in the Bhakti-Yoga process on the path of Saranagati.
Like the bees are buzzing, the serious sadhakas struggle to get full-fledged surrender, in order to come from the struggle to the nectar. What are we collecting on the way to bhava-bhakti and prema-bhakti? Our mental restlessness is busy with irrelevant things and try to collect the fruits of Mahamaya. It is said in Bhag. 1.16.9 that lazy people with little intelligence and a short lifespan pass their nights sleeping and their day performing useless activities. We find hundreds of things on the way of saranagati and everything comes to capture our attention – that is laulya. We must save ourselves from that lower material nature. There is no end engaging our senses. We are searching for so many things. It is said in Bhag. 2.1.4:
„The material body, wife, children and everything in relation to them are like fallible soldiers and those that are overly attached to them, despite their experience, do not see their own imminent destruction.“
„Those poetic words that do not glorify Hari, who alone can purify the entire universe, are considered by saints to be like a pilgrimage place for crows where perfected souls find no satisfaction.“
„A human being is meant to inquire about the Absolute Truth. Nothing else should be the goal of one's activities.“
„Cut your coat according to your cloth.“
The Vaisnava is also struggling, but to be reinstated into
a harmonious life. All should struggle to be reinstated into
the real harmony of the Whole.
Generally the time of trouble begins at the stage
of the madhyama-adhikari.
Only an uttama-adhikari sees everywhere that things
are going well according to the will of Krishna.
We have to ignore the ornamental, but accept the substance within
all our attempts. We need to turn our attention towards
our own self - to our real interest as maidservants of
our Svamini in our svarupa consciousness.
GAURA PREMANANDE HARI HARIBOL !
ALL GLORIES TO SRI GURU AND GAURANGA!
Let's state here VERSE 3 of the Nectar of Instruction of Srila Rupa Gosvami:
By performing bhajana with enthusiasm both internally and externally, then gradually one will attain devotion to Krishna, which is very rare to chieve.
If one has firm belief in the path of devotion to Krishna, he/she is certainly a person of faith and devotion.
Even if one fails to quickly gain service to Krishna, if one cultivates patience in his/her devotional prictices then such a person will ultimately be imbued with bhakti.
Those that serve Krishna simply to give Him pleasure never feel any anger while performing such activities.
Rejecting the company of the non-devotees, one who is blessed with devotion should take the association of devotees and always worship Sri Hari.
Following the instructions of the pure devotees of Krishna, one who has devotion will always follow the path of bhakti, both in life and in death.
Those who imbibe these six qualities become qualified to attain devotion and their preaching brings auspiciousness to the entire world.
In my next lesson 18 I will be continuing with the explanation of this verse 3.
Lesson 16 – How to awaken our svarupa?
Anukula ha’be vidhi, se-pada haibe siddhi,
nirakhiba e dui nayane
se rupa-madhuri-rasi, prana-kuvalaya-sasi
praphullita ha’be nisi-dine
„When Mahaprabhu is pleased with me, I will be able to attain perfection by His grace and with my naked eyes I will get darsana of Sri Rupa Manjari’s Lotus feet. Sri Rupa Manjari’s exquisite beauty is full of sweetness like the moon. Just as on moonlight the lotus blossoms, so also my heart will blossom day and night with her moonlike beauty.”
(Sri Rupa-Manjari-Pada - Srila Narottama dasa Thakura)
Today was a very special day (4.4.'21), since I could feel the blessings of my beloved Siksa-Bhajana-Gurudeva in Vrindavana, right at that moment while I was walking in the forest. His sweet and intense energy was calling me to the zoom meeting. I came a little late to the zoom meeting and the darsana of Sri Guru and all the Vaisnavas there. Their spiritual association was overwhelming me. Srila B.V. Sadhu Maharaja was lecturing about the awakening of one’s svarupa, one’s eternal siddha-deha (spiritual body) as manjari. This is my favorit topic, since by his help, grace and mercy I was able to make a lot of progress within the last century. I remember clearly when Maharaja was travelling through Europe and came to our Vienna temple, Sri Sri Radha Govinda Mandir many times, between 2000 and 2014. Once he was lecturing about the song of Sri Rupa-Manjari-Pada, my favorit song.
By his spiritual inspiration I started to meditate about
this song and was singing it more often, until I reached
that onepointedness in the mood of a manjari.
After I got that very rare gift of Radha-dasya-bhava and blessings for Radha-dasya-service from my eternal spiritual Master and Diksa-Guru in 2005, I also took siksa-instructions from my eternal spiritual Bhajan-Guru Sripad B.V. Sadhu Maharaja, whenever he was there in Europe. By his merciful teachings and blessings I was able to become a "Bhajana-anandi" alone at home. He opened the door for me to more advanced bhajana. With both Spiritual Masters, my Diksa-Guru and Siksa-Guru I am deeply connected for ever. I cannot describe my happiness and proud to be counted among the Radha-dasis of my Svamini. Srila Gurudeva talked today at zoom meeting about his former life as a King in Bihar. He was born in a very rich Kings-family, and he had many duties, but he was suffering and he was unhappy in material life. By the mercy and blessings of his beloved Srila Gurudeva he left everything behind for becoming a travelling monk, he took Sannyasa order of life and started bhajana sadhana and later on he went on preaching tour around the world.
He was in ecstasy while telling us how proud he is to be counted among the Radha-dasis and how happy he is now in the devotee association, among his dear friends and disciples,
who are giving him so many inspirations.
Let’s jubilate because our Parama-Gurumanjaris were blessing us so much by sending Maharaja to us devotees in the Western countries. As a Gurumanjari he has been able to give us a real vision of lila-smaranam and how to become fixed in the service as a maidservant of Ishvari. Every day we are busy with awakening that svarupa and we never want to go to sleep (lower modes of nature) again. Never ever we can fall down to this darkness of sleepy ignorance and passion again, where we were not able to think of our true nature, our eternal svarupa, our siddha-deha. Our Diksa-Guru and Siksagurus are the true representatives of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. That is so ecstatic to think of. How can we understand that sweet and loving care, that unending mercy of Mahaprabhu? It is said in that song Sri-Rupa-Manjari-Pada:
“When Mahaprabhu is pleased with me, I will be able to attain perfection by His grace and with my naked eyes I will get darsana of Sri Rupa Manjari’s Lotusfeet. Sri Rupa Manjari’s exquisite beauty is full of sweetness like the moon. Just as on moonlight the lotus blossoms, so also my heart will blossom day and night with her moon-like beauty.”
Dear devotees, even if you meditate your whole life only about that one verse again and again, you will get unlimited spiritual realizations. Maharaja said at the zoom meeting today:
“Just study one page – and practice; then fix your mind in onepointedness,
and relationship with your Isthadeva will come.”
I am sooooo happy that he said this today. I can see in him my Svamini, teaching us rasa. I can feel my Svamini in his presence. I can see her Lotuslips and Lotuseyes moving, when Maharaja speaks. I can see her Lotushands moving, when his hands are moving, when he is wearing pink T-shirt and other garments and flowers, … and when we get sweet fotos from him on facebook, where he shows us his lotusfeet, I am so much in ecstasy that I forget my Sadhaka-deha. I want to rush in my Siddha-deha immediately to her and massage her lotusfeet. That is the desire of a manjari, to massage the lotus feet of Svamini. How to stop that strong spiritual urge? At that moment of hankering for Svaminis darsana that material body becomes only an obstacle for us Sadhakas. We realize this feeling of vipralambha, viraha, separation from our Svamini when we are singing that song of Sri Rupa-Manjari-Pada, and when we are listening to classes of Gurumanjari. We are so fortunate that we have our Bhajana-Guru with us. And we cannot even think about that case, about what he said today: “I have to go …!” That is the biggest pain in our sadhana, when Gurudeva does not give us vapu-darshan, when he is busy and doing seva elsewhere, or when he goes to Nitya-lila. At the same time we have to stand up, follow his advice and become mature. We want to come to the mature state of being 24/7 busy in service to Svamini, in the same way as he does. In order to meet him face to face on the spiritual platform, we have to become mature in our bhajan and seva.
Maharaja’s example of doing big sacrifices to this world
and donating his unending love and devotion to us
followers - we put his vani on our heads.
We are so much blessed that we cannot stop our surrender and devotion to Sri Guru and Gauranga. That is the result of his most sweet spiritual association and harikatha, which is most precious to us.
Our spiritual Mother, our beloved Svamini is there in the
form of Sri Guru in front of our eyes and we can serve his/her vapu and vani. That is the perfection of life.
Even if we only theoretically understand that we are the maidservants of Svamini and that we want to surrender everything to her and that we want to serve her forever, that is already the perfection. Srila Gurudeva have been taking so many hardships in order to save us and bring us to Isthadeva. By the mercy of the beautiful Deities in the Temple of our Srila Gurudeva we can awaken our greed for seva. We are awakened to our eternal svarupa and it depends on our GREED and ENDEAVOR, how fast we want to reach our goal. Guru-Vani is always with us, no matter in which circumstances we are, no matter on which continent we are living, no matter in which culture and society we are at home. We are not interested in religion or culture. We are only eager to fulfill and realize our SANATAN DHARMA, our eternal position as servants of the Lord.
Sri Guru gives us the spiritual vision and eyes to see,
he/she gives us spiritual senses to feel and spiritual power
to reach our goal. JAY HO!!!
Dear devotees, we cannot lose our eternal connection with our beloved Diksa-Guru and Siksa-Gurus. They are bound by the ropes of love to us forever and we will be dancing together after awakening our svarupas, after getting our siddhadeha as a manjari for the pleasure of our Svamini in Vraja … in the pleasure groves, kunjas, kundas and banks of the Yamuna. We will be there wherever our Gurumanjari and Param-Gurumanjaris want us to engage in seva for Svamini. In the meantime we help each other to grow in our svarupa, in our rasa, bhava and seva. We can inspire each other and do service together, we do the needful, according to the instructions of Sri Guru, Guruvarga and Sri Gauranga.
The lotusfeet of our Gurumanjari, Parama-Gurumanjaris and the lotusfeet of Sri Rupa-Manjari, Tulasi-Manjari, Ananga-Manjari are our dearmost wealth. They are the sole object of our worship and devotion, Their lotus feet are the beautiful ornaments of our life. They are the very life of our life. Their lotus feet are the storehouse of rasa. They bestow topmost desire i.e. bhakti as they are the sumtotal of all the Vedas. Their lotus feet fulfil our vows and austerities, our mantra japa, our actions and our spiritual practices.
Let’s remember, our dear Bhajana-Guru-Maharaja told us today that we only need to study one page in order to practice and get that fix relationship with Isthadevi. I am so happy and relaxed. I am so excited … it is practicable. I know that, since I am trying to do Rupa-anuga-bhajana service since almost 30 years. I had many hardships in my material life, many losses, many challenges, many attacks, many sad incidences and diseases. But I always got the blessings of my Srila Gurudeva and Svamini to continue awakening my svarupa. That was the only successful deed in my life, that endeavor to become the maidservant in Radha-dasya for Svamini. Although thousands of people in material life are unhappy with me, since I could not meet their expectations … I am drowning in ecstasy, happiness and laughter, and in an ocean of seva, too. My Srila Gurudeva is pleased with my lila-smaranam, my practice of sadhana, my bhajana, my practical loving service to his lotusfeet. I am writing lessons for the devotees, doing Harinama-Sankirtana and kirtan, too, because he empowered me to do so. That is the greatest gift, to do seva. When Gurumanjari is pleased, we have already reached the perfection of life. I am yearning for more seva, more bhajana, more kirtan, more japa, more Sankirana, more endeavour.
All Glories and unending thanks to my Diksa-Guru
and Siksa-Guru, who saved me from hell,
who picked me up from an ocean of material miseries and brought me to Their blissful
abode of never ending mercy and love at the Lotusfeet of Svamini.
My most humble Dandavat pranamas to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
JAY SHREE RADHEEEE !!!
Lesson 15 – What is the real tendency of a genuine Vaisnava
who has actually come in touch with the Infinite?
Whenever the finite comes in touch with the Infinite our temperament should be that; “I am empty; I did not get anything. I feel emptiness within me. I can’t get the goal. My life is frustrated. Neither do I get a drop of grace from the Lord nor the world that I have left. I have no alternative, O Lord. If you don’t accept me then I am undone. Please, just make me the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant. Give me the remotest connection to You. Don’t leave me, my Lord. I can’t tolerate this craving for You.”
(Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Gosvami)
From the true example of our Vaisnava Acharyas we can see how a genuine Vaisnava thinks and feels. Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Gosvami and Narottama Dasa Thakura were thinking, “The whole world is absolved from sin, but I am neglected, I am left as the only exception. I am so low and ill fated that I am rejected from that most benevolent infinite lila. I alone am rejected. I could not utilize this great fortunate wave.” As long as we think that we reached the goal, we are far away from the infinite. LOVE FOR GOD IS NOT SO CHEAP! Mahaprabhu Himself says:
“I have not the slightest tinge of divine love within my heart. When you see me crying in separation, I am only making a false show of devotion. The proof that I have no love for Krishna is the fact that while not seeing his beautiful face as He plays His flute I continue to maintain my insect-like existence.(Cc.Madhya 2.45)
We followers of Caitanya-tradition are not artificially thinking that we have already attained that high plane of Raga-bhakti and that we are in a position to swim and play in the holy Radhakunda of Srimati Radharani. This artificial mentality and attitude of sahajiyas destroy the real quality of the process of devotion, and so these sahajiyas are pests to the Gaudiya Vaisnava society. To get Krishna-prema is not so cheap.
Raga-bhakti is far far above of our reach - since
it is not a very ordinary thing to be sold in the market.
Those who say that they have raga-bhakti are the enemies of the sampradaya of Mahaprabhu. Is raga so cheap? Don't think that a Bhajana-anandi does lila-smaranam fo his/her own enjoyment in solitary. He/she is not hunting for the taste, since that Rupa-anuga-bhajana – which they got from their Srila Gurudeva - is his/her holy seva to the Lotusfeet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in order to serve and please Them. They do not think about their own pleasure and taste which they get out of that rasa, which comes to them by the grace of the Lord. That is a big difference to that artificial show and sham of a sahajiya. That is important to understand that we must not be overconfident of our previous acquisition – “I have acquired so much. I have made so much progress.” Better to think, that we are still searching, that we are on the way to the goal. It is most important for us to remember the basics. Cheap imitators of devotional principles wish to dispense with the fundamental stages of sadhana-bhakti and jump to the advanced practices of devotional activities. Our great Acharyas teaches us that the devotional process necessitates that we strive to purify ourselves. This very struggle is in itself a qualification for devotional advancement.
Our purpose in life is not simply to enjoy the Lord’s
Pastimes, but to assist Him in His pastimes as a humble
servant. Herein lies the key to devotion – we are meant
to be the Lord’s servants, for He is the enjoyer, not us.
Dear devotees, if we remember that point throughout our whole life, we cannot go wrong. It is our duty to emphasize during the primary devotional stages the fundamental principles of bhakti, yet even in later stages these same basic instructions still form the substance and structure of our activities and are no less important. Just think about it during your chanting of the Divine Name. As long as there is no taste during chanting and no darshan of the Lord, we must understand, that we missed the fundamental point of surrender to the Nectar of Instruction. Some amongst us who have continually heard the basic teachings of devotion may scoff to hear it repeated yet again. But we must ask ourselves whether or not we have actually understood these crucial instructions? Are we truly practicing them diligently? If not, we delude and disqualify ourselves from the true experience.
Casualness and complacency are our worst enemies!
Let’s read that ‘Nectar of Instruction’ again and again. It’s the core teaching of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Devotional service is divided into three branches, namely the goal for life (prayojana), the means or process of achieving this goal (abhidheya) and the knowledge or understanding of the entire process (sambandha). We cannot expect to understand, nor be qualified to enter into the esoteric and intimate pastimes of our Lord Krishna without progressing gradually through the basic stages of devotion.
The Upadesamrta of Srila Rupa Gosvami will always be one of the most important works for all time, for all devotees in every stage of devotion.
Please hear me. In our dealings among devotees we can easily see who is who and what is what, when we simply study the ‘Nectar of Instruction’ and also try to follow without neglecting all these 11 verses. We need all the 11 verses in full. It is said in Text 1:
“A self-controlled person who can overcome the impulses of speech, the mind, anger, the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to instruct the whole world.”
Let’s take the good example of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura. He chose to speak from the basic teachings of the Upadesamrta of Srila Rupa Gosvami. His attention was always focused on the basics, because he felt that the fruits of devotion will come naturally. I remember also the classes of my eternal Spiritual Master Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya-varya Astottara-sata-sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami Maharaja (disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura) where he focused on the basics. He sometimes told me only one sentence, looked straight into my eyes and I could feel the whole topic matter was pouring into my mind and heart without delay. Everything was there in full, no lack of details. It was a miracle. Our Srila Gurudeva simply looked at us and we could understand his mind and heart, by his grace. He could read our minds and hearts easily, answered our questions even before we asked him with words. That was a great miracle. He could teach us simply by sending us his supreme energy and thoughts. That also worked over far distances. Always when he sent his divine loving energy to me, I stopped all activities and embraced his energetic presence by obeying to him. Although our Srila Gurudeva is not present in his body here anymore on earth, his unending vani (his divine spiritual words) are always there and he is also coming in my dreams and gives me his loving energy whenever I yearn for him. That is a fact. We cannot deviate from our devotional service as long as we are in tune with Sri Guru and Caitanya Mahaprabhu. My personal experience is, that when I concentrate on the basics, all further spiritual revelations will come to me automatically as natural fruits. We do not need to dive deeply into high topic matters and complicated explanations of the Vedas. What we need to know, will come through the channel of our connection with our Spiritual Master.
We can pray to Sri Guru and Gauranga to help us
controlling our senses. That is the fastest way to get it done.
That is my personal experience. Simply by remembering the example of a pure devotee we can learn to control the impulse of speech and mind, the impulse of anger, the impulse of the tongue, the impulses of the belly and genitals, and all these animal tendencies within us. In Prema-bhakti-candrika 2.11 it is said:
“What can lust and anger do to the practitioner
who takes shelter of saintly association?”
Our spiritual Master was the best teacher of being a saintly Master of the World, since he was free from the material modes of nature. He was a real Gosvami, a master of the senses. It is said in Bhag. 7.15.25:
“Through devotion to the spiritual master one can easily conquer the modes of passion and ignorance by cultivation of the mode of goodness and giving up attachment to those modes.”
These Sadhus who come under the flag of Sri Caitanyadeva are eligible to give instruction and make disciples all over the world and the number of disciples cannot make them deviate from their standpoint. All these things are recorded for our benefit and caution in the Upadesamrta which was given by Mahaprabhu through Rupa Gosvami to us in detail. Therefore kindly allow me to continue with the VERSE 2:
1) One whose mind continuously chases after so many things should be understood to be a glutton and bereft of devotion.
2) One who, in his mind, wishes to exploit material objects is called an over-endeavourer and is devoid of any devotion.
3) One whose tongue speaks nothing about Krishna but engages it in other mundane topics, should be considered to be an idle gossip whose mouth is full of pointless gibberish.
4) One who is disinterested in bhajana but is very expert in other sorts of karmika activities, initiating grandiose projects for prestige or overly attached to the rules of the sastras (or neglects them altogether) – such a person is a rogue.
5) One who neglects the association of Krishna’s devotees and is attached to that of non-devotees should be held to be a worthless socialite engaged in material enjoyment.
6) One who mercurially roams around for his own selfish motivations should be known as a capricious non-devotee.
7) These six types of behaviour never help one become qualified for devotion. They are the symptoms of a materialist who is without bhakti, damned to endlessly wander in this material world.
It is necessary to turn our attention towards our own self - What am I? Our attention should be drawn to our own real interest - that is only found in devotional service. In my next lesson 17 I will continue with details for this verse 2.
Lesson 14 – How to control the senses?
The eleven verses of ‘Upadesamrta’ – ‘The Nectar of Instruction’ contains
the substance of Mahaprabhu’s teachings in the language of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
Last night I had a dream where my Srila Gurudeva told me to write about ‘The Nectar of Instruction”. He had a big smile in his face and showed me that he is pleased with my harikatha and teachings. Kindly allow me to present you now the essence of all Vaisnava teachings. Of course the chanting of ‘The Divine Name’ (Hare-Krishna-maha-mantra) is the beginning of our journey back home back to Godhead, and the more we purify our mind and heart during chanting, the more we can control our senses. Everything takes place according to our greed for devotion. As soon as a person is liberated and free from the 3 modes of material nature, the pure chanting of the holy Names (without offences) becomes very important and dear to this advanced devotee. In the book ‘Madhurya Kadambini’ of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura you can read about the ‘Eight showers of Nectar’ and the ‘Fulfillment of the Heart’s Desire’. That book I recommend you after the study of ‘The Nectar of Instructions’. First you must get the basic knowledge. In my lesson 13 I mentioned how important the controlling of our senses is.
After reading my lesson 13 I recommend you to be relaxed and know that fearlessness is also a gift of bhakti-yoga.
Fearlessness comes natural and you do not have to be afraid of the next step in your sadhana (practice of devotion in bhakti-yoga). I just gave you a short introduction into the fearless service of bhakti-yoga performed by a Bhajananandi-devotee. It is good to know how that Rupa-anuga-bhajan works, but we do not have to stress ourselves in the beginning of bhakti-yoga with too many details or infos about that most advanced stage of Bhava-bhakti and Prema-bhakti. We go on step by step. A devotee is free to chose his/her preferences and tempo in Vaidhi-bhakti-sadhana combined with the spontaneous Raganuga- or Rupa-anuga-bhakti-sadhana, according to his/her abilities and taste. We practice both kinds of sadhana together in order to be successful. In the beginning we must learn to control our senses and mind.
In eleven stanzas Rupa Gosvami takes us from the foundational instructions of controlling our senses to the summit of theism – the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani (radha-dasyam).
This Upadesamrta is a very important work in Caitanya Vaisnavism, not only because of its essential instructions, but also because of the very identity of the author himself. Having descended to this world from the most intimate circle of Sri Krishna’s confidential servitor associates, Srila Rupa Gosvami (who is known in Krishna-lila as Sri Rupa-manjari) is fully aware of and in total harmony with every aspect of devotional life.
Each and every aspect of his instructions is
meant to assist us in our quest to become pure devotees
of the Lord – it is all-important, nothing can be neglected.
Even if we stumble and fall sometimes for the illusionary energy (maya) we should always remember that there is no saint without a past, and no sinner without a future. We all were struggling in the material modes of nature in the beginning of our search for spiritual life. We all did something wrong in the past, and we also should not criticize others for doing something wrong in the past. Better to remember all the things and actions that he/she did right before joining our association. That what we did right - before we came to Krishna consciousness is important. That will help us to find relief and inspiration. Let’s see the good things in our life and then we forgive ourselves and others. To become a pure devotee needs honesty and determination. That is needed. Let’s start to study honestly and determent with the 11 verses of Sri Upadesamrta Bhasa by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:
1) Talking about topics unrelated to Krishna is known as the urge to talk. Frustration of unfulfilled material desires gives rise to the urge of anger – this leads to the degradation of the mind.
2) Those whose nature is to enjoy sumptuous meals are slaves to the urge of the tongue. Such a person who is infatuated with eating simply fulfils the desires of the belly.
3) That drudge of a man who is henpecked by his spouse is a slave to sex desire. Such a person acts under the influence of the genitals and is shadowed by the god of lust.
4) One who is able to always control these six urges is a master of his senses (gosvami) and is able to conquer the world.
In my next lesson 15 I will continue with verse 2. We should know that the ropes which bind the mind are cut by bhakti. It is stated in the Amrta-bindu Upanisad 2:
Mana eva manusyanam karanam bandha-moksayoh
Bandhaya visayasango muktyai nirvisayam manah.
For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation. Therefore, the mind which is always engaged in bhakti is the cause of supreme liberation. And in CC Maad 19.149 it is said:
Krsna-bhakta niskama ataeva ‘santa’
bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kami sakali ‘asanta’
Karmis, jnanis and yogis cannot be happy, only the bhaktas attain blissful peace. Because a devotee of Sri Krishna is desireless (desiring only to please Krishna) he/she is peaceful. Karmis (fruitive persons) desiring bhukti (material enjoyment), jnanis (philosophical speculators) desiring mukti (liberation), and yogis desiring siddhi (mystic perfections) are all lusty and thus cannot be peaceful. Let’s become peaceful dear Devotees all over the World! JAY HO!
Lesson 13 – How to conquer fear?
From the ancient Vedic scriptures of India
comes the famous epic of Prince Prahlad.
Through his resolute faith and constant meditation,
the young prince conquered fear and could
not be touched by death.
Our dear Godbrother Srila Bhakti Vilasa Parytak Maharaja was telling us in his wonderful harikatha at Gaura Purnima (28th March), that in the last years Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was staying in Jagannatha Puri, in Kashi Mishras house, Gambhira, where he displayed his most confidential lilas of Mahabhava of Srimati Radharani in viraha, in that mood of separation from her lover Sri Krishna. I am very thankful for this most beautiful Gaura-katha. Kindly allow me to share some introspective thoughts with the highly advanced Vaisnavas, who are reading my lessons. Even for the less advanced students of Bhakti-Yoga it is good to know what comes in future of our mature bhajan. Maharaja told us that Mahaprabhus most intimate servant Govinda and secretary Svarupa Damodar where there to protect him from harming Himself during his lamentation in great agony. Lord Caitanyas last lilas in Jagannatha Puri are very deep, very confidential and also sometimes shocking for his dear devotees. Also our Paramahamsa Gurudeva was regularily overwhelmed with bhava, feelings of viraha, he cried many tears in ecstasy and sometimes even fainted in front of us. His most intimate servant and dear disciples always brought him to his guru-room, where they took care for Srila Gurudeva in the most attentive and loving way. All Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis knew that our Srila Gurudeva was an ecstatic pure devotee, a true Rasika-Vaisnava and very dear and close to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When our Gurumaharaja was listening Harikatha, Caitanyalilas and Krishnalilas - he shed many tears of pure ecstasy and were so pleased. He liked especially the narrations of Prince Prahlada from the Epics from Ancient India. With great taste he told us in his classes the glories of Sri Prahlada Nishingadeva. In the capter 'The fearless Prince' of the book "Epics from Ancient India' it is said:
„In a previous era – long, long ago – there was an evil monarch named Hiranya-kashipu, who succeeded in seizing control of the entire universe. He was extremely cruel and his heart had become darkened, thus making life impossible for everyone – from the animals to the demigods. Only his son Prahlada, who was always absorbed in meditating on the Lord, remained undistrubed by his fathers's reign of terror. Seeing the boy's natural predilection for spiritual life, and thus taking him as an archenemy, he tried to kill his own child, but was unsuccessful every time. Through his resolute faith and constant meditation, the young prince conquered fear and could not be touched by death.“
I remember, that our Srila Gurudeva was always very strict with our rules and regulations in daily sadhana. He personally checked if all of his disciples were nicely dressed in sari and dhoti and if our tilaks were fresh and attractive. He was not happy when the male devotees had big beards until down their bellys …. hahahaha. And once he said to one Mataji „go to the hairdresser and get nice braide“. He could not tolerate seeing us wearing modern style jeans or mundane fancy dresses. Once he said: „You should look all the same!“ We were amused, when he talked like this with a serious face. He was so concerned about our safety and the protection of our bodies and minds. Therefore the tilak (holy sand of the shore of Mother Ganga) we put on whole upper parts of our body, even when we are in a hurry. At least we put water without tilak, but chant the mantras for tilak. That I always remember in the morning, even when I am in a hurry.
That advice of my Srila Gurudeva is holy and I weep while remembering his
unending care and mercy.
That rules to put tilak and chant the mantras for protection is not a sentimental case. It should be followed, without arguing. We should not argue, when our Spiritual Master tells us some important rules. It is said in our scriptures, that tilak and tulsi-neckbead, which was given by a Vaisnava/Vaisnavi to us during initiation is our life saving kid. In case that we lose our counsciousness and have to leave that mortal body, that tulsi-neckbead and the signs of tilak on our body will keep unwanted assistants of the lord of death (Sri Yamaraja) far away from us. Only the Vishnu-dutas, the servants of Sri Visnu are allowed to take care of that devoted soul, that Vaisnavi or Vaisnava. We should always remember the instructions of Srila Gurudeva, no matter which service we do, if we are out on Nagar Sankirtan, doing cooking for Deities or Vaisnavas, or doing bhajan in the mood of Rupanuga-devotee, etc, etc.
Sometimes we can see most ecstatic symptoms on the
body of pure devotees, who are immersed in lila-smaranam,
performing Rupa-anuga bhajan dhara.
In Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu of Srila Rupa Goswami there is a description of that 8 symptoms of pure ecstasy of pure devotees. Only by the mercy of Lord Caitanya a devotee can develop such blissful ecstatic symptoms. Usually not all 8 symptoms can be seen all at once, but some of them, according to the degree of ecstasy. These ecstatic feelings and manifestations of these symptoms are manifesting spontaneously and are sometimes very strong, look heavy, and are shocking for the assembled devotees, who take darshan of that elevated Paramahamsa Guru, who is sometimes shedding tears like torrents of rain, or even faints in front of our eyes. How to deal with such a rare (difficult) case? From the outside standpoint of view these ecstatic performance looks like a great painful experience, since great lamentation appears, weeping in agony or laughing without control. Of course the disciples of that great Vaisnava devotee will feel fear and mental pain, they will be shocked or cannot control crying. That is natural. These soft-heartened devotees love their Guru and cannot tolerate his pain, absence, his display of great agony. We must know that the pastimes of Guru-tattva is not mundane.
Srila Gurudeva or Srimati Gurudevi can cry in that mood of viraha almost in the same way as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu did, when he felt separation in the mood of Srimati Radharani, when she was crying for Sri Krishna. Although on the spiritual platform these Mahabhagavata- devotees are not separated from the Lord, since they are always connected to Him, they can experience that strong painful feeling of separation here during their pastimes in this material world.
When during the inside lilasmaranam of this Paramahamsa devotee he /she loses sight of his/her beloved Isthadeva or Isthadevi, he/she starts to cry without control. That looks very painful and at the same time it is very blissful. Since the Lord cannot see his devotee suffering so much, He appears out of his sweet mercy and gives darshan inside the heart or in front of that devotee. That bhajan in the mood of viraha is a big „love-story“ and always ends with a happy-end. (darshan of ones beloved Isthadeva/Isthadevi). After that ecstatic dramatic performance of viraha mood, a most sweet smile will be visible in the face of that Rupa-anuga-bhajan-Sadhaka-body, since he got darshan. From outside point of view it looks for the viewer like the passing away of the Sadhaka-deha of that exalted pure devotee, but inside there is no bodily pain or disturbance at all, only pure bliss. Everything is described in the holy books of Caitanya Caritamrita. That is the highest topic matter.
Please don't fear. Let's trust in the lilas of Lord Hari.
The most advanced disciples and assistants of such an ecstatic Srila Gurudeva/Srila Gurudevi will stopp his/her bhajan and wake him/her up from that bodily unconscious state. They will take care of his/her Sadhaka-body during this ecstatic outbreaks. That is a difficult service, but these most advanced Vaisnavas are most skilled and expert and have a strong mind. They are caring in the most merciful way and are doing the greatest service for Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnava by helping a Bhajananandi-devotee. During their service to such a Bhajananandi-devotee they get all the blessings of Srimati Radhika and Sri Krishna, therefore they can swim in an ocean of nectar. All devotees get blessings, even if they only watch that pure manifestation of ecstatic moods and symptoms of a pure devotee. This most ecstatic rupa-anuga-bhajan on such a high level of spiritual realization is sometimes very stressful for the Sadhaka-body, since there are for a certain degree the same symptoms of ecstasy in that Sadhaka-body of that Devotee, which Lord Caitanya had druing his viraha-lila in Jagannatha Puri. A Radhasnehadika-devotee does bhajan in the mood of a maidservant for Svamini. In Vrindavana Mahimamrta of Sripada Prabodhananda Sarasvati is stated:
„The Maidservant (manjari) feels like dying when she is separated from her Ishvaris lotusfeet even for a moment. She's staying by Her lotusfeet day and night. In past present or future she does not covet anything else but Radha's lotusfeet and she's always immersed in a boundless ocean of blissful love for Her. Even in dreams she doesn't know anything else but Sri Radha's lotusfeet and she's like a river, that swiftly runs towards the ocean of Sri Radha!“
Dear disciples of such an ecstatic Srila Gurudeva, please do not fear, when he is crying and lamenting in ecstasy. Be thankful for being allowed to witness him, for getting darshan of his manifested vapu (Sadhaka-deha) and maha-vani - and pray to his Lotusfeet for more seva to him. Always be attentive and try to support, help and protect your Srila Gurudeva when he needs that.
In case that Srila Gurudeva/Srimati Gurudevi is sick or has bodily pain, please chant Shri-Narasimha-Mahamantra for him/her - or the Shri-Narasimha-Kavaca-Stotra. That will help.
Shri-Narasimha-Kavaca Stotra by Prahlada from Bhramanda Purana - Sanskrit/German:
Shri-Narasimha-Mantras for Protection:
In the beginning, during and in the end (in case that we leave that body during seva) of our spiritual life we are practicing faith in the words of Sri Guru. By the mercy of Srila Gurudeva/Srimati Gurudevi we can conquer fear. In the same way as the manjaris are always immersed in meditating about their Svamini, in the same way was also Prahlada Maharaja always meditating about the Lotusfeet of Sri Hari. Prahlada Maharaja cannot forget his beloved Lord Hari even for a moment, and was therefore always protected. That is the highest bliss for this pure devotee. Even in great danger Prahlada Maharaja always remembered Sri Hari, who came in the form of Lord Nishingadeva in order to save his life many times.
The former and present Gurus/Acharyas of our Guruvarga
were/are all fearless and they can teach and apply to their
surrendered disciples that beautiful ornament of being fearless.
At a certain point during our service (in a dangerous place) or during intensive bhajan (when body gets too much stress) a devotee can leave his/her mortal body, but we cannot lose our bhajan, our service or devotion. It is said that Vaisnavas die to live. That is a big difference to the ordinary dying of materialists, who can lose everything. Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis are glorious and victorious during their passing away.
Our Srila Gurudeva gave the most beautiful
example and fixed his mind on His Srila Gurudeva
and Sri Hari during his last breath.
Even his departing lila was full of rasa. We cannot understand or imagine the mercy and glories of our Srila Gurudeva, who gave the most exalted example during his whole lifetime. We simply bow down in the most humble way and remember his loving care and teachings. He gave us his most merciful and beautiful darshan, his teachings, singing, deity-worship, bhajan, service, knowledge, shelter, prasadam, sari, dhoti, tilak, danda, sweets, gifts, his most beautiful smiles and blessings during his 24/7 care, without fail. He saved us fallen souls. Now it is up to us, to take responsibility in order to follow in his footsteps and dance under his sweet guidance. Srila Ragunatha Dasa Goswami said once:
„We do bhajan to attain only more bhajan.
Bhajan is the means and the goal.“
We should not be afraid of the outside disturbances in this world or during our bhajan service or service in Nagar Sankirtan. We should not be afraid to take up responsibilities. For those who are very advanced, this Rupanuga-bhajan-sadhana is the natural consequence in their spiritual searching and progress in order to come closer and closer to Radha Krishna. We do not feel qualified to do bhajan, therefore we start at the bottom, the beginning, the simplest way of bhajan is in our Vaidhi-bhakti-sadhana, which is performed in fear, owe and reference to the scriptural injunctions. We follow all rules and regulations, instructions of our Srila Gurudeva, and the more we become purified, the more taste (rasa) will come – and the more desire for fearless bhajan in spontaneous Sadhana of Rupanuga-bhajan-dhara will suddenly appear, when we are greedy for that. It is natural. We also do not have selfish expectations, which are blocking our advancement. For example: we do not meditate about rasadance in a premature state of mind or we do also not hunt for the taste which we will get out of our sweet relationship with Sri Sri Radha Krishna.
Remember: your particular spiritual siddha deha, bhava and seva we get from Srimati Radharani. All lilas we will be watching during our bhajan in your Siddhadeha during lilasmaranam, are given by Their Lordships. We are the watcher, They are the doer. We cannot enter Lila by force. It is a gift and blessing!!! We are the humble servants and simply want to get the seva and remnants of prasadam of our Svamini. She decides what service she wants from us. We cannot get entrance for example to Rasaliladance without „ticket“, without allowance. We are the puppets on the string of our Gurumanjaris and Svamini. We cannot even think to perform our own lila. Hahaha. That is the beauty and it is important to know, that we need always kripa, always permission and always guidance from our superiors, our Guruvarga. Our goal is seva to Svamini not the hunting for rasa, for taste. All the tastes come as a natural gift, we do not catch it. All Guru-tattva and Krishna-tattva manifestations are our gurus, all Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis are superior to us in our humble vision. They can help us to taste the remnants of prasadam of our Svamini. We need their mercy and help, we need their blessings, in order to get eternal spiritual seva. When we remember that, all doors in seva will be open for us and our Guruvarga will pull their strings, and get us close to them … JAY HO!!! RADHE RADHE!
In the meantime we always remember the pure example of our Srila Gurudeva and Sri Prahlada Maharaja who conquered fear by always meditating about the Lotusfeet of Sri Hari. By the influence of a pure devotee who is expert in bhajan, we also can become bhajan-anandis. When we become mature and experienced in lilasmaranam and bhajan on a high level, there will be pure souls who want to become aspirants and follow our example. These pure-hearted and benevolent great souls will be eager to support, take care and want to help us during bhajan, which was mercifully given by Srila Gurudeva and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sometimes these most advanced Babaji Maharajas in Vrindavana they are so bold and fearless that they do not ask the Vaisnava devotees for help … they are real heroes! We bow down in the dust of their Lotusfeet and beg a spark of their mercy.
In our preaching mission it is recommended to take help from Vaisnavas in one's Vaisnava-familiy. To do Raganuga- or Rupanuga-bhajan alone is very difficult on the long run, since body becomes a little weak and tired from intense bhajan-performance. One needs to take rest after bhajan and therefore one is not able to do a lot of practical service. One must be careful and decide for himself which service is more important and needed: bhajan or practical service in the preaching mission. Great Acharyas (who can distribute that Krishna-prema) can even do both, they do bhajan and are preaching and teaching and donating their harikatha to the devotees, too. That is really great and merciful! One must know: Rupa-anuga-bhajan on the level of bhava or preama is not an ordinary meditation, since there is also a special Yoga-method included, where the soul leaves the body and can come back again after some time. It needs strong mental and bodily strength, too. If the soul goes too far or stays out of the body for a too long period of time, there can be resulting a disconnection with the body and that means exodus of the mortal body. Only an experienced Bhakti-Yogi-Sadhaka can be successful and keep body and soul together. It needs mastery! It needs a little training in the beginning and one must be able to control mind and senses up to the max. Only when mind and senses are fixed on ones Isthadeva/Isthadevi and fully under control, one can get the bhajan done and Sri Krishna will give blessings, spurthi, lilas and darshan during samadhi. Such devotees are called Paramahamsa, they are beyond material ego. By that method of bhajan we can conquer death and enter eternal spiritual service to the Lotusfeet of Sri Sri Radha Krishna in their spiritual Kingdom.
That Rupa-anuga-bhajan-seva is a real devotional science and can only be given by a true Vaisnava or Vaisnavi to sincere Vaisnavas, who are fearless, since it is really a „hardcore-sport“ for the body … these ecstatic manifestations of the body can last for long time, sometimes only for hours, days, and in rare cases even for weeks or months. During and after that strong bhajan the body is almost paralyzed, or parts of the body cannot be moved. Don't think it is easy. It's not easy at all. It really needs mastery of mind, body and senses, to be successful. But by the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga we can even cross an ocean of miseries without doubt. Only Sri Krishna as the master of mind, body and senses can empower us, so that we can control the senses of body and mind. He is Hrisikesa, the ruler and controller of our senses and mind. Not everybody can do that Rupa-anuga-bhajan to the fullest degree. Even if we simply follow the instructions of Vaidhi-bhakti-sadhana, a devotee will be able to go home back home to Godhead (Vaikuntha) within one lifetime for sure, if we have that strong faith to Srila Gurudeva. In case that we want to go to Goloka Vrindavana, we need to give full surrender and dedication in Raganuga or Rupanuga-bhajan, following in the footsteps of Nitya-siddhas, dear consorts of Radha and Krishna. Of course there will be challenges during our spontaneous Raganuga- or Rupa-anuga-bhajan-attempt, especially in the beginning - but we are very eager to follow the spiritual instructions of our bhajan-Guru who is an expert in solving problems and obstacles. We need a bonafide bhajan-Guru in order to be successful.
We simply follow faithfully the example of Prahlada Maharaja and the gopis of Vrindavana.
If we feel strong and dedicated, we can get ready for that journey home back home to Goloka Vrindavana. We can pray to the Lotusfeet of our Srila Gurudeva (Gurumanjari) in order to get persmission to do this exalted Rupa-anuga-bhajan-service. He/she will happily apply tilak to your forhead and will take care in the most loving way by giving his/her attention and guidance to you while teaching the art of bhajan in the mood of a manjari in the service of her Svamini. Of course that is very rare ... but Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is very merciful and pleased with devotees, who want to do 24/7 service to His Lotusfeet.
First of all we have to become free from fear.
That is the first step. Spontanious service can be done only without fear. Then let's follow in the footsteps of our great Acharyas in our Guruvarga who are all manjaris, maidservants of Svamini. In the scriptures it is said: „There is no shortage of helpers on the path of devotion. Even if a devotee falls there are always people behind him that will pick him up.“ The demigods prayed in SB 10.2.33 as follows to Sri Krishna in His mother's womb (garbhastuti):
„O Madhava! The devotee can never fall from the path of sadhana like the dry scholars and proud and offensive persons can, because they are bound by love for you. O Lord! You are always protecting them, so they fearlessly step over the head of all different obstacles and become blessed by attaining the service of Your lotusfeet.“
JAY HO DEAR DEVOTEES, LET' S DANCE …
Let's rock that fear to ashes …
Hahahaha, we are so fortunate, since we are
protected by the Supreme Goddess of all dance!
Gaurapremanande Hari, haribol!
Jay Sri Radheeeeee!
Lesson 12 – How to purify the whole world?
Let me glorify the pure devotees of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.
These exalted devotees purify the world with their divine
qualities. They are merciful to all and everyone loves them.
Such devotees are the most auspicious personalities
in the world.
Dear Devotees all over the World,
Although I am not qualified to glorify these pure devotees of Lord Hari and these most fortunate Mahabhagavatas, please don’t neglect my words or get angry with me. As an ignorant child wants to touch the moon upon seeing it, who wouldn’t want to taste nectar when it comes before him? Similarly, I want to glorify these exalted Sankirtana devotees, and therefore I need the mercy of the Vaisnavas. Yesterday on Gaura Purnima Mahotsava I was searching for the sweet nectarian harikatha of my Godbrothers of our Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission.
Let me offer my Dandavat pranamas to the lotus feet of these pure Vaisnavas.
My heart yearns to sing about their wonderful qualities.
Finally my heart became satisfied and jumped in joy and sweet rapture, when I found this link from March 28th, Gaura Purnima katha, searching online for a zoom class of my exalted Godbrothers Srila B.V. Bishnu Goswami Maharaja and Srila Bhakti Vilas Paryatak Maharaja:
They were donating their sweetest Krishnalila-katha and Gauralila-harikatha among our dear Godbrothers and Godsisters there at Gaura-Purnima in our Temple in Mayapur, Ishodia, Nadia - West Bengal. If you really want to get the top most bliss, you please listen to them. Hahaha. I cannot get enough of their sweet harikatha. I am addicted to this pure nectar and I joyfully remember Nadia. Kindly allow me to share my favorit Sankirtana lila, which I had in Nadia. When I first came to Mayapur in 1994 I was there staying in the Chandrodaya Mandir ISKCON, in the association of great Devotees, who went out every day on Sankirtana on the streets of Nadia. The leader of the Harinama Sankirtana group gave us an exact time and appointment for starting with the Sankirtana procession early in the morning for the next day. I was very eager and excited to join that Sankirtan party, dressed nicely, put my tilak carefully on my forehead and went to that appointment place right in front of the big temple. I was wondering why nobody was there waiting for me. One elder Vaisnavi told me that the Sankirtan party had already left - but she did not know in which direction they went. AAAAAH. I started to cry and lamented heartbreakingly.
Suddenly a small Bengali boy showed up and offered
white flowers to my feet.
That was so sweet. I did not understand his Bengali language but he was jumping and dancing and was shouting: “Harinam Sankirtan”. He took my hand and pushed me forward. So I had to follow him. I was not sure if I could trust him, but I simply followed him. We were walking through the jungle … fields and streets of Nadia. I had no idea where he was leading me. If he would have left, running away from me, I would have been lost completely. He was laughing all the time and said: “Sankirtana, Haribol, Gaura Hari!” Usually I was a very shy person, and it was not proper (it was dangerous) for a young Mataji to walk without other devotees around there in Mayapur. This boy was my only shelter … hahaha. After half an hour walk we could hear from a distance the heavy drums of the Sankirtana party of the devotees. I was so happy and wanted to give a donation to that boy, but he had already left … I was looking for him, but I could not find him. So I was running like mad in direction to the big Kirtan-pary. When I found them, I was the happiest person in this world. They were singing, jumping and dancing like mad, the big drums where very loud, and all people around were looking out of their windows and were singing “jay haribol”, “jay Gaura Nitai” … I was also singing … and during the Kirtan, when we were running around like madmen, some devotees were rolling on the floor, throwing their chaddars in the air … I could not believe my eyes – I had a transcendental vision:
A vision of Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Caitanya was
appearing in my mind and heart and at the
same time in front of my eyes …
That felt so natural and so sublime that I forgot this world around me. I felt like being pregnant with divine loving energy, my legs became very heavy, my body was burning like fire ... and I could not talk properly – I could not control my tongue. When I saw that whole Panca-tattva was dancing and singing among the devotees, I was weeping and laughing at the same time. A little later I found myself sitting on the roadside, taking a little rest. And after some minutes we were proceeding to the next point, running and singing and dancing like mad. I was afraid to tell others about that transcendental vision. Never ever I will forget that holy Nagar Sankirtan in the streets of Nadia. I was praying to Gaura Nitai for mercy, to always come to me during Sankirtan, whenever and wherever that may take place in this world. I was sooooo eager to become a real Sankirtan-devotee and get this divine vision again and again. These pure devotees of the Lord in Nadia were my greatest inspiration. By their mercy I got the dust of the Lotusfeet of Gaura Nitai. I do not know how to glorify these devotees who regularily go out on the street singing JAY GAURA NITAI! Some days later we were going from Mayapur to Vrindavana, where I met that most merciful Babaji Maharaja at Govindakunda two years before in 1992, who blessed me with his Guru-kripa. According to the teachings of our Goswamis it is recommended: First we go to Mayapur, to Gauralila and get the blessings from the pure devotees there. There we get permission from Lord Nityananda who is non different from Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Lord Nityananda is pleased, we get the darshan of Mahaprabhu and when Mahaprabhu is very pleased with us he sends us to Vrindavana, to Krishna-lila. That is the process, my dear devotees. I went through all that steps and it worked out in the most blissful way possible. I cannot even understand that good luck and all that mercy which I got from Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas, since they allowed me to enter their holy dhama and granted me the most sacred Sadhusanga when I was still very young. JAYA GAURA NITAI !
It is said in CC Madhya-lila, cap.17 verse 48/49:
"When one heard the chanting of the Holy Name from the mouth of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and someone else heard the second person chant, and when another heard the third person chant, they all became Vaisnavas in all countries through such discipleship. So everyone chanted the holy names of Krishna and Hari, and they danced, wept and laughed."
So many people can become purified by the chanting of the holy Names without offences. This power is in every living being. If a pure devotee is chanting on Nagar Sankirtana without offences, another person will become a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi, too and from him/her again another person will become a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi. Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote in his purport: “This is the parampara-system”.
In our Vaisnava literature it is stated that in the holy dhama of Mayapura Gaura Nitai is so merciful that they do not count offences at all. This is very important to know, because by singing of the holy Names of Gaura Nitai we can make the fastest progress. Before we chant Hare Krishna we always chant 'Sri-Panca-tattva-mantra' in order to get blessings and to be able to avoid offences during chanting Hare Krishna maha mantra.
When my Godbrothers today were talking about the glories of strong faith in order to get Krishna-prema, and when they narrated these wonderful Gauralilas, where the Divine Name is spreading everywhere by the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga, I could not control myself. I was crying in happiness. This merciful Gauralila is still taking place, where ever we are doing Sankirtana. We do not need to be qualified in order to get the mercy. No matter from which country or background we join that Krishna consciousness movement, by the mercy of Lord Caitanya even the wretched ones or candalas can become devotees and get Krishna prema. On the marketplace of Lord Nityananda, for the holy name we only have to pay one price: eagerness!
Congregational Chanting, dancing, weeping and laughing
is our lifetime seva, my dear devotees.
That is our Yuga-dharma. We are so fortunate, to be together in our sweet Sankirtana-party. I cannot wait meeting my dear Godbrothers and Godsisters here in Europe again. Our Srila Gurudeva bound us together with his ropes of pure love. We are his puppets, dancing on the strings in his lotushands. Sankirtana we can only do together. We are bound by this holy seva by our beloved Srila Gurudeva, who is most dear to Mahaprabhu.
Gaura Premanande haribol !
Regarding Vasanta rasa:
This is one of the 6 seasons of Vrindavana, which are manifested for the pleasure pastimes of Sri Sri Yugala Kishora. Our dear Goswami Maharaja talked about that Vasanta rasa – springtime in Vrindavana, which is most colourful and ecstatic for those devotees who are also cherishing that purva raga, that is that mood of Krishna and the Gopis, when they are very excited, short time before they meet each other for the first time. It is said in shastra that purva raga can be manifested for all the next following meetings of the Gopis with Krishna, too since their love and adoration is always fresh and new, it's various feelings are sprouting and growing unlimittedly at each and every time they meet. JAYA YUGALA SEVA ! In our sweet Vasanta meditations we can become busy in seva to please our Svamini and Svami. By singing and playing that Vasanta raga with our musical instruments we can dive deeply into this mood. We are always hankering for that Yugala seva to Their Lotusfeet during chanting japa. Jay Radha Govinda! By fully surrendering to the process of pure devotion and the personal instructions for Rupanuga bhajan dhara, that our Srila Gurudeva mercifully gave to us, we can become „Vasanta-whallas“ step by step. Jaya Srila Gurudeva! Gaura premanande Hari Haribol!
Happy Gaura Purnima Festival to all Friends and Devotees all over the World !
May our bright shining Golden Gaurahari appear in our hearts
and for ever be manifested there!
Sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah
All Glories to Sri Gauranga,
The Supreme Lord Hari appearing as a human being!
28 th March 2021 – Gaura Purnima Mahotsava KI JAYA!
Song - Nadiya udayagiri goudiyakirtan:
Nimai’s Beauty Enchants the Universe
(Sri Caitanya Mangala - Locana Dasa Thakura)
The people of Nadia were standing in the Ganges and filling the atmosphere with the chanting of Hari-nama. Everyone in all then directions felt extremely happy. All six seasons manifested simultaneously at the time of the Lord’s auspicious appearance. Thrilled with joy, the demigods rushed down in their celestial airplanes to catch a glimpse of the golden baby. By the Lord’s arrangement, the only sound heard during His advent was the loud chanting of “Hari bol! Hari bol!”
Saci waved her hand and cried in a choked voice to her
Husband Jagannatha Misra, “Prabhu come quickly,
see the beautiful face of your son and make your life successful”.
The village ladies ran excitedly to bless the boy. When they saw Him they chanted, “Jai! Jai!” The demigods, the Nagakanyas and the personified Vedas also came to glorify Gaurahari. His every limb manifested an abundance of rasa. Gauranga’s body was condensed form of luscious nectar. Seeing this form soothed the eyes of all. If appeared to everyone that He was the paramour lover of the gopis. The ladies said:
“We have never seen or heard of such a boy whose sight immediately makes our hears palpitate with desire. We feel an irresistible attraction to Gaura Prabhu. Not a day passes when we don’t see Him.”
The entire universe could not contain the boundless joy that Jagannatha Misra felt upon looking at the face of his boy, Gaura’s face shone with the soothing glow of hundreds of moons. His smile resembled a blossoming lotus flower. His elegant, highly-raised nose defeated the beauty of a sesame flower. The rays of Gauranga’s dazzling body appeared nectarean. Affection rises in the heart upon seeing His red lips, finely shaped chin, and shining cheeks. His neck resembles that of a lion, and His shoulders are as powerful as an elephant’s. He has a broad chest, and His long arms hang to His knees. Gaura’s entire body is saturated with bliss. His hips are wide and attractively curved. His powerful thighs taper like the trunk of a banana tree. His feet resemble a red lotus flower. The soles are marked with a flag, goad, camara, chariot, lightning bolt, umbrella, swastika, jambu fruit, and a triangle surrounded by waterpots. The combined effect of all this beauty was like a river flowing with nectar.
These auspicious marks and symptoms indicated
a most exalted personality, a king of kings.
Indra, Candra, the Kinnaras and Gandharvas, and other demigods came to earth just to feast their eyes on Gauranga’s indescribable beauty. Upon seeing the Lord, everyone’s eyes became anointed with nectar, just as if they were seeing their dearmost lover. Just after His birth everyone came to admire the sweet, satisfying beauty of the boy. They felt as if they already had a long - standing and intimate relationship with Him. Seeing the boy’s beautiful golden limbs filled their hearts with unlimited happiness. Millions of Cupids fled in shame upon beholding the beauty of His lotus face. The whole city filled with chants of “Jai! Jai!” The ever fresh transcendental Cupid had appeared as the son of Jagannatha Misra. Even the boy’s crying sounded like nectar to the ears. The ladies observing Him thought He must be an incarnation of the Lord of Goloka. Feeling great ecstasy. I, Locan Dasa proclaim that the Lord of all creation has now appeared on earth.
“All glories to that boy who saturated the four directions in bliss. Hundreds of village housewives brought auspicious items like sweets, rice paste and vermillion. Sacidevi placed her baby on her lap and said in a faltering voice, “Everyone please bless Him with the dust of your feet. May He live forever. He is not my boy, but I still think of Him as mine.”
To protect the boy’s body, which defeats the taste of nectar, from any future dangers, the ladies suggested the name ”Nimai”!
“All Glories to the Lord who is known as dhira lalita.
All Glories to the darling son of Nanda Maharja who steals
the hearts of everyone. In Kali-yuga He manifests from the
womb of Sacidevi in order to enjoy His transcendental
Pastimes in this world.”
“After tasting the sweet mellow of divine love Yourself,
You’ll give this taste to everyone without considering their defects.
Even the candalas will relish it. Please give us a particle
of prema so we can join You in glorifying Radha and Krishna.”
Hari bol, bolo Hari!
Jay Sacinandana Gaura Hari !!!
Lesson 11 – How to get permission for the
darshan of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?
“You should have firm faith in your heart, but outwardly you can act like an ordinary person. Then Krishna will soon be satisfied and free you from the clutches of Maya.”
(CC Madhya-lila, cap.16, verse 239)
(Mahaprabhu’s instruction to Srila Ragunatha Dasa Goswami)
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu told to Dasa Goswami: “Don't be a madman, soon you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.” But how to cross over that ocean of material existence? Before we can take shelter of the Lotusfeet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, we need the blessings of Lord Nityananda. We cannot go to Mahaprabhu directly like a madman. It is of utmost importance to offer our glorification first to the feet of these six Goswamis. Due to their causeless mercy the obstacles to devotion can be removed and spiritual desires can be fulfilled. First we must approach Sri Guru (who is also the mercy expansion of Lord Nityananda) who is very close and dear to the six Goswamis in Vrindavana. He can tell us the pastimes of Lord Nityananda Prabhu, who without any discrimination freely offered this rare divine love to all, even to the fallen and wretched. Lord Nityananda never becomes angry with us. Once Lord Nityananda punished Ragunatha Dasa Goswami, because he wanted to go to Mahaprabhu without Him. He asked the Goswami:
“How you can understand Mahaprabhu without me?”
In our Song ‘Nitai-Pada-Kamala’ of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura it is said, that the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda are our shelter and they are cooling like the shining of millions of moons. If one actually wants relief from the struggle of worldly existence, he should accept the shelter of his Lotus feet, otherwise it will be difficult to approach Radha-Krishna. So let’s hold very tightly on to His lotus feet. SRDG said to Lord Nityananda:
“Without your mercy no one can attain the shelter
of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu”
That is the proper procedure, dear friends and devotees. We cannot run like madmen and act in a crazy way. First we must conquer all obstacles, by surrendering to Nitai in order to be ready for the darshan of Gaura. Tomorrow is Gaura Purnima Mahotsava and we should be very eager to get darshan of Nimai. How? First we must surrender to Lord Nityananda, who teaches Dasa Goswami a big lesson. Without the mercy of Lord Nityananda we are not allowed to enter Vrindavana. How can we understand who has gotten the mercy and blessings of Lord Nityananda? That devotee is blissful and even when he/she is drowning in an ocean of obstacles and miseries, he/she is always thankful. In his/her eyes all circumstances are favorable for his/her devotional progress and service. These devotees do not lament for sense enjoyment.
They only lament loudly for more seva to Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnava. That is sublime.
Srila Ragunatha Dasa Goswami was a Nitya siddha, an eternally liberated soul, but he gave the example of an ordinary human being, in order to teach us humility. For instance, Ragunath Das felt himself so fallen that, for a few years, he would not directly approach Sri Caitanya. Rather he would convey his ideas, whenever necessary, through the agency of Govinda (Sri Caitanya’s servant) or through his master, Swarup Damodar. However, he gradually felt the need to approach Sri Caitanya directly, and he asked Swarup Damodar’s permission to do so. Which instruction he got from Mahaprabhu? In CC Madhya-lila, cap 16, verse 238 it is stated:
“You should not try to be an advanced devotee outwardly and thus practice false asceticism. For the time being, enjoy the material world adequately, but do not become addicted to it.”
Commenting on this statement, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains that monkeys are outwardly showing renunciation by not wearing clothes and living naked in the forest. In this way they consider themselves ascetics, but in reality they diligently enjoy the gratification of their senses with dozens of female monkeys. Such renunciation is called markata-vairagya, the renunciation of a monkey. One cannot be truly renounced unless one is actually disgusted with material action and viewing it as an obstacle to spiritual advancement. Renunciation should not be phalgu (temporary) but should last throughout life. Therefore Sri Guru and Gauranga advice us:
“Things one may need for the service of the Lord are acceptable. When one lives this way, it is possible to be truly renounced. One should simply accept what is needed as an aid to spiritual advancement and not reject it as material.”
In our preaching mission devotees can live their normal life at home in society as husband and wife, but at the same time that very fortunate couple as pure devotees of the Lord can please Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas by spreading the glories of Krishna consciousness far and wide. When we are fully absorbed and surrendered to the instructions of our beloved Srila Gurudeva and Lord Nityananda, we can get the blessings of Lord Caitanya soon. That is the holy procedure. To get such a pure devotee as husband or wife is the kripa of Srila Gurudeva, since we do not act independently of the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga. Our highly respected, beloved and merciful Bhajan-Siksaguru His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Vedanta Sadhu Maharaja told us yesterday in his online class that our association in spiritual life is most important. I can see, that those devotees who are very advanced, can live as ‘Housholder-Sannyasis’ - that means, they are together in a holy loving relationship in the service of their Srila Gurudeva, to help each other in their service in our preaching mission. With regulated sense enjoyment, as Mahaprabhu told to SRDG, we can be very powerful and successful. For example: In the spiritual association of a favorable marriage we can be safe and happy and we can perform our spiritual and material duties with a peaceful mind. Husband (guru-pati) and wife (dharma-patni) in spiritual life can protect each other from the influences of the illusory energy. Ki JAY!
I bow down in deep humility and never ending thankfulness to my Srila Gurudeva and to my merciful Siksa Gurus, that they are guiding me in the right direction. By their causeless mercy we can conquer all obstacles in our practical service.
We must be ready all the time, to get the permission to enter the sacred realm of pure suddha sattva Sadhusanga. This Sadhusanga of pure devotees can give us entrance to the Lotusfeet and service of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Sri Radha Govinda. When Lord Caitanya gave finally darshan to Dasa Goswami, he spoke to him:
“Do not talk like materialistic people or hear what they say. You should not eat very palatable food, nor should you unnecessarily dress according to fashion. Do not expect honor, but offer all respect to others. Always chant the holy name of Lord Krishna, and within your mind render service to Radha and Krishna in Vrindavan.”
Some important infos to the Vaisnava devotees:
Sometimes senior devotees become proud and think that they do not need to chant the holy Names of Nityananda and Gauranga in their kirtan. That is foolish. As long as we have that Sadhaka-body we need the dust of the Lotusfeet of Gaura Nitai. And regarding the proper behaviour with the opposit sex, kindly allow me to state here: Our Srila Gurudeva was very strict and gave the perfect example of being a Sannyasi during his whole life. He set the standard for renounced decvotees to not be alone with the opposit sex. He was very very careful, even in his very old age. Srila Gurudeva set the proper example. Jay Srila Gurudeva! Therefore the Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas should always be careful during their preaching activities, when they have a lot of contact with people in public.
Regarding parsada group:
In our Guruvarga the true Acaryas have also their intimate consorts, who belong to parsada group.
Usually some Nityasiddha consorts of a true Acarya also take birth in the form of normal humans in this world and they hide themselves, until the Uttama adhikari Acarya reveals his/her spiritual identity. Before such a Nitya-siddha Acarya leaves his Sadhaka-body he instructs his dear Vaisnava family and most competent assistants or disciples, WHO IS WHO and he reveals his own identity in Goloka Vrindavana as well as the identity of that parsada devotees, so that the Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis do not have to speculate on their own. All spiritual acts of an Acarya take place according to sastra. No whimsically acts can take place. Our Srila Gurudeva was a first class Paramahamsa Vaisnava without fail. Let's humbly bow down and surrender to all his instructions, which he mercifully gave to his most dear disciples, before he left this earth in order to enter Nitya-lila.
Regarding the behaviour towards Gurumata:
In case that a female Gurumata is preaching in public, she always must be protected by her guru-pati husband, her male disciples or senior devotees and Vaisnava godbrothers of her Vaisnava family. That form of a woman-Sadhaka-body, no matter how advanced that Gurumata may be, she should be always treated with respect from a little distance. Not come too close to her body, please don't touch her. That would disturb her bhajan or cause pain to her. In case that she wants to bless you with her embrace, that is possible, but not common. Usually only her intimate Vaisnava family members can be very close to her in order to support, help or protect her. Please understand and follow our Vaisnava etiquette as good as possible. Thank you so much for your understanding!
Dandavat Pranamas to the holy association of pure Devotees!
Lesson 10 – How to overcome material problems
and obtain bhakti?
„Activities such as sadhu-sanga and observing Ekadasi,
Janmastami, and Gaura-purnima all help to develop one's saintly
qualities. Tulasi, maha-prasada, sri mandira, holy places.
And articles used by sadhus (sadhu-vastu) are all auspicious;
touching them or obtaining their darsana are pious deeds
that give rise to bhakti.“
(Jaiva-Dharma Ch.17 The Jivas Free From Maya -
Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura)
Listening carefully is always the fastest way in order to get something done in our spiritual practice. My eternal spiritual Master was very happy with me and told me that i am 'A GOOD HEARER' ! That is a great blessing from Srila Gurudeva when he tells you this. This is the most needed and neccessary qualitiy of a student, to listen carefully and attentively from his spiritual Master. No other qualitiy is more important in our daily sadhana. We can only follow our Srila Gurudeva or Srimati Gurudevi successfully on our path of saranagati when we are good hearer. The words of Sri Guru are our life and soul. We always should remember the words of Sri Guru; the VANI of our beloved Guru is our lifetime service. Without vani we cannot survive. That is most important. To remember the guru-lilas is also most helpful and ecstatic for us. Every day i remember with great attention and adoration all the instructions and wonderful lilas of my Srila Gurudeva. It is also important for us, to remember the teachings of our Guruvarga and develop also relationships with our Acaryas in Guruvarga. During our worship and prayers we remember their qualities and glories and we will develop taste and sweet feelings towards them. That is the A B C of our daily worship at home or in the temple. Now kindly allow me to inspire you with quotes from the book Jaiva-Dharma, 17 th Chapter:
„All the pious deeds in the world, such as charity, only result in achieving the objects of sense gratification. The sukrti of impersonal speculation results in impersonal liberation. Neither of these kinds of sukrti can give devotional service to Sri Bhagavan.“
„Can a person obtain bhakti if he is tormented by material problems and takes shelter of Sri Hari's lotus feet in full knowledge to beome relieved of his problems?“
Babaji tells him:
„The jiva, harassed by the afflictins of the goddess of illusion, may somehow understand through discriminating intelligence that wordly activities are simply troublesome, and that his only solace is Krsna's lotusfeet and the feet of His suddha-bhaktas. Knowing this, he takes shelter of His lotus feet, and the first step in this process of surrender is to accept the sehelter of suddha-bhaktas. This is the principal, bhakti-prada-sukrti, through which he obtains the lotus feet of Bhagavan. Whatever renunciation and wisdom he had originally were just a secondary means of obtaining bhakti. Thus, the association of bhaktas is the only way to attain bhakti. There is no other recourse.“
Jay Sacinandana Gaura Hari !
We can eradicate all anarathas by giving the perfect
example as true Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas.
By chanting the DIVINE NAME together and praising the glories of Sri Guru and Gauranga we can reach our goal – prema bhakti – together. We can distribute prasadam, write and distribute devotional books, we can sing and dance together – that will pour the blessings of our Guruvarga and Sri Sri Radha Govinda upon us. We all can float in an ocean of seva … and reach the shore of divine shelter at the Lotusfeet of Sacinandana Gaura Hari.
Jay Gaura Nitai! Jay Gaura Purnima Mahotsava on 28 th March!
Lesson 9 – Who is the Guru of Lord Krishna?
Radhikara prema-guru, ami-sisya nata
Sada ama nana nrtye nacaya udbhata
Srimati Radhika’s prema is Krisna’s guru
Krishna tells us: “The prema of Radhika is My Guru, and I am Her dancing pupil. Her prema makes Me dance various novel dances.” Srimati Radhika is the epitome of transcendental rasa. In Brahma-samhita 5.37 and CC Adi 4.72 it is stated:
“Sri Govinda, who is all-pervading and who exists within the hearts of all, resides in His Goloka-dhama along with Sri Radha, who is the embodiment of His pleasure potency and the counterpart of His own spiritual form. She is the epitome of transcendental rasa, and is expert in the sixty-four arts. They are also accompanied by the sakhis, who are expansions of Sri Radha’s own transcendental body, and who are infused with blissful, spiritual rasa. I worship that original personality, Sri Govinda.”
Most important to know for us Sadhakas is, that one can only understand Krishna by His mercy. It is said in SB 10.14.29 and CC Madhya 6.84. Lord Brahma said: “My Lord, if one is favoured by even a slight trace of the mercy of Your lotus feet, he can understand the greatness of Your personality. But those who speculate are unable to know you, even though they study the Vedas for many years.”
In the same way, it is most important to know for us Sadhakas, that one can only understand Srila Gurudeva or Srimati Gurudevi (Gurumata) by his/her mercy.
Sometimes such a blissful Gurudevi is hiding in a secluded place; sometimes she goes public and preaches; sometimes she is dancing (dressed and ornamented nicely) for the pleasure of Lord Jagannatha; sometimes she is lamenting in great agony out of separation from her Isthadevi during lila-smaranam. Sometimes she plays the role of a Clown and want to console the distressed ones; sometimes she is writing lessons for you; sometimes she is a teacher in a very serious mood; sometimes she is a heavy guy; sometimes she is jolly and soft like a rose; sometimes she distributes prasadam; sometimes she delivers classes; sometimes she is cooking; sometimes she is playing with monkeys and dogs, running around like an innocent child; or she is playing ragas in front of her altar; but always and constantly she is missing her dear Vaisnava family and the true devotees of the Lord to the up most degree … Sadhusanga is most delicious and dear to all devotees. To find relieve she is wandering in the forest, always searching for her Ishvari …in order to serve Her. How to understand? Get close to her and try out, to get her attention. She is always ready to help those, who are in need, who are drowning in an ocean of thirst for spiritual progress …
The proper Vaisnava etiquette helps us to get the mercy
of Sri Guru and Gauranga.
How to approach a Saint, Sadhu, Vaisnava, Vaisnavi, Guru-tattva in the proper way? The ignorant persons will make only mistakes, increase their anarthas and aparadhas, if they do not surrender to the 10 instructions for Vaisnava etiquette of our Srila Gurudeva. There are 88 more instructions for Vaisnava etiquette, but the most important are these 10. I was very happy when our Sannyasi-godbrother from his Ashrama here in Vienna gave an online class about Vaisnava etiquette yesterday.
He gets all blessings from our Srila Gurudeva, since that rules of Vaisnava etiquette is the backbone for all advancement for all devotees. JAY MAHARAJA !!! Many thanks to him!
We should follow these rules, regulations and instructions for Vaisnava etiquette. We are so fortunate when we have merciful Vaisnava sanga. All newcomer and also old friends of Krishna consciousness are privileged by that online classes and harikatha of an advanced devotee who is aware of the importance of Vaisnava etiquette.
Especially our Ekadasi day is very helpful for our Sadhana, when we do a little fasting, making kirtan and remember the glories of the Vaisnavas and lilas of the Supreme Lord.
If we can understand that guru-tattva is not mundane, we are safe. We cannot go wrong, when we always remember, that we can only understand Krishna by His mercy. The guru-tattva is Krishnas mercy, directly manifested in front of our eyes. He/She comes in the form of Sri Guru in order to eradicate our unlimited anarthas and offences. We cannot even imagine, what kind of benediction and mercy that is, when we get that darshan of a true Vaisnava or Vaisnavi. That is so purifying. We should not be lazy and ignorant. Our Srila Gurudeva was sometimes shouting loudly with those who were lazy in service. The Devotees can engage us in practical seva and we must be very eager to learn how to serve best. You can make a lot of progress, when you chant Hare Krishna during your practical service and when you follow EKADASI. In our song ‘Suddha-Bhakata’ of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura it is said:
Bhakata-seva, parama-siddhi, prema-latikara mula
The dust from the lotus feet of pure devotees is conducive for Hari bhajana. Service to the Vaisnavas generates supreme perfection and the root of the tender creeper of transcendental love.
Madhava-tithi, bhakti-janani, jatane palana kori,
Krsna-vasati, vasati bali’, parma adara vari
I observe holy days of Ekadasi and Janmastami with great care for they are the mother of devotion. Krishna stays in these tithes, and by honouring them we can easily achieve Him. By deeply respecting Krishnas pastime places, I will receive their blessings.
You should also know that a Guru in Radhasnehadika-bhava-realization, can see Krishnas pastimes in his/her mind and heart, whenever Krishna and Srimati Radhika grants entrance. It happens suddenly and such a place where that pure devotee goes, becomes a pastime place of Sri Krishna. That is important to know, since all aspirants for Rupanuga-bhajan-dhara, who are very sincere and eager to get the mercy of such a high class Vaisnavi or Vaisnava can also get that mercy from Krishna, too. When we are in tune with a true Vaisnava or Vaisnavi, we can get their mercy which is not different from the mercy of Radha or Krishna. Remember: The prema of Radhika is the Guru of Krishna. Our devotional service is only possible through that prema of Srimati Radharani to Lord Krishna. It is said in that song:
Jugala-murti, dekhiya mora, parama-ananda haya
prasada-seva, karate haya, sakala prapanca jaya
Beholding the deity forms of the divine couple Sri Sri Radha-Krishna, I feel highest bliss. Accepting the Lord’s prasada helps me to conquer all wordly illusions.
Without prasada of Sri Guru and the deities we cannot conquer maya. And Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells us, that we should accept everything which is suitable for the service to Sri Krishna. Everything which is favourable we accept. We do not speculate, we simply remember that. A Guru always is hankering for the remnants of prasadam of his Isthadevi and the seva for Her. Isthadeva is his/her Deity of the heart. A guru who has this Radhasnehadika-realationship as maidservant of Ishvari, can enter all different tastes of these 5 relationships possible. There is no limitation to one particular personal taste and fixed relationship, since all 5 relationships to the Supreme Lord emanate from the source of Srimati Radharanis Lotusfeet. The Devotees are very fortunate to get the holy association of a true Vaisnava or Vaisnavi who is a maidservant of Svamini. What ever taste a devotee has can be inspired and given by that Mahabhagavata devotee. We get the spiritual taste from the Guru. He/She distributes that rasa. Therefore there are currently so many different Gurus in this world for different tastes and relationships with the Lord.
But a Guru who can deliver to all (maidservant of Srimati Radharani), is very very rare, indeed.
According to one’s desired spiritual service and taste, a devotee will be guided to the right direction and personal manifestation of guru-tattva. It is possible to accept many Siksa-gurus, in case that ones diksa guru left already this world or fell down. Sri Krishna is very merciful and sends a true Vaisnavi or Vaisnava to all sincere devotees. Your prayer will be heard from Caitya-guru in the heart for sure, when you are eager and pure-hearted. But one price you have to pay: eagerness!!! That is the only qualification needed. I told you already that it is stated in sastra, that in Kali Yuga Sri Caitanya Mahaprabu is distributing his mercy and that manjari upasana bhava to the unqualified ones. Those who feel very qualified, who are puffed up, who are proud and arrogant for their big knowledge from the scriptures, are not the fit candidates at all for that manjari upasana bhava, since that pure spirit of a non envious, humble person who is not proud, is needed. Let’s take example from the innocent children, who are not very learned, who are simple hearted. Onepointedness in the service for Svamini is the most precious ornament of such a great soul, who want to surrender that life and soul to Her.
Ekadasi titi ki jaya!
Sri Harinama-sankirtana ki jaya!
Ananta-koti Vaisnava-vrnda ki jaya!
Sri Gaura-premanande! Hari hari bol!
Lesson 8 – How to understand the mood of a
fully self-realized soul busy in lila smaranam ?
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
How to recognize a fully self-realized soul? In the book ‘Krishnas Holy Land’ of His Divine Grace Narayan Maharaj I read:
“Those who consider themselves more humble than a blade of grass, who think themselves lower than straw in the street are devoid of all sense of false prestige and who are always ready to offer respect to all being. These are the true Vaisnavas. Such elevated personalities are very rare but they are the actual persons qualified to teach us the topics of the Lord and Krishna consciousness. Those that think that they have read a lot; practically speaking they are intoxicated by illusion in the form of pride and vanity and they are unable to properly speak about the topics of the Lord and Krishna consciousness. I am a person of this last category with no qualifications at all, whatsoever; but because the Vaisnavas have ordered me to speak I am speaking. We do not have any access into the actual realm of spiritual mellows and rasas of Krishna; but because we are so contaminated by arrogance and puffed up by illusion we think that we already have been approved and accepted and have entered,”etc. etc.
Dear devotees, who are following my devotional lessons, kindly allow me to tell you something very important: In our loving dealings with Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas it is most important that we follow the good example and behaviour of the true Vaisnavas. Sometimes we cannot understand who is a Vaisnavi or Vaisnava. We mix up our knowledge from sastra and whimsically put statements, we draw our opinions on others, we judge, we speculate, we display childish behaviour, we are considering mostly the outside appearance of devotees, we make distinctions between male and female, we act on the bodily platform, we foolishly think, that a Vaisnava or Vaisnavi must follow all rules and regulations in Vaidhi-bhakti, although it is described in scriptures that most elevated Vaisnavas displayed their lilas in the mood of spontaneous attraction and fully surrender to the ragatmika anugata, ragatmika and rupanuga path of devotion.
Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada always teached his disciples to be careful and do not mix up rasas, and do not come too close to the Vrajavasis, if we have that fault finding spirit and no realization or darshan of Sri Hari.
There is one example of Srila Rupa Goswami, who once was immersed in lila-smaranam, sitting there, had his eyes closed and outsidely he displayed a big smile in his face. When a sage came by, he could not recognize him and therefore missed to give his dandavat and pranama. That sage was thinking that this smiling Goswami was laughing at him, playing pranks on him. He could not recognize that Srila Rupa Goswami was rapt in meditation and laughing, because of a funny incident in his vision during lila-smaranam. That sage could not know that this Paramahamsa devotee was watching Krishna-lila inside his mind and heart. Mundane people who watch that situation will think that a big Vaisnava offence took place … and with their eyes of illusion they criticize even Goswamis. Therefore it is very important to humbly read Caitanya Lila and reflect about all topics regarding proper Vaisnava etiquette in order to avoid Vaisnava aparadhas. Our Goswamis are giving the standard behaviour for us fallen souls, so that we can learn under their loving guidance. With contaminated vision we cannot understand what elevated Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas are doing, how is their inner vision, their sacred mood and spiritual position, their intimate relationship with the Lord.
Better to be silent and do not criticize others in the community of Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas … We cannot make mistakes, if we restrain from speculation. Only those Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas who are superior to us can see with their transcendental eyes tinshed with the ointment of love … and they can teach us and guide us in our daily practice of Krishna conscious sadhana without fail. It is very important to listen to them carefully.
I am very happy and I am feeling privileged that I got that sweet and holy association of my dear Vaisnava family, godbrothers who can teach me in the most competent way and who are very merciful and tolerant. I feel “naked” in their presence. We should know that we cannot hide any fault in front of Sri Guru and true Vaisnavas. They have that transcendental vision and they act also sometimes as spiritual mothers by showing us the proper behaviour, the proper standard, the rules and regulations, which are necessary in our Sankirtan mission of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. In case that our holy Guruvarga tells us ‘who is who’, we should obey and respect and surrender to the instructions of our Acaryas, our Uttama adhikari Gurus. Let’s remember: We are the servants of the servants of the servants of the servant of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. At Gaura Purnima we have the opportunity to relish the narrations of Gauralila and we can do lila-smaranam.
We are reading CC and we are tasting the lila of the holy birth of Nimai in the house of Jagannath Mishra and Sacimata in Yogapith.
We should also meditate about the birth taking lila of Lord Caitanya in our own hearts, which is a temple of the Lord. That is the real goal of life. Inside and outside surrender is necessary in order to reach the goal – prema bhakti. The prime duty of the spiritual master, of Gurudeva or Gurudevi is to eradicate all the anarthas and unwanted desires within the hearts of their disciples. Our hearts are filled with so many unwanted material desires and offences. Because of this we have great difficulty in properly engaging ourselves in devotional service. Our hearts are filled with pride, deceit, dishonesty, ignorance, anger, lust, and forgetfulness of our true nature. Sometimes a disciple loses his weak Guru, who was fallen from this position of being a true Vaisnava out of mistakes and Vaisnava-offences. Those devotees should not give up but continue searching for the guidance of a true Vaisnava-guru. For all categories of devotees there is only one remedy, one medicine and cure:
We must depend upon the mercy of the spiritual guidance
of our more advanced godbrothers and godsisters,
and all true Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas, who can help us.
We must learn to beg forgiveness from our Vaisnava aparadhas and Guru aparadhas. Then we will get all blessings and can advance in our spiritual realization. Gurutattva sometimes comes in a hidden way to us. Actually, all true Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis do belong to Gurutattva, that is natural since they are the true representatives of the Lord. They will not run around and make big propaganda for themselves. They will not dare to take higher positions, without the permission of their Guruvarga. They are very humble and depend fully on the sweet will of the Lord. Sometimes these very advanced and elevated Vaisnavis and Vaisnavas display funny ‘lilas’. For example: sometimes they dance naked in front of Jagannatha Svami or they do complete crazy acts which are beyond Vaidhi-bhakti rules and regulations. They do not think of all the danger in this mortal world … usually they do not even recognize, when they are cheated, tricked out or severely harmed or offended. They are very simple minded, trusting sometimes in people who are not trustworthy at all, out of their innocent nature. That is natural. Inside they can be immersed in lila-smaranam and outside they are running like madman around or throwing their dress away … instead of throwing their ornaments away during performing service; since there is no sense of prestige or false identity of the material ego. Inside their mind and heart these spontaneous devotees are dancing for Lord Jagannatha in the mood of a dancing girl. Of course a less advanced devotee on the path of Vaidhi-bhakti will think that this person behaves like a prostitute. HAHAHA. How can a dancing girl of Lord Jagannatha, the Supreme Personality of Godhead be a mundane prostitute? No matter where that devoted girl, disguised as a clown or madman is dancing …. She is always in serving mood and surrenders to spiritual mother, father, guru, husband, teacher, friends. She wants to please others and bless them with the taste of pure rasa.
She can only see her beloved Lord Jagannatha
behind all relationships during preaching the glories of
Krishna Consciousness or during mundane activities.
That is not mundane, fallen or lusty, or what ever we may think out of illusion. Sometimes these ecstatic devotees offer the skin of a banana instead of the banana to Lord Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe. We should see the performance of other devotees with the eyes of love when we are witnessing a strange, funny or “crazy” behaviour of our godbrothers or godsisters, since we do not know WHY they act like this. Go and ask an Uttama adhikari, if you are not sure what is the case. Always ask Srila Gurudeva, when you have doubts. As we all know – Avadhuta-devotees sometimes dress off and go naked around like children, they have that sweet and funny mood of niskincan … hahaha, they do not want to posess too many things and have that renouncement spirit; therefore they sometimes appear outside in public like Clowns and talk completely shameless. They behave spontaneous and mad - like children, since they do not think that they have to display good behavior in order to teach. They think that they are not qualified anyway and that they do not belong to the category of Vaisnavas at all. They are simply dancing like children and sometimes they are not dressed properly; they are dusty and look unkempt, etc … and sometimes they play and fight with dogs, monkeys, or whatever.
Such Avadhuta-Vaisnavis should therefore be married soon to a good Vaisnava husband, since the pure devotee Vaisnava husband of an Avadhuta Vaisnavi will mercifully protect her and dress her properly, before they go out in public; he will teach her rules and regulations, he will feed her with tasty prasadam, and teach her gayatri mantra. In preaching mission we have so many responsibilities and we have to show the best example of Vaisnava etiquette. Of course we have to follow the rules and regulations of Vaidhi-bhakti, as our Srila Gurudeva told us to do. Those rules and regulations which are needed, reasonable and favourable for service, we follow. This humble, very innocent Vaisnavi will fully surrender to her merciful husband and serve him day and night with full love and devotion in the service of Srila Gurudeva, Sri Hari and the Vaisnavas without deviation.
No doubt. Doubtful are only the fools and rascals, these envious materialists. For devotees it is necessary to give the standard rules and regulations of our Guruparampara, to teach in a most qualified way. I do not feel qualified to teach others the right behaviour, since as a devotee in the mood of an Avadhuta I do not know what is right and what is wrong in this material world. Therefore I beg your understanding and forbearance for my past funny behaviour in public. I depend fully on my dear spiritual family, who can teach me proper behaviour, rules and regulations. My Srila Gurudeva teached me only Rasa, and less Tattva. He knew that I am a useless, brainless fool, a funny clown and that rasa is my only taste.
No matter how unqualified a person is, no matter how stupid and funny - if her/his only ambition and ornament is the holy greed to follow into the footsteps of the damsels in Vraja, that is the perfection of life.
Service in a pure spirit is top most and will eradicate all faults and shortcomings. Srila Gurudeva did not waste time to burden me with all the rules and regulations of Vaidhi-bhakti. HAHAHAHA. He was very smart and he did not want to overburden me with too many responsibilities, since he knew perfectly well that I would have run away from my Vaisnava family out of stress. But as more advancement and abilities a soul gets under the careful loving guidance of a true Vaisnava guru, the more a disciple will be ready to take up responsibilities. For example: When Srila Gurudeva says white to a surrendered and fully dedicated first class Vaisnava disciple, that pure devotee of Sri Hari will dress in white; when Srila Gurudeva says, that we should act as Guru-pati and dharma patni, act as spiritual father and mother, and should take disciples and help all these aspirants, that spiritual children there in this world of danger, we will do that without denying.
We are simply the puppets in the hands of Radha Govinda.
We are not self elected authorities, lusty showbottle-disciples, proud showbottle-gurus. We cannot even think of being a Guru. To become a true Vaisnava Guru is most difficult to think of, since our spiritual mood and sentiment is to always be the student, the humble servant and not the master of others. Please forgive my many seva aparadhas from the past. I am still learning, I am always a student in my opinion. I was not prepared to take up leadership. HAHAHA. I was only mother in my past mundane life and I only know how to take care with love and devotion to innocent children and animals. I do not know how to fight with tricky monkeys and those envious persons who are hating devotees, those who try to destroy our good reputation, those who want to destroy our spiritual mission. I simply try to follow the order of my Srila Gurudeva to help others … to bring them back to Godhead (to Goloka Vrindavana). That was the idea of my eternal spiritual master, and I am dancing now in public in the Sankirtana party of my spiritual family. I know for sure that my godbrothers will protect me from all kind of mundane threads, attacks and monkeys, since they are very strong and have a lot of expertise in their seva … they are empowered by Sri Guru and Sri Hari to make our Sankirtana mission glorious.
Jaya Sacinandana Gaura Hari ! Jaya Jagannatha Svami!
I bow down in deep humility and thankfulness to all my Siksagurus, who are an ocean of mercy. I take shelter at their spiritual instructions and merciful guidance. Thank you for your attention, understanding and respectful mind. In the end of this lesson 8 kindly allow me to tell you in shortened form one of my favorit Krishnalilas, that lila at ‘Dan Nivartan Kunda’ from the book ‘Krishnas Holy Land’ written by HDG Narayana Maharaj:
One day soon after Krishna had taxed the Gopis, Lalita and Vishaka conspired to have revenge on him. Complaining to each other they said, we have been used and abused enough, that was unfair and highly rascalish. We must give him the same back, but double. So clapping their hands gleefully they got all the Gopis together and hid themselves in the forest groves around this place which is called Dan Nivartan kunda. Krishna who had got so cocky by this time was walking around here with only a few of his cowherd friends. The Gopis by sign language, like reflecting the sun in mirrors to each other surrounded Krishna and his sakhas. Hundreds of Gopis grabbed Krishna and his friends and tying their sikhas to the tree branches and holding them still boxed their ears good for them and made them promise never to harass the Gopis again from that day onwards. Furthermore they said, today you are the ones who must pay taxes. So pay up! What do you have to pay with and who gave you permission to gaze your cows here? Krisna meekly said, we don’t have anything to pay for taxes. The Gopis said, you don’t? Why not? This property belongs to Srimati Radharani, Vrindavan’s Queen and for the audacious behaviour that you exhibited by taxing us the other day, for this you have to be punished. Krishna, you must bow down to Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet and beg her forgiveness. Krishna seeing that there was no other way out of the situation, slyly looked at his friends and bowing down to the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani begging her forgiveness. That is why this place is known as Dan Nivartan kunda, the place where the tax was excused.”
Hari Haribol !
Jay Sri Guru and Gauranga ! Jay Jagannatha!
Lesson 7 – How to surrender fully and offer everything to
Vrajendra Nandan, the youthful son of Nanda?
(Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura)
Dear Devotees all over the World,
In that lesson 7 is everything included what we need to know in order to progress in our spiritual life. Guru-nistha is the key to full success, because only with that full faith in Sri Guru and Gauranga we can understand the meaning of surrender and how to offer everything in atmanivedanam to Vrajendra Nandan. On 28 th March there will be Gaurapurnima festival, the appearance day of our Golden Avatar, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu! Please participate and do kirtan at home or where ever you may be at this time.
(1)mānasa, deho, geho, jo kichu mora
arpilū tuwā pade, nanda-kiśora!
Mind, body, and family, whatever may be mine, I have surrendered at Your lotus feet, O youthful son of Nanda!
(2) sampade vipade, jīvane-maraṇe
dāya mama gelā, tuwā o-pada varaṇe
In good fortune or in bad, in life or at death, all my difficulties have disappeared by choosing those feet of Yours as my only shelter.
(3)mārobi rākhobi-jo icchā tohārā
nitya-dāsa prati tuwā adhikārā
Slay me or protect me as You wish, for You are the master of Your eternal servant.
(4) janmāobi moe icchā jadi tora
bhakta-gṛhe jani janma hau mora
If it is Your will that I be born again, then may it be in the home of Your devotee.
(5) kīṭa-janma hau jathā tuwā dāsa
bahir-mukha brahma janme nāhi āśa
May I be born again even as a worm, so long as I may
remain Your devotee. I have no desire to be born as a Brahma averse to You.
(6) bhukti-mukti-spṛhā vihīna je bhakta
labhaite tāko sańga anurakta
I yearn for the company of that devotee who is completely devoid of all desire for worldly enjoyment or liberation.
(7) janaka, jananī, dayita, tanaya
prabhu, guru, pati-tuhū sarva-maya
Father, mother, lover, son, Lord, preceptor, and husband;
You are everything to me.
(8) bhakativinoda kohe, śuna kāna!
rādhā-nātha! tuhū hāmāra parāṇa
Thakura Bhaktivinoda says, "O Kana, please hear me!
O Lord of Radha, You are my life and soul!"
That song tells us about devotional service imbued with spontaneous, profound love and attachment (ragatmika-bhakti), is vividly expressed and manifested by the eternal residents of Vrindavana (Vrajavasis). Devotional service that follows their devotional mood is called raganuga-bhakti, or devotional service following in the wake of the ragatmika associates of Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja. We also can become Vrajavasis, simply by following our Acaryas in Guruvarga.
That devotion is topmost among all forms of bhakti
and manifests only in the Vrajavasis.
Our Acaryas explain that it is essential to clearly understand the difference between ragatmika and raganuga. Raga means ‘profound attachment for the object of one’s love’ or ‘that towards which the heart goes spontaneously without any effort or deliberation’; atmika means ‘imbued with’; Anuga means ‘following in the footsteps’. Therefore the term ragatmika refers exclusively to perfected souls, the eternal associates of Sri Radha-Krishna in Vraja, while raganuga refers to conditioned souls who practice bhakti in this world with an intense greed to attain the ragatmika-bhava of the Vrajavasis. Let’s now say with full faith and devotion:
Oh Vrajendra, son of Nanda
You are Father, mother, lover, son, Lord, preceptor and husband,
You are everything to me.
Vrajendra Nandan, Sri Krishna - is one with his eternal and most beloved consort Sri Radha. They are ONE. There is no difference between Krishna and Radha, because they are one in spirit and became one person as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the mercy Incarnation of Sri Sri Radha Krishna, the Golden Avatar. Sometimes Krishna-Devotees (Krishnasnehadikas) do not worship Srimati Radhika, and are not aware of the fact, that only with the mercy of Sri Radha, they can attain Sri Krishna. By the mercy of a real Mahabhagavata one’s taste and mood can change into more prominent adoration of Sri Radha (Radhasnehadika). Some Devotees also develop an equal taste for both, Sri Krishna and Sri Radha (Samasnehadika). All our Guruvarga Acaryas are Radhasnehadikas. That is very beautiful, since they are distributing to all of us that very special gift of Sri Chaitanya’s mercy to become an eternal maidservant of Srimati Radhika far and wide in Kali Yuga. It is their unconditional love and mercy to us fallen souls, who do not even need to be qualified to get this mercy.
This is a very very rare occation, that we can follow in the footsteps of our great Acaryas
and Goswamis of Vrindavana. Don’t miss that opportunity, dear ones!
In the beginning of my spiritual life I was an ecstatic Krishnasnehadika 100 % … and at a certain point when I surrendered fully to the lotusfeet of my eternal Spiritual Master I became a Radhasnehadika 100 % … hahaha. That change of mood and ambition took a little time, some years … but it worked out with onepointedness and 100% Guru-nistha. That bhajan in our Sadhaka-deha as a maidservant of Svamini is a little more dedicated form of bhajan. It needs full attention and surrender 24/7. One must surrender with 100% faith to Sri Guru and Gauranga. That is only possible in Rupanuga bhajan dhara. The spiritual influence of my association with my Srila Gurudeva and my Siksaguru (also Radhasnehadika) from Vrindavana was so powerful that I was begging that Radha-dasyam from my Paramahamsa Guru before he left this planet and entered into Nityalila, and he was very merciful to me. He was so happy when i begged to him for that manjari bhava - that he was shedding a lot of tears in ecstasy. He told me that he was waiting for me ... he was alone in his guru-room and i dared to sneak in with full surrender and dedication, extremely greedy for his mercy. I did full dandavat and pranamas, was crying like mad and he consoled me by granting me this most rare and valuable gift of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Of course it realy needs a little courage, strong surrender and faith, it needs 100 % spiritual longing and boldness ... since that Rupanugabhajan is performed in the school of Srila Rupa Goswami, where you have to cry and weep and lament for the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga. To beg this Radha-dasyam seva from my Srila Gurudeva was the best idea ever. I do not regret and i really feel most blessed and priviledged. I am also eternally indepted to my Bhajan Siksagurus from Vrindavana and i bow down to their lotusfeet regularily. Every day in Radhadasya bhajan is a great surprise and also challange ... By the mercy of Sri Guru and Gauranga we can make progress in our bhajana and improve also our harikatha and Sankirtana spirit. Since that I am floating in an ocean of bliss …. And by the merciful and unending loving guidance from my current Bhajan- Siksagurus of Vrindavana i cannot deviate from my service to my Gurumanjari, Srila Gurudeva, and to Sri Hari and Vaisnavas. All glories to the holy associaton of pure devotees and Mahabhagavatas!!! It is so rare ... and valuable. We should not waste time and energy for mundane activities anylonger.
I cannot describe my pride to be counted among the
dasis of Srimati Radhika.
My Svamini is everything to me. At Gaurapurnima we can pray to Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for that very rare bahullasa rati in Radha-dasyam. Let’s remember, dear Krishnasnehadikas:
You do not recognize Madhava without Radhika!!!
Why not forgetting about your own (selfish) ambitions towards Sri Hari and fully surrender selflessly to Srimati Radhika who is the conquerer and ruler of Sri Hari. Sri Krishna becomes more pleased when we surrender fully to his most beloved Srimati Radhika, since she always needs more and more dasis, in order to expand her loving service to her Lover Sri Krishna. She is the best servant and lover among all devotees. If you develop pride in being Srimati Radhika’s maidservant then you will meet Gokula Kana very soon …. I promise that to you. I am yearning for that sacred festival of Gaurapurnima and I am crying day and night during my singing kirtan for the darshan of my Svamini, to get a glimps of her bright shining lotusfeet, which are everything to me. Remember: Her lotusfeet are the abode where great Devotees, Brahma, Siva, Narada, the Sruti-cari-rsis and Narayani worship the feet–dust of Srimati Radhika. Vedic scriptures declare, that Uma, Rama, Satya, Saci, Candravali and Rukmini are all Radha’s expansions.
Bhaktivinoda Thakura is our role model. He is begging at the lotus feet of those,
whose treasure is the service of Srimati Radharani. JAY SRI RADHE !
JAY GAURA PURNIMA MAHOTSAVA !
Lesson 6 – How to become solely attached to serving
Sri Radha in Radha-dasyam?
„O Devi Radhika! I am not praying for anything except that most exalted direct service to Your lotus feet. Time and again I offer pranama from afar to Your sakhitva, a position as Your sakhi, but I vow that my unwavering devotion will always be only for Your dasitva, a position as Your maidservant. Therefore, let me truly have eager spiritual thirst for Your service! And if I am not qualified for this, then at least make me attached to this aspiration, so that one day I may attain it.”
(A prayer of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami)
Dear sweet Vaisnava Family,
Today was a very auspicious Vaisnava occation and our highly blessed Rasika Godbrother, a pure Devotee of our Svamini, Devi Radhika blessed us in the most joyful and jolly way with his sacred and lovely harikatha. In our Sri Krishna Caitanya mission he is our renounced Bhajan-Siksa-Gurujiu in Sevakunja Vrindavana. I am so happy that there is a likeminded taste in harikatha and bhajan. I am not qualified to taste his harikatha nectar, but it is the only remedy and medicine for my dormant disease … that constant longing for the holy association of these devotees, who have taken complete shelter at the lotus feet of Sri Radha; who have attained the mercy of Gauranga, who are absorbed in the mellows of pure ecstatic love, and whose life and soul is Gauranga. To these devotees I offer my innumerable dandavats, pranamas and loving adoration. (That quote is from Sri Bhagavatarka Marici mala - a garland of rays from the sunike Srimad Bhagavatam - Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura).
Sevakunja in Vrindavana is the HEART of Vrindavana!
This highly blessed GREAT devotee got Srila Gurudevas Maha-mercy and seva in Rupanuga-bhajan-dhara in our Temple in Sevakunja. I cannot stop weeping in joy, thinking on the Sevakunja-lilas and his sweet narration of his lila with our Srila Gurudeva there. Srila Gurudeva was sometimes very strict and heavy to us disciples … he was sometimes angry and shouted or ignored us completely in order to teach us good lessons. Also Maharaja got such a big lesson and also he was nearly inspired to leave the Temple out of frustration and pain and he wanted to go home to his family in Mathura. But he was trying again and again to please our strict Srila Gurudeva and he tried to perform his seva as he was told and instructed. Once Maharaja had problems with about 100 monkeys at sevakunja and was thinking that these monkeys could destroy his cooking and distribution of maha-prasadam for the invited Vaisnavas. Therefore he was not ready for cooking, and that was the reason why Srila Gurudeva was angry at him. It took him many approaches and hardships in order to please Srila Gurudeva and get his blessings. And finally he got the biggest mercy ever. Srila Gurudeva blessed Maharaja with big embrace and smiled sweetly when he saw his full surrender and GURU-NISTHA (full faith in Sri Guru).
Guru-nistha is the BACKBONE of our DEVOTION !
Why is Guru-Nistha so difficult for Sadhakas?
Why is it so difficult to understand that Srila Gurudeva is the representative of Sri Hari and to realize that Radha Govinda and Lord Chaitanya are always residing in his heart? Maharaja talked about the most important point in our whole sadhana – strong faith!!! Without that Guru-nistha, all different material skills and qualifications become useless. Sri Guru is most important for us. His mercy and love, his remnants of his holy prasadam is the only life giving nectar for Sadhakas. In our prayer ‘Sri Guru-Carana-Padma' it is said that attachment to the lotusfeet of our Srila Gurudeva is the best means of spiritual progress. His mercy fulfills all desires for spiritual perfection in a second. That is a fact. Maharaja mentioned that we should pray to Srila Gurudeva to give us at every moment within that 24 hours a day the realization, that Radha Govinda dwells in the heart of Sri Guru.
By 100 % Guru-nistha it is possible to create a restingplace
for Radha Krishna in our heart – 24/7, and we cannot deviate,
under no circumstances, from our goal – prema bhakti.
It does not matter, which service we do for Srila Gurudeva in this mundane world, as long as we are absorbed in full Guru-nistha and meditation about his lotusfeet. Everything can happen … when we faithfully chant 'The Divine Name', given by Srila Gurudeva at Harinama initiation. Kindly allow me at this point to share another personal “monkey-lila” in Sevakunja, when I was for a second time visiting Vrindavana, at the age of 28. I went 1994 with a group of devotees in the late afternoon to Sevakunja and while standing in front of Lalita-kunda, I meditated about that seva-lila there. I remembered that merciful Babaji Maharaja, who gave me in 1992 at Govindakunda the instruction, to always remember that I am a maidservant of Srimati Radhika by the mercy of Srila Rupa Goswami. At that moment suddenly one bright shining Vaisnavi showed up at Lalitakunda and put a fresh TILAK on my forehead. That was so kind and sweet. When we devotees wanted to leave Sevakunja in order to go back to our Ashram, it was already late in the evening. Suddenly a big monkey appeared and was catching my bag. He pulled strongly and wanted to steal it. I was also strongly pulling and tried to safe it … But at a certain point I realized that this monkey was determent to get it. My japamala, my passport, my flyght-ticket, money and some other important things were inside this bag. It is said that persons who dare to enter Sevakunja without permission at night during that time when the eternal rasadance of Krishna and the gopis takes place, that person will go crazy for sure …Therefore I felt big stress … I did not want to go crazy. Night time was approaching when the bag almost was lost in the greedy hands of this bold Sevakunja-monkey. Nervously I prayed to Sri Guru and Gauranga for help. I looked straight into the eyes of that cheeky monkey and told him telepathically that I would ask my Yuteshvari to empower me to get a service in Sevakunja where I was able to chase away naughty monkeys during Rasalila. I strongly stated that I wanted to become a doorkeeper of Sevakunja, and as soon as I would see him again, this “naughty monkey-thieve” who had stolen my bag (which belongs to my Svamini, because all i have i surrender to her), … I would get a stick and chastise him by throwing him out of Sevakunja. He was convinced, when I was thinking like that, lost power and stopped pulling.
Usually nobody can conquer a strong monkey, who is a dear friend
of that naughty cowherd boy Govinda, that all-attractive
lover of our Svamini … All Vrajabhasis know that.
How was it possible for me to become victorious? How was that possible? I always was thinking to myself: I have no brain, i am not very learned and have no strength, and I am not very skilled at all in fighting with monkeys. But how came that idea with the desire of getting some service as a doorkeeper of Sevakunja, to me? It was a miracle … today when our godbrother as our respected Bhajan-siksa-gurujiu told us about his own Sevakunja-monkey-lila with the 100 monkeys, I realized that the Supreme Lord himself is the doer behind all that challenges. I had to fight only with 1 Sevakunja monkey and Maharaja had to confront himself with about 100 monkeys …. aaaaah!
How powerful and empowered he must have been
in order to be victorious over 100 Sevakunja monkeys?
I think, that our Srila Gurudeva is the doer behind all this, and the performer of all that astonishing amazing lilas, since he is the representative of Radha Govinda. He can send us an army of monkeys … but if we have full faith … we will conquer them for sure. HAHAHA.
Siksaguru, Diksaguru and Caityaguru are equally important for us
and they are non-different from Radha Govinda.
When we please Hari, Guru and Vaisnava, we are pleasing Radha Govinda directly, since they are all very dear and intimate servants of the Lord. When my godbrother told us that Sevakunja is the heart of Vrindavana, my heart beated in joy and excitement … and at the same time I was feeling so low, so unqualified, so stupid … Recently in my meditation about my bhajan-seva I asked myself: How can I become a maidservant and doorkeeper in Sevakunja in order to chase away the monkeys at the time of Rasalila, where most likely my Gurumanjari is taking part as a most dear maidservant of my Svamini Srimati Radhika? I am a fool, a fallen person, a weak and helpless woman … How can I reach my goal? I really do not want to think of all my mistakes and most stupid seva aparadhas and offenses in the past. If I think about all my nonsense, I want to escape, run away … hide myself forever somewhere in the jungle. But I am so eager for seva to my Srila Gurudeva, Hari, Guru and Vaisnava. Our spiritual taste to become an eternal maidservant of Srimati Radhika should be so strong that we schould want to overcome all anarthas, all shame and mistakes from the past by the help of pure devotees. By Sadhusanga all anarthas can fly away quickly. We have only to pay the price: eagerness!
It is only possible by GURU-NISTHA and special mercy.
Our practical seva is the root of prema-bhakti and we can not deny.
No other qualification than this Guru-nistha can fulfill our dreams and wishes in our spiritual bhajan and practical seva, according to the personal instructions of our Srila Gurudeva. That is our constant prayer, to get the 24/7 Guru-nistha-seva mercy, so that we cannot fall down or deviate from our path to prema-bhakti (and that we can have that stai-bhava soon, that full nistha countenance, during our bhajan-meditation as a Sadhaka, developing siddha deha). By that Sankirtana lila of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and our Guruvarga and the blessings of our dear Vaisnavas, we can make progress in our seva. Our Vaisnava family members are the very powerful doorkeepers of Radha-dasyam, who can protect us from downfall or deviation. They can help us and navigate us to our most desired spiritual service. Together we are unconquerable.
I give my humble dandavat and pranamas in the dust of the lotusfeet of my bhajan-siksa-gurujiu, who told me a very important lesson today …
When we are reading RRSN (book Radha Rasa Suddha Nidhi, for best manjari meditation), written by Prabodhananda Sarsvati, we should remember and understand during our meditation, that only by the merciful guidance and navigation of our Srila Gurudeva and our Siksagurus, we can make progress and be successful. We should read that most advanced books only under their care and guidance, with their inspiration and blessings. Our seva is sometimes heavily disturbed by others. Sometimes during preaching we are attacked by monkeys and other disturbances. It is very dangerous to preach alone in public, without strong association of dear devotees. Now I got the point … we always must stay in tune with Srila Gurudeva and as well with Vaisnava family, too - without deviating, without doing whimsically acts, which are blockages on the way to the meeting point of our desired goal. Rasika-Vaisnavas and like- minded Siksagurus who can donate high class harikatha are so rare and most important. The merciful help of pure devotees, their navigation and instructions can be life saving.
Without the mercy of a Bhajan-guru the Sadhaka in
Rupanuga-bhajan-seva cannot even think of being successful.
At this point I am realizing that I am very indebted to my merciful godbrothers and siksa-gurus, who are donating their harikatha and loving spiritual association to us. They are my merciful and dear Vaisnava-family-members, eternal friends and benevolent well wishers. I am so thankful and proud that I was able to get their marvelous harikatha-blessings during this week at our harikatha festival for pleasing Srila Gurudeva. I pray for their eternal spiritual association.
I humbly bow down and beg their causeless mercy and help.
Due to my many past mistakes I feel not qualified for getting their mercy and help,
but I am 100 % attached to this aspiration, so that one day I may attain it.”
Manjari bhava upasana ki jay! Radharani ki jay!
Jaya jaya Sri Radhe!
Lesson 5 - How to satisfy Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu?
Caitanya Mahaprabhu had become pleased and satisfied to see King Prataparudra sweeping the road in front of the chariot of Lord Jagannatha during the Ratha-yatra festival. Later, during massaging Lord Caitanya’s Lotusfeet at the garden of the mother in Itota he sang slokas of the Gopi-gita in a melody so full of feeling that Caitanya Mahaprabhu wept more and more, and His heart melted still further. He had been unconscious, but now He sat up and cried:
“Who is pouring such sweet nectar in My ears?
Go on, go on giving Me this nectar.”
Dear Devotees of our Vaisnava family,
Today Thursday, our highly respected Godbrother, Acarya and Siksagurujiu of our International Sri Krishna Caitanya Mission, Pujayapada B. V. Bishnu Goswami Maharaj donated his high class Harikatha for relishing Caitanyalila. We were most blessed by this nectar. Sri Sanatana Gosvami and Sri Jiva Gosvami, and above all Srila Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura, they explained these slokas in an especially marvellous way.
First comes purva-raga in Venu-gita, then this Gopi-gita,
and then Yugala-gita, Bhramara-gita, and Pranaya-gita.
These most precious jewels are called panca-prany-vayu, the five life airs, and our main objective is to enter the deep truths of these gitas. By the mercy of these Mahabhagavata Vaisnavas who are donating this harikatha to us, our life will be successful. Our dear Godbrother said that these separation pastimes (viraha) of Lord Caitanya is the highest expression of love from Srimati Radharani when She cries for Lord Krishna. We are so fortunate and blessed that our Math in Itota was the resting place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, where in the garden of the holy Mother these nectarian pastimes took place. We were told: When Lord Caitanya is pleased and satisfied with our seva and harikatha, He will sprinkle His mercy upon us. We simply have to give up all our opulence and the conception that we are intelligent and qualified - in the same way as King Prataparudra did.
When the King continued to sing the sloka from Srimad-
Bhagavatam 10.31.9 (tava kathamrtam tapta-jivanam …) Mahaprabhu could not control Himself.
“Who are you? Who are you?” King Prataparudra told Him, “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of Your servant.” Mahaprabhu embraced him. Both their hearts mixed, and Mahaprabhu transferred some of His moods to the King’s heart, empowering and satisfying him. Rasika devotees know that these verses reveal a very pathetic scene from Krishnalila. All the gopis are feeling separation and are begging:
“O Krishna, come and meet with us, otherwise we will die.”
The gopis tell Krishna that these sweet pastimes are the life and soul of those who face great difficulties, sorrows and sufferings in the endless chain of birth and death in this world. These pastimes are like nectar for them, and if they listen to those pastimes, Krishna Himself enters their hearts in the form of hari-katha. The Guru is also the representative of a gopi who is expert in relishing these pastimes, since in his heart Krishna and the gopis are playing … During listening this sweet harikatha, we got permission to get an idea of that viraha lila, by getting the special blessing of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Only by the grace of a pure Mahabhagavata we are able to relish these Gopi-gita lilas inside our hearts during listening attentively to these holy slokas. We get also that mood, that bhava of separation from Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a special gift and start to cry as He did when we are humbly listening to that sweet lilakatha with the King. Those who can donate such high class harikatha are very dear to the Lord and it is the greatest donation for the whole world, said our Goswami Maharaja. We are very fortunate to be there when this merciful harikatha is donated by the grace of pure devotees.
We are beggars of that elevated mood of separation of the gopis … in that purva raga.
Our Srila Gurudeva is highly pleased and
satisfied, when we develop eagerness for that life giving harikatha.
That is the most advanced topic matter in our whole Vaisnava-katha, and we are so fortunate to participate in that spirit of separation of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When I was allowed to stay in a guest room in our Itota Temple in Puri in 2013, I had so many opportunities to get the darshan of pure Devotees, Mahabhagavatas and Rasika Vaisnavas. I was so happy and eternal thankful to meet so many Devotees of our spiritual Vaisnava family. And today I was laughing so much, when our Godbrother mentioned the monkeys in our Temple.
He said that they do not only steal the glasses and cloths of the devotees
but also sometimes their japamala.
It is so funny to think that they could be eager to chant Nama ... Of course these monkeys in Itota are not ordinary monkeys, since they belong to that naughty gang of Sri Krishna, that all-attractive cowherd-boy of Vraja, therefore they are very fortunate souls. Kindly allow me to share my personal “monkey-lila” with you. At my visit there in the Temple in 2013 I was in that guest room, preparing for taking shower and was only half dressed. Suddenly the door of the room was violently opened and a big big strange looking monkey stood there watching me. He showed me his teeth and breathed heavily … I was paralyzed in shock and was thinking, that now I had to decide what to do in order to protect me. At this moment I realized that I was not proper dressed and it would be against Vaisnavi etiquette to be seen in this weak condition. If I would have called my godbrothers for help, it would have been a very shameful situation. I did not want to disturb their mind or cause any problems to them. It was a big stress for me, because that big monkey wanted to move in my direction. Suddenly I remembered the pure Devotee Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas in the famous ancient Mahabharata-story. When she was in danger, being dragged into public view by Duryodhana, she loudly was crying for GOVINDA! There was only one solution now, to follow her spiritual example:
I cried loudly for GOVINDA!
That was my good luck! Suddenly the big monkey closed his eyes, turned around and left quickly the room. HAHAHA. I was so happy and realized at that moment that we always should follow in the footsteps of the gopis, and not only crying for Govinda, when we are in danger, but always crying for the mercy of Sri Sri Radha Govinda inside and outside during our daily activities, too. Srila Gurudeva was always absorbed, day and night in atmanivedanam, he always gave us the perfect example of a real Vaisnava. I feel so unqualified to narrate the endless glories of our Srila Gurudeva, who was the exponent in Vedic principles and the saviour of the fallen souls. On that rare occasion of our harikatha festival I simply try to share some sweet spiritual inspirations with you. I can remember: During our Sankirtan in our Jaganatha Puri Temple in front of the holy Deities even we less advanced devotees from the west could get the full mercy of Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas without limitation. We simply had to cry for that mercy and opening our hearts. Srila Gurudeva said always to us in the past:
“Chant loudly when you are doing Kirtan and Sankirtan,
that is the highest benediction for this world.”
Loud kirtana is a hundred times better than silent japa. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati told us in his commentary on Sri Siksastaka:
“Sankirtana means complete kirtana, or in other words, Sankirtana that is performed in full knowledge of sambandha and completely free from anarthas and aparadhas.”
That is the whole point. In scripture is mentioned that sambandha, abhidhea and prayocana will be easily reached when we do Sankirtana with pure spirit together without anarthas or aparadhas. Full realization of our eternal personal relationship and our seva for Radha Govinda becomes step by step revealed and fully manifested, when we have full faith - when we are in tune with our Srila Gurudeva. That is the whole secret of success. We devotees always call Sri Hari, our Lord Caitanya, to participate in our Kirtana … All we do is meant to please the Vaisnavas. When Sri Guru and Vaisnavas are pleased, also Lord Caitanya is pleased. As soon as the Supreme Lord is pleased by the calling of a pure devotee, He comes and the Sankirtana-jajna is complete and successful. As soon as Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is pleased and satisfied with our seva to Srila Gurudeva, He comes personally with all His intimate eternal consorts and tastes our harikatha and Sankirtan performance life, right on the spot. That is also the mercy of our Guruvarga, who always want to connect us with the Lord. Today in the morning one dear godsister here in Vienna sent me a video of today’s Mangala arati with big Sankirtan from our Temple in Jagannatha Puri … I was so happy, when I was watching all that bright shining Vaisnavas from all our temples in India in front of the altar, dancing and singing in the most beautiful and ecstatic way. That video gives us exactly that life-giving spirit, which is needed in our life, in order to stay healthy, happy and dedicated in seva.
I was crying in happiness and can not stop
watching this video again and again.
This pure Sankirtan spirit and loving mood let my longing for Sadhusanga increase day by day. That hot Sankirtan fire is constantly burning in my heart … that powerful spirit gives us life. I cannot forget our congregational Sankirtan in the past. That pure Sankirtan spirit is our life air in the service of Sri Guru and Gauranga and our most important seva. Even if we are not able to perform that Sankirtana right now because of wordly restrictions in different countries around the world ... we can pray for the opportunity to get that rare and holy association with these blessed Sankirtan-Devotees in future. We cannot do Sankirtan alone … That is a fact. Our Srila Gurudeva wants us to do harikatha and congregational Sankirtan as often as possible. I pray for that spritual association.
That new video from mangala arati is the greatest benediction,
our greatest blessing, since we devotees here in the west can watch it now
whenever we feel separation of our dear family, performing Sankirtana.
I am there together with spiritual family ... in mind and heart, when i do mangala arati here at home alone. I bow down in great humility and appreciation to each and every Vaisnava and Vaisnavi in this video … begging for causless mercy, for giving me one drop of their pure Sankirtana spirit.
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
Lesson 4 - How can a devotee conquer Sri Hari?
“Knowledge of bhagavat-tattva obstructs the natural
prema of Vraja which has not even a scent of reverence
based on social conventions and restrictions.
Sri Hari can never be conquered by anyone,
but that same Hari is conquered by those who, rather than
making an independent endeavour to achieve tattva-jnana,
simply hear Bhagavan’s lila katha from the mouths
Of rasika, tattva-jna pure devotees. Such persons
bind Him by the ropes of their love."
(cited in Venu-Gita, p. 83 – Srila Jiva Gosvami’s commentary)
Dear Devotees in our Vaisnava-family,
Yesterday our most respected Godbrother as a Rasika, tattva-jna pure devotee of Sri Hari gave harikatha and mentioned our eternal bondage to each other in our spiritual family. He said that we are tied together for ever. Immediately I remembered that Venu-Gita statement where it is said that devotees can bind Sri Hari only by the ropes of their love. To hear such wonderful spiritual words from the lips of a pure devotee is most essential. We cannot run away from our spiritual family. We cannot live a life independently from our most intimate family members, who are expansions of the mercy of our beloved Srila Gurudeva. We cannot survive without the association, blessings and harikatha of our spiritual godbrothers and godsisters, although everyone may have his own mission and seva around the world. Our Srila Gurudeva cared for each and every devotee in our spiritual family, although he had unlimited responsibilities. Right now every Vaisnava and Vaisnavi has his/her respected position and seva. All are equally blessed and individually trained or empowered for various services in our preaching mission.
Sometimes Srila Gurudeva cried heartbreakingly when one of his disciples
went away or fell for the illusionary energy.
Once in a lecture he said: “There will be war …” Yes, right now in that pandemic we feel like on the battlefield in war. It is very painful to endure such hardships and separation from each other. How to tolerate so much pain of separation from our spiritual family members? My beloved godbrother said, that we are always spiritually connected and that we are bound together forever. His words gave me great consolation. He said, that the best is to be always engaged in loving devotional service. Yes, that is the most important, that we stay busy in practical seva and helping others. Our life is sometimes very difficult and we have to challenge many threads, hardships and pains in our service. Sometimes we have problems with body or mind. Especially in a female body it is difficult to perform non-stop practical seva and get up early in the morning.
Only by the causeless mercy of our Srila Gurudeva
we can overcome all difficulties.
Sometimes we cry like children for him, when we are in danger … and always he responds to us. He never let us down. That is a big miracle. He left this world in 2009, has so many disciples and he is still always there for us. We must understand that this is the divine power of the Supreme Lord, who empowers our Srila Gurudeva to also be like a 24/7 dedicated spiritual mother for us. Once the famous Vaisnava Paramahamsa Yogananda wrote about guru-disciple relationship, and true masters:
“Masters with a world mission (or some with many disciples in divergent stages of development) leave on earth a legacy of their teachings and ideals when they shed their mortal forms. For masters who can span the infinity of omnipresence, there is no difference between their seen and unseen presence, or in the blessings they bestow on disciples who are in tune, whether during or after the earth life of the master.”
I am so grateful to our beloved Godbrother that he spoke about that most beautiful topic matter of guru-disciple relationship. He was the personal servant and most dedicated assistant of our Srila Gurudeva for many years and he told us that our Srila Gurudeva was such an expert and he had so many services at once. Deityworship, Sankirtana, cooking, reading, writing books and preaching to so many people and Vaisnava’s around the world, caring for our needs - and he also was an ayurvedic doctor. He was 24/7 of the time busy in his seva and it was a miracle how he could be so busy all the time. He was getting up at 2 or 3 in the morning, did mangala arati, was chanting many rounds … and he did bhajan and seva like no one else …. Hahaha. That is so amazing. Of course these nitya siddhas are not from this world and we cannot even imagine how powerful they are. Sri Hari empowers them to do non-stop seva. Although Srila Gurudeva left this world, he is still like a warm and loving mother to us. We can feel his energy when we cry like babies for him. Hahaha. He never let us down. We are bound with the ropes of eternal love to him.
At the same time we are bound with the ropes of eternal love to our sweet spiritual family members in our preaching mission as long as we are in tune with our loving spiritual relationship to each other.
At this point I want to share one interesting dream with you. Always when I am in trouble and don’t know how to solve a current problem I ask my Srila Gurudeva in front of my altar. Recently I was worried about my many followers who read my lessons online. Some persons also approached me in the past and wanted to take shelter like disciples of a spiritual teacher. I'm naturally shy and like to hide from the public. Writing for the public is my ministry that I enjoy doing and my Srila Gurudeva is very inspiring me to do that. But when it comes to personal relationships with students, I am very shy. I was the single parent of my two daughters and I remember the pain when I was alone fighting for existence. It is difficult to raise children without a father. I made a lot of mistakes and it was the most difficult task as a mother to also do spiritual sadhana at the same time. In my past sadhana I did a lot of seva aparadhas and I am very regretful for that.
I asked Srila Gurudeva for a dream to help me with my paranoia.
I wanted to know what is his opinion and instruction to me.
I went to bed and had a dream. I was shocked, when I saw in my dream a huge crowd of people in my small apartment, which also serves as a Namahatta Ashrama to invite neighbours to read the vedic scriptures with me and to pray together in front of my altar. So many people were there in that dream and they looked like children, asking me to help them in spiritual life. That was a night mare for me to think about so many responsibilities … In my dream I was very shocked and wanted to escape immediately. I wanted do sneak out of the room and run out of the door. During that dramatic scene in that dream I remembered that I asked Srila Gurudeva for a dream and his guidance the evening before. And suddenly in between that big crowd of people there was sitting my eternal spiritual Master. He was smiling sweetly and was so happy that I had so many guests, which he personally invited and sent to my small Namahatta Ashrama. He stopped me from running away with the words: “Please wait a little bit … common, remember when I was taking care for your small daughter, when you visited me in Jagannath Puri in 2007.” I remembered that incident, when I had a lot of stress with monkeys there in our Temple. The monkeys were stealing the cloths of my small daughter from the rope. Hahaha. And Srila Gurudeva was sitting peacefully with little Saraswati there in the courtyard of the Temple and she played with the sand there, building sand castles at his lotusfeet. He looked at me and said that he will take care for my kid, and that I am free to solve the problem with the monkeys. Hahaha. I was so thankful to my Srila Gurudeva and run away to safe the cloths. Now in my dream he said that I simply had to trust in his expertise with taking care for all that spiritual children. He will manage all that which is difficult for me. He will do all the “babysitting” for the new spiritual aspirants and I can do the preaching work … hahahaha. I was so relieved when he said that to me in this dream. He was laughing so much after our conversation. I really had to understand that he drives my chariot. Once at his Vyasa puja on earth in the past I told him in my offering-letter that I beg him to drive my chariot on the path of saranagati to the goal of prema bhakti. In Srimad Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna's friend Arjuna asked Sri Hari to drive his chariot. In our Vaisnava scriptures Sri Guru is considered as representative of Sri Hari. Now I realized that this situation and challenge with the children was a test. I immediately woke up from that dream and understood that this was not just a dream, but really happening, that my Srila Gurudeva was there for me 24/7 and that I do not have to worry about details in my service to him.
That he really drives my chariot, was such an ecstatic realization.
I am so thankful to him, that he comes in my dreams regularly, consoling me and removing all my worries. It is not painful any longer to think of my most difficult time as a lonely mother.
By the mercy of Srila Gurudeva all difficulties in service will be solved. I am 100 % sure, that my Srila Gurudeva is driving my chariot in a wonderful way, which I cannot understand yet.
I simply trust in his never ending mercy and expertise to help me. Srila Gurudeva also spoke through my Godbrother yesterday in his class and consoled me. His lecture and Harikatha was 100% blessing and spiritually most tasty nectar. I know that each and every word he said, was inspired by our beloved Srila Gurudeva.
All glories to the ropes of love in our wonderful
seva to Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnava in our Sankirtan mission,
guided and protected by our glorious Srila Gurudeva!!!
Lesson 3 – How to get proper association ?
Yasya yat-sangatih pumso manivat syat sa tad-gunah
Sva-kula-rddhyai tato dhiman sva-yuthan eva samsrayet
(Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 8.51/BRS 1.2.229)
“One’s heart is like a crystal and takes on the qualities
of those he/she associates with!”
Dear Devotees all over the World,
As the qualities of a nearby object are reflected in a crystal, one similarly takes on the qualities of a person with whom he/she associates. Therefore, a wise person should take shelter of those sadhus who are more advanced, affectionate, and have the same mood for which one aspires. Srila Narayana Maharaja as former famous Gaudiya Vaisnava explained in his purport of ‘Sri Slokamrtam Bindu’, the Sublime Nectar of Slokas:
“The purport of this verse is that the contamination of the heart cannot be eradicated by jnana, vairagya, yoga or tapasya. It is only by the influence of association with Vaisnavas who are free from all pride and upon receiving their mercy that the heart very easily becomes cleansed of all misgivings (anarthas)”.
Again we can see that topmost faith in the association of Rasika Vaisnavas (who are more advanced than oneself) and who are free from all pride is needed. In my previous lecture 2 I mentioned the importance of faith many times. Tattva jnana (knowledge of the prescribed holy scriptures and it’s rules and regulations) alone cannot bring us to para gati. We urgently need the association of those high class Rasika Vaisnavas. ‘Rasika’ Vaisnavi/va is a devotee who has full blooming and mature development of mellow, mood, feelings, sentiments of one’s particular intimate relationship with the Lord. When a sadhaka-bhakta obtains (paramarthika) the association of Rasika Vaisnavas, he/she very quickly obtains prema-bhakti and his material entanglement is easily dissipated. When I was 26 years old, in 1992 I first came to the holy dhama Vrindavana with a girlfriend of ISKCON. We went to Govindakunda near Radhakunda. One very old Babaji Maharaja invited us to his bhajan kutir (small hut of a saintly paramahamsa).
That Rasika Vaisnava gave prasadam and Tulasi manjari to us.
He gave me a copy of Ujjvala Nilamani of Srila Rupa Goswami.
For more than 1 hour he teached me in Rasa and Tattva.
I simply obeyed and took shelter of him, although I had no idea of pure Bhakti, Rasa or Tattva at this time. He gave me blessings and said that by the mercy of Srila Rupa Goswami I will be a maidservant of Srimati Radharani from now on. At that time I was following only Vaidhi bhakti, but I had full faith in the words of this great Saint at Govindakunda. After this Mahabhagavata darshan of that Rasika Devotee my whole life changed. I did not know what happened to me … I was so happy and although i was not very learned I could understand Bhakti rasamrita Sindhu slokas without explanation … I was reading Vaisnava literature day and night, without considering time or circumstances. It was a miracle, I could develop feelings for the damsels of Vraja and always at mangala arati, when I circumambulated the holy plant Tulasi Maharani in the Temple, I was in ecstasy when I was meditating of the kunjas in Vrindavana, Govardhanhill, Radhakunda and all Vaisnavas and Vaisnavis, who I met until then in my life. It was such a mercy, and I did not even know about that mystical kripa, that bhakti lata which I got from that Mahabhagavata at Govindakunda. I simply had 100 % faith that this Paramahamsa Vaisnava gave me entrance into the mood of a maidservant of the Supreme Goddess Sri Radhika. I prayed again for the association of a holy saint, so that I could take darshan again and get further spiritual advice, instructions, mercy and blessings.
In 1999 I met for the second time a Mahabhagavata in Berlin
at a Namahatta preaching program in the home of a
merciful Senior Vaisnava disciple of
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.
As soon as I bowed down and surrendered to the lotus feet of that very old Rasika Vaisnava Om Visnupada Paramahamsa Parivrajakacarya-varya Astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhakti Vaibhav Puri Goswami Maharaja, I surrendered my mind and heart to him. He looked into my heart and I was lost in longing for his eternal guidance and holy association. I could not resist … my heart was beating like mad. I was in household life and had my small baby in arms … kneeing before him as a beggar for mercy. I knew at this moment, that I had to follow all my duties as mother perfectly and at my free time I would cultivate anugata bhakti, following the rules, regulations and teachings of Rupanuga bhakti dhara. I got the book ‘The Divine Name” directly from the lotushand of this Rasika Mahabhagavata.
Later in 2003 in Vienna I got Harinama Initiation from him when
he was visiting the Radha Govinda Mandir there.
Our Srila Gurudeva was present with his vapu until March 2009. He was more merciful than an Ocean of love. I met him 4 times in Europe in the association of all devotees and once in 2007 in our Jagannath Puri Math. Each and every second of his holy association and in the association of my spiritual family was more valuable than life to me. Each and every word from my eternal Spiritual Master increased my Rupanuga Sadhana bhajan and Sankirtan spirit. Each year on his Appearance and Disappearance Day my Godbrothers and Godsisters are celebrating big harikatha festivals in great honor to our beloved eternal Spiritual Master. This year we are very much blessed with the holy association of his most advanced disciples, our Godbrothers in Puri who are giving Harikatha at online meeting to us daily.
That association of my spiritual family is most important and
most dear to me. All glories to the association
of first class Vaisnavas!
We remember together the glories of our beloved Srila Gurudeva and each and every word from these first class Vaisnavas is rasa for the ears of a Rasika Devotee. We can see the spiritual pastimes of Gurulila, Gauralila and Krishnalila inside our mind and heart during tasting the nectar of Harikatha. Together we are doing Harinama Sankirtan and Nagar Sankirtan on the streets ... spreading the glories of our Guru-Varga. By the mercy of the association of Vaisnavas who are more advanced than ourself, we very quickly can obtain the goal of Sadhana (sadhya). Together we are strong and when we are one in the holy spirit, we can advance very quickly in that loving association with pure devotees, who practice kevala bhakti. To obtain prema bhakti is our goal and we can only do this by kripa of Vaisnavas. We are all ‘kripa-anugas’. That we must remember each and every day of our life. That 100 % faith in the mercy of Vaisnavas who are the dear servants of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, is the most important item in our spiritual life. We must serve these Vaisnavas, who are spreading the Holy Names of the Lord - with mind, heart and practical seva as much as possible. That will bring us directly to the lotusfeet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and we can get the eternal service in the mood of the manjaris as servants of the servants of Guru manjari and Svamini Sri Radhika. That is our goal, since Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to distribute that Bhavollasa rati. That is the gift of Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s special mercy.
All glories to full faith in the association of Rasika Vaisnavas!
All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga!
Lektion 2 – Wie erreicht man die Perfektion ?
„Auch wenn man keinerlei spirituelle Praxis ausführt,
hat man die Perfektion erreicht,
sobald man beschließt, ganz Gott zu gehören.“
(Bhakti Sandarbha 304 – Srimad Jiva Goswami)
Ich poste meine Lektionen in aufsteigender Form und empfehle Euch, immer chronologisch vorzugehen, also bei Lektion 1 ganz unten auf der Seite zu beginnen, und gründlich über den Inhalt zu reflektieren, bevor Ihr zur nächsten fortlaufenden Lektion weitergeht. Ein Studium der Bhakti (liebevolle Hingabe) im Vorgang des Sadhana (Praxis des hingebungsvollen Dienstes) schließt immer Erfahrung und Verwirklichung mit ein. Was man liest und hört von der spirituellen Quelle, das lebt man auch in der Praxis als Gottegeweihte/r. Man liest und sieht gleichzeitig die Ausführung schon im Voraus. Das ganze Bild und das Verständnis eines Themas ergibt sich dann beim Üben und Praktizieren. Die erste Stufe im Sadhana ist das Vertrauen.
Nur wer starkes Vertrauen hat, kann Fortschritt machen!
Sraddha (Vertrauen) ist die wichtigste und erste Tugend auf dem spirituellen Pfad. Nur wenn Ihr echtes Vertrauen habt, lest Ihr meine Lektionen. Wenn Ihr kein Vertrauen habt, ist es nur verschwendete Zeit. Ihr wundert Euch wahrscheinlich, warum Jiva Goswami sagt, dass man die Perfektion schon erreicht hat, wenn man sich einfach nur dazu entschließt, Gott zu gehören. Es ist tatsächlich der schnellste Weg zu Gott, sich Gott hinzugeben und zu sagen, dass man Ihm gehört. Alle weiteren Schritte zur Perfektion folgen dann wie von selbst. Die höchste Persönlichkeit Gottes sitzt im Herzen und wartet nur darauf, dass wir uns an unsere Zugehörigkeit zu Ihm erinnern. Also wenn ich Euch jetzt daran erinnere, Vertrauen in Gott zu haben, dann ist das bereits die wichtigste Anweisung auf dem Weg zurück zu Gott. Alle Regeln und Regulierungen sind nur dazu gedacht, unseren Geist und unsere Sinne zu regulieren, damit wir uns besser an unsere ewige spirituelle Beziehung zu Gott erinnern können. Wenn wir unser Leben so gestalten, dass wir mit Dankbarkeit und Demut alle Geschenke Gottes empfangen, leben wir bereits im Herzen Gottes und werden gemäß unserer Hingabe die höchste Perfektion erreichen. Die höchste Perfektion ist die Liebe zu Gott (prema), welche das unumstößliche Vertrauen (sraddha) zu Gott als Grundlage hat.
Nur wenn man absolutes Vertrauen in Gott und
Seine Stellvertreter/Innen, welche Botschafter/Innen
Der Gottesliebe sind - hat, kann man alle
schlechten Gewohnheiten aufgeben und einen
höheren Geschmack entwickeln.
Ein Guru, Meister und Lehrer in der Schülernachfolge handelt wie ein Navigator, der uns die einzelnen Schritte zum Ziel zeigt und uns im spirituellen Wissen unterweist. Das Ziel ist Gott. Der Lehrer/die Lehrerin ist der/die Vermittler/In und betrachtet alle Menschen als Diener und Dienerinnen Gottes. Ein autorisierter Lehrer oder Meister wird Schüler nie als sein Eigentum betrachten, sondern ist stets unangehaftet, ohne ein materielles Motiv zu verfolgen, ohne den Wunsch nach Berühmtheit, Macht, Einfluss, Reichtum oder Prestige. Es gibt keinen Zwang und keine Gewalt beim Unterricht. Vedische Lehrer predigen den Vegetarismus (also Gewaltlosigkeit) nicht extra, denn Gottgeweihte, welche sich Gott zugehörig fühlen, verstehen von selbst, dass das gewaltsame Töten von unschuldigen Lebewesen das Todesbewusstsein unterstützt und nicht gottgewollt sein kann. Jemand der ernsthaft in Gottes Dienst steht und weiteren Fortschritt im Verständnis der Beziehung zu Gott machen will, wird anderen keine Gewalt und kein Leid zufügen. Das ist die Grundvoraussetzung für den weiteren Erfolg im Sadhana (im Vorgang der Praxis des hingebungsvollen Dienstes).
Srila Sanatana Goswami, eine unserer großen spirituellen Vorbilder und Autoritäten in der Schülernachfolge der Gaudiya Vaisnavas (Brahma Madhva Gaudiya sampradaya) hat ein Buch namens ‚Hari Bhakti Vilas’ geschrieben, welches alle wichtigen Regeln und Regulierungen in der Tempelverehrung enthält und auch das richtige Verhalten der Gottgeweihten untereinander beschreibt.
Wer sich inspiriert fühlt, kann mit Hilfe dieses Standard-Werkes für den hingebungsvollen Dienst sein Verhalten im Sadhana vervollkommnen. Im Buch ‚Nektar der Hingabe’ (Bhakti Rasamrta Sindhu) von Srila Rupa Goswami erfahren wir Details über die transzendentalen Spiele und Eigenschaften Gottes und Seiner ewigen Gefährten. Im Buch ‚Die Lehren Sri Chaitanyas’ erfahren wir wichtiges Grundlagen-Wissen über den ‚Goldenen Avatar’ – Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1532), welcher als verdeckte Inkarnation Gottes in Bengalen erschien, um die Sankirtana-Bewegung zum Chanten der Heiligen Namen Gottes einzuführen. Diese Sparte des Hinduismus ist monotheistisch. Seine Philosophie und praktischen Anweisungen für die Gottesverehrung vereinigen die Lehren aller 4 autorisierten Vaisnava-Autoritäten (Vaisnava-Acharyas: Sri Madhvacharya, Sri Ramanujacharya, Sri Vishnuswami und Sri Nimbarkacharya) im Hinduismus.
In vorchristlicher Zeit gab es im Hinduismus
eine monotheistische Richtung, deren berühmteste
Schrift die Bhagavad-Gita ist.
Die BG enthält offenbarte Worte Gottes (Krishnas) und erklärt, dass Bhakti, also hingebungsvoller Dienst und Liebe zu Gott das Ziel aller Formen von Religion ist. Im 16. Jahrhundert erlebte die Krishna-Religion durch die Inkarnation Gottes, den Heiligen Chaitanya Mahaprabhu eine Renaissance, welche den Hinduismus nachhaltig beeinflusste - da sich seine Lehren in Indien gegen das diskriminierende Kastensystem wandte. Mahaprabhu lehrte, dass echtes Gottesbewusstsein nicht von sozialer, religiöser oder nationaler Zugehörigkeit abhängig ist, und führte das gemeinsame Singen der Heiligen Namen Gottes ein, um allen Menschen den Vorgang der Selbsterkenntnis und Gotteserkenntnis zugänglich zu machen. In der Nachfolge der Chaitanya-Tradition reiste 1965 der indische Mönch A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada nach Amerika, um die Krishna-Religion den Menschen im Westen näher zu bringen. Es beteiligten sich im Laufe der Jahrzehnte auch andere Mönche der Gaudiya Vaishnava-Tradition an der Prediger-Mission zu deren weltweiten Verbreitung. Unsere Gaudiya Vaishnava-Tradition zählt heute über mehr als 30 religiöse Organisationen weltweit, welche sich zur VVRS-WVA (Visva-Vaisnav_Raj-Sabha-World-Vaisnava-Association) zusammengeschlossen haben.
Spiritualisten trennen in ihrem Sadhana die kulturelle Praxis,
die religiöse Praxis und die spirituelle Praxis von einander.
Solange wir Praktizierende im Gottesbewusstsein uns in den 3 Erscheinungsweisen der materiellen Natur: Tamaguna (Unwissenheit), Rajaguna (Leidenschaft) und Sattvaguna (Tugend) befinden, praktizieren wir Vaidhi-Bhakti (Dienst mit Regeln und Regulierungen, laut der Anweisungen der autorisierten Bhakti-Schriften) gemäß den kulturellen und religiösen Regeln in der Verehrung Gottes in unseren Kirchen und Tempeln. Auf einer sehr fortgeschrittenen Ebene im Krishna-Bewusstsein (wenn wir eine transzendentale Begierde und sukriti, viele gute Handlungen in früheren Leben getätigt haben) praktizieren wir Rupanuga-Bhakti (spontanen, reinen, bedingungslosen hingebungsvollen Dienst, frei von Angst, frei von einschränkenden Regeln und Regulierungen der Veden, und folgen wir einer der vertraulichen Gemütsstimmungen - als Nachfolger/Innen der ewigen Gefährtinnen im heiligen Land Vrindavana). Sowohl im Vaidhi-Bhakti-Vorgang als auch im Rupanuga-Bhakti-Vorgang praktizieren wir das Chanten (Rezitieren und Singen) der Heiligen Namen Gottes als primäre Form der Hingabe zur Läuterung und Reinigung und späteren Erlangung der Gottesliebe. Wir wissen um die Ursachen von Karma (Ursache und Wirkung von Handlungen), Gewaltlosigkeit (ahimsa) des Vegetarismus, Verehrung der Bildgestalten (Sri Vigraha) und die Beziehung zwischen Spirituellem Meister und Schüler (guru-sishya). Eingeweihte Mitglieder halten sich vom Glücksspiel fern, betreiben keine außereheliche Sexualität, berauschen sich nicht und essen kein Fleisch. Auf diese Art und Weise praktizieren wir unseren Glauben. Diese Lehren der großen Meister in unserer Vaisnava-Tradition sind nicht sektiererisch und sie sind überkonfessionell, denn sie sind nicht auf eine historische Religion beschränkt.
Der Vaisnavismus beinhaltet das essentielle
und universale Prinzip aller Religionen.
Es gibt nur einen Gott für alle Menschen, und dieser hat viele Namen. Das Prinzip des wesensgemäßen Dienstes zu Gott heißt Sanatana Dharma, welches die natürliche und ewige Aktivität, nämlich die ewige liebende Hingabe im Dienst zur Höchsten Persönlichkeit Gottes beschreibt. Sobald ein(e) Gottgeweihte(r) (Sadhaka) die Perfektion im Dienst zu Gott erreicht, befindet er/sie sich auf der spirituellen Ebene in der Beziehung zu Gott. Sobald ein Lebewesen befreit ist von den 3 Erscheinungsweisen der materiellen Natur, ist sein Dienst spirituell, also ewig und befindet sich auf der Ebene der spirituellen Tugend (visuddha sattva). Die materielle Tugend, welche wir beim Praktizieren unserer kulturellen und religiösen Aktivitäten fördern, ist die Vorstufe zur spirituellen Tugend, welche uns zurück nach Hause zu Gott bringt. Wir entwickeln auf der Ebene von visuddha sattva unseren Spirituellen Körper (siddha deha) und praktizieren sowohl in unserem grobstofflichen Körper (sadhana deha) als auch im Geist und Herzen mit unserem spirituellen Körper. Nach außen hin halten wir alle Regeln und Regulierungen der offenbarten Schriften ein und führen ein normales Leben. Wir verbergen aber unsere intime liebevolle Beziehung zu Gott, als auch unsere Gefühle und Stimmungen unserer Gottesverwirklichung im Inneren. Der Pfad der Hingabe wird im Bhakti Sandharba Anuccheda 339 von Srila Jiva Goswami folgendermaßen skizziert:
„Sollte jemand durch die Gnade seines Gurus oder die Gnade des Herrn etwas von dieser vertraulichen Wahrheit hinsichtlich der Praxis oder des Ziels der Hingabe verwirklichen, so dass es ganz und gar zu seinem Leben geworden ist, dann darf diese Verwirklichung niemandem anvertraut werden.“
Die Gnade des Gurus heißt kripa und ist sehr häufig zu finden. Die Gnade direkt von Gott zu erhalten, ist sehr selten. Wir werden vor allem durch die Gnade des Gurus zu kripa-siddhas, also ewig befreite Seelen in einer persönlichen Beziehung zu Gott. Wie ich in meiner Lektion 1 bereits erwähnt habe, gibt es 5 verschiedene persönliche Beziehungen zu Gott. Jemand der unpersönlich ist und keine persönliche Beziehung zu Gott aufnehmen will, bleibt im materiellen Dasein gefangen und kann sich spirituell nicht weiterentwickeln. Am schnellsten kommen wir zum Ziel, wenn wir die Gnade (kripa) eines reinen Bhagavata’s, eines Mahatma’s (einer großen selbstverwirklichten Seele auf der spirituellen Stufe der Vollkommenheit) erhalten. Wenn wir durch diese kripa reine spontane Liebe zu Gott erlangen, sind wir die am meist begünstigten Lebewesen im Universum. Nichts ist wertvoller oder erstrebenswerter als kripa. Sogar ohne qualifiziert zu sein, erlangen wir durch die kripa des spirituellen Meisters die Perfektion und können bei Ernsthaftigkeit die höchste spirituelle Verwirklichung und reine prema (reine Liebe zu Gott) erlangen. Wer diese kripa nicht bekommt, muss für unvorstellbar lange Zeit in der materiellen Welt herumirren; und auch Millionen von Leben von hingebungsvoller Praxis nach den Regeln und Regulierungen der offenbarten Schriften führen nicht zum Ziel, wenn man nur trockenes Wissen (jnana) ansammelt. Wissen alleine, ohne Bhakti und Hingabe zum spirituellen Meister sind vergeblich. Wenn wir durch diese kripa dann vertrauliches Wissen und echte spirituelle Verwirklichung vom Guru bekommen, sollten wir aber vorsichtig sein, damit wir es nicht wieder verlieren. Im heiligen vedischen Werk Srimad Bhagavatam (SB. 8.17.20) (wird auch das große Purana, oder die Paramahansa-Samhita genannt) unterwies Sri Visnu Aditi Devi, wie folgt:
„O Göttin, selbst wenn du darum gebeten wirst, solltest du diese Angelegenheit niemandem offenbaren. Alles, was sogar vor den Göttern ein Geheimnis ist, trägt nur dann Früchte, wenn es in richtiger Weise im Verborgenen gehalten worden ist.“
Vaisnavas sind ernst und halten ihre Gefühle im Verborgenen. Wenn sie aber um Hilfe und Unterweisung gebeten werden, verhalten sie sich wie transzendentale Wunscherfüllungs-Bäume (kalpa vriksa’s), die reichlich himmlische, göttliche Früchte tragen. Sie segnen ihre Nachfolger mit ihrer heiligen Gemeinschaft und mit Harikatha (Gespräche über die transzendentalen Spiele und Manifestationen Gottes). Wer es versteht, dieses heilige Wissen der Weisen und vedischen Heiligen über die Wissenschaft der Gottesverwirklichung wertzuschätzen, der wird reichlich mit Nektar von den Früchten dieses Vorganges der Bhakti belohnt, wenn er/sie in demütiger Art und Weise Fragen stellt. So wie man Milch von einer Kuh melkt, wird man einen Ozean an transzendentalem Nektar an Wissen und Verwirklichung bekommen, wenn man sich an die richtige Quelle wendet. Guru (heiliger spiritueller Meister), Sadhu (die Weisen und vedischen Lehrer) und Shastra (heilige Schrift) sind eine Quelle der Inspiration und Führung auf dem Pfad der Hingabe. Svarupa siddhi (Erlangung der persönlichen spirituellen Form des spirituellen Körpers - auch siddha deha genannt) ist das Ziel aller Praxis. Nur mit spirituellen Augen und spirituellen Sinnen des spirituellen Körpers auf der spirituellen Ebene kann man dem Höchsten Herrn ewiglich dienen. Wie erreicht man dieses Ziel? In der Bhagavad Gita im 10. Kapitel, Vers 10. wird das vom höchsten Herrn Sri Krishna, persönlich erklärt:
„Diejenigen, welche Mir ständig hingegeben sind und Mir mit Liebe dienen,
gebe Ich das Verständnis, durch das sie zu Mir gelangen können.“
Besonders ganz am Anfang unserer Reise nach Hause ist es wichtig, zu wissen wohin man will. Gott offenbart sich uns in einer persönlichen menschlichen Form, in einer der 5 Beziehungen, welche wir anstreben. Und das Schöne daran ist, dass Er uns auch noch das Verständnis gibt, durch das wir zu Ihm gelangen können. In der Erläuterung des letzten Verses im 18. Kapitel der Bhagavad Gita heißt es, dass wir bei der Freuden-spendenden Energie Gottes (hladini sakti) Zuflucht suchen sollen. Diese hladini sakti - ‚The pleasure giving potency’ – ist die göttlich weibliche Freudenenergie Gottes, also Seine ewige Gefährtin Srimati Radharani. Gott existiert nicht alleine in Seinem ursprünglichen Reich, sondern ist untrennbar mit Seiner göttlichen Geliebten und unzähligen vertrauten Geweihten zusammen. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu ist die Inkarnation von Sri Sri Radha Krishna, vereint in einer Person, also Gott und die Göttin zugleich. Das ist das große Geheimnis dieser verdeckten Inkarnation. Er kostet als Meister-Diener von Radha Krishna die verschiedenen vertraulichen Geschmäcker der Gottesliebe (rasas). Und gleichzeitig ist Er die Gnadeninkarnation, welche uns die Heiligen Namen Gottes durch die Sankirtan-Bewegung schenkt, damit wir direkte Gemeinschaft mit Gott haben können – denn die Heiligen Namen Gottes sind nicht verschieden von der höchsten Persönlichkeit Gottes, Radha Krishna, dem göttlichen Paar. Wir bitten um hingebungsvollen Dienst und um die Verwirklichung unserer ewigen spirituellen Beziehung zu Radha Krishna. Sie sind das Ziel unserer Reise. Deshalb sind wir hier auf der Erde inkarniert, um gemeinsam die Sankirtana Bewegung von Lord Chaitanya zu verbreiten und im Ozean der Gottesliebe zu schwimmen. Die göttliche Gnade erhalten wir auch in Form von geweihter Nahrung (prasadam), welche wir den Bildgestalten von Radha Krishna opfern, welche uns läutert und reinigt und unseren Geschmack für die materielle Welt verblassen lässt. Langsam aber sicher schreiten wir auf dem Weg der Bhakti voran - und durch die Gnade der spirituellen Gemeinschaft erhalten wir Einlass ins gelobte ewige Gottesreich.
Blockieren tun wir uns nur selbst, wenn wir an der blumigen Sprache der Veden und der Philosophie hängen bleiben und nur Wissen und Informationen sammeln, anstatt mit Liebe und Hingabe den Gemütsstimmungen der reinen Geweihten zu folgen.
Ganz zu Anfang ist es schon wichtig, seine Gefühle und Dankbarkeit für die Geweihten des Herrn zu entwickeln. Durch sie erlangen wir das größte Gottesgeschenk auf Erden. Machen wir keine Vergehen, sondern gehen wir mit Achtsamkeit vor, damit wir nicht gebremst werden in unserer täglichen Praxis des Bhakti-Yoga-Vorganges. Yoga heißt Verbindung. Verbindung mit Radha Krishna ist das Ziel. Lesen wir die heiligen Schriften und stellen wir Fragen. In meinen folgenden Lektionen gehe ich auf den Vorgang der Entwicklung der persönlichen Gemütsstimmungen in einer persönlichen Beziehung zu Gott näher ein. Bitte bedenkt bei all Euren Bemühungen, dass auch unvorteilhafte Umstände in dieser schwierigen Zeit unseren Dienst und die Bhakti nicht aufhalten können. Unvorteilhaftes verwandelt sich in Vorteilhaftes, wenn wir bereit sind, den Preis zu bezahlen und Opfer zu bringen. Schwierige Umstände können uns dabei helfen, schneller Fortschritt im Verständnis und bei der spirituellen Verwirklichung zu machen. Im Prinzip sind alle Umstände vorteilhaft, wenn man sich Gott hingibt und Vertrauen zu Bhakti-Devi (der Mutter der Hingabe) hat. Die Freuden-spendende Energie macht sich in unserem Leben bemerkbar, wenn wir die Segnungen der ursprünglichen Mutter-Göttin Radha erhalten, welche sich persönlich um uns kümmert und uns zeigt, wo es langgeht. Bedingungsloser hingebungsvoller Dienst (kevala bhakti) zu Ehren der höchsten Geweihten des Herrn ist ein strahlendes Privileg und der einzige Weg, um das vertraulichste Wissen (divya-jnana) im Krishna-Bewusstsein zu erlangen. Durch die Gnade der Meister erhalten wir die Gnade von Prema-Bhakti. Durch die Barmherzigkeit der göttlichen Mutter Radharani, welche uns prema bhakti schenkt und uns einen spirituellen Körper (siddha deha) gibt, erlangen wir das letztendliche Ziel (para-gati). Der spirituelle Meister ist der Freund aller gefallenen Seelen und ein Ozean der Barmherzigkeit. Er/sie ist der Stellvertreter von der personifizierten Freuden-Energie hladini sakti. Dort müssen wir Zuflucht suchen und um Dienst bitten. JAY SRI RADHE!!!
Alle Ehre sei Sri Guru und Gauranga!!!
Lektion 1 -Was ist Bhakti ?
Bhakti bedeutet hingebungsvollen Dienst für den Herrn,
frei von dem Wunsch nach materiellem Gewinn,
sowohl in diesem als auch im nächsten Leben.
Frei von solchen Neigungen sollte man seinen Geist
völlig in den Höchsten versenken.
Nicht nur in der Fastenzeit vor Ostern ist es sinnvoll, sich so oft wie möglich zurückzuziehen und seinen Geist völlig in den Höchsten zu versenken. Ich hatte jetzt einige Tage meine Webseite offline gestellt und über die letzten 5 Jahre meiner spirituellen Wegbegleitung nachgesinnt. Daraufhin habe ich sämtliche Seiten gelöscht und nur diesen einen Blog belassen. Es geht uns Freunden der Wahrheit nicht um eine unüberschaubare Fülle von Artikeln und Botschaften, sondern rein um die spirituelle Essenz. Die spirituelle Essenz aller Nachrichten und Botschaften ist die Inspiration an alle Leser/Innen, sich Gedanken über den hingebungsvollen Dienst für den höchsten Herrn zu machen, frei von dem Wunsch nach materiellem Gewinn, um dann seinen Geist völlig in den Höchsten zu versenken.
Erst wenn man sich bewusst von allen Ablenkungen
Der materiellen Welt befreit und Frieden im Geist findet,
kann man über seine Beziehung zum Höchsten meditieren.
Sobald man sich für den hingebungsvollen Dienst entscheidet, beginnt die direkte Beziehung zum Höchsten. Dies ist ein sehr umfangreiches Thema, doch zusammenfassend sagen die anerkannten spirituellen Autoritäten der Vedischen Schriften (Veda heißt Wissen), dass eine Gottgeweihte/ein Gottgeweihter eine der fünf Arten von Beziehungen zur höchsten Persönlichkeit Gottes haben kann.
Der/die Gottgeweihte kann eine passive, neutrale Beziehung haben.
Er/sie kann eine aktive Beziehung als Diener/In haben,
eine Beziehung als Freund haben,
eine elterliche Beziehung haben,
oder eine Beziehung als Geliebte haben.
In der Einfachheit liegt der Schlüssel zum Erfolg jeglicher Erkenntnis. Machen wir es nicht so kompliziert, vergessen wir die unpersönlichen philosophischen Richtungen und unüberschaubaren Füllen an Lehren der verschiedenen spirituellen Schulen - und konzentrieren wir uns mehr auf den persönlichen Aspekt des Höchsten, das Wesentliche und auf die wichtigsten Themen des Lebens, die in allen Glaubensrichtungen vorrangig sind. Wir leben in einer hoch komplexen und bedrohlichen Welt - und jeder ernsthafte Mensch fragt sich, was der Sinn seines Lebens ist, woher er/sie kommt, was zu tun ist und wohin die Reise gehen soll. Wenn man in den Veden nachforscht, kommt man zu dem Schluss, dass die Erde eine besondere Bedeutung hat unter den Milliarden von Galaxien, wo jede Galaxie Milliarden von Sternen hat. Wir gehen nicht verloren auf der spirituellen Reise in diesem riesigen Universum, sondern streben immer höher und höher in unserer geistigen Evolution. Die Erde als unser Heimatplanet gibt uns die Chance, hier Fortschritt zu machen. Gott hat zu allen Zeiten seit Beginn dieser Welt seine heiligen Stellvertreter/Innen auf die Erde gesandt, um uns Wissen zu geben, damit wir aus der materiellen Knechtschaft befreit werden können und als seine ewigen Diener und Dienerinnen nach Hause zu Gott zurückkehren können. Die Erde ist sozusagen die spirituelle Drehscheibe und der zentrale Ausgangspunkt, wo wir zum Ursprung alles Lebens, zu Gott zurückkehren können. Jesus sagte:
„Das Licht kam in die Welt, doch die Menschen liebten die
Finsternis mehr als das Licht, denn ihre Taten waren böse.“
Gott hat Jesus Christus und alle weiteren spirituellen Meister in die Welt gesandt, um uns vor dem Bösen und dem großen Unglück des Vergessens unserer ewigen Stellung als Diener und Dienerinnen des Höchsten, zu bewahren. Dazu hat Gott seine Stellvertreter/Innen in die Welt gesandt, damit wir uns an unseren Ursprung erinnern und nicht verloren gehen, sondern ewiges Leben haben, auch über den Tod hinaus. Das zeigt doch, wie wichtig wir Gott sind. Gott will diese Welt nicht zugrunde gehen lassen, er will sie retten. Mystiker und Seher, welche in den kosmischen Weltenplan eingeweiht sind, sagen, es gäbe ein Zeitfenster bis 2036, wo wir Zeit haben, uns zu läutern und es möglich ist, noch umzukehren, um einen Untergang der Menschheit noch rechtzeitig abzuwenden. Wir selbst sind es ja, welche die Lebenswelt durch falsches Handeln und Unterstützen der Dunkelheit, bedrohen. Lassen wir uns deshalb rechtzeitig von Gott zur Besinnung bringen und zur Umkehr bewegen. In dieser Zeit der Aufarbeitung und Rückbesinnung lasst uns gemeinsam über die Spiele des höchsten Herrn reflektieren, die glorreichen Taten des Herrn lobpreisen und uns gegenseitig spirituell aufbauen.
Als persönlichen Beitrag möchte ich hier auf
meinem Blog spirituelle Inspirationen beisteuern.
In den letzten fünf Jahren meiner Schreibtätigkeit für Euch als Spirituelle Wegbegleiterin habe ich viele Themen aufgegriffen und Euch viele Ratschläge gegeben. Es ist jetzt an der Zeit, dass Ihr selbst aktiv werdet und endlich wesentliche spirituelle Fragen stellt. Ich kann euch dabei helfen, herauszufinden, was Eure spirituelle Aufgabe ist und in welcher Beziehung Ihr zum Höchsten steht. Es gilt dabei, keine Zeit zu verlieren. Smalltalk kann uns nicht helfen, den angesammelten Staub von gutem und schlechtem Karma (von unzähligen durchlebten Inkarnationen) wegzufegen. Erst wenn wir es schaffen, mit unserer Vergangenheit völlig abzuschließen, sich selbst und allen Lebewesen, mit denen wir jemals in Kontakt waren, zu verzeihen, sind wir frei und verursachen kein neues Karma mehr; denn gutes sowie schlechtes Karma bindet die Lebewesen an diese materielle Welt. Sobald wir rein gewaschen sind von Altlasten, beginnt der hingebungsvolle Dienst. Es gibt hierfür einen Vorgang der Reinigung, der Sadhana heißt. Durch Praxis und Schulung im hingebungsvollen Dienst werden wir geläutert und unsere Sinne gereinigt, damit wir einen höheren transzendentalen Geschmack bekommen und unsere Beziehung zum höchsten Herrn wieder auskosten und leben können. Meine folgenden Artikel werden sich mit diesem Thema der Rückkehr zum Ursprung befassen. Einstweilen wünsche ich Euch Erfolg und gutes Gelingen beim Selbstfindungs-Prozess!
Sieg dem Licht!