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17 October 2021 | Disappearance Day of Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami

LVwaYCY8XCf7i9V2sVoIFBDW1h6KtU33lM3nCcj71GQMaXYHEHBQ5DC0j-hk1g8mEN-bgerCYZtLTm2DZEF21iw41jx_auMA2n_Dnml-LiofpmW-gjmkQxe4TXpc03E_mVleBaM=s0-d-e1-ft#<a href=https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/8082417853?profile=RESIZE_400x" alt="" />Raghunatha Dasa Goswami , one of the six Goswamis, at a young age renounced his beautiful wife and opulent home to join Lord Caitanya and His sankirtana movement.


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17 October 2021 | Disappearance Day of Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami
 
pudvbYrodyHnJegtdPgkuSEudg2gdhzQrhYi8_Z3LUzHpRTWMeqkCdjOODTaWmj5auCHIVLmZe9YF54OIftd6ugmE6_1Oyi0eRNLHmeT3fhGmuFcNUnD2xyuoj6m8ghX1KJWylY=s0-d-e1-ft#<a href=https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/8082419686?profile=RESIZE_400x" alt="" />Raghunatha Bhatta Goswami, one of the six Goswamis of Vrndavana, was ordered by Lord Caitanya to go to Vrndavana and there constantly chant the Hare Krsna mantra.
 
 
 
 
 
 

17 October 2021 | Disappearance Day of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami
 
Krishna Dasa Kaviraja Goswami was the author of the Chaitanya Charitamrita, a biography on the life of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Holy Name

By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

My heart is like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my internal mental condition. The desire for temporary, material things cannot satisfy me because by nature they are death producing. And not one or two, but thousands of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subconscious region is always burning. This is my condition. But somehow, by the grace of sadhu and my guru, the holy name of Krishna with its infinite prospect has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart. And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it touched my heart with a new kind of nectar.

New hope is aroused by that sound. Then by force it comes from the heart toward the tongue. Not by the endeavor of my tongue I am producing that sound. What came from the heart of a saint through my ear, entered my heart, and that forcibly appeared on my tongue, and began to dance.

That is the holy name proper. It descends from above. The material tongue cannot produce it. Its source is above. And through an agent of the absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gather some sympathy, then the holy name of Krishna forcibly appears upon the tongue and begins to dance. With great force that sweet sound comes to the tip of the tongue, and began to dance.

The real effects of the divine name have been described here. If it is a real living name the voice will be choked up. There will be shivering in the body, the legs will be unable to stand, and sometimes tears will flow in a current on the body. One’s hair will stand on end, and sometimes the body will change color. The material mind and consciousness will fade away, and we may fall in a swoon. The whole body and mind will appear as if it is being attacked, shivering, and influenced in many ways.

Apparently it may seem that so many troubles are created in the body and mind, but the real heart is overflowing with a particular kind of strange, sweet juice. Sometimes the devotee thinks, “I am swimming in an ocean of nectar. My whole existence is submerged in an ocean of nectarean rasa. I am beside myself and cannot understand where I am. What is this? What is surrounding me? Am I going mad? Where is my past experience, my seriousness, my gravity… where are they?

I have been completely converted by a foreign element. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is so affectionate to me. I cannot ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I have entered this great, unknown environment. And at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been captured and controlled by an especially sweet force. It is beyond description. I came to take shelter of Him and accept Him as my guardian. But now at his hands, I am being dealt with in such a merciless and oppressive way.

Still, I feel everything is very pleasing beyond my experience. I cannot resist anymore. I am fully captured. So let my faith go anywhere because I cannot escape. I am captive in the hand of a sweet loving friend. All my independence is gone, and I have no other choice but surrender.

I find that He is an autocrat. He does whatever He wants. Since it is not possible for me to resist, I must surrender. No, I will cooperate and do whatever He wants. Meanwhile, I find that the holy name is like a blossoming flower emanating wonderful sweets streams. The holy name contains so many sweet variegated forms of current within Him. In different ways He is expressing Himself. Sometimes He shows a peculiar type of color and form, and then disappears.

So many charming aspects are revealed within, as He forces me to surrender at the base of that altar. He shows Himself in a full-fledged form as He leads to vrindavana to witness His vraja-lila with Radha. I find Myself in the midst of His uniquely sweet and loving abode. He says, “You see! I have so many wonderful things and this is your home. I am not imagination but concrete reality. You will find that this environment is very sweet and favorable, and you should live here.”

I see that He is exchanging a variety of loving rasas with His many devotees. And I find that a spiritual body has emerged from my previous one, and that I have a permanent place here in His service. Such a new life I find here that all considerations of my past life and experience has vanished. What He says is true; my real life is here, and my previous material life was a waste.”

Now I find that chanting the holy name gives me a new hope, a new prospect, and new encouragement. The name supplies whatever we want. All our internal hankerings will be fulfilled if we chant the name. The holy name is eternal, full of ecstasy, and it is the purest of the pure.

I find I have been completely converted, and now my innermost hankering is this: Let whatever is against this sweet name vanish forever from the world. Everyone should come here. I am ready to sacrifice my life to finish any opposition, so that everyone can easily, peacefully, and fearlessly enjoy this absolute, sweet and blissful life.

(From Sharanagati)

Source : http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85663

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Today is the auspicious disappearance day of three great acharyas in the Gaudiya-Vaishnava sampradaya: Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami, and Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami. We shall read about Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami from Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta.

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Chapter Thirteen: “Pastimes with Jagadananda Pandita and Raghunatha Bhatta.”

TEXT 89

etha tapana-misra-putra raghunatha-bhattacarya
prabhure dekhite calila chadi’ sarva karya

TRANSLATION

During this time, Raghunatha Bhattacarya, the son of Tapana Misra, gave up all his duties and left home, intending to meet Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 90

kasi haite calila tenho gauda-patha diya
sange sevaka cale tanra jhali vahiya

TRANSLATION

Accompanied by a servant carrying his baggage, Raghunatha Bhatta started from Varanasi and traveled along the path leading through Bengal.

TEXT 91

pathe tare milila visvasa-ramadasa
visvasa-khanara kayastha tenho rajara visvasa

TRANSLATION

In Bengal he met Ramadasa Visvasa, who belonged to the kayastha caste. He was one of the king’s secretaries.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The words visvasa-khanara kayastha indicate a secretary or clerk belonging to the kayastha caste. Kayasthas were usually secretaries to kings, governors, or other important persons. It is said that anyone working in the government secretariat at this time was a kayastha.

TEXT 92

sarva-sastre pravina, kavya-prakasa-adhyapaka
parama-vaisnava, raghunatha-upasaka

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa Visvasa was very learned in all the revealed scriptures. He was a teacher of the famous book Kavya-prakasa and was known as an advanced devotee and worshiper of Raghunatha [Lord Ramacandra].

PURPORT

Commenting on the word parama-vaisnava, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura says that anyone who desires to merge into the existence of the Lord cannot be a pure Vaisnava, but because Ramadasa Visvasa was a great devotee of Lord Ramacandra, he was almost a Vaisnava. In those days, no one could distinguish between a pure Vaisnava and a pseudo Vaisnava. Therefore Ramadasa Visvasa was known as a Vaisnava because he worshiped Lord Ramacandra.

TEXT 93

asta-prahara rama-namajapena ratri-dine
sarva tyaji’ calila jagannatha-darasane

TRANSLATION

Ramadasa had renounced everything and was going to see Lord Jagannatha. While traveling, he chanted the holy name of Lord Rama twenty-four hours a day.

TEXTS 94–102

When he met Raghunatha Bhatta on the way, he took Raghunatha’s baggage on his head and carried it.

Ramadasa served Raghunatha Bhatta in various ways, even massaging his legs. Raghunatha Bhatta felt some hesitation in accepting all this service.

“You are a respectable gentleman, a learned scholar, and a great devotee,” Raghunatha Bhatta said. “Please do not try to serve me. Just come with me in a happy mood.”

Ramadasa replied, “I am a sudra, a fallen soul. To serve a brahmana is my duty and religious principle.

“Therefore please do not be hesitant. I am your servant, and when I serve you my heart becomes jubilant.”

Thus Ramadasa carried the baggage of Raghunatha Bhatta and served him sincerely. He constantly chanted the holy name of Lord Ramacandra day and night.

Traveling in this way, Raghunatha Bhatta soon arrived at Jagannatha Puri. There he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu with great delight and fell at His lotus feet.

Raghunatha Bhatta fell straight as a rod at the lotus feet of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Then the Lord embraced him, knowing well who he was.

Raghunatha offered respectful obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on behalf of Tapana Misra and Candrasekhara, and the Lord also inquired about them.

TEXT 103

“bhala ha-ila aila, dekha ‘kamala-locana’
aji amara etha kariba prasada bhojana”

TRANSLATION

“It is very good that you have come here,” the Lord said. “Now go see the lotus-eyed Lord Jagannatha. Today you will accept prasada here at My place.”

TEXTS 104–111

The Lord asked Govinda to arrange for Raghunatha Bhatta’s accommodations and then introduced him to all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara Gosvami.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta lived with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu continuously for eight months, and by the Lord’s mercy he felt increased transcendental happiness every day.

He would periodically cook rice with various vegetables and invite Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to his home.

Raghunatha Bhatta was an expert cook. Whatever he prepared tasted just like nectar.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would accept with great satisfaction all the food he prepared. After the Lord was satisfied, Raghunatha Bhatta would eat His remnants.

When Ramadasa Visvasa met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord did not show him any special mercy, although this was their first meeting.

Within his heart, Ramadasa Visvasa was an impersonalist who desired to merge into the existence of the Lord, and he was very proud of his learning. Since Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the omniscient Supreme Personality of Godhead, He can understand the heart of everyone, and thus He knew all these things.

Ramadasa Visvasa then took up residence in Jagannatha Puri and taught the Kavya-prakasa to the Pattanayaka family [the descendants of Bhavananda Raya].

TEXT 112

asta-masa rahi’ prabhu bhatte vidaya dila
“vivaha na kariha” bali’ nisedha karila

TRANSLATION

After eight months, when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu bade farewell to Raghunatha Bhatta, the Lord flatly forbade him to marry. “Do not marry,” the Lord said.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhattacarya had become a greatly advanced devotee while still unmarried. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu could see this, and therefore He advised him not to begin the process of material sense gratification. Marriage is a concession for people who are unable to control their senses. Raghunatha, however, being an advanced devotee of Krsna, naturally had no desire for sense gratification. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu advised him not to enter the bondage of marriage. Generally a person cannot make much advancement in spiritual consciousness if he is married. He becomes attached to his family and is prone to sense gratification. Thus his spiritual advancement is very slow or almost nil.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

I once had the good fortune to receive a similar instruction from Srila Prabhupada. We were in Gorakhpur, and Prabhupada had received the latest issue of Back to Godhead, with an article I had written in Boston before I went to India—“The Genuine Spiritual Master.” He was pleased with the article and asked to see me. I was still quite young in Krishna consciousness, and Srila Prabhupada didn’t generally call for me. He said, “I have read your article, and it was very nice. You should write.” And he invited me to travel with him so he could train me how to write. Then he asked, “Do you ever think of getting married?” I said no. “Better to remain brahmachari,” he said, “and after some time I will give you sannyasa.” He said that the demands of the senses are like itches and that if you scratch the itches, the itching will get worse. It is better to tolerate the itches, and if you tolerate, gradually the itching will subside. The demands for eating and sleeping too—all of them—if we indulge them they become aggravated. But if we tolerate them, they gradually subside.

TEXT 113

“vrddha mata-pitara yai’ karaha sevana
vaisnava-pasa bhagavata kara adhyayana”

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said to Raghunatha Bhatta, “When you return home, serve your aged father and mother, who are devotees, and try to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a pure Vaisnava who has realized God.”

PURPORT

One should note how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, advised Raghunatha Bhattacarya to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam. He advised him to understand Srimad-Bhagavatam not from professional men but from a real bhagavata, a devotee. He also advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve his mother and father because they were both Lord Caitanya’s devotees. Anyone who wishes to advance in Krsna consciousness must try to serve the devotees of Krsna. As Narottama dasa Thakura says, chadiya vaisnava-seva nistara peyeche keba: “Without serving a self-realized Vaisnava, no one has ever been released from the materialistic way of life.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to serve ordinary parents, but since his parents were Vaisnavas, the Lord advised him to serve them.

One might ask, “Why shouldn’t ordinary parents be served?” As stated in Srimad-Bhagavatam (5.5.18):

gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat
pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat
daivam na tat syat na patis ca sa syan
na mocayed yah samupeta-mrtyum

“One who cannot deliver his dependents from the path of birth and death should never become a spiritual master, a relative, a father or mother, or a worshipable demigod, nor should such a person become a husband.” Everyone naturally gets a father and mother at the time of birth, but the real father and mother are those who can release their offspring from the clutches of imminent death. This is possible only for parents advanced in Krsna consciousness. Therefore any parents who cannot enlighten their offspring in Krsna consciousness cannot be accepted as a real father and mother. The following verse from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.200) confirms the uselessness of serving ordinary parents:

laukiki vaidiki vapi ya kriya kriyate mune
hari-sevanukulaiva sakarya bhaktim icchata

“One should perform only those activities—either worldly or prescribed by Vedic rules and regulations—which are favorable for the cultivation of Krsna consciousness.”

Concerning the study of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu clearly advises that one avoid hearing from a non-Vaisnava professional reciter. In this connection Sanatana Gosvami quotes a verse from the Padma Purana:

avaisnava-mukhodgirnam
putam hari-kathamrtam
sravanam naiva kartavyam
sarpocchistam yatha payah

“No one should hear or take lessons from a person who is not a Vaisnava. Even if he speaks about Krsna, such a lesson should not be accepted, for it is like milk touched by the lips of a serpent.” Nowadays it is fashionable to observe Bhagavata-saptaha and hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from persons who are anything but advanced devotees or self-realized souls. There are even many Mayavadis who read Srimad-Bhagavatam to throngs of people. Many Mayavadis have recently begun reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in Vrndavana, and because they can present the Bhagavatam with word jugglery, twisting the meaning by grammatical tricks, materialistic persons who go to Vrndavana as a matter of spiritual fashion like to hear them. All this is clearly forbidden by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We should note carefully that since these Mayavadis cannot personally know the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam, they can never deliver others by reciting it. On the other hand, an advanced devotee of the Lord is free from material bondage. He personifies Srimad-Bhagavatam in life and action. Therefore we advise that anyone who wants to learn Srimad-Bhagavatam must approach such a realized soul.

COMMENT

Here Lord Chaitanya gave two instructions to Raghunatha Bhattacarya. First He instructed him to go back and serve his parents, because they were Vaishnavas. Serving Vaishnavas is most important for spiritual advancement. Srila Prabhupada remarks that Lord Chaitanya would have never advised Raghunatha Bhatta to return home to serve ordinary parents, and thus Srila Prabhupada quoted the verse gurur na sa syat sva-jano na sa syat.

One time, in Bombay, after he had finally acquired Hare Krishna Land in Juhu, Srila Prabhupada, sitting in his room in a thatched hut nearby with Mahamsa Prabhu and me, quoted the same Bhagavatam verse: “No one should become a spiritual master, no one should become a relative, no one should become a father, no one should become a mother, and no one should become a husband unless he can deliver his or her dependents from repeated birth and death.” And he gave some examples. He said that if the father is attacked, the duty of the son is to defend him, but that when Lord Nrsimhadeva attacked Hiranyakasipu, Prahlada made no effort to defend him. Rather, he glorified the attacker. But Prahlada was not at fault, because his father was not a real father—he was not helping him become liberated from the repetition of birth and death. Similarly, it is the duty of the son to obey the mother, but when Kaikeyi told Bharata to sit on the throne, he disobeyed. And he was not at fault, because Kaikeyi was not a real mother, because she was not helping him to become liberated from the repetition of birth and death and to engage in devotional service. Similarly, it is the duty of the wife to obey the husband, but when the Vedic brahmans told their wives not to go to Krishna and Balarama in the forest, their wives disobeyed. And they were not at fault, because their husbands were not real husbands, because they were not helping them become Krishna conscious. Similarly, it is the duty of the disciple to obey the spiritual master, but when Sukracarya ordered Bali Maharaja not to surrender everything to Lord Vishnu and not to keep his promise to Vishnu, Bali Maharaja disobeyed him. And Bali Maharaja was not at fault, because his spiritual master was not a real spiritual master. Then Srila Prabhupada told us, “You have left your mothers and fathers, but they are not real mothers and fathers. So you have done the right thing.”

Still, we offer respect to relatives. And, of course, for the service of guru and Krishna, a devotee may also serve relatives. In any case, the presence of a pure devotee in a family liberates the entire family.

Regarding the second instruction, Lord Chaitanya told Raghunatha Bhatta to hear and learn Srimad-Bhagavatam from a devotee. Svarupa Damodara Gosvami gave a similar instruction, that one should learn the book Bhagavata from the person Bhagavata.

In 1970, when the first groups of Western devotees went to India, Srila Prabhupada instructed Gurudas Prabhu to go to his quarters at Radha-Damodara, go through all his old papers, and keep only the ones that were appropriate; the ones that were not appropriate—those that pertained to his householder life—should be destroyed. Gurudas invited me to accompany him, and when we went through Srila Prabhupada’s old papers, we found so many letters that he had written. One was to a man who had organized Bhagavata Week in Bombay and had invited Srila Prabhupada to attend. Prabhupada had written back that the Bhagavata should be heard from liberated souls who are free from pretentious religiosity, and not from Mayavadis, who have no access to the “great scripture” and who mislead the innocent public. He had informed the organizer, “Therefore I have not only refrained from attending the function myself but have advised many others not to attend as well.” Srila Prabhupada was so bold and forthright and fearless: abhaya.

TEXT 114

“punarapi eka-bara asiha nilacale”
eta bali’ kantha-mala dila tanra gale

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu concluded, “Come again to Nilacala [Jagannatha Puri].” After saying this, the Lord put His own neck beads on Raghunatha Bhatta’s neck.

TEXTS 115–119

Then the Lord embraced him and bade him farewell. Overwhelmed with ecstatic love, Raghunatha Bhatta began to cry due to imminent separation from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

After taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all the devotees, headed by Svarupa Damodara, Raghunatha Bhatta returned to Varanasi.

In accordance with the instructions of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he continuously rendered service to his mother and father for four years. He also regularly studied Srimad-Bhagavatam from a self-realized Vaisnava.

Then his parents died at Kasi [Varanasi], and he became detached. He therefore returned to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, giving up all relationships with his home.

As previously, Raghunatha remained continuously with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu for eight months. Then the Lord gave him the following order.

TEXT 120

“amara ajnaya, raghunatha, yaha vrndavane
tahan yanaraha rupa-sanatana-sthane

TRANSLATION

“My dear Raghunatha, on My order go to Vrndavana and live there under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 121

“bhagavata pada, sada laha krsna-nama
acire karibena krpa Krsna bhagavan”

TRANSLATION

“In Vrndavana you should chant the Hare Krsna mantra twenty-four hours a day and read Srimad-Bhagavatam continuously. Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, will very soon bestow His mercy upon you.”

TEXT 122

eta bali’ prabhu tanre alingana kaila
prabhura krpate krsna-preme matta haila

TRANSLATION

After saying this, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu embraced Raghunatha Bhatta, and by the Lord’s mercy Raghunatha was enlivened with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 123–125

At a festival Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu had been given some unspiced betel and a garland of tulasi leaves fourteen cubits long. The garland had been worn by Lord Jagannatha.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu gave the garland and betel to Raghunatha Bhatta, who accepted them as a worshipable Deity and preserved them very carefully.

Taking permission from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Raghunatha Bhatta then departed for Vrndavana. When he arrived there, he put himself under the care of Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.

TEXT 126

rupa-gosanira sabha ya karena bhagavata-pathana
bhagavata padite preme aulaya tanra mana

TRANSLATION

When reciting Srimad-Bhagavatam in the company of Rupa and Sanatana, Raghunatha Bhatta would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXT 127

asru, kampa, gadgada prabhura krpate
netra kantha rodhe baspa, na pare padite

TRANSLATION

By the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he experienced symptoms of ecstatic love—tears, trembling, and faltering of the voice. His eyes filled with tears, his throat became choked, and thus he could not recite Srimad-Bhagavatam.

TEXTS 128–130

His voice was as sweet as a cuckoo’s, and he would recite each verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam in three or four tunes. Thus his recitations were very sweet to hear.

When he recited or heard about the beauty and sweetness of Krsna, he would be overwhelmed with ecstatic love and become oblivious to everything.

Thus Raghunatha Bhatta surrendered fully at the lotus feet of Lord Govinda, and those lotus feet became his life and soul.

COMMENT

Actually, Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami arranged for the construction of the Radha-Govinda temple in Vrindavan, which was the most beautiful and famous of all the temples in Vrindavan. So he may also give us some mercy to build a temple here.

TEXT 131

nija sisye kahi’ govindera mandira karaila
vamsi, makara kundaladi ‘bhusana’ kari’ dila

TRANSLATION

Subsequently Raghunatha Bhatta ordered his disciples to construct a temple for Govinda. He prepared various ornaments for Govinda, including a flute and shark-shaped earrings.

TEXT 132

gramya-varta na sune, na kahe jihvaya
krsna-katha-pujadite asta-prahara yaya

TRANSLATION

Raghunatha Bhatta would neither hear nor speak about anything of the material world. He would simply discuss Krsna and worship the Lord day and night.

TEXT 133

vaisnavera nindya-karma nahi pade kane
sabe krsna bhajana kare,—ei-matra jane

TRANSLATION

He would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service; he did not understand anything else.

PURPORT

Raghunatha Bhatta never did anything harmful to a Vaisnava. In other words, he was never inattentive in the service of the Lord, nor did he ever violate the rules and regulations of a pure Vaisnava. It is the duty of a Vaisnava acarya to prevent his disciples and followers from violating the principles of Vaisnava behavior. He should always advise them to strictly follow the regulative principles, which will protect them from falling down. Although a Vaisnava preacher may sometimes criticize others, Raghunatha Bhatta avoided this. Even if another Vaisnava was actually at fault, Raghunatha Bhatta would not criticize him; he saw only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service. That is the position of a maha-bhagavata. Actually, even if one is serving maya, in a higher sense he is also a servant of Krsna. Because maya is the servant of Krsna, anyone serving maya serves Krsna indirectly. Therefore it is said:

keha mane, kehana mane, sabatanra dasa
ye na mane, tarahaya sei papenasa

“Some accept Him, whereas others do not, yet everyone is His servant. One who does not accept Him, however, will be ruined by his sinful activities.” (Cc Adi 6.85)

COMMENT

Srila Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami “would not listen to blasphemy of a Vaisnava, nor would he listen to talk of a Vaisnava’s misbehavior. He knew only that everyone was engaged in Krsna’s service.” Yet in the purport, Srila Prabhupada comments that the Vaishnava acharya has to train his disciples according to the regulative principles and that if he sees that they are violating principles of Vaishnava behavior, he has to correct them. Even if the spiritual master is a maha-bhagavata, when he acts as spiritual master and takes the responsibility to train disciples, he must discriminate between proper and improper behavior. And if the disciples are behaving improperly, he must point out the defects and correct them.

When Srila Prabhupada first met his guru maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, he thought that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta was simply criticizing—criticizing the fruitive workers, criticizing the mental speculators, criticizing the impersonalists. But Prabhupada remarked that later he realized that what his guru maharaja had been saying was actually correct. Sadhu also means “to cut.” The sadhu must cut people’s false attachments, and therefore he may have to criticize—not out of envy or malice, as we may criticize, but only for the sake of cutting people’s false attachments and bringing them to the proper standards of devotional service.

Once, in Indore, Srila Prabhupada was strongly criticizing some popular religious figures. One of the gentlemen in the room became very upset and said, “You should not criticize. You should see everyone equally, as atma, and you should not criticize.” Srila Prabhupada replied, “That is a very high stage, sama-darsinah.” A maha-bhagavata doesn’t criticize anyone, because he sees everyone is already serving Krishna. Then Prabhupada discussed the verse (Gita 5.18) panditah sama-darsinah:

vidya-vinaya-sampanne
brahmane gavi hastini
suni caiva sva-pake ca
panditah sama-darsinah

“The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater.”

Prabhupada said that a learned brahman is supposed to be virtuous and that a dog is supposed to be sinful. So to see a brahman and a dog equally means that one doesn’t distinguish between pious and sinful activities; one sees that everyone is serving Krishna. “But,” Srila Prabhupada said, “I am not on that stage. I say that because you don’t surrender to Krishna, you are sinful.”

So even the uttama Vaishnava, when he preaches, has to act as a madhyama Vaishnava and point out faults and correct them. But if one is not in a position to actually instruct others for their benefit, he should act like Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami. He should avoid material talks in general and blasphemy of Vaishnavas in particular, and he should remain absorbed in his service to Krishna.

The Bhagavad-gita (17.15) confirms,

anudvega-karam vakyam
satyam priya-hitam ca yat
svadhyayabhyasanam caiva
van-mayam tapa ucyate

“Austerity of speech consists in speaking words that are truthful, pleasing, beneficial, and not agitating to others, and also in regularly reciting Vedic literature.”

And Srila Prabhupada explains in the purport, “One should not speak in such a way as to agitate the minds of others. Of course, when a teacher speaks, he can speak the truth for the instruction of his students, but such a teacher should not speak to those who are not his students if he will agitate their minds. This is penance as far as talking is concerned. Besides that, one should not talk nonsense. The process of speaking in spiritual circles is to say something upheld by the scriptures. One should at once quote from scriptural authority to back up what he is saying. At the same time, such talk should be very pleasurable to the ear. By such discussions, one may derive the highest benefit and elevate human society. There is a limitless stock of Vedic literature, and one should study this. This is called penance of speech.”

One of the divine qualities mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (16.1–3) is apaisunam, “aversion to faultfinding.” There Srila Prabhupada comments, “Apaisunam means that one should not find fault with others or correct them unnecessarily. Of course to call a thief a thief is not faultfinding, but to call an honest person a thief is very much offensive for one who is making advancement in spiritual life.”

TEXT 134

mahaprabhura datta mala mananera kale
prasada-kadara saha bandhi lena gale

TRANSLATION

When Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami was absorbed in remembrance of Lord Krsna, he would take the tulasi garland and the prasada of Lord Jagannatha given to him by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, bind them together, and wear them on his neck.

TEXT 135

mahaprabhura krpaya krsna-prema anargala
eita’ kahilun tate caitanya-krpa-phala

TRANSLATION

Thus I have described the powerful mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, by which Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami remained constantly overwhelmed with ecstatic love for Krsna.

TEXTS 136–137

TRANSLATION

In this chapter I have spoken about . . . how Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami achieved ecstatic love of Krsna by the mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

TEXT 138

ye ei-sakala katha sune sraddha kari’
tanre krsna-prema-dhana dena gaurahari

TRANSLATION

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu [Gaurahari] bestows ecstatic love for Krsna upon anyone who hears these topics with faith and love.

TEXT 139

sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsnadasa

TRANSLATION

Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.

Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, Thirteenth Chapter, describing . . . Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s achieving love of Krsna.

Giriraj Swami: Are there any questions or comments?

Devotee: In this country there are Bhagavata kathas, and sometimes people invite us to do a katha also. Should we accept the invitation to go and chant or speak?

Giriraj Swami: We should be careful, because we are quite well established in Mauritius now. We should rather hold our own programs and invite people to our programs. When Srila Prabhupada first returned to India, he accepted invitations to the Vedanta Sammelan in Amritsar and the Gita Jayanti Mahotsava in Indore because people did not know us. And by attending such programs, people came to know us. But as soon as we became established, Prabhupada stopped accepting such invitations. In fact, when I went to Madras, one Mr. Ratnam Iyer had his own organization, called Astika Samaj, and he offered to take full responsibility to arrange Srila Prabhupada’s program in Madras; but in the end, he didn’t really help, because ultimately he was a Mayavadi. He didn’t actually like us. When I informed Srila Prabhupada in a letter, Prabhupada wrote back that it is never good to have to depend on others for our preaching: “I am not surprised that Mr. Ratnam Iyer has decided to cancel the program you were planning. I was not eager to accept his proposal in the beginning, because it has been our experience that it is never good to have to depend upon others for our preaching.” We should make our own arrangements.

People sometimes invite us just to decorate their program, to attract people, and to get our stamp of approval—they try to use us for their own purposes. But we may not actually approve of their program, so we must be careful. Once, Guru-Gauranga Prabhu, Srila Prabhupada’s disciple who was based in Switzerland, arranged for His Divine Grace to meet the head of the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) in Geneva. Srila Prabhupada was so intelligent and perceptive that when he agreed to meet the person he said that no photos should be allowed. And he explained to us that the W.H.O. was trying to introduce birth control in Third World countries and considered India to be difficult because people in India understood contraceptive methods and abortion to be sinful. “So they will want to take my photo and use it to make propaganda that I approve of the World Health Organization’s program.” And that is actually what happened: at the end of the meeting, they wanted to have their photos taken with Srila Prabhupada. Because we are authorized, people want to use us to gain credibility for their programs. But we may not actually approve of their programs. So we should be careful how we associate with them and how we are perceived to be associated with them.

Krsnacandra dasa: Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave different instructions to Raghunatha Bhatta at different times. First He instructed him to serve his devotee parents and to study Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized devotee, and then He told him to go to Vrindavan and chant Hare Krishna and take shelter of Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami. The spiritual master gives instructions to his disciples according to time, place, and circumstances, and so the spiritual master may change his instruction.

Giriraj Swami: Yes, that is true. Once, on a morning walk on Juhu Beach, Srila Prabhupada was discussing surrender, and he was pointing out various defects in supposed surrender. One defect is that the disciple will receive an instruction from the spiritual master, and later, when the spiritual master gives a different instruction, the disciple will object: “But previously you told me such-and-such.” Srila Prabhupada said that surrender means you accept the latest instruction, the immediate instruction. Once, when he gave an instruction to a disciple and then later gave him a different instruction, the disciple said, “Srila Prabhupada, previously you told me that, and now you are telling me this.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “If you accepted my authority then, why don’t you accept it now?” So we have to be careful not to pick and choose what instruction we like and what instruction we don’t like.

Mukta-purusa dasa: Lord Chaitanya advised that one hear Srimad-Bhagavatam from a realized soul. But how can ordinary people know who is a realized soul? Sometimes professional reciters speak very ornamentally, and they are very attractive to ordinary people.

Giriraj Swami: First we must know the constitutional position of the living entity. Jivera ‘svarupa’ haya—krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’: the living entity’s constitutional position is to be an eternal servant of Krishna. One who is acting as an eternal servant of Krishna—in other words, one who is a devotee—is self-realized. He has realized that he is the eternal servant of Krishna.

How can ordinary people know who is self-realized? They have to be educated. Either in person or from books, they have to hear from devotees to be educated in the science of self-realization. Someone who is choosing where to study, in which university, will make inquiries, and only after careful consideration will he or she decide which university to attend. He or she will inquire: What is the reputation of the school? Who are the professors? What are the results of the graduates? And that’s just for a few years of academic education. So if we take so much care to decide where to go for a few years of academic education, how much more care we should take to decide where we go for spiritual education, which will guide us in our eternal spiritual life. We have to inquire and learn.

But many people are not actually serious or sincere; they just want to make a show that they are very pious, very religious. And they may want to be entertained. But if someone is sincere and serious, he or she will try to understand the science of spiritual life from devotees. And ultimately one will come to the conclusion that one must learn from devotees.

We take knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives, and because we take knowledge from Krishna, we know that the knowledge is perfect and we don’t need to go to anyone else for knowledge. In one talk, Srila Prabhupada related how one disciple, Acyutananda Prabhu, went to distribute books at the ashram of a well-known Mayavadi sannyasi who gave Bhagavata-saptahas, and when one of the sannyasi’s disciples canvassed him, “Why don’t you ask some question to Swamiji?” Acyutananda replied, “No. I have nothing to question from your Swamiji.” Prabhupada continued, “So, actually bring any so-called yogi, swami, or incarnation and our student will challenge him: he does not know anything. We have got such a nice book of knowledge, Bhagavad-gita.” Srila Prabhupada was very happy, very proud. Because we are getting knowledge from Krishna and Krishna’s representatives in disciplic succession, we don’t have anything to learn from anyone else.

Devotee: What happens to the relationship between spiritual master and disciple after death?

Giriraj Swami: In principle, the relationship between the spiritual master and the disciple is eternal. If the disciple is not completely successful in his or her attempt to go back to Godhead at the end of this life, he or she gets the chance to continue the process of devotional service in the next life and to follow the same instructions that he or she received from the spiritual master in this life. So service to the spiritual master is eternal. And the spiritual master will arrange to guide the sincere disciple until he or she is completely successful and goes back home, back to Godhead.

Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami ki jaya!
Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami ki jaya!

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Raghunatha Bhatta Gosvami’s Disappearance Day, October 23, 1996, Hare Krishna Land, Phoenix, Mauritius]

 
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By Chaitanya Charan Das

Our heart is filled with whatever we love the most. As devotees love the Lord the most, we understand that their heart is filled with love for Kṛṣṇa. Yet it remains an esoteric mystery how that love fills and floods their heart, inspiring them to give themselves completely to the Lord, putting aside all other considerations. The more we understand the workings of their heart, the more we can get the inspiration and the direction to make our heart work similarly, even if gradually and incrementally.

We get glimpses into others’ hearts by their words, especially by those of their words spoken from the heart. While all candid words can reveal the heart, poems and songs have a distinct, even unique, potency to express the heart. In this song, we get an intimate picture of the heart of Śrīla Prabhupāda, that great devotee who spread love for Kṛṣṇa all over the world far more than anyone else in modern history. What increases the impact of this poetic outpouring is the setting where it was composed: on the ship that had brought him after a month-long turbulent trip to the coast of America, the land that the world considered most prosperous, the land he saw as spiritually bankrupt, the land he had hoped would be the starter for his vision for the globalization of devotion. Let’s peek into his thoughts while he was all alone, without money or institutional support, with an elderly body battered by two heart attacks.

Refrain:

kṛṣṇa taba puṇya habe bhāi
e-puṇya koribe jabe rādhārāṇī khusī habe
dhruva ati boli tomā tāi

O, brothers, (o brother) The Supreme Lord Krsna will bestow virtue upon you — but He will do this only when Srimati Radharani first becomes pleased with you. This I surely declare to you.

The refrain goes to the heart of the tradition that Śrīla Prabhupāda belonged to and longed to share throughout the world: the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava has sung a song about this lotus honey, comparing himself to the bee: “O my Lord Kṛṣṇa, I beg to offer my prayers unt tradition. He succinctly summarizes three core truths of the tradition:

  1. The all-attractive ultimate reality, the supreme object of devotion is Kṛṣṇa.
  2. As the infinite Lord can’t be known by us finite souls, we need his mercy to reach him.
  3. His mercy is accessed by pleasing his greatest devotee, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the devotional energy personified and is the most generous bestower of devotion.

Just as the planets revolve around the sun, the consciousness of a Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava revolves around these core truths, as is symbolized by Prabhupāda’s choosing this verse as the refrain that is sung repeatedly.

(1)

śrī-siddhānta saraswatī, śacī-suta priya ati,
kṛṣṇa-sebāya jāra tula nāi
sei se mohānta-guru, jagater madhe uru,
kṛṣṇa-bhakti dey ṭhāi ṭhāi

Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, who is very dear to Lord Gauranga, the son of mother Saci, is unparalleled in his service to the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna. He is that great saintly spiritual master, most magnanimous within this universe, who bestows devotion to Krsna in various places throughout the world.

Though Prabhupāda was physically alone in his mission, he never felt lonely because he knew that a glorious lineage backed him. His very first verse reveals his awareness and appreciation for the one whose instruction impelled him on his improbable, if not impossible, mission: his spiritual master Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura. He glorifies his guru for being intimately connected, through love and service, with the founder of their tradition,

Lord Chaitanya, who is the combined divine manifestation of the Divine Couple Radha-Kṛṣṇa. His vision of his guru is futuristic: though his guru’s attempts to spread bhakti globally had met only moderate success till then, Prabhupāda glorifies him as the potent global spreader of devotion, thus expressing his confidence about the unfolding of a future that was still largely invisible.

(2)

tāra icchā balavān, pāścātyete ṭhān ṭhān,
hoy jāte gaurāṅger nām
pṛthivīte nagarādi, āsamudra nada nadī,
sakalei loy kṛṣṇa nām

His desire is very powerful, and thus he is causing the Holy Name of Lord Gauranga to spread throughout all the countries of the Western World. In all the cities, towns, and villages on the earth, extending to all the oceans, rivers, and streams, everyone may chant the names of Krsna and Rama.

  1. The second verse highlights what differentiates devotees from non-devotees: the direction of their desire. Whereas non-devotees desire things for themselves, devotees long to love the Lord and to inspire everyone to love the Lord. The more advanced a devotee, the stronger are their devotionally directed desires. Here, Prabhupāda expresses his faith in the strength of his guru’s divine desire, seeing it as the fuel that will power the global spreading of devotion. His mention of the chanting of the holy names worldwide points to the prophecy that Lord Caitanya had made, a prophecy that had been deemed nonliteral by many in his own tradition for nearly five centuries, a prophecy which he believed would be soon translated into reality.

(3)

tāhale ānanda hoy, tabe hoy dig-vijay,
caitanyer kṛpā atiśay
māyā duṣṭa jata duḥkhī, jagate sabāi sukhī,
vaiṣṇaver icchā pūrṇa hoy

Thus, all directions will be conquered by a flood of transcendental ecstasy flowing with the excessive mercy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When all the miserable living entities that have been corrupted by maya become happy, then the Vaisnava’s desire is fulfilled.

  1. In the third verse, Śrīla Prabhupāda states the rationale for a devotee’s deep aspiration for a world filled with devotion: the rationale is conviction and compassion. Conviction that people’s distresses, whatever be their specific causes or forms, arose ultimately from disconnection with the source and Lord of everyone. And compassion that reconnecting devotionally with the one Lord of all traditions, the Lord whom he knew as Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya, would not only free them from misery, but also flood them with ecstasy. If the vision of global devotion seemed unrealistic, he points to the mercy of Lord Caitanya, mercy that his tradition often glorified as capable of making the impossible possible, infusing the dumb with eloquence and the crippled with mountain-scaling ability.

    Source: https://www.vidyapitha.in/glimpses-into-a-heart-filled-with-devotion-compassion/
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Slowly Getting Back by Bhaktimarga Swami

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It was liberating to get back to giving a Bhagavatam class and also to leading a kirtan at noon in the temple room. Varun came from Ottawa to participate, so did Krishna Chandra, our local yoga instructor. Paramahamsa was also on board. Then, to follow, was the trickle of people for Darshan, or viewing of the Krishna deities.

Covid restrictions have been gradually lifted and so now Saturday and Sunday are open for visitors and congregants to come in and benefit. However, those of us, like myself, who reside in the premises and are moreso spending days bedridden, are super enthusiastic to get out. So, four of us headed out to the boardwalk that our guru, Prabhupada, took to in 1975. For those of us in Krishna Consciousness, this walkway is a place of pilgrimage.

Still, there’s another reason for us to get out to this Lakeside. We were scouting out the ideal location for a planned one-day outing of sangha for young men. It would entail walking, swimming, kirtan, picnic, yoga and just shooting the bhakti breeze. We believe we found the perfect location at the end of Kew Gardens from Queen Street.

With it being Canada, these days of summer events become limited, therefore, planning to insert outdoor devotional events is necessary. The walking, now on crutches, is also necessary. I’m no different from everyone else in terms of needing to heal by getting out, and a big part of it is seeing people like those who take to the boardwalk. I did catch a glimpse, like a flashback, of 1975, when he, Prabhupada, walked the same walkway as we now did.

Source: http://thewalkingmonk.blogspot.com/2021/08/saturday-july-31-2021.html

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By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Michael Cremo is on the cutting edge of science and culture issues. In the course of a few month’s time he might be found on pilgrimage to sacred sites in India, appearing on a national television show, lecturing at a mainstream science conference, or speaking to an alternative science gathering. As he crosses disciplinary and cultural boundaries, he presents to his various audiences a compelling case for negotiating a new consensus on the nature of reality,



Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=91001

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By Madhava Smullen 

An ISKCON UK delegation is set to attend COP26, also known as the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, which will run from October 31st to November 12th in Glasgow, Scotland.

The conference will bring world leaders together to discuss how to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, so as to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. They will also discuss progress made so far – many countries have already set ambitious targets to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. COP26 has been called the most important meeting of its kind since the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Although the big decisions are being led by governments, other groups can play a major role too. For instance, with around 80% of the world’s population affiliated with a faith group, governments are reaching out to faith leaders.

In the UK, the office of MP and COP26 President Alok Sharma invited Bhaktivedanta Manor earlier in the year to take part in several climate change discussions as part of interfaith dialogue, to help mobilize communities and temples to take climate action.

Stepping forward to represent ISKCON UK at these national discussions were Sheila Chauhan, Darryl Biggs, and Roshni Thakkar. Chauhan, who works professionally in environmental campaigns and policy, created the Manor’s environment committee with Sita Rama Das a decade ago. Biggs is Community Development Coordinator for ISKCON-London, as well as Assistant Director for the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation. And Thakkar works for a law firm and has a specific interest in helping businesses become more environmentally friendly.

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/iskcon-uk-delegation-to-attend-cop26-climate-change-conference,8038/

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By Kamala Radha devi dasi 
 
Today in the Noakhali District of Bangladesh, an ISKCON temple was attacked. We are currently awaiting an official statement from ISKCON Bangladesh regarding the incident.  Preliminary reports state 18 people were injured in the attack, and at least one person is in serious condition in the hospital. 

Read more: https://iskconnews.org/breaking-news-iskcon-noakhali-bangladesh-attacked,8034/
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Roman and I took the scenic root on Highway 7 through the ancient Shield countryside, then through super-flat but fertile farmland, by car, before we reached the newly acquired farm in Russell, Ontario. It was a drive, not a walk – a five-hour pleasant trip – and it was well worth it. For the time-being we call this a Vaishnava Farm Garden Fest where people from the bhakti spectrum come together to share in the dreams and realities of simpler living.

Roman and I left a warm current Toronto for cooler drizzly weather but, again, it was well worth it. Attendees were so happy to see each other, at least half the face (we were masked, right). Veda Vyasa did an amazing presentation on garden tips, heirloom seeds and such. He’s employed with the city of Granby, Quebec, as a grower and tender of flowers, plants and veggies. It’s remarkable what he’s learned and what he can share.

Additionally, Jai Chaitanya from near Castleton, Ontario, presented a slide-show of his achievements with plant and animal care. In fact, both presenters offered hope to those of us from city environments where more and more people and concrete intensify modern life. In all, we counted fifty participants, and because it was largely an outdoor event, we could safely be present and share wisdom and warmth amongst us very well during this taxing pandemic time.

We do need to live and learn better.

Source: http://thewalkingmonk.blogspot.com/2021/10/saturday-october-2-2021.html

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My heart is like a desert, hot with the rays of the sun. This is my internal mental condition. The desire for temporary, material things cannot satisfy me because by nature they are death producing. And not one or two, but thousands of such death-producing desires have taken shelter in my mind. So, my subconscious region is always burning. This is my condition. But somehow, by the grace of sadhu and my guru, the holy name of Krishna with its infinite prospect has entered through the holes of my ears and reached the plane of my heart. And there, with some peculiar hope, with infinite, auspicious possibilities, it touched my heart with a new kind of nectar.

New hope is aroused by that sound. Then by force it comes from the heart toward the tongue. Not by the endeavor of my tongue I am producing that sound. What came from the heart of a saint through my ear, entered my heart, and that forcibly appeared on my tongue, and began to dance.

That is the holy name proper. It descends from above. The material tongue cannot produce it. Its source is above. And through an agent of the absolute it comes through the ear to the heart. From the heart it gather some sympathy, then the holy name of Krishna forcibly appears upon the tongue and begins to dance. With great force that sweet sound comes to the tip of the tongue, and began to dance.

The real effects of the divine name have been described here. If it is a real living name the voice will be choked up. There will be shivering in the body, the legs will be unable to stand, and sometimes tears will flow in a current on the body. One’s hair will stand on end, and sometimes the body will change color. The material mind and consciousness will fade away, and we may fall in a swoon. The whole body and mind will appear as if it is being attacked, shivering, and influenced in many ways.

Apparently it may seem that so many troubles are created in the body and mind, but the real heart is overflowing with a particular kind of strange, sweet juice. Sometimes the devotee thinks, “I am swimming in an ocean of nectar. My whole existence is submerged in an ocean of nectarean rasa. I am beside myself and cannot understand where I am. What is this? What is surrounding me? Am I going mad? Where is my past experience, my seriousness, my gravity… where are they?

I have been completely converted by a foreign element. I am a doll in the hands of a great force, which is so affectionate to me. I cannot ascertain how it is possible that by my faith I have entered this great, unknown environment. And at last I find that I am captivated. My entire being, within and without, has been captured and controlled by an especially sweet force. It is beyond description. I came to take shelter of Him and accept Him as my guardian. But now at his hands, I am being dealt with in such a merciless and oppressive way.

Still, I feel everything is very pleasing beyond my experience. I cannot resist anymore. I am fully captured. So let my faith go anywhere because I cannot escape. I am captive in the hand of a sweet loving friend. All my independence is gone, and I have no other choice but surrender.

I find that He is an autocrat. He does whatever He wants. Since it is not possible for me to resist, I must surrender. No, I will cooperate and do whatever He wants. Meanwhile, I find that the holy name is like a blossoming flower emanating wonderful sweets streams. The holy name contains so many sweet variegated forms of current within Him. In different ways He is expressing Himself. Sometimes He shows a peculiar type of color and form, and then disappears.

So many charming aspects are revealed within, as He forces me to surrender at the base of that altar. He shows Himself in a full-fledged form as He leads to vrindavana to witness His vraja-lila with Radha. I find Myself in the midst of His uniquely sweet and loving abode. He says, “You see! I have so many wonderful things and this is your home. I am not imagination but concrete reality. You will find that this environment is very sweet and favorable, and you should live here.”

I see that He is exchanging a variety of loving rasas with His many devotees. And I find that a spiritual body has emerged from my previous one, and that I have a permanent place here in His service. Such a new life I find here that all considerations of my past life and experience has vanished. What He says is true; my real life is here, and my previous material life was a waste.”

Now I find that chanting the holy name gives me a new hope, a new prospect, and new encouragement. The name supplies whatever we want. All our internal hankerings will be fulfilled if we chant the name. The holy name is eternal, full of ecstasy, and it is the purest of the pure.

I find I have been completely converted, and now my innermost hankering is this: Let whatever is against this sweet name vanish forever from the world. Everyone should come here. I am ready to sacrifice my life to finish any opposition, so that everyone can easily, peacefully, and fearlessly enjoy this absolute, sweet and blissful life.

(From Sharanagati)

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=85663

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8223211688?profile=RESIZE_400xIn a small town situated close to the banks of the River Yamuna there lived a man called Amrita. Nothing in life caused him more anxiety than his fear of death. One day he had an idea that if he befriended Lord Yamaraj, he would be able to keep death at a distance, and so Amrita practiced austerities and meditated upon the Lord of Death, who was verily pleased and granted him a vision.

Lord Yamaraj said, ‘I know by the aid of my divine powers that you seek to befriend me – your wish has come true. My presence is only available to those upon whose death my messengers or I take their souls to my domain. Those that are born must die and those who die will be born again, this is the eternal law. No one can escape death, yet I grant you my vision while you are still living.’

Amrita said, ‘As a token of friendship, I ask this one favor: if death is inevitable, then since I am to die, at least let me know beforehand when my end is due, so that I will be able to make proper provisions for my family.’

Lord Yamaraj replied, ‘Yes, this is a simple matter, I promise to inform you beforehand, but as soon as you receive the message, you must set about making preparations.’ With these words Lord Yamaraj vanished.

Many years passed by, and Amrita’s hair turned grey, he continued living happily with not a thought related to the fear of death. He enjoyed life’s sensual pleasures and delights. He did not receive any correspondence from Lord Yamaraj and was pleased that so far no letters had arrived. More years passed by, Amrita lost his teeth, but still lived without any concern for death since no warning letters had arrived from his friend. The years continued to roll by, Amrita’s eyesight became dim. Old age is catching up with me he thought, but I am thankful that my friend has still not sent any letter warning me of forthcoming death.

By now Amrita was an old man who could hardly stand up straight, he could not even walk without the support of a stick. One day he suffered a stroke and became paralysed. His condition was critical, but Amrita was still in a happy state of mind. As long as his friend Lord Yamaraj did not send a letter, no thought of dying ever entered his mind.

Then the inevitable happened: Lord Yamaraj, the god of death, entered the room. Amrita was startled and his mind was seized with fear. Lord Yamaraj said, ‘My friend, come now, you have suffered greatly, I have come to take you with me.’

Amrita was trembling and said, ‘Alas, you have betrayed me, you did not keep your word, you failed to send any warning letter and now you come in your fearful form to take me away. Are you not ashamed to thus deceive a friend?’

Yamaraj replied, ‘Your desire for pleasure made you blind, how then could you not see the letters which I had sent to you? Not one, but four letters were sent – but you heeded them not.

Amrita was puzzled, ‘Four letters? But not one reached me! They may have gone astray in the post.’

Lord Yamaraj said, ‘Despite your cleverness, you were foolish enough to believe I would take up a pen and write to you. O deluded mortal, time is my messenger who brought word to you. Years ago, your hair turned grey, that was my first letter of which you took no heed – instead you blackened your hair with dye. Your teeth began to fall out – my 2nd message. However, again you saw no warning, but instead got yourself a set of false teeth. My third letter was sent when your eyesight failed. The fourth when you became paralysed.’

Amrita cried, ‘I have grievously erred, unforgivable is my error – yet once more I crave indulgence, Lord Yamaraj’

Lord Yama replied, ‘Indulgence! What more is there for me to give? What use did you make of the gift of human birth? Sensual pleasures and drunkenness – you wasted your life! Now you shamelessly ask for more time and for what? ‘

Amrita said, ‘O Lord, remember our past friendship? Please recall those days and give me one more chance.’

Lord Yama said, ‘That friendship was of that time – now it’s done. I come as the dispenser of the law, a law which is above love and above hatred. This law is just, true and impartial. I carry out the stern dictates of destiny, all mortals have to bend to my final mandate – this is the divine law, Now let us go.’

Lord Yamaraj puts his noose over the dying man’s neck, the man begins to gasp and then chokes. People then say Amrita is dead.

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Truth in a Nutshell by Satyaraja Dasa

 
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Four special verses in the Bhagavad-gita and four in the Srimad-Bhagavatam lay out the fundamental teachings of Krishna consciousness.

My mom always keeps peanuts around the house. Crack the shells open, and you find two peanuts inside. So much goodness in one little package: beneficial nutrients, plant proteins, fats, fiber, and plenty of vitamins, minerals, and bioactives. As I looked at the broken shells in front of me one day, my mind was drawn to four special verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and four of the Bhagavad-gita, each set often referred to simply as chatuh-shloki: “the four verses.” Srila Prabhupada was the first to refer to them as “nutshell verses.”

Generally, scholars say that nutshells were first used as a metaphor in Shakespeare’s Hamlet (in 1602), although some opine that such usage goes back much further, to the time of Pliny (23–79 CE). Whatever the case, the point is this: Anything that could fit in a nutshell would have to be very small—i.e., a few words or a very brief explanation.

In Vaishnava scriptures, particularly the Bhagavatam and the Gita, we find nutshell verses that summarize the essential message. Famed scriptural commentator Sridhara Swami (circa thirteenth century) begins his gloss on Gita 10.8, the first of its chatuh-shloki, by mentioning the four-verse schema; Jiva Goswami (1513–1608) gives an elaborate analysis of the Bhagavatam’s chatuh-shloki in his Krama-sandarbha and Bhagavat-sandarbha; Srinivasa Acarya (sixteenth century) wrote a commentary specifically on the four verses of the Bhagavatam; Vishvanatha Chakravarti (1708–1754) and others, too, draw on this idea of four central verses in both the Bhagavatam and the Gita. Following in this tradition, Srila Prabhupada often groups them as “four nutshell verses” in his writings. (See especially his commentaries on Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.36 and 2.9.44.)
A Look Inside

Let’s now look at the nutshell verses of the Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita. First, the Bhagavatam (2.9.33–36):

[Lord Krishna says:] Brahma, it is I, the Personality of Godhead, who was existing before the creation, when there was nothing but Myself. Nor was there the material nature, the cause of this creation. That which you see now is also I, the Personality of Godhead, and after annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.

O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it is without relation to Me, has no reality. Know it as My illusory energy, that reflection which appears to be in darkness.

O Brahma, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos and at the same time do not enter into the cosmos; similarly, I Myself also exist within everything created, and at the same time I am outside of everything.

A person who is searching after the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, must certainly search for it up to this, in all circumstances, in all space and time, and both directly and indirectly.

And then the Bhagavad-gita (10.8–11):

[Lord Krishna says:] I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise who perfectly know this engage in My devotional service and worship Me with all their hearts.

The thoughts of My pure devotees dwell in Me, their lives are fully devoted to My service, and they derive great satisfaction and bliss from always enlightening one another and conversing about Me.

To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.

To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance.

It should be clear that what these two sets of verses have in common, first and foremost, is that they reveal the identity of God Himself: He is Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From the Bhagavatam verses we further learn that, in the beginning and in the end, only Krishna exists. All the commentators, especially Jiva Goswami and Srila Prabhupada, offer numerous verses to support this contention, such as this verse from the Maha Upanishad: eko vai narayana asin na brahma na ishano. “Lord Narayana [Krishna] existed before the material world was created, when there was no Brahma and no Shiva.” Jiva Goswami cites this verse in his Bhagavat-sandarbha (96.11).

All other phenomena, whether living or nonliving, spiritual or material, emanate from the Supreme Lord and wind up in Him. He is the source and origin of all, and He is their repose. This is not to say that His emanations are not real—they are real—but it is He who gives them their reality; He is the inner core of their existence. One who knows these truths, the Bhagavatam tells us, will pursue Krishna in earnest, with no other interest.

The first of the four Gita verses reiterates this point: Devotees engage in the Lord’s service, desiring to attain Him and nothing more. But we are told more about these great souls. They think of Krishna constantly and always engage in glorifying Him. Through these unmotivated and uninterrupted actions, they are blessed with knowledge of God, compliments of Krishna Himself.

Prabhupada’s commentaries on these verses clarify their full import, and he elaborates further on the Bhagavatam chatuh-shloki in his commentary on Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami’s Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi 1.53–56). In fact, Kaviraja Goswami tells us that “everything”—a far-reaching term, no doubt—is explained in those four nutshell verses: “The essence of Srimad-Bhagavatam—our relationship with the Supreme Lord, our activities in that connection, and the goal of life—is manifest in the four verses of Srimad-Bhagavatam known as the chatuh-shloki. Everything is explained in those verses.” (Madhya 25.102)

The notion of just how these verses explain “everything” might be hinted at in Kaviraja Goswami’s identification of these verses with om, the sound representation of Krishna: “The meaning of the sound vibration omkara is present in the Gayatri mantra. The same is elaborately explained in the four shlokas of Srimad-Bhagavatam known as chatuh-shloki.”(Madhya 25.94)

As Srila Prabhupada writes (Madhya 25.97):

The sound vibration omkara is the root of Vedic knowledge. Omkara is known as the maha-vakya, or supreme sound. Whatever meaning is in the supreme sound omkara is further understood in the Gayatri mantra. Again, this same meaning is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam in the four shlokas known as the chatuh-shloki, which begin with the words aham evasam evagre. The Lord says, “Only I existed before the creation.” From this statement, four shlokas have been composed, and these are known as thechatuh-shloki. In this way the Supreme Personality of Godhead informed Lord Brahma about the purport of the chatuh-shloki. Again, Lord Brahma explained this to Narada Muni, and Narada Muni explained it to Srila Vyasadeva. This is the parampara system, the disciplic succession. The import of Vedic knowledge, the original word pranava, has been explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Succinctly, Jiva Goswami, drawing on the Gopala-tapani Upanishad, informs us how om equals everything: “Om is a combination of the letters AUM. The letter ‘A’ refers to Krishna. The letter ‘U’ refers to Radha, and the letter ‘M’ refers to the jiva, the soul.” Thus, omkara, indeed, refers to everything.
Emphasis on the Person Krishna

There are other important points to be found in the chatuh-shloki. The commentators, whether focusing on the Bhagavatam or the Gita, seem to first of all emphasize that it is Krishna “the person” who existed before creation—it was not, as some Mayavadi commentators would have it, an impersonal force. Jiva Goswami is adamant about this. In his Bhagavat-sandarbha (96.10) he writes: “Here [referring to the first verse of the Bhagavatam chatuh-shloki] the word aham [“I”] refers to the form of the Lord, not the featureless Brahman.” Other great acharyas, from Vishvanatha Chakravarti to Srila Prabhupada, develop this theme as one of the most important teachings of the chatuh-shloki. God in His original form is a person, and it is He who exists before creation.

In addition, the acharyas are quick to mention the related point: When everything comes to an end, it is Krishna—the person—who remains. Again, Jiva Goswami is clear in the Bhagavat-sandarbha (96.18): “At this point, someone may object: ‘O Supreme Lord, is it not so that when the material universe is no longer manifest You also no longer exist?’ The Lord answers, ‘After annihilation what remains will also be I, the Personality of Godhead.'”

Thus, it is clear that both before and after creation—what to speak of during it—Krishna is the center of all that exists. He is the real existence upon which all other existences depend.
Is Krishna Alone?

After researching this subject at some length, for me one question remained: If only Krishna exists both before and after creation, is He alone? The tradition teaches that Krishna is never alone. He is always rejoicing in the company of His eternal associates, with whom He enjoys an exchange of love. The entire process of bhakti-yoga focuses on returning to Him in our original home, where we can resume our service in earnest. And yet, these chatuh-shloki verses seemed to suggest that He alone exists. I needed to know what this meant.

Sure enough, I found that Jiva Goswami addresses this point in his Bhagavat-sandarbha (96.12): “As in the sentence ‘The king goes’ the word ‘king’ may also mean ‘the king’s messenger’ or ‘the king’s soldiers,’ so the word aham [‘I’] here does not only mean the Lord but also means the Lord’s abode of Vaikuntha, the Lord’s associates, and everything else in direct relation with Him. In this way, the meaning should be understood.” This is consistent with the teaching of the larger tradition, which states that Krishna is always in the company of His divine associates.

Sri Jiva’s perspective here is interesting. He says that, in this case, the singular—i.e., that “Krishna alone exists before and after the creation”— implies the existence of others. He writes that aham eva asam [“I certainly existed”] is similar to raja asau prayati [“The king heads out”]. In the latter, one can assume that if the king is heading out, his entourage is heading out with him. Similarly, if Krishna existed before creation, His entourage must have existed with Him. Jiva’s use of the king analogy is brilliant. To clarify: When one says, “The king is passing by” (as in a procession), the clear implication is that he is passing by with his entourage. Jiva further says that when one says, “The king is not working,” it means he is not engaged in his royal duties. It does not mean that he is inactive. During his “inactive” time, he might be with his family members, enjoying in their inner chambers. In the same way, says Jiva, before creation and after dissolution the Lord is engaged in spiritually playful pastimes (lila) with His eternal associates. Sri Jiva justifies this by writing that Vaikuntha, the Lord’s companions, and so forth, are sub-limbs (upanga) of Krishna. They are parts of Him, and so they are naturally included in the word aham. Thus they exist before and after creation, too, along with Him.

These are subtle points, and Vaishnava teachings gradually unfold for those who follow the path of bhakti-yoga. Closely studying verses like the chatuh-shloki can help on the path. Bhaktivinoda Thakura (1834–1914), a great teacher in our line, eloquently expresses this as follows:

Vaishnava-dharma is like a lotus flower which gradually comes into bloom when the time is ripe. First it appears as a bud, and then it slowly begins to blossom. In its maturity, it is fully blossomed and attracts all jivas by diffusing its sweet fragrance in every direction. At the beginning of creation, four aspects of knowledge were expressed to Brahma through the medium of the chatuh-shloki Bhagavatam. These were bhagavat-jnana, transcendental knowledge of the Absolute as Bhagavan; maya-vijnana, analytical knowledge of the Lord’s external potency; sadhana-bhakti, the means of attaining the goal; and prema, which is the object of attainment. These four elements were manifested in the jivas’ hearts as the sprout of the lotus flower of Vaishnava-dharma. (Jaiva Dharma, Chapter 10)

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=17883

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I am very grateful to be with all of you, thank you for being here. Bhakti Vinod Thakur has written that the difficulties endured in his service to the Lord, for the pleasure of the Lord, is his greatest happiness.

“Material life is when we put the flickering pleasures and securities of the mind and the senses in the center of our lives, our decisions, our aspirations, our goals are according. Spiritual life or true bhakti is when we put the pleasures of God or Krishna in the center of our life— what pleases Krishna, all of our decisions, our aspirations are orchestrated accordingly.” –Radhanath Swami

“Of course we have bodies, we have minds, and they are gifts of Krishna, so for Krishna’s pleasure, we should keep our gifts as far as possible in good conditions, but for the purpose of being instruments of service.” –Radhanath Swami

Here in Udupi, Sripad Madhavacharya, he taught the path of bhakti in a way that is revolutionary at that time. Because even people who were sincere were so much affected by impersonalistic philosophical arguments. They were so all-pervading that the general population and even the scholars were very confused. He taught that the jiva, the individual soul, is an eternal servant of the paramatma, the supreme soul. And the constitutional nature of the atma is seva or service— to serve with love. That the absolute truth, Narayan, Krishna, his body is eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss.

Radhanath Swami on Love for Krishna

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In Srimad Bhagvatam, in one particular verse, it explains so many mysteries that people fight about, argue about and confused about in regard to the nature of God.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas
tattvam´ yaj jñanam advayam
brahmeti paramatmeti
bhagavan iti sabdyate

That learned transcendentalists, they understand that there is one absolute truth and that one absolute truth eternally has three features: brahman, paramatama and bhagvan. The all-pervading energy, brahman, which is like a light, that is everywhere within and outside of everything that exists both in material and spiritual worlds. Paramatma, the Lord that personally, out of love for all of his children, appears in the heart of every living being. And Bhagavan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the ultimate object of everyone’s love, who is supremely lovable, who performs pastimes forever in the spiritual world and those pastimes inconceivably include every living being. Just like in this little yatra of ours, I was told that there is about 4,500 people gathered together in this little tent and when we want to go to holy places we have to divide up in so many groups because so many buses and so many crowds and so much traffic and when you want darshan, you have to stand in line, sometimes for prasad you have to stand in line, so some inconveniences. In the spiritual world, Krishna, the Supreme lover, nobody has to stand in line, there are limitless devotees, literally countless devotees, four thousand five hundreds, ten thousand, hundred thousand, million thousands, million million, billion billion, billion quadrillions, nothing, that is just a drop. Limitless devotees in the spiritual world, in so many forms and each one is unique.

achintya–bheda–abheda tattva

We are all one, in the sense we are all of the same substance, we are all part of Krishna.

mamaivamsho jiva loke jiva bhuta sanatana

“Eternally we are a part of Krishna. We are sat-chit-ananda, eternal, full of knowledge, full of bliss. Krishna is the reservoir of all love and, being qualitatively part of Krishna, our eternal natural substance is to love, to serve. Quantitatively, Kirshna is the complete whole and we are the parts. Krishna is the Supreme master and we are the eternal servants.

Now in the material world being a servant is considered a lesser position. Vrindavan das Thakur, he gives us a beautiful insight into this idea. He explains how, higher than being a president, prime minister, king, higher than attaining all the eight mystic siddhis of the yogis that takes hundreds, sometimes thousands of births to achieve, higher than elevation to the heavenly worlds where there is such a long life of health and beauty and the most inconceivable ways to enjoy, higher than even liberation is to actually receive the title, das, servant of the Lord, because none of those other positions could actually satisfy the heart, the soul because they are unnatural. They are actually foreign to our nature because the nature of the soul ananda mayo bhyasat, is seeking eternal happiness and all of these things have beginning and an end and all are limited. But in the true sense, service is an expression of love. It is the highest thing we could receive. And therefore we find in Srimad Bhagvatam, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Chaitanya Charitamrita and in the lives of so many historical saints, it’s the only thing they pray for, is to serve with love.

na dhanam na janam na sundarim
kavitam va jagad-isha kamaye
mama janmani janmanishvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki twayi

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu offered this prayer, and in doing so, set the standard of what we should be praying for, striving for in our life. “My Lord you can bestow upon me anything. I don’t want wealth, power, fame of being a great scholar, I don’t want followers, I don’t want the optimum sensual pleasures, not even liberation. I only want to serve you birth after birth after birth— unconditionally.”

anyabhila?ita-sunya?
jñana-karmady-anav?tam
anukulyena k???anu-
silana? bhaktir uttama

Lord Chaitanya, he personally wrote these eight Sikshatakam verses and he spoke so many deep instructions to his followers. He especially requested Rupa Goswami and Santan Goswami to extract the very essence of all the knowledge of all the vedas, pure devotional service to Sri Sri Radha Krishna in Vrindavan, and write books. And the Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu describes, in great detail, what is the ultimate goal and how to achieve it. And he begins with this verse, that true devotion bhakti, real love, is untainted by any desires for material acquisition, even mystic powers or liberation.

samsiddhir hari-tosanam

its object is simply for the pleasure of Krishna. Srimad Bhagvatam explains it in such a simple way, that when you water the root of the tree, that water naturally extends to nourish every part of the tree.

Janmasya yathah

The absolute truth, who has many names, whose all attractive form is Krishna, is the root of all existence, from whom everything and everyone emanates.

“When we offer our love, our service to Krishna, it naturally extends everywhere. Universal love, in this sense, is natural for the soul. When we love Krishna we see everything in relation to Krishna and actually our love for Krishna extends accordingly.” –Radhanath Swami

A few days ago, in Kishkinta Kshetra, we celebrated Govardhan Puja where the Brajvasis, according to their tradition, they were following practices that was very much recommended in authorized scriptures to honor Indra, the Deva who supplies water. Because when we receive, we should understand that we are depending on a higher power, we should be grateful and we should reciprocate. But when you water the root of the tree, when you satisfy Krishna, every single demigod is fully satisfied, because they are all like flowers and fruits of the tree of Krishna. And our mothers and our fathers and our grandparents and great grandparents, all of our forefathers and ancestors and everyone, we offer the highest love to all of them, and to every living being, because whatever they have and whoever they are, they are always parts of Krishna. And to love Krishna is not something theoretical, its something practical.

“In the spiritual world, all the limitless living beings, who are in their pure spiritual forms, they are all feeling Krishna’s personal intimate presence. Time is conspicuous by its absence in the spiritual world, but for our calculation, 24 hours a day for all of eternity, in other words, at all times.” –Radhanath Swami

No one has to stand in a line to meet Krishna. When Krishna was sitting on the banks of Yamuna with cowherd boys, there were limitless cowherd boys, and each and every one of them was thinking that Krishna is only looking at me. Not just for a moment, the whole afternoon they were thinking like that. And they were all right, because Krishna was looking at all of them. Now how is that possible? He only had one head and he only had two eyes, but this is his achintya swarupa, inconceivable form. With his two eyes, he can see all living beings everywhere in all spiritual and material worlds.

premanjana–cchurita–bhakti–vilocanen,

When our eyes are decorated with love, then we can see Krishna, and we know that Krishna is always with us.

Radhanath Swami Addresses the Mayavadi Misconception

So Madhavacharya, here in Udupi, he wanted to establish this principle, that we have a personal relationship with Krishna and love is forever but the predominating philosophy is whatever yoga you may perform, ultimately it is meant to bring you to overcome the false ego and when there is no more false ego, you realize everything of this world is illusion and you become God, aham brahma asmi. The actual teaching of aham brhamasmi means I am part of God. I am of the same substance of God, and I could be godly if I make that connection. But to become God, Srila Prabhupad would say, “How do you become God? God is always God.” Well, I have always been God, but I just forgot. Param brahma, param dhama, Arjuna when he sees Krishna, he says, you are the supreme brahman, you are the supreme abode.

mayaa adhyakshena prakritih
suuyate sa charaacharam

I am the controller of the material existence.

tum he sarvesvara

I am the controller of all controllers. God doesn’t forget. God is never under the influence of maya and sometimes in Krishna’s pastimes, when it appears that he forgets, sometimes, it appears he forgets that he is God, when mother Yasoda picks up stick and says “Krishna, why did you steal this butter?” and Krishna is crying and he is saying, “No, no I didn’t steal it.” She said, “I saw you stealing it.” “Ok I stole it but please put down your stick!” Is he pretending? He is overcome with her love so much that in order to increase her love as a mother and his love, the intimacy, he is stepping aside his role as the Supreme to actually be the child of Yasoda. But that’s ecstatic, that’s ananda rasa, that’s the highest ecstasy, beyond liberation, beyond Vaikuntha! But the forgetfulness we have in this world, it’s not under our control, its not defined by love, it’s the cause of suffering, and it induces us to do so many things that are regrettable. So the Absolute Truth never comes under such a spell. It’s not a lila, being in maya is not a lila. Krishna is in lila and Krishna is inviting us into a lila, and material creation is part of Krishna’s lila, and we are in it, but we don’t realize it, we have forgotten it. So we never can forget, Srila Prabhupad explained it in such a simple way. He said “The jiva is the tatashta sakti, it always has the choice between material and spiritual energy. We are always subordinate to the beauty, the grace and the love of God. And if we reciprocate with God’s love in a positive way, we come under the control of yoga maya or the daivi sakti, the spiritual energy where everything simply facilitates deeper, ever-increasing experiences of feeling Krishna’s love and loving Krishna, through limitless ways. But the bahiranga sakti or the maya sakti, when we come under that control, these three modes of nature, goodness, passion and ignorance, keep us in a state of forgetfulness.” Krishna tells in Gita,

daivi hy e?a gu?amayi
mama maya duratyaya

That this material energy consisting of the three modes of nature, its Krishna’s energy, it’s all-powerful, it’s beyond our intelligence, it’s beyond our ability to control our mind and senses. Time, the controlling factor of God’s presence within this world, destroys everything. From the perspective of a eternal time, it’s just the matter of a seconds till the sun turns to ashes. Every ocean is dried up, the earth planet and every other planet becomes powder. And what to speak of our little lifetimes, how long do we live? We are getting old, we are getting diseases, we are dying, It’s the nature of the body. So maya is very, very strong, but if we take shelter of Krishna, if we recognize that we‘re completely dependent on Krishna, and that’s not a depressing situation, that’s the most optimistic state. If we are completely dependent on somebody who is very mean, that’s depressing. But when we hear Krishna’s loving pastimes and Krishna’s loving teachings from Srimad Bhagvatam, from Ramayan, from Bhagvad Gita, to be completely dependent on Krishna, on Sri Radha, as our mother and our father, our friend, our lover, it makes us totally fearless and nothing in this world could impede our happiness because we know that we are connected to Krishna, the source of all happiness. So this conception that ultimately the God is formless and you are formless, Gods form is illusion, God’s pastimes are illusion, God’s name, everyone who reads the scriptures knows it’s the yugadharma for this age.

harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam

In the Kali-santarana Upanishad it describes the 16 words, 32 syllable mantra, the Mahamantra, there is no greater medicine to cure us of the ignorance and illusion in this age of kali than the chanting of

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

So in this sense, anybody who knows sastra understands this. But the mayavad conception is just like you take a thorn out of your foot with another thorn and then you throw both thorns away and you walk way. Yes? So similarly, the name of God, the pastimes of God, the deity of God, they are pure goodness, but still they’re manifestations within maya and they could free us from maya but then after we free from maya and we realize our liberated state, we don’t need these things anymore. But for great bhaktas like Madhavacharya, Ramanujacharya, Sri Chaitanya Mahapurbhu, Vallabhacharya, these great saints and avatars and the scriptures themselves, such a idea breaks their hearts. Gods’ name is non-different than God, Hanumanji was constantly chanting Ram’s names, he was constantly serving Ram and when he was offered any benediction, the only that he wanted, “Let me always remember you, eternally chant your names, and eternally serve you.” Little Prahalad Mahraj, he was offered any benediction, “Let me always remember you as your servant.” This material world is not an illusion because its God’s energy.

Om puranam adah purnam idam

If we understand the absolute truth is absolute, then God’s energy is not an illusion; God’s energy is divine. In Bhagavad Gita Krishna says

daivi hy esa gunamayi mama maya duratyaya

“Daivi means eternal, daivi means its transcendental. He says, “This material energy, this divine energy of mine consisting of the three modes of nature.” Prakriti is Krishna’s energy, everything all the manifestations within it are ever changing but the principle of prakriti, the energy, is eternal. So devotees don’t say that all that you are seeing is not real, its an illusion, the misconception of how we identify it is an illusion.” –Radhanath Swami

An example our own bodies, according to mayavad conception, this body is an illusion, and ultimately the jiva, the atma is an illusion. The Vaishnav philosophy is the atma is eternal and this body may be temporary but its made of God’s energy, therefore it’s real. The illusion is when the atma identifies, “I am this body”— that’s maya.

“Maya isn’t that “matter exists.” Maya is when we identify ourselves as being matter, and under that misconception thinking that I am the controller, I am the enjoyer, I am the proprietor, that’s an illusion, and that’s the source of all the suffering. To understand sacredness of the world is possible when we learn how to utilize this energy in Krishna’s service. Transformation of material into spiritual is bhakti and that’s done simply through consciousness to seeing the potential within everything and everyone.” –Radhanath Swami

So Sripad Madhavacharya, he was really strong, and he was quiet athletic. He was Bhima! He was an expansion of Hanuman! When we were at Kishkinta Keshetra, when Hanuman was jumping across the ocean, he understood that this body of his is an instrument by which he can do wonderful things for Ram. With that body of his, he presented the ring of Ram to Sita and brought her the greatest joy. She was in such desperate separation from Sri Ramchandra. Hanuman saw her weeping, crying, just crying out Ram’s name. And with his hand, he presented her Ram’s ring. She took that ring and she pressed it to her heart. She experienced Ram in that ring and she cried in happiness. So for Hanuman, this is what the body is for, his utilizing his body instrument of devotion made Sita so happy! And then Sita gave Hanumanji her jewel, and Hanuman jumped over the ocean and went to Maliyavanta, the parsavana mountain in Kishkinta and presented that jewel to Ram. He pressed it to his heart and cried in ecstasy. He was talking to the jewel. “Sita you have come to me, I am remembering you, I am coming, I am coming Sita, I am coming soon.”

“So when we use our body for the pleasure of the Lord, how can we say it’s an illusion, how can we see its unreal. It’s something beautiful. Even this body may be temporary, the soul is eternal and while in this body, the human form of body could be sacred boat to take us across this ocean of material existence and give pleasure to Krishna.” –Radhanath Swami

Prasad, prasad is ordinary food but when its offered with love and devotion to Krishna, it becomes his mercy, becomes very special, it’s spiritual, we don’t walk over it, we don’t disrespect it because we appreciate its spiritual reality and the truth within it. So the world is real but the misconception of the eternal soul identifying itself—

“We are not the body; we are in the body. The body is not meant for our enjoyment, the body is meant for Krishna’s enjoyment, that’s the highest truth. The misconception is maya.” -Radhanath Swami

Radhanath Swami on Renunciation

We were speaking yesterday how Sripad Madhavacharya, he took sannyas when he was about ten years old, because he was really enthusiastic. The tradition often is, when you get really old, you get married, you have children, you have grandchildren, after you have children and grandchildren and they take over all the responsibilities of the family then you take vanaprashta, and eventually take sanyas, just before death. But Sripad Madhavacharya, he had a different conception of sannyas. His idea was Sannyas is not just meant for our own liberation, because actually the path of bhakti is so powerful that you could be a grihasta, you could be a family person and attain the highest perfection. If you see your home as Krishna’s home, if you see your family as Krishna’s family, if you see your body as Krishna’s body, if your see your occupation as a means of facilitating Krishna’s service, we chant the holy name. Bhakti Vinod Thakur, he had over ten children and a wife and several houses and a job, and yet the greatest renunciates, Gaur Kishordas Babaji Maharaj and others, were coming to get his blessings and learn what are the highest truths from him.

grihe thako, vane thako, sada ‘hari’ bole’ dako,
sukhe duhkhe bhulo na’ko, vadane hari-nam koro re
gaya Gaur madhur svare

ittle Prahalad became a grihastaha, Dhruva Mahraj became a grishastha— They were married! Ambarisa Maharaj was married, Durvasa Muni was renunciate, and who has had a deeper connection? Ambarisa! He was not only married, he was king. Ranti Dev, what was his renunciation, he had a wife and children. Kunti Devi, she was a mother with children. So many of the greatest personalities,

“…so the path of bhakti is so strong, you don’t have to become a sanyasi, you don’t have to renounce. You can attain the highest perfection and live in the highest perfection just by living in that spirit of devotion.” –Radhanath Swami

Sripad Madhavacharya took sanyas out of deep compassion, because he wanted to clarify the prevailing misconceptions of who God is and establish principles that actually open the doors to real love and real devotion. And he wanted to give his entire energy for that purpose, and for that he considered sannyas to be favorable. He had nothing else to do, no other obligation to anything or to anyone except to spread the glories of pure devotional service. And he had that determination at the age of ten.

Soon after that, he went on a tour to South India and many historical records describe his incredible accomplishments. This little boy, Achyutapreksha, his guru came with him for some of the way also and they travelled and he was giving lectures, he taught Sripad Madhavacharya that achar and vichar are necessary to be harmonized to actually gain the grace of God and realization.

“To receive knowledge and to give knowledge, philosophy is very important, it’s essential, but the character and how we live and how we speak and how we interact with other living beings and how we interact with nature and how we interact with God within our heart is all important.” –Radhanath Swami

Krishna tells in Gita jnana and vijnana, there’s two types of knowledge: there is theoretical and realized. Theoretical knowledge we could learn in books, we could understand by hearing classes, kathas, but when we apply those teachings to our life and live with true character of selfless devotion, morality, humility, gratitude, compassion, self-control, when we live with these principles on basis of that philosophy, we get realization. He explained that the conduct in which we live and the philosophy by which we live by are like the two wings of a bird. Did you ever see a bird flying with one wing? Most people these days don’t have any wings. So they can’t fly very much. And if we just have moral high character without a philosophy of understanding our eternal connection with the Supreme Lord, it’s like having one wing, we don’t really get anywhere spiritually. And if we have all this high high philosophy and we understand and we memorize, even if we memorize every little detail of the highest rasas going on in the spiritual world, if we don’t live with humility and compassion and self-control and we are not in the spirit of the servant of the servant of the servant, it’s just one wing, doesn’t get you anywhere. So he wanted to teach people how to fly back home back to Godhead.

And his body was very strong too, when he was in Goa, he was given 4000 gigantic bananas to eat and thirty pitchers of milk and within a few minutes he ate it all— and he didn’t get fat, he didn’t even have to lay on his left side, he didn’t have indigestion, he just, we can’t imitate. But he was showing that, his body, One time he had about 30 disciples, this is when he was very old, and they were young, and they seemed to be kind of proud of being young. So he challenged them all to a wrestling match, simultaneous and within seconds he defeated all thirty of them. Now brahmacharis, you don’t try to imitate this. But he had a philosophical import to everything he did, he saw that he saw his body is, he was travelling around, he was walking to Himalayas, he was walking to Kanyakumari, to Badrik ashram, he was going to all over the place with his body, he was going to places where no human being could go, so he was keeping his body fit to receive blessings and to give blessings. He was completely on the spiritual platform.

Madhvacharya Sets Out for Badrinath

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Then he decided, because Achyuta preksha, his sanyas guru, he was still very, very influenced, even though he was devotee, he was very influenced by all of this “Brahman is, the all-pervading formless, quality-less absolute and the world is an illusion.” It is so simple to understand it properly, but when you don’t have the association for someone like Srila Prabhupad who is just telling us as it is, can really get confused. And when everybody around is like that, he was quiet confused himself. And what was most confusing is that traditionally the acharyas accept that any system of true spirituality has to be supported by a commentary of Brahma Sutra or Vedana Sutra and everyone was reading the Shariraka Bhashya. So Achyutapreksha told Madvacharya that, “If you really want to convince me and if you really want to convince others, you have to have a commentary of the Vedanta Sutra to establish this principle.” Madhavacharya was such a humble person, although he was Vayudev, the divine incarnation of the God’ intimate devotee, Mukhayaprana, by his example and by his own heart, he wanted to get the teachings and the blessings of Vyasdeva, because the Brahma Sutra was written by Vyasdeva! The four Vedas, the Upanishad, the Itihastas, the Mahabharat, the Samhitas, Vysdeva helped to bring these all together to compile them, and then he took the essence of the summary and put it into the Vedanta Sutras. Then we read in Srimad Bhagvatam how, even after he did all that, he was still unsatisfied and that’s when Narada Muni came to him in Badrikashram and told him to write his own commentary of Vedanta Sutra, the Srimad Bhagvatam. So in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, we accept the Srimad Bhagvatam as the ultimate authority because it is the commentary of the essence of all Vedas by the person who wrote all the Vedas, and the essence of all the Vedas. But at that time, to have a commentary of Vedanta sutra was the stamp to give you the authority, but it really had to be convincing. So Madhavacharya decided he was going to personally go to meet Vyasdeva and Lord Narayan, and he knew where they lived, because scriptures tell, he lives in Badrinath. But there are two Badris there is Badri where humans can go to and there is another Badri way way way way high high into the celestial area of Himalayas that no human can reach. So he told Satyatirtha, one of his intimate disciples and some others, “Let us go to Badri.” And, from Udupi, they walked. Incredible things happened on the way. Eventually, they went to Badrinath. Please raise your hands if you have been to Badrinath, raise both your hands and say Hari bol.

So there is the temple of Badrivishal, it’s on the banks of Alaknanda river. In olden days, just one or two generations back, there was only one way to go there and that was to walk. And for most people, they went to Badrinath when they are about to die, because usually if you walk there, you never came back because you went through jungles and everything. But in Kaliyuga so many things happen. What happened is China, we have some really wonderful Chinese devotees here, so with all respects to China, back in 50’s and 60’s there was some tension between India and China and China is at the border of India, so they wanted to have military troops, so they built roads, and there is military stations near Badrinath. So now, because of military roads, we can drive to Badrinath. But in those days, this is about 750 years ago, Madhavacharya walked, and he was a fast walker, he was Vayuputra, and they went all the way through the jungles and the Himalayan peaks and reached Badrinath. And Madhavacharya, he went there to request the blessings and the empowerment to write a bhasya, a commentary on Brahma sutras, but he wanted to offer something also. So, he personally wrote a commentary on Bhagvad Gita, the Gita bhasyam and he presented that to the deity of Badrivishal, Badrinaryan, and offered through Badrinarayan to Vyasdeva and to Lord Narayan, because his spirit was I am coming to ask for service but I should offer something also.

He fasted and he performed some tapasya while he was there for some days and then he heard a voice, and some of his devotees heard it! Vyasdeva was calling him to the upper Badrinath— where no one can go. So Madhavacharya said, “I am going to the highest peaks on the transcendental plains of the Himalayas where no human can go, but I am going.” And his devotees were really worried, “We may never see you again, let us come with you!” He said, “No, no you cannot come with me.” but Satyatirtha came with him anyway! Madhavacharya was walking, he was walking through the snow of these high, high mountains, he was walking fast but he was slowing down because Satyatirtha was running and running and he was eventually he couldn’t breathe and he was falling in the snow and he was completely exhausted and he could not take another step. And he’s just looking up ahead and he seeing his guru, just enthusiastically moving forward. So Madhavacharya turned back to Satyatirtha and smiled and, with one wave of his hand, he went like this, and instantly Satyatirtha was back at the lower Badrinath with all of his Godbrothers. He just was there, it’s not that he flew, he just was there. And he was telling all his Godbrothers what our Gurudev is doing, Madhvacharya. And Madhavacharya, then he didn’t have to slow down for anyone, he just walked and walked and walked like Hanumanji. And ultimately, he came to a place, after walking for days to total snow wilderness, nothing, and he came to the spiritual world.

Radhanath Swami on Madhvacharya’s Arrival in Badrinath

Within these highest peaks of Himalayas was a transcendental world; you can’t even see it unless you are given the eyes to see. There were lakes and beautiful trees, especially Badri trees, and there were hundreds and hundreds of completely enlightened yogis and they were all sitting around Vyasdeva. And he was brought to meet Vyasdeva whom he accepted as his own guru. He offered his prostrated obeisances and Vyasdeva was so pleased to see Madhavacharya, his determination, his love, his devotion, his compassion, he lifted up Madhavacharya and embraced him. And for many days, Madhavacharya sat at the feet of Vedvyas to hear from him. And Vyasdeva said, “Let us go to see Lord Narayan who is also living here.” And he took him even higher, where three of them Vyasdeva, Narayan and Madhava sat together. And Narayan, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who lives there in his abode along with Vyasdeva, they explained to Sripad Madhavacharya the true essence of the Brahma Sutras, and not only explained, empowered, but instructed him to write his commentary.

Madhvacharya Composes the Purnapranga Bhashya

Vyasadeva brought him down to the other rishis and after taking leave, he came down to the lower area of Badrinath and met his disciples and told them everything that happened. And it was there in Badrinath, in the little village where the temple is, that he recited his commentary of the Brahma Sutras and Satyatirth, he wrote everything down on palm leaves. In those days, there were no computers, there wasn’t even papers and pens. He had to carve them on palm leaves, but he did with such efficiency because he had such a desire to please his guru. It was in Badrinath, it is said that Vedvyas, he spoke Mahabharat to Ganesh and Ganesh wrote everything down without ever asking, “What did you say?” that was his enthusiasm. So in a similar way, Madhvacharya wrote his Purnapragna Bhashya by speaking to Satyatirtha.

Madhvacharya Enlightens Sobhanabhatta

When it was written, they left Badrinath and began to travel to the Southern parts of India. They travelled to many places, but one of the very historical events that happened is there was an area on the banks of the Godavari river, where the greatest scholars in the whole country would meet. Sometimes they would have debates; sometimes they would just try to deeply discuss scriptures and philosophies. Madhavacharya went there and he spoke and he convinced people so much. The president of the whole association, the most respected scholar practically in the whole land of India, his name was Sobhanabhatt, he listened to Madhavacharya, he spoke to him, he had questions for him, he had challenges for him, it was so convincing and what was the most convincing is the humility, the intelligence, the compassion and the character of Madhvacharya, it deeply impressed him, “This person is an acharya, he is not just speaking the incredible philosophy that answers all the questions but he lives it.” There is one beautiful tape where Srila Prabhupad says that, “Philosophy without good character is practically useless.” Sobhanabhatt, he was a philosopher, here in Madhvacharya, he found superior philosophy and inclusive comprehensive philosophy, that was spoken by a person, who because he had love for Krishna, for Narayan, he had deep, genuine, selfless compassion for every living being. But because he was like the king of all scholars, he really needed, in order for him to be transformed, he needed something very substantial to put his faith in.

Sripad Madhavacharya had his Bhashya, his commentary of Brahma Sutras and he gave it to Sobhanabhatt to read it and discuss it with him. And after seeing this, Sobhanabhatt decided that he is going to dedicate the rest of his life to expound the teachings of Sripad Madhavacharya, to propound that the highest perfection of life is pure unalloyed devotional service to the absolute truth, the Supreme Personality of Godhead knowing that we are the eternally loving servants of the Lord, and through loving service, we can make that connection. Srila Prabhupad explained it in a very simple way. He said, “In bhakti the goal, the sadhya and the sadhana are the same.” (The goal and the way to achieve it) The way to achieve the highest goal Krishna tells:

bhaktya tu ananyaya sakya
aham evam vidurjana

“Only by pure bhakti can I be known as I am”

“And the goal we achieve by loving service, is loving service. We practice loving service to become purified and in the pure state, and loving service cleanse us of our egos and of our selfishness, it is the most powerful thing in all of creation because it attracts Krishna’s grace, and when we become cleansed then we serve with ecstatic love. We become an instrument of Krishna’s ecstatic love in everything we do and there is no greater joy than that, forever.” –Radhanath Swami

When Sobhanabhatt understood this, he was so respected that anywhere he went– he was the keynote speaker, as we would say today. Any school he went, they would say, yes you teach us. Any scholarly debate, he will be given the first right, the highest position because he was so accomplished. And now, with all of that incredible facilities he had, with deep compassion as an instrument of Madhavacharya’s grace, he was teaching pure devotional service— incredible, the impact that one man had. And later on, he took sannyas from Madhavacharya and his name was Padmanabhtirtha.

Madhvacharya Enlightens Achyutaprekesh

When Sripad Madhavacharya returned to Udupi, Achyutapreksha, his sanyas guru, was so happy to see him after so long separation. And Madhavacharya presented him his commentary on the Vedanta Sutras. In those days, that was the seal that you really have an authorized school to teach from. And when Achyutapreksha read it, and asked his questions to Sripad Madhavacharya, he was totally convinced. All of his misconceptions, all of his impersonal tendencies, they were gone forever. Philosophically, logically, scripturally, experientially and through realization he had realized the topmost spiritual state of love for God.

When Sirpad Madhavacharya was on his way back, actually when he was in Udupi– how many of you went to Udupi Krishna temple. Please if you went and you had nice experience, say Haribol very loudly, much louder please, one more time. Thank you, thank you.

Madhvacharya Saves the Sea Merchant

One day, Sripad Madhavacharya was sitting on the ocean side, the area is called Malpe, the Arabian sea and he was composing beautiful prayers in glorification of Krishna. And as he was composing those prayers, there was a storm, a heavy windstorm, and because of that the waves became extremely violent. There was a boat, a boat of merchant who was coming from Dvarka and he put so much of his life sayings into the goods that he was carrying on this boat that he was taking south to sell, but the storm was so turbulent that his boat was sinking. And waves were crashing against them, and the winds were smashing him, he was helpless. Not only his boat going to sink and all of his wealth going to be destroyed but he was going to die along with it. So he was helpless.

Srila Prabhupad in one place he said, when he was in the Jalduta, which is a cargo ship sailing across the Arabian sea, the same sea, and there was some storms and there were waves, that’s when he had heart attacks, Prabhupad said, he looked around and all there was the rains, and the winds and the turbulent sea with the waves getting bigger and bigger and he said his boat felt like a little tiny matchbox in the middle of the ocean. You really can understand the need for higher powers in the situation like that, and he just gave his heart to Krishna. So this boat man, he was about to die and loose everything. And right at the last moment, he happened to see Madhavacharya sitting in meditation on the seashore. And he cried out because he saw, He is a yogi, he is a saint, maybe he could help me. He was taking shelter.

“You see, when you take shelter of saintly people, you are actually receptive to receive their mercy. You can ask for the blessing, you can demand blessings, but you are not going to get much. But if you actually feel dependent and take shelter and understand the importance of the association of saintly people, then we are actually receptive to receive, the words they speak and the blessings that they can transform us with.” –Radhanath Swami

So this person saw the beautiful form of Sripad Madhavacharya and he was in such a helpless state, he was crying out for Madhavacharya, “Help!” Madhavacharya had a saffron chadar on, some cloth he was wearing, a kaupin, and he took that cloth and he just waved it, and the storm disappeared, not only that, the ocean became calm. And then Sripad Mdhavacharya just kind of went like this, and the wind took his boat to the shore and everything was fine. So this person had full realization that this yogi saved his life, saved his wealth, saved everything! And he came down with real deep gratitude and bowed down to Sripad Madhvacharya and said I have so much wealth on this boat, “I will give you anything you want. What can I give you; I will give you the whole boat!” Sripad Madhavacharya said, “I don’t want anything. What do I need?”

“Devotees who have Krishna in the hearts are atmarama, they are self-satisfied. If you are not satisfied with Krishna in your heart, no matter what you have, you will never be satisfied.” –Radhanath Swami

He [Madhvacharya] said, “I don’t want anything.” But the person really wanted to, He said, “I have gold! I have pots! I have boat! anything, I will give you.” Madhavacharya said, “You are coming from Dwarka?” He said, “Yes.” He said,“Do you have any gopi chandan?” Gopi chandan is clay! Especially in those days, that clay was so easily to get in Dwarka, it’s for free there were places of clay and blocks of clay! And sailors, in order to balance their ship, they would have gopi chandan because it really didn’t cost anything. it was more or less, from the material side, it was so easily available, it had no value. But when you take things off your ship, you have to balance it with something else, so they keep mounds of gopi chandan. Now for a devotee, gopi chandan is what you, it’s, if you go to Dwarka, there is a place called Gopi Talab. How many have been there? Please raise your hands and say Haribol. We should go on another yatra there. And that’s the place where actually Gopis came and bathed and Sri Radharani and Krishna and Gopis bathe there in this Gopi Talab, this kund. And the dust from Krishna and Sri Radha’s bodies and the dust of the feet of all of the gopis became that clay. So from that time, it’s considered priceless. From a businessperson’s perspective in those days, it was worth nothing; but for Madhavacharya, it was worth everything. It’s the dust of the feet of Krishna and Radha and Gopis. And we put it on our bodies, its called tilak. We put it one our foreheads, twelve parts of our body, and it’s the way of consecrating our body, mind, words and life to Krishna.

So he said, “Please give me, you have some gopi chandan?” He said, “Yes, I have two mounds of gopi chandan!” So he said, “you can give me that.” And they took two mounds of gopi chandan out and one of the mounds broke open and inside was an incredible deity of Balaram. And then Madhavacharya, he was chanting beautiful hymns and mantras and the other lump of gopi chandan opened up and there was a deity of Krishna, incredible deity of Krishna. And Madhvacharya knew the history of that deity.

Madhvacharya Tells the Story of the Gopi Chandan Deities

During the time of Krishna, which is approximately 5000 years ago, Krishna lived in Dwarka with Devaki and Vasudev, his mother and father. And he lived in beautiful palaces with queens like Satyabhama and Rukmini, Jambavati. Krishna lived approximately 10-11 years in Vrindavan, and then Akrura brought Krishna to Mathura and we spoke about the story in Srimad Bhagvatam class in Radha Gopinath temple a couple weeks ago where Kaliyavana, who was incredible yavana demon with millions of soldiers, 30 million they attacked for Mathura on one side, and then Jarasandha was coming with millions of soldiers, all these Akshohini divisions, he was coming attacking Mathura on the another side. So Krishna and Balaram went out to meet Kaliyavana and in order to protect citizens of Mathura, he empowered Vishwakarma to build the fort in the sea called Dwarka. Now I think day after tomorrow our yatra is complete, it’s the beginning of the yatra actually, the second part of the yatra, but then you all have to return to your homes, may be by train or plane or bus, or rickshaw. Now, when Krishna wants to move you, it’s very special. The people of Mathura, the whole Yadu dynasty, they were in their palaces in Mathura, their homes, they all went to sleep at night peacefully. So Krishna, he transferred them all to Dwarka, and nobody even woke up, in the morning they woke up and they were in brand new palace in Dwarka, they were looking around, incredible. So that’s how Dwarka was created by Krishna.

But Devaki, who was Krishna’s mother in Mathura, according to Srimad Bhagvatam, he was within her womb when she was living in the prison of Kamsa, the Janmastami lila and then that very night, Vasudev took him across the Yamuna River to Gokul where he was raised by Yasoda and Nand Maharaj. Devaki expressed to Krishna in the inner chambers of their palace in Dwarka, that, “I heard so many beautiful lilas or stories about your charming childhood activities in Vrindavan. Yasoda Mayi, as your mother, she was a witness; she could be the part of those childhood activities. I heard stories where you would just be a naughty little boy and you’d steal butter and you’d completely conquer everyone’s hearts. By the time you came back you were a prince! I want to see those pastimes that as your mother, I never saw you as a little child.” So Krishna fulfilled Devaki’s desires. He manifested himself as Bal Gopal, little Krishna. And he jumped on her lap and drank her milk and then he went and he started breaking butter pots, he was stealing, he was doing all this little childhood pastimes, he was holding stick and a rope for churning butter, as he was stealing and Devaki was completely mesmerized. She was thinking in her heart, I have never experienced such happiness as this, your Vrindavan lila.

Rukmini, Krishna’s queen, was watching, and she never experienced such happiness as seeing Krishna’s Bal lila of Vrindavan. She requested Krishna, “I want to worship you in this form as Bal Gopal stealing butter. Can you give me a murti that I could worship? So Krishna called Vishwakarma to carve that identical form that Rukmini was seeing of Krishna of Vrindavan as the butter thief, and he carved, out of a pure Saligram Sila, that form of Krishna, and in one hand he is holding a stick and in another a rope. And Rukmini Devi, although she was personally serving Dwarkadish Krishna day and night, her greatest happiness was in worshipping this deity form in the temple in her inner room of Gopal. Years later, when the Yadu dynasty was sent back to the spiritual world, Arjuna, Krishna’s dearest friend, he brought the deity of Rukmini after the Rukmini had already left, and put it in Rukmini’s garden. And over the years, the deity of Gopal that was worshipped by Rukmini in Dwarka was covered by gopi chandan along with the deity of Balram, and was completely lost. So those sailors they didn’t know, there was anything inside that lump of gopi chandan, it was just mud, clay. But it was Krishna’s wish and Balaram’s wish to come here to Udupi to be worshipped by Sripad Madhavacharya, and later to be visited by Sri Chaitanaya Mahaprabhu. And even then, when Udupi Krishna was on that boat in that storm, he knew that all of us would be here today.

The devotees, Sripad Madhvacharya said, “Let us bring–” Balaram is installed in a temple close to where the sea is. Did you all go to see the Balaram temple? But he wanted to bring Krishana back to the town of Udupi, but Krishna was so heavy, nobody could pick him up. Thirty of his disciples tried to lift him but they could not lift him. Then Madhvacharya, chanting beautiful songs in glorification of Lord Krishna, effortlessly picked Krishna. And as he was carrying Krishna back to Udupi, he completed his beautiful prayers the Dwadasa Stotram, which for many followers in the Sri Madhava Sampradaya, even almost 800 years later, chant every day.

Radhanath Swami Presents the Merchant Analogy

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We can see an analogy in this story too. That merchant who was on the ship is like the jivatma and the boat is like the human form of life and the Arabian Sea (the ocean), is like the ocean of samsara. And the purpose of human form of life is to take the jivatma across the ocean of samsara to the abode of Krishna. That storm is like the attraction of the senses for their objects, lust, envy, anger, arrogance, greed, illusion, all of these human frailties, we want to be the controller, we want to be the proprietor, we want to be the enjoyer, and there are so many distractions! Mental distraction is desire for recognition, prestige, adoration and then there’s the senses that want to feel something, touch something, taste something, hear something, smell something, see something, just enjoy. Have you ever had that experience? That’s like the storm, and that storm, if we get too attached to the attractions between the mind and the senses for the objects of this world, we sink, we sink in the storm in the ocean of samsara and in that sinking we take birth after birth after birth again. But Madhavacharya, in this case, he is the grace, the grace of the God which comes through the grace of guru, the grace of Vaishnavas, the grace of holy scriptures. And like the man on that boat, when the jiva really realizes his helpless condition in this ocean of material existence and really understands how helpless we are in the storms of the temptations and aversions of maya, we cry out, we take shelter, and when we do, by the grace of the Lord, he helps us. And one of the first ways he helps us is he teaches us what really is of value. The man’s wealth, everything else, Madhavacharya didn’t give much value to that but gopi chandan, that had value. What is gopi chandan? We put the tilak of gopi chandan on our bodies to represent a Vaishnava life style. The gopi chandan represents the character, the aspiration, the sadhana, living a life of a Vaishnava. So the grace of Guru and the grace of God is they give us this type of life to live, to live as servant of the servant, to live with morality for Krishna’s pleasure, to live as an instrument of compassion for Krishna’ pleasure.

yoginam api sarvesam
mad-gatenantar-atmana

Krishna tells, “Of all yogis, one who abides in me with great faith is most intimately united me with in yoga and is the highest of all.” So to actually receive, when we asked Srila Prabhupad, “What can we do to repay you for all you have given us?” He said, “Just sincerely accept this path of devotional service and share with others.” That’s the life of a devotee.

“Gopi chandan represents when we get the grace of guru we receive what he gives us, a life of service, a life of purification and through that grace, Krishna appears.” –Radhanath Swami

Madhvacharya Installs Bal Gopal

Sripad Madhavacharya brought Krishna to Madhva Sarovar and bathed Krishna with his disciples and then performed a beautiful ceremony to install him where we see him today, in this beautiful temple. The temple was built a little later but he was installed here and Sripad Madhavacharya personally established the form of worship. And Krishna was so beautiful, so sweet, so merciful and because of Madhvacharya, and his followers, because of the way they worshipped him, people by the millions started coming to Udupi to have the darshan of Sri Krishna.

Radhanath Swami on Madhvacharya’s Return to Badrinath

Madvacharya wanted to go back to Badrinath to offer his gratitude to Vyasdeva, his guru, for all that he had given him. And he wanted to present to him the Purna Pragna Bhasya, the commentary of Vedanta Sutra that he wrote under his instructions. So along with several of his then sannyasis and other disciples, they began their journey from Udupi back to Badrikashram. And biographers of Sripad Madhvacharya tell many incredible stories about what happened on the way. Can I tell just a few?

“There was a king and his name was Ishwaradeva and the problem was he really thought that he was Ishwaradeva. That’s the fundamental basic problem with life is we want to be the master and the enjoyer, and ultimately we want to just be a God, then we have no competitors. But for a devotee Krishna, Ram, so beautiful, so merciful, we just want to glorify them and love them and chant their holy names.” –Radhanath Swami

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Madhvacharya Hoodwinks King Isvardeva

King Isvaradeva, he was a thief, he was arrogant, he wanted to exploit people, he just- everything was just about him. So he wanted to build some lakes for his own satisfaction, and anybody he would see, he had his armies, he would force those people to dig the lake and not pay him anything. So here is Madhvacharya with his sannyasi disciples, they were walking and soldiers came, and no respect! They told Madhvacharya, “You have to dig the lake otherwise the king will punish you.” So Sripad Madhvacharya meets the king and the king has spade, shovel, “I don’t care who you are, dig the lake” Madhvacharya, he said, “I am a swami, I don’t know how to dig lakes. You show me how to dig then I will dig.” He [the king] said, “You just take it like this!” He [Madhvacarya] said, “you show me how to dig.” So King started digging! And the king got so illusioned, he got so mystified by Sripad Madhvacharya, he got so totally immersed in digging, that he forgot about everything and Madhvacharya and his followers just walked away.

Madhvacharya Charms the Turkish King

Another time, because in those days, India was so many little kingdoms, there was a Turkish king who really hated Hindus and he was also a very cruel person. So he had armies, and they came to the river Ganges, the Ganga, and they stopped any boats from crossing river. It’s a wide river, very forceful river! Now to get to Badrinath, you have to cross Ganga there, so there were no boats, and on the other side there were armies who were going to kill anybody who tries to get into their territory. So what are you going to do? Sripad Madhavacharya, told his sadhu disciples, “Stand in a line one after another, single file, hold each other’s hands.” So they were on the shore of the river, holding each other’s hands and then he went right into the front and he held the hand of the first person, the first Swamiji. And he started walking into the Ganges and he was pulling all of them, and they crossed it! The biographers, I haven’t found where it says whether, like Vasudeva and Krishna, where it just kind of opened it for him or they walked over the water, somehow they crossed it! You see, Vasudev when he crossed Yamuna, Krishna was in his hands; with Madhavacharya, Krishna was in his heart. but as soon as they came to the other side, the armies were there with weapons ready to imprison them, torture them or kill them. So Madhavacharya said, “I want to meet your king.” The king didn’t speak Hindi, he spoke Turkish, he had Turkish soldiers, he was an invader. So Sripad Madhavacharya came before him, and spoke eloquent Turkish language, nobody knew that he knew Turkish language! And he spoke with such compassion and such intelligence and even such respect for this person. Even though the soldiers were about to kill them, the king, he was charmed. He told Madhavacharya, “I am just so happy to meet you, I am so enlightened to meet you, I want to donate to you some nice land where you could live.” Sripad Madhavachya didn’t want any land, the king touched his feet and asked for his blessings and they continued their journey.

Madhvacharya Saves Satyatirtha

When they got near Badrikashram they were going through a forest. And Satyatirtha, who was the person who would– he was such a faithful, devoted disciple, he would do anything for his guru and he was the one who was empowered to write down the books as Sripad Madhavacharya would dictate. But Satyatirtha was alone in this area of forest and suddenly a gigantic tiger attacked him— and nobody was around. So he thought of Krishna this is the end, and suddenly, Sripad Madhavacharya, appeared right there, and with one touch of the head of the tiger, the tiger fell unconscious. The moral of this story is

“…there are many tigers in this world; but if we take shelter of the Vaishnavas, who hold Krishna in their hearts, we can be rescued from those tigers within and without.” –Radhanath Swami

Madhvacharya Reunites With Vyasdev and The Lord

Sripad Madhavacharya, he presented his Geeta Bhasyam, his commentary of Bhagavad Gita, to the deity of Badrivishal, in the lower part of Badrinath, but the Bhasyam on the Vedanta Sutra, he wanted to directly present to the Vyasadeva and Lord Narayan. So he told his devotees that he is going to the upper Badri again and nobody even attempted to come with him! And he was really enthusiastic and he went like Hanumanji to the spiritual world. And there, he bowed down to the Vyasdeva who brought him to Lord Narayan and he embraced him and he presented to them the Purna Pragna Bhasya, the Vaishnava commentary of Brahma Sutras. And they were so pleased because it was their words, that he was an instrument to present to the world. At that time, Vyasadeva gave eight murtis to Sripad Madhavacharya and also gave him an instruction; “You should write a summary commentary on the Mahabharata.” And with that command, after sitting with his guru and his beloved Lord, he returned to his devotees.

Madhvacharya Reveals His Old Club

When he came down to the Ganga again, in the plains of India, he was with many scholars and many simple common people. Every type of people, he could attract their hearts with his wisdom, with his compassion, his love, and what an incredible philosophy. Some of the people said, “You should write commentaries on the Upanishads also.” And he did, during the chaturmasya on the bank of the Ganges, after going to Badrinath for the second time, he wrote bhasyams or commentaries for ten of the primary Upanishads. He took his devotees to Kurukshetra. And there, he was at Jyotisar, he saw the place where Krishna spoke Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna and in doing so, spoke to the whole world. And he was remembering his pastimes as Bhima on the Kurukshetra battlefield which is a major part of the Mahabharat. And some of the devotees asked him, “Do you remember where you put your weapons after the battle?” And Sripad Madhavacharya said, “Come and follow me.” and they walked into these fields of Kurukshetra and he came to one place and said “Dig here.” and they dug, and in the earth, they discovered Bhima’s club. Now Bhima was really large in size and his club was enormous. There was Bhima’s club! They were mystified! And then he told them “Bury it again.” because nobody could pick it up except him.

Madhvacharya Leaves His Body

And eventually they returned after incredible tours of going to so many different lands and so many kingdoms and bestowing so much compassion on so many people, and returned to Udupi. When he was around 79 years old, he told his devotes that, “When I physically depart from you, my spirit will remain here in Udupi and my body will go to Badrikashram to live with my beloved Gurudev Srila Vyasdeva. And in the Anantheswar Temple, he would give his lectures on a regular basis, and on the side of the temple, there is a window, when you look in the window you see the same seat that Sripad Madhavacharya would give his talks. In the Udupi Krishna temple there is a seat he would preach and meet people, and in that same seat, is where his, the Pejavar swamis, his successors, sit even today. It was there when he was speaking the Aitareya Upanishad Samhita, he was speaking and his body simply disappeared and those who were witness to this, understood that his spirit is forever here.

Radhanath Swami Gives the Essence of Madhvacharya’s Teachings

So we have come to Udupi because it is such a special place for us. In our yatras, we often go to Sri Mayapur Dham, Sri Vrindavan Dham and we have been so many other places. We regularly go to Jagannath Puri Dham, sometimes we go to Ayodhaya or Naimisaranya, Badrinath, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Pandarpur, Rangakshetra, Tirupati, Kurmakshetra, Simhachalam, Ahobilam, Kanchipuram, Rameshwaram, Chitrakoot, we’ve had many yatras.

The idea of the yatra is that we come together, we put everything in the world aside, and we are just pilgrims. We are among people who have one purpose— this is onen

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I wish to offer my gratitude to everyone who has so kindly assembled today on this auspicious occasion of Dussehra. Today all over the world there are millions and millions of people celebrating this day. But like most spiritual occasions not so many know why? – It is a characteristic of kali yuga that even very sacred things are perceived very superficially. Often times religious festivals of all religions are more of an opportunity for some sort of social entertainment than for genuinely cultivating Love of God – which is the purpose of every great religion and the purpose of every spiritual observance. The Srimad Bhagavatam tells “Shram eva hi kevalam” whatever occupation we perform whatever spiritual activities we do if in the end it does not awaken within us a deep attraction to hear about to chant about, to serve and to love God than we miss the point. We have wasted our time.

Today Lord Sri Ramchandra is being remembered for his killing of Ravana. Interesting; just a few blocks away is the house of Mahatma Gandhi were he lived. In fact when the British police were coming to arrest him he came right onto this property and hid in the LaxmiNarayan temple, And the pujari locked the door from outside. And the soldiers searched this entire building even the room we were sitting in today. But they had no idea he was in the temple which was locked, apparently the deities were sleeping and he escaped. He is well known throughout the world as a proponent of non violent revolution. Not to resort to violence and he is also well know at the time of his death when he is assassinated he chanted the name of Ram, so ultimately Ram was his shelter. And how did Rama deal with situation, he killed Ravana. Is this a contradiction? We understand this principle that when the absolute truth who is perfect performs his pastimes it is all perfect. It is ultimately far greater than non violence. In fact it is ultimate perfection of non violence.

Whatever the Supreme Lord does is for our benefit

An example, this example comes to my mind very quickly because I just had surgery one week ago and still the effects of it are upon me. If somebody has a very very serious life threatening disease and the surgeon cuts the person open with his knife, and then takes out the disease and kills it, is that violence or nonviolence? – Actually saving a life. But the difference is when the Supreme Lord, whatever He does is for everyone’s ultimate benefit. Ravana was liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Rama killed his ignorance, his illusion, his ego, and in doing so, He protected all the innocent people within the world. And also facilitated the whole world to protect their lives. So, Rama vijayotsava is the festival of Rama’s victory. His victory of love over hate, His victory of compassion over envy. A truth and light over illusion and darkness.

Ahankara keeps us in this world

Ravana was terrorizing this world. And he stole the consort of Lord Rama, Sita. But how Rama performed this wonderful act of liberating Ravana was a very very instructive, instructive in the sense that it really revealed the heart of the Lord, intimately. The Lord’s love for His devotees. Because at every step, Lord Sri Rama is giving credit to His devotees more than Himself; and even when He did something, He staged in such a way that it was due to the blessings of His devotees. This is a very important lesson, because what keeps us in this world is our very deep rooted tendency to take credit for what we do, to take credit for what we don’t do, to give blame for what we do – this is ahankar.

prakrteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvasah

ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate

that the bewildered soul under the illusion of false ego thinks him or herself to be the doer of activities. But actually, within this material creation, everything is being done by the influence of the three modes of material nature. And beyond that Krishna, the Supreme personality of Godhead is the controller of the material nature. So, we want to take credit, we want to give blame, but when the Lord descends in this world, He is very eager to give credit to those who are pure in heart. During the battle of Sri lanka, first of all just to get Sri Lanka. I am afraid to go back to the beginning.

Lord empowers His devotees and takes help from them

When Rama was searching for Sita, He knows everything past, present and future. He is in between every atom, the paramatma within the heart of every living being, there is nothing he does not know. But yet He is asking everybody, where Sita is? When He went to Kiskinda ksethra He made allies with Sugriva, Angada, Hanuman, and Jambavan to help Him to find Sita and then to help Him to rescue Sita. Does he need our help? Factually all of these vanaras or all of these monkey soldiers, they could only see, they could only hear, they could think, they could move, they could only live because of the power of God within them. He is giving them all power and then He is coming and saying, “I need your help.” Because the Lord is Rasaraja or let us say Rasabihari, we are in Bombay. He takes joy in loving relationships.

Lord gives credit to His devotees and devotees give credit to the Lord

So while He was in the mountain waiting for four months chanting Sita’s names and meditating on her in separation on His heart and meanwhile Sita the supreme Goddess fortune is in Ashok groves; at least Her expansion is there in Sri Lanka, apparently in present by Ravana. How is it possible? Then the various monkeys were searching and searching everywhere and Rama was just waiting, waiting and waiting and ultimately when they were giving proper direction, Hanumanji with one jump, he jumped 800 miles across the Indian ocean to Sri Lanka. And then with one jump, he came back after doing his seva. He gave Sita the message. He destroyed the Ashok Grove, which was the favorite place of Ravana, and then he met Ravana face to face and gave him, what he wanted to say, good morning. Then he burned the city down, at least, a vast portion of it. Then after jumping back, he came back and met Rama. Rama with tears of love embraced him. Rama told Hanuman that I am forever endeared to you for what you have done. And from Hanumanji’s side, he was one hundred percent absolutely certain that it was only by Rama’s power and grace that I could do anything. Its love, it’s the interaction of love on the spiritual platform. The Lord is giving credit to his devotee and his devotee takes no credit for himself, he is giving all credit to the Lord.

Real love is in serving and pleasing one another on the spiritual platform

Our tendency of friendship is we like to boast of what we have done to our friends, but real love is not like that. Real love is in serving, real love is in pleasing one another on the spiritual platform.

So when Lord Ramachandra came to the shore of the ocean, now little later on in the next yuga He is going to reveal His Virat rupa, his universal form. Now what could Ravana do standing before that Virat rupa? And in the past he already killed Ravana in his past birth as Lord Nrsimhadeva. No problem, he already killed Ravana’s brother in his past birth as Hiranyaksha as Lord Varahadeva. So Rama could manifest those forms if he wants. What is the problem? But He is asking, “How am I going to crossover the ocean.” So Vibhishana says you should perform a little tapasya and ask the ocean. So He is sitting there for days fasting to get the blessings of the ocean and the ocean doesn’t come, personification of the ocean. So He is taking a very humble position. But He understands He is the paramatma in the heart of the presiding deity of the ocean, he was proud. So Lord Rama took one arrow and he just pulled it back and it created such heat that the entire ocean started boiling over instantly. Now for us to boil a pot of water it takes a few minutes to bring it to a boil. This is the Lord’s power, in a second he can bring the entire ocean to a boil. And the aquatics were screaming, and then the ocean personified comes out with folded palms and surrenders and says please forgive me. Whatever you want. And he says you can make a bridge over me. So Rama walked eight hundred miles on that bridge. Hanuman jumped over it in a few seconds, may be not a few seconds but quite quickly, very fast flyer. So Ramachandra walks with Laxman and Hanumanji’s one jump and when they get to Srilanka tremendous battle. One of the world’s greatest battles.

At one time Indrajit came out to fight. Indrajit is the eldest son of Ravana. Most powerful personality in battle. One Indrajit today could probably defeat all the armies in the world. Seriously, without a doubt. He was that mystically empowered. If Indrajit went to Kashmir, He would just say, since he was a crooked person, he would say, who is going to bribe me the best. Then that’s the end of the war. Very powerful person. So he was fighting against all this Rama’s armies and Lakshman, and he became so angry, that he chanted these mystical yogic mantras, started shooting arrows and from these arrows came serpents and the arrows completely covered Rama & Lakshman and they fell to the ground and they appeared to have lost their lives. And Hanuman and Jambavan & Angada and Sugriva, they were also covered by all these arrows. They were all just laying there, it appeared that they were dead and Indrajit was convinced that they were all dead and went back to Sri Lanka and told Ravana: “War’s finished, I have killed them, enjoy Sita. And Ravana was very happy, he told Sujata, who was, you could say, one of the caretakers of Sita. Bring her in a celestial airplane, show her how Rama & Lakshman are dead. And she did that, and Sita was weeping and crying. And Sujata said, actually they are not dead. Nobody could kill Them, it’s just a temporary thing. So meanwhile, while Jambavan and Hanuman are crying, they don’t know what to do. They are really crippled, Rama & Laksman just laying there completely covered by these mystical snake arrows. Suddenly a big wind is felt by everyone, then appears Garuda. And as soon as Garuda appears, he just flaps his wings and just gazes very angry at those arrows and immediately all those snake arrows just release Rama, release Lakshman and released everybody else and disappeared. And Garuda said to Rama & Lakshman, he said those, by his mystic power, Indrajit was able to invoke the sons of Kadru to appear: these snakes as arrows. But because they are afraid of me, just by my presence they all went away.

So here is an example of Rama & Lakshman, apparently completely defeated in a helpless state and Garuda saves Them. But then Garuda says to Rama and Lakshman: Thank you for accepting my service, now I am going to be in the sky watching You as You annihilate Ravana and all of his people. So he was in no illusion. Garuda is the Lord’s eternal, menial, obedient servant. Whenever the Lord calls for Garuda, Garuda is there to take the Lord anywhere and do, take any order of the Lord. But interestingly Krishna, he became like the Garuda for Arjuna, He became Ajruna’s chariot driver. Taking orders from His own devotee. So because Garuda with no ego, with pure love, simply serves. The Lord takes a position out of Love. Out of intimacy of being depending on Garuda. Krishna is hungry & He is asking Yashoda mayi for milk. Now factually Krishna is the cause of all causes. That means He is the cause of all milk. Every mother’s breast: whether it’s Human, or Cow or elephant or camel or buffalo, whatever milk, it’s only by Krishna’s divine arrangement. He is the cause of all causes. But yet, out of intimacy of love, He is, He is crying, He is depending on Yashoda mayi to nourish Him. This is Lila. Lila is the highest revelation of the Absolute Truth. Because, beyond even liberation, is the intimate, ecstatic relationships of Love between the Lord and His devotes. And this Love is completely transcendental to material conceptions. How is God crying for a mother’s milk? At one time, all of us are crying for mother’s milk. If any of us now cry for our mother’s milk, what will everyone else think of it? “Whats wrong with this person?” He is crying out Radharani’s name. He is crying for true milk of radha ranis mercy .But here is supreme personality of godhead crying for mother’s milk. And When there is lightning he is running to mother Yasoda ‘please protect me’. Our great acharyas explain how its only by the mercy of lord one can actually understand these spirtual subjects. Till some extend rationally, intellectually, philosophically we can try to comprehend it. But really only by grace that we can really connect to this truth. And because one gets the grace of someone like Srila Prabhupada, it’s so easy to understand it. we can understand it others think its mythology its not possible because its not possible by our material calculation. Or others may think that its not mythology but the all pervading impersonal absolute temporarily takes these little roles where He is within material conditioning and is crying for mothers milk ,but thats little arrangement showing and then and ultimately He is braman. We learn from acharys that Krishna is eternally like this with mother and He is the source of Brahamn. This is very beautiful. And later on that battle field, Vibhishan was the best friend of ravana.He actually loved Ravana because he was pure devotee when u are pure devotee u love every one even ur enemies. He didn’t see as enemy. Prahlad Maharaj that was opposition, this is your enemy and this is your enemy. And this how u have deal with ur friend school was teaching this is how u deal no friends no enemies. This is all relative. Everyone is brothers and sisters.Prahlad loved everyone. Prahlad loved Hiranyakashipu. .He was the only who loved Hiranyakashipu.Hiranyakash ipus other associates may have feared him , may have had affection for him on the basis of mental or sensuous , or enjoyment.But Prahlad actually loved him.Thats when Hiranyakashipu would give somebody an order,everybody even demigods would obey him,even though they knew he was wrong. But Prahlad when he would get orders he would pay obeisances to his father and very respectfully in perfect Sanskrit, he would tell his father, You are a demon and you are completely in illusion in fact you in deep dark well where there is no water and there is suffering, go to Vrindavan and surrender to Krishna. And Hiranyakashipu tried to murder Prahlad for saying those things in so many ways. And after doing all that, he asked Prahlad, “where do you get powers from?” and he says, “same place you get yours from, from Visnu”. Such love, he had no bad feelings, and then even after Lord Narasingadev liberated while he ended his life, Prahlad, he didn’t say “He is so cruel, let him burn in hell. He was praying if you want to give any benediction give my father liberation. Such love, that was Vibhishana. He was always giving Ravana with all respect and honor good advice. And when he continued to tell him to give Sita back to Rama and how he was going to be annihilated with his entire dynasty, ultimately Ravana was going to kill him. But because he was his brother he basically totally rejected Vibhishana and Vibhishana left and took shelter of Rama.and here is Ravana’s brother, there is that beautiful story where Sugriva saw Vibhishana, Now please understand he is really a giant person, he is also Kumbhakarana’s brother and Suparnakha’s brother. So when he was in the sky, he also flew over the ocean with two of his ministers, they didn’t need a bridge, they just chanted a mantra and said, “We want to see Rama and we want to surrender to Rama” and Rama asked everyone’s advice and Sugriva said, “We should kill this rascal. He is Ravana’s brother. We should reject him.” And everybody else was saying the same thing. Then Rama asked Hanuman. He said, “I saw his face. He looks very sincere. We should accept him as one of our own family.” And Rama said, “I like what you said.” And Sugriva who is the commandeering chief, he was really feeling, “what are you saying? His blood is very thick. He might be angry with his brother now. But ultimately, he is his brother. He is a rakshasa. When things get heeded and complicated in the battle, how can we possibly trust him that he is going to go against his own brother? He has to be rejected. He has to be killed.” And then Rama spoke His famous verse that, “I proclaim today. That if anyone, even one time says to Me that ‘I am Yours’, whoever they are, I promise to protect them forever. I will accept that person as My own. Even if Ravana today came to Me with those words, I would accept him. I proclaim these words for all time to come, and for all people to hear. Bring Vibhishan here.” Sugriva began to cry. He said, “Rama, You are so merciful. He is now part of our family.”

And through the battle Lord Ramacandra was always getting advice from Vibhishan how to deal with certain situations. When they were fighting with Ravana, Ravana, he was so angry with Vibhishan, he wanted to kill him. He started battling against Vibhishan. And Vibhishan really didn’t have a chance. So, Laxman came in between them and started fighting against Ravana. And every time Ravana threw some javelin or shot some arrows at Vibhishan, Laxman would come and intercept and destroy them. Ravana was so angry. He turned all his wrath against Laxman. And he had a deadly javelin for the worst possible battle. And with all his might, he threw that javelin towards Laxman and it penetrated his armour, pierced his chest going deep into Laxman’s body. Laxman fell to the ground. Rama ran to him and appeared he was lifeless. Lord Rama immediately started fighting against Ravana. He has Hanuman and some others – “You take care of My brother. Let Me get rid of this ten headed monster.” He fought, and ultimately Ravana had to retreat. Ramacandra placed Laxman’s head on His lap and saw this wound. It was unbearable to see. And the Lord pulled the javelin out of Laxman’s chest and broke it into two and threw it aside.

Meanwhile Rama is speaking to Lakshman and speaking to everybody who could hear, that even if I win the battle there will never be a life of joy again if Lakshman is dead. Ram was crying and everybody was watching him. It was a lila in which the Lord is invoking of such essence in people hearts and Susena said in the Dronachala which is a mountain range in the Himalaya, he said on that mountain a herb called sanjibani Karani.If it is brought back here before the sunrise I may be able to save his life otherwise it is not possible. Now even with today’s best technology who could do that Hanuman said I will do that, the sun won’t rise. If I don’t got back here in time, I will eat the sun, that’s not going to rise and he jumped all the way to Himalayas from Srilanka. He got to the mountain and there are so many herbs in the mountain. And he was thinking If I go back and it’s the wrong herb I am not going to have time to go back all the way searching for another one .He was so thorough with his service attitude, so completely without ego. When you have an ego you are limited to your own strengths and weakness. But because he was totally surrendered to Ram nothing was impossible for him. He had such enthusiasm. we were hearing yesterday about enthusiasm. Hanuman what enthusiasm, he uprooted the entire mountain and lifted it up.In the meanwhile Ravana was sending all kinds of demons to stop him and he was fighting them off carrying the mountain and Bharat even saw flying him over Ayodhya and tried to stop him. Not without obstacles but for Hanumanji there was no question of may be or if. He committed his heart to his service. When Prabhupada was going in ocean over Jaladuta there was no may be or it is. He was going to do it, he was going to execute the order of Lord Chaitanya and Gurudev whether he lived or died was a detail but he was going to do it. Such a service attitude. Hanuman crossed oceans, Prabhupada crossed ocean for the same purpose to rescue Sita, Sita’s devotion and with in all our hearts the Sita of devotion is in the Ashoka groves of Ravana representing lust and envy and anger and pride and illusion Maya.Prabhupada crossed oceans and took great risks to restore that devotion within our hearts ,to bring our soul back to Ram. So Hanuman brought the mountain Gandamadana Mountain and set it down and Susena came and cut the herb and Laxman woke up and stood up. At that point Rama decided this is the end of Ravana. He has done this to my brother. Now in the mean while Rama just crying helplessly, what to do about my brother and how Hanuman the one who goes and saves. Saves the situation. And again the same dynamics of relationships. Hanuman is not thinking, just see, I can do but god cannot do. (laughing). What to speak of same thinking? Just see, I am god. In one of my plenary portion as Rama Chandra, He could not do it, but can do. Hanuman was absolutely humble that my lord, in his heart whatever you make me do, I am doing. Actually in Srila Prabhupada’s prayers in Jaladuta, we are given the essence of every pure devotees heart in all of these different beautiful scriptural pastimes. Srila Prabhupada was praying to Krishna “I am your poppet. Make me dance as you want me to dance”. That was Hanuman, he just felt himself to be Rama’s poppet. Rama wanted to give him all the credit. Hanuman foot ever famous for lifting that mountain. That is Hanuman’s love for Rama and Rama’s love for Hanumanji. At that point Lord Ramachandra said that now the world know, whoever hears this either Ravana is going to dead or I am going to be dead. Today his life will end and anyone who hears this glorious narration is going to be liberated and the story of this battle and my killing or Ravana is going to be song as long as creation exists. That was a great battle. Again Lila the lords like to make things exciting. Actually He is the paramatma. What could Ravana may do, If paramatma just, you know the Sudarshan Chakra and said it, cut the everything of inside it. Lord can killed everybody in any way effortlessly. Mahavishnu he just go, in one inhalation in entire creation destroyed. Mahavishnu – to do is just go – Ravana will go finish form inside, outside and anywhere. What a battle? The reason of battle was of the nature that appeared for so many reasons. We can just get glimpse into flew of them.

He began to include all these devotees, who like to fight the monkeys in the battle. They were all risk in their lives. Some of them are getting killed for the shake of the Lord. Some of them are performing most unbelievable – activities in the service for the lord. Most of all they were all totally all these hundreds, thousands, and millions of soldiers where in Rama’s army, they were totally united in the service of Rama Chandra. Totally united fixed in their consciousness in giving relieve to Sita. That’s beautiful. Similarly the Lord, He has given all His devotees this mission of being united to work together, to help each other overcome illusion and to help save the world from illusion. Someone once asked Prabhupada, Lord Caitanya, He predicted, Nityananda Prabhu also: That the Holy Names will be chanted in every town and village all over the world. Why didn’t He do Himself and Bhaktivinode Thakur was such an Acharya, he was talking about it, Why didn’t He do it? And Srila Prabhupada said, they could have done it themselves, but they wanted to save the service for us. And what does that mean? In this battle against Maya, for our own purification, the fight is what purifies us and when we understand how much we need each other in this fight, then we rise above all our petty, superficial egoistic differences and we unite for the higher cause. This is the Lord’s love, to help us and the Lord takes the greatest pleasure when He sees that we are doing things that are good for us. So Yes this massive battle was going on. And Ravana appears on his magnificent chariot and Lord Rama is just standing on the ground with his bow and arrow and Indra sends his charioteer Matali, he comes down and says I am Matali, and Indra sent me, this is his chariot, this is his bow, this is his arrows. Come, let us fight together, so in this way Lord is engaging so many other people and all the other people who are helping Him, they are serving. But they are serving in a deep emotion, because they are serving with a sense of need. Hanuman’s bringing those Sanjeevani herbs, Yashoda’s giving her milk, Indra sending his chariot. Deity worship: it’s with this same type of consciousness. Krishna is the Absolute, Krishna is Supersoul, and ultimately doing everything for everyone. Atleast He is empowering everyone according to their free will. So, why we are cooking? Why we are dressing the deities? You know it’s a common thing that a person who is materialistic, comes to the temple, and they say what’s going on in the altar and they say they are dressing God, and the person will say, can’t God dress Himself? It’s typical question, I have heard it so many times. Cooking for God! God needs somebody to cook for Them. Yes, bathing God; I am not God, I can take my own bath? But yet God actually is in a position where He is in need and Radharani is in need. They are in need, because they want to exchange our devotion. Because that sense of need increases our feeling of devotion. And it’s not just an imaginary thing to increase our devotion. It’s something very real. They are actually hungry for our love, if it’s done with devotion. In Vrindavan, even very very special guests sometimes will come to the temple. Prime minister or somebody who is willing to give crores of rupees of donation – they come to the temple, they have to leave in one hour, they want to see the darshan. And the pujari says, “Krishna is sleeping.” – “When does He wake up?” – “He wakes up at 5’ o clock in the evening” “But I have to leave. Its only 1 o’ clock. I have to leave at 3. Open the doors” – “open the doors? Krishna is sleeping. I can’t open the doors.” Materially it doesn’t make so much sense. But Krishna actually is sleeping. Although Krishna never sleeps! Krishna never sleeps, but He goes to sleep. That’s why He is God. You can’t do that. He can be fully aware of everything, everywhere at all times, and at the same time He can go to sleep and not be aware of anything. Why does he do that? It’s a way of exchanging love. The pujaris in Vrindavan – that’s their love. Krishna is sleeping. And no matter what. We are not going to wake Him up until He wants us to wake Him up. So, when we perform deity worship, we understand that this is the beauty of lila.

In the story of Gajendra, Srila Prabhupad writes in a purport, that Lord Visnu touched Gajendra when He pulled him out of the water, when crocodile was biting into him. Because of that touch, he purified Gajendra. He completely purified him by that touch. And Prabhupad said, similarly, the Lord allows Himself to take the form of a deity in which we can touch Him. And just by touching the deity, we can be purified just like Gajendra was touched by the Lord – if it is with proper devotion, if it is with the proper service spirit. This is how kind Krishna is to us.

So, now, Rama is on the chariot of Matali with chariot driver and they were fighting and fighting and fighting and what a fight it was? There are pages of pages of descriptions of what they were doing to each other. They were showering each other with all kinds of mystical arrows and javelins and all kinds of other things. And sometimes, Rama’s body is covered with arrows and nobody could see Him and at other times, Ravana’s body is covered with arrows and nobody could see him; and sometimes they were crashing their chariots against each other’s chariots.

Ultimately, this fight went on for days and nights continuously. And can you imagine the emotions of all the devotees? Rama could have killed them in a second. But He just staged this fight that just went on for days and nights. To increase our emotions, our suspense, our love, its really amazing because we know that Rama is infallible. He is acyuta. We know He is going to win. But still, I have seen, when devotees read about this battle, they are weeping, they are crying, they are trembling, their hairs are standing on end. It is more real than anything real. This is how Bhakti works. The Lord .. certain stages in certain ways to have the maximum effect of purifying our hearts and invoking thise emotions of realizations of love and surrender.

Like the deity – a pujari, a real pujari worries about the deities. I remember being a pujari myself, when sometimes, the temple was being attacked, attacked by people who wanted to destroy the deities, destroy the devotees. And although we know if Hiranyakasipu can’t destroy Krishna, then what these little dacoits of kaliyuga are going to do to Krishna. If Ravana and entire rakshasas army could not harm Rama then whats you know dacoits can do to Krishna. But still because he is putting himself personally on being depended on us, we feel it and we have seen devotees risking their lives ,giving their lives to protect the diety and going back to Godhead. Because in this form Krishna is fecilitating this relationship of love. At a certain point Agastya Muni appears before Ramachandra and reminds him that I have given you an arrow and use that arrow and he gave him a mantra the AdityaHridaya mantra to chant with that arrow.Meanwhile the fight is going on and on and on and Ramachandra “Its time to end this Ravana’s life”.He took a Special razor sharp arrow it sored through the air and chopped off Ravana’s head.Now sometime Ravan on the battle field had all ten of his heads but usually he had just one. I guess its easier to fight like that. But he was mystical he can change his form ,he can become a one headed sadhu if he wants .But most of the time he had two arms and one head but sometime twenty arms and ten head.But Ram cutoff his head. And all the Hanuman, Jambaban and all the banaras “Jai Ram Jai Rama”, “glorious Ram”.Ravana’s head falls to the gound but instantly “another head” and the other head is exactly a replica of the one in the ground.soon there was a hundred heads laying on the ground.And every single head was a replica of all the other heads.They all had crowns,they all had jewels ,they all had the same eye, same complexion. And still Ravan was still fighting with the heads.He did not stop fighting as his heads were falling off.He kept fighting. Ram began to speak he said this arrows of mine they the same arrow killed Maricha killed Khara and Dusana, same arrow killed Viradha same arrow went through the seven Tal trees,same arrow made the whole ocean boil over and now I can not kill Ravana with the same arrow.Bibhishana revealed to Ram , “that within the heart of Ravana there is nectar ,celestial nectar, Brahma gave him the benediction that whatever heads and arms are cut off that are going to come back, the only way to kill him is you have to shoot an arrow into the core of his heart and that arrow has to dry up that nectar then he will not survive,anything else done that nectar will keep him alive”. And Matali reminded Ram that you have the Brahma arrow with you. Would you like to hear the history of this arrow .After Ramachandra,Sita and Lakshman left Chitrakut they were wondering through the Dandaka forest and eventually they came to the asrama of Agastya Muni.Now on the way Ram was glorifying Agastya Muni. He was telling them the story of Agastya Muni’s great power. And one of the stories he told that there were two demoniac cruel Rakshasas, they were Vatapi and Allvala story two demoniac story they Had a uniqye way ofkilling and he entered into food by his mystic power as a brahmana and he did invite other very very nice brahmanas to his home and said I want to feed you Prasad. And he fed up them Prasad but little do they knew that Vatapi was in that Prasad in very mystical little form and the brahmana were eat it. What a nice Prasad? The Illavala said Vatapi come out. And then Vatapi will grow inside and just with his claws and everything just like a ran just force himself out of it break up the perosn’s belly and stomach and tears the person apart from inside out. The brahmana’s body will be totally mutilated in dead. They did this to thousands and thousands of brahmanas. So we have to be very careful who we accept prasadam. (laughter). So one day they invited Agasti Muni for lunch and they fed him Prasad. Then Vatapi was inside his belly and then Illavala said, Vatapi, Vatapi come out. The brahmana who ate Prasad said, what he talked about? This is Vatapi. Vatapi come out, come out. Vatapi did not come out. Then Agasti muni said, by my digest juices I completely digested him. My god, such digesting. He digested Vatapi. He killed him. So the Illavala was really angry, you killed my friend. So he attacked Agasti Muni. He does not nonviolent, he just glanced at him. And for his glance Illavala became on fire and died. So Rama was telling this story. This is the power of Agasti muni. They went to his ashram and Agasti Muni greeted them and Rama, Sita, and Lakshman knowing him to be a great vaishnava devotee, they served Agasti Muni with so much loving devotion. Rama was asking Agasti muni philosophical questions. He was asking him stories from the puranas. He was asking his advice and guidance and ultimately Agasti muni understood Rama’s, he could see the dangers ahead and he gave Rama a very special arrow. He told him previously this arrow was created by Lord Brahma and was giving to Indra to fight with the ashuras. And this arrow which was infallible was entrusted in my care and I am giving you this arrow today and used it at the greatest time of need. And he also gave him the mantras to make the arrow affective. Rama Chandra in his heart of heart, he remembered Agasti Muni with gratitude, took his blessings and then pull the arrow back. That arrow it shaft was predominated by bayu, it’s feathers were donated by garuda and the tip of the arrow was presided by the sun god, Surya with Agni. When Rama pull back that arrow, the arrow became totally effulgent. The whole world began to tremble, when he released it. It made such a sound more than any rocket chip. It was a beautiful sound, tumultuous sound. It lit up all directions. Everything in the entire battle field stopped. And all the millions and millions of soldiers and all the devatas who are watching, they were fixed simply on watching this arrow sored through the air. It hit its target – right into Ravana’s chest, pierced his heart, dried up whatever nectar was there. Ravana vomited blood, he screamed a ghastly sound that shook the world and fell from the chariot to the ground, dead. Very symbolic! Lust, envy, anger, pride, greed, illusion – they are personified. Ravana is the personification of these anarthas. They are not easily killed. You could be a devotee for one year or forty years or fifty years or sixty years. And you may find that every time you somehow or other restrain your mind and senses, from giving in to these anarthas, they keep coming back. The holy name is like the arrow that can cut off the heads of Ravana. We are chanting the holy names.

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna , Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

But yet, when we are restraining the senses and following the principles, and trying to live a moral life, but still that lust, that envy, that anger, keeps coming back. No matter how many times we fight, no matter how many times we chant, no matter how many times we pray, it just keeps coming. Because the arrow has to go to the heart. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu taught

trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna

amanina manadena, kirtaniya sada hari

When you chant in that spirit, the holy name actually goes right to the heart, removing all these anarthas. If we could take shelter of the holy name, if we could chant the holy name without offenses, in a humble state of mind, really like that baby crying for its mother, then the arrow, the holy name will forever remove these anarthas from our hearts. And the path of bhakti is simply to cultivate the proper consciousness in which we could chant the holy names.

Ravan was dead. The nature of this we world is – one person’s happiness is another person’s sorrow. The rakshas were weeping, crying, angry. And the monkey soldiers were dancing in ecstasy. Then Vibhishan went to Ravana, got on his knees in front of Ravana’s bloody body and cried incessantly. He was speaking to his brother, “you had so many good qualities. You had so much good fortune. You are so victorious in every way. Wahy did you give in tyo lust. My whole life, I was your friend, I was your brother, I was your well wisher. Why didn’t you listen? Now look! The whole dynasty is finished, your family is destroyed.” And he cried, so disappointed! Rama told Vibhishan, “You should perform the last rights to your brother to liberate his soul”. Vibhishan had a hard time with that instruction. “He stole Sita from You. He did so many horrible things that caused so much pain to so many people. This is hard for me to do this.” Performing last rights is basically worshiping the person. Rama told him that the soul is pure. The soul is all good. It was only his body and mind that was corrupt and sinful. But now his soul is separated from that. There is nothing to fear from him. You should liberate his soul and perform the lat rights. Rama told Vibhishan to forgive his brother for everything. In fact, Rama said, because you are my intimate brother and he is your brother, he is my intimate brother too. Whatever reason we had for quarrel is finished. So, offer him your love. There is no impediment.

So, Vibhishan organized the last rights and offered prayers to deliver his brother’s soul. That’s how Rama taught us forgiveness. He was seeing the disease, not the diseased. He loved the person, but hated the disease. When the disease was removed, all there was is the love for the person. Mandodari and the other wives were weeping and crying. But Mandodari was so honest and so knowledgeable. In many ways, her words to Ravana are instructions to all humanity. We all have so much. We all have such opportunity. Why do we waste it all by corrupting ourselves by giving into these vices? Ravana was a Brahman son, he was wealthy, he was powerful. He had a beautiful, wife, wise, chasteful, he had everything, and more than what everyone could want. But he was envious of God. And he fell victim to his lust. And because of that, he lost everything.

Similarly we are all pure spirit souls. And we have all possible opportunity to attain supreme perfection in our lives and be really happy. We have unlimited spiritual wealth within us. But the down fall – is we give in to our mind and senses’ demands – lust, envy, anger, pride, greed, illusion and how they could destroy our lives. How we could loose everything we had. How we could we loose all these most precious opportunities? And as devotes we are given so much warnings just as Ravana. How important it is to take these warnings seriously. We see it all around us even in this world, of how giving into these powers of maya, can devastate a person’s entire life – materially, socially, spiritually. Mandodari is speaking to Ravana, is speaking to all of us too. Because we all have thise Ravanas within us. The good dog and bad dog. Rama is speaking, Ravana is speaking. We have the choice. And this day, Rama vijayotsava is the day we meditate and commit ourselves to following Rama. By taking shelter of Rama, by liberating ourselves from this Ravana within. And if we can just follow Srila Prabhupad and our acaryas’ guidance, it is guaranteed. In Treta yuga, the Absolute truth appeared as Ramacahdra. In Dvaparayuga, as Sri Nandanandana Krishna along with Sita and Radharani. Kali kale nama rupe Krsna avatar. In the age of kali, the Lord appears in His name. If with a proper service attitude, if with the spirit that the acaryas taught us, we can simply chant the holy names sincerely, without ulterior motives and serve sincerely without ulterior motives, hear these beautiful pastimes in that spirit, then real victory will be ours. In this spirit, we take shelter of Krishna’s holy names.

Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna , Hare Hare

Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare

Thank you very much!

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=20641

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Dussehra

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Dussehra (Dassera) is one of the significant Hindu festivals, celebrated with much joy in the entire country. The occasion marks the occassion of Lord Rama and brother Lakshman approaching Mother Durga to ask her for her blessings in His planned attack on the demon Ravana. It is therefore considered that the Supreme Personality of Godhead's approaching her for blessings to remove material impediments to His spiritual goals should be the approach of the humble devotee of the Lord to clinche the important triumph of Lord Rama over the demon king, Ravana, the victory of good over evil.
 
Brilliantly decorated tableaux and processions depicting various facets of Rama's life are taken out. On the tenth day, the Vijayadasmi day, colossal effigies of Ravana, his brother Kumbhkarna and son Meghnath are placed in vast open spaces. Rama, accompanied by his consort Sita and his brother Lakshman, arrive and shoot arrows of fire at these effigies, which are stuffed with explosive material. The result is a deafening blast, enhanced by the shouts of merriment and triumph from the spectators.
 
It is significant that the Lord invoked the blessings of the divine mother, Goddess Durga, before actually going out to battle. In burning the effigies of the demon Ravan who was slain by Lord Rama it is also symbolic for us that we, the people are asked to burn the evil within them, and thus follow the path of virtue and goodness, bearing in mind the instance of Ravana, who despite all his might and majesty was destroyed for his evil ways.
 
It must be remembered that Ravana was a great scholar and an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, but the very powers that were bestowed on him for his steadfast devotion proved to be his undoing, due to his gross misuse of the same. Furthermore although empowered by his austerities performed to Lord Shiva, his powers were ineffective over the powers of Rama.
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Sri Rama Vijaya Dasami by Giriraj Swami

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We read from Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto Nine, Chapter Ten: “The Pastimes of the Supreme Lord, Ramacandra.”

TEXT 20

te ’nikapa raghupater abhipatya sarve
dvandvam varutham ibha-patti-rathasva-yodhaih
jaghnur drumair giri-gadesubhir angadadyah
sitabhimarsa-hata-mangala-ravanesan

TRANSLATION

Angada and the other commanders of the soldiers of Ramacandra faced the elephants, infantry, horses, and chariots of the enemy and hurled against them big trees, mountain peaks, clubs, and arrows. Thus the soldiers of Lord Ramacandra killed Ravana’s soldiers, who had lost all good fortune because Ravana had been condemned by the anger of Mother Sita.

PURPORT by Srila Prabhupada

The soldiers Lord Ramacandra recruited in the jungle were all monkeys and did not have proper equipment with which to fight the soldiers of Ravana, for Ravana’s soldiers were equipped with weapons of modern warfare whereas the monkeys could only throw stones, mountain peaks, and trees. It was only Lord Ramacandra and Laksmana who shot some arrows. But because the soldiers of Ravana were condemned by the curse of Mother Sita, the monkeys were able to kill them simply by throwing stones and trees. There are two kinds of strength–daiva and purusakara. Daiva refers to the strength achieved from the Transcendence, and purusakara refers to the strength organized by one’s own intelligence and power. Transcendental power is always superior to the power of the materialist. Depending on the mercy of the Supreme Lord, one must fight one’s enemies even though one may not be equipped with modern weapons. Therefore Krsna instructed Arjuna, mam anusmara yudhya ca: “Think of Me and fight.” We should fight our enemy to the best of our ability, but for victory we must depend on the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

COMMENT by Giriraj Swami

Coming to Bhaktivedanta Manor, I was reminded of the struggle that we faced here to keep the temple open to the public and to preach Krishna consciousness. Although in such battles the enemies sometimes appear to have the upper hand, in the end, as long as we remain faithful to and dependent on the Lord and at the same time make our best effort with all sincerity and intelligence, we will be successful according to His will.

We had a similar struggle in Juhu, Bombay. In fact, in Juhu we were even less equipped than were the devotees here, who had already established the mission quite solidly and had many friends—a large congregation, and friends in influential positions. Still, it was a great struggle here.

In Juhu we were comparable to the band of monkeys that joined Lord Ramachandra. Srila Prabhupada himself drew parallels between himself and Lord Ramachandra, and between us and the monkeys. He compared the Western countries to Ravana, because they had so much wealth, just like Ravana in his opulent kingdom of Lanka. And wealth is Lakshmi—a manifestation of Lakshmi, or Sita. So, Srila Prabhupada said that just as Ravana had kidnapped Sita, the Western countries had kidnapped, or taken possession of, so much wealth. And just as Lord Ramachandra had crossed the ocean to redeem Sita, so Srila Prabhupada had also crossed the ocean. And just as Lord Ramachandra was assisted by so many monkeys, he was assisted by us.

The Juhu struggle is a great story, which has been told to some extent in Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta. One incident took place after we had been successful in getting the land from the previous owner, Mr. Nair. Srila Prabhupada used to refer to him as “the demon Nair.” Probably some of you have been to Juhu. The front of the property was vacant, and in the back were some old tenement buildings. When we first got possession of the land, we built a temporary temple in the front for the Deities, Sri Sri Radha-Rasabihari. At first we were living on the roofs on the terraces of the buildings, but eventually we were able to get at least one of the apartments from one of the tenants—for Srila Prabhupada.

So, Srila Prabhupada was living there, and he would go up to the roof in the late afternoon and meet people. One evening he was sitting on the terrace and his disciple Haridasa was fanning him. Srila Prabhupada said to Haridasa, “Do you hear that?” And Haridasa said, “Hear what?” Prabhupada said, “Do you hear the sound of the kirtan in the temple?” Haridasa said, “No.” Srila Prabhupada said, “That’s the point! There’s no kirtan going on in the temple!” Then Srila Prabhupada said, “Where are all the devotees? They should be in the temple doing kirtan; it’s the time of arati.” And Haridasa speculated and said, “They are probably out collecting. They haven’t gotten back from the city yet.” And Srila Prabhupada replied, “That was not my idea that devotees should go out all day and collect and neglect the temple programs.”

Then he said, “Why do you think we were successful here? Mr. Nair was so much more powerful than we were. He was a wealthy man. We had very little money. He had been the sheriff of Bombay and knew so many influential people. We hardly knew anyone. And he owned one of the three English daily newspapers in Bombay. So he was very powerful. And we had very little money or influence, yet we were successful. Why? Because we were working for Krishna, for the pleasure of Krishna, we were successful.” Regarding the temple program, he said, “We will be successful not because we go out all day to collect money and then come back late—we’ll be successful if Krishna is pleased. So we should go out, but we should come back in time. The devotees should leave the city by five o’clock and come back, otherwise they will become like karmis. They should come and chant in front of the Deities and please the Deities, and when the Deities are pleased, we will be successful by Their mercy.”

This is always our position, that we make our best effort but depend on the mercy of the Lord. And making our best effort means according to the desire of the Lord—in our case, according to the order of the spiritual master. In the case of the monkeys of Lord Rama, they were directly under the Lord. Arjuna was directly under the Lord. We are also under the Lord, but under sadhu, shastra, and guru. They tell us what will please the Lord, and if we act to please the Lord, if the Lord is pleased, we will be successful.

Although the monkeys were successful in killing the army of Ravana, ultimately it was Lord Ramachandra who killed the great demon Ravana, and Rama-vijaya-dasami celebrates the victory of Ramachandra and specifically His killing of Ravana.

Now, this is in one sense an easier battle: it is easier to battle the forces that are outside of one’s self. Lord Rama and his monkey army were victorious against Ravana in their great battle, but there are also enemies inside us with which we have to contend, and that struggle can be more difficult and more painful than the battle against enemies outside. Prahlada Maharaja survived so many attacks on his life organized by his own father, Hiranyakasipu, but in his prayers to Lord Nrsimhadeva, he said that his biggest enemy was his mind and senses. The Bhagavad-gita also says that the mind can be one’s best friend or one’s worst enemy. So that’s a constant battle that we all face—how to keep the mind focused on Krishna, especially when we gather together to hear and chant the holy name, to hear and chant the transcendental topics. We should fix the mind on Krishna. Mayy asakta-manah partha. In the seventh chapter of the Bhagavad-gita Krishna says that the mind should be attached to Him. For us, aspiring devotees, or practicing devotees, the best way for us to fix the mind on Krishna is to hear the holy names of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra—Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare—and to hear, to actually hear each word, each syllable. But it is difficult because the mind is flickering and unsteady (cancalam hi manah krsna). Arjuna tells Krishna that it seems more difficult to control the mind than to control the wind, and who can control the wind? Nobody. That means it is practically impossible to control the mind. But Krishna says it is possible by suitable practice and detachment. Abhyasa is the word for “practice.” We have to practice chanting and hearing. It is struggle—it’s an effort—but we have to practice. As Srila Prabhupada said, “Practice makes perfect—even in spiritual life.”

Still, by our own efforts alone we will not be successful. I think we all have that experience—it applies not only to chanting japa, but to any of our activities. It applies to book distribution. Sometimes devotees go out thinking, “Oh, I am really fit today. I am going to have a great day.” And then they hardly have any results. And other times they go out feeling miserable. They don’t even know how they are going to get through the day, and they are very successful in their book distribution. They feel that the lesson they are being taught is that they are not the doers; they are not the controllers. Whatever they do is by the mercy of the Lord, the mercy of the spiritual master, the mercy of the disciplic succession.

So, we make our effort, but ultimately we have to depend on the mercy of the Lord. Srila Prabhupada showed that all the time. After the success of the first Bombay pandal, he sent Tamal Krishna Goswami and me to Calcutta to organize a pandal program there. There were many Naxalites—communist youth—in Calcutta at the time. They used to kidnap people from rich families and would kill for their cause. When Srila Prabhupada first came to Calcutta, in North Calcutta, the Naxalites shot a wealthy person dead right on the street, just a few blocks from where Prabhupada was staying. They were envious. They may have had their reasons, but still, they were envious.

When Prabhupada came for the pandal program, the Naxalites were very disturbed and even sent Prabhupada a note, “Fly or die.” To compose the note, they had cut letters out of the newspaper and pasted them on the paper so that no one could trace the typewriter. The mood was very tense in the city.

Before the pandal program began, we had a small press conference with Srila Prabhupada behind the tent, and one of the reporters challenged, “What is the use of spending all this money on this pandal? You could use the money to help poor people.” And Srila Prabhupada said, “What is the use? The use is to give people a chance to hear. Actually, the whole pandal has come from hearing. I went to America and spoke and some young people heard me, and because they heard me, now they have made all the effort to organize the program. So the use is to give people a chance to hear, and everything comes from that.” And in the Bhagavad-gita also Krishna says, tac chrnu: “Just hear from Me.” He tells Arjuna, “Just hear from Me.” So, first comes hearing (sravanam), and then kirtanam and other items of devotional service. Srila Prabhupada said, “They heard from me, and now they are repeating what they heard.”

On the first night of the pandal program, thousands of people came. People were streaming in. We had dhuries, simple Indian carpets, on the ground, and most people sat cross-legged on the dhuries. To the side, we had seats, folding chairs, for people who weren’t comfortable on the floor, and we charged one rupee for a seat. So, some Naxalites came, and they were agitated that some people got to sit on the seats while other people had to sit on the ground. They made a huge disturbance. Prabhupada was trying to speak, and they were banging chairs together to make a noise so that Prabhupada wouldn’t be able to speak. It was really tense. We didn’t know what was going to happen, and we looked at Prabhupada. Then suddenly he leaned forward, and we could hear his voice booming through the speaker system: “govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami.” He just began to sing the Govindam prayers. Suddenly the commotion stopped, and the Naxalites just walked away. I thought, “He just has so much of faith in Krishna. He completely depends on Krishna.” (Years later I read Gurudasa Prabhu’s account of that incident, and it seems that along with singing the Govindam prayers, Prabhupada was sending notes to Gurudasa telling him what to do with the Naxalites. And that’s good, too. We make our best effort and depend on Krishna. That’s our process.)

We are about to begin the special month of Damodara, Kartik. In the month of Damodara we celebrate this binding of Krishna with ropes. Dama means “ropes” and udara means “belly.” Many of you know the story. Mother Yasoda was breastfeeding Baby Krishna, and while doing so she realized that milk that was on the fire was boiling over. So she set Baby Krishna aside before He was satisfied, to tend to the milk on the fire. Baby Krishna became angry, and eventually He broke a pot of makhana (freshly churned butter) and began to eat it and share it with His friends.

When Mother Yasoda returned to where she had left Krishna, He wasn’t there. She saw His little footprints—His feet had been smeared with butter—and saw the broken pot. She was concerned and considered that she would have to discipline Him so that He would grow up properly. All responsible parents are concerned that they have to raise their children properly, that if they don’t discipline them the children will not learn how to behave. As it was, Krishna was going to the neighbors’ homes and doing mischief, and they were complaining to Yasoda, “You better take care of your son. He is not behaving properly.”

Ultimately she found Krishna, and when He saw her approaching—He was sitting, eating the makhana—He immediately got up and began to flee, and she started to pursue Him, but because He was smaller and more agile, He was able to run faster than she. But eventually He allowed her to catch Him, and once she caught Him, she wanted to bind Him with ropes. Every morning she would tie His belt before He went to the pasturing grounds, so she didn’t think it would be difficult. But when she attempted to tie the rope, it was two inches too short, or, as the Bhagavatam says, the width of two fingers too short. So she added some more rope, and lo and behold, it was still two fingers too short. She added some more. It was still two fingers too short. She gathered all the ropes in the household—and being in a cowherd community, they had a lot of ropes for tying the cows and calves. And the neighbors were bringing their ropes. It was miles and miles of ropes, but she still couldn’t bind Krishna. But she didn’t give up. Her friends were telling her, “You are not going to be able to do it. This is not working. Just give up.” But she was so sincere, feeling that, as Krishna’s mother, she had a duty, that she endeavored to tie Him up so that He wouldn’t create further mischief—and to teach Him a lesson. So she didn’t give up, and when Krishna saw her sincere effort His heart melted and He allowed her to bind Him.

Our acharyas have commented on the significance of the two fingers by which the rope was too short. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that there was a competition between Krishna’s desire and Yasoda’s desire. Krishna’s desire was to be free and play with His friends, and Yasoda’s desire was to bind Krishna. So their desires were opposed to each other. Krishna has two saktis. One potency is called satya-sankalpa-sakti, which means that whatever He desires is fulfilled. So, that came into play. Another potency is called vibhuti-sakti, which allows Him to manifest His opulences, although He usually doesn’t—only when necessary. Say there is a forest fire. He can be defeated by His friends in their sports, but when there is a forest fire or some other threat to the residents of Vrindavan, the vibhuti-sakti comes into play and allows Him to manifest His opulences and swallow the forest fire.

In this case the two saktis—satya-sankalpa and vibhuti—joined together to fulfill His desire to play, and Mother Yasoda couldn’t bind Him. But when He saw her tireless efforts, He felt compassionate toward her, and He allowed her to bind Him. The acharyas say that one finger represents parisrama, personal endeavor, and that the other represents krsna-krpa, Krishna’s mercy. When these two combine, Krishna agrees to be bound.

So, we make our effort. We never give up, no matter what. We make our effort, and when Krishna sees that we are so sincere in our effort to serve Him and please Him, His heart melts and He allows Himself to be bound. In any effort it is the same combination: our hard labor (parisrama) and Krishna’s mercy (krsna-krpa). It applies to our efforts to preach, to distribute books. It applies to our efforts to hear and chant, to chant japa. We make our effort, and at the same time we pray for Krishna’s mercy. We depend on Krishna and pray for His mercy.

Here the mood of humility is essential. As long as we think we can do it on our own, we won’t get Krishna’s mercy, at least not to the same extent. That was Ravana’s mentality. He thought he didn’t need anyone. He thought he could do everything by his own strength and powers. So, we all have that little Ravana tendency. You may not—I do. I shouldn’t include you with me. So, we have to be conscious of that tendency and pray to Lord Rama to subdue that Ravana-like tendency within us.

There’s a beautiful prayer by Prahlada Maharaja in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, in which he prays to Lord Nrsimhadeva, “Please vanquish the demonlike desires in my heart, just like You vanquished the demon Hiranyakasipu.” Hiranya means “gold,” and kasipu means “soft bedding.” Those are the main interests of materialistic people—money and sense indulgence. So, “just as You killed the great demon Hiranyakasipu, please vanquish the demonlike desires within my heart.” After Nrsimhadeva subdued Hiranyakasipu, He sat on Hiranyakasipu’s throne, lifted the demon onto His lap, and tore his heart out, so we want Lord Nrsimhadeva to sit on the throne of our hearts and kill these demonlike desires for gold and sense gratification.

Srila Prabhupada has given us everything. I am sure people have said the same thing before, but he really has. He has given us the knowledge, he has given us the process, and he has given us the way to invoke Krishna’s mercy. The best way to invoke Krishna’s mercy is to practice and preach. That combination will invoke Krishna’s mercy and make us successful.

In previous ages the Lord would kill the demons—Nrsimhadeva killed Hiranyakasipu, Ramachandra killed Ravana, and Krishna killed so many demons—but in Kali-yuga, because we all have demonic tendencies within us and pretty much everyone has bad habits, the Lord doesn’t physically kill the person; He kills their demonic mentalities by His mercy, by giving them the holy name. We find that exemplified in the story of Jagai and Madhai. They were violent toward Lord Nityananda, and when Lord Chaitanya heard, He came rushing to the spot, ready to kill them with His Sudarshan chakra. But Nityananda Prabhu appealed to the Lord, “This is Kali-yuga, My Lord. In Kali-yuga You can’t kill the people like that. In Kali-yuga everyone will be like Jagai and Madhai, so are You going to kill everyone? In Kali-yuga Your mission is to deliver them by Your mercy.” When Lord Nityananda intervened on behalf of the two sinful brothers, Lord Chaitanya hesitated, and the two surrendered to Lord Chaitanya, and He forgave them for their sins, with the condition that they would not commit sins again. They took up the chanting of the holy name. That means they developed faith in Nityananda Prabhu and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and because they developed faith they took up the chanting and were eligible to receive the Lord’s mercy, and they were forgiven.

That’s our position in Kali-yuga. We need the mercy of Lord Nityananda and through Him the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. Srila Prabhupada said in LA, “To approach Radha and Krishna, we need the mercy of Lord Chaitanya. And to get the mercy of Lord Chaitanya, we need the mercy of Lord Nityananda. And to get the mercy of Lord Nityananda, we have to approach people like Jagai and Madhai.” In other words, the people on the street, the people in the subways, the people at the airport, the people in the offices, the people in the neighborhood, and sometimes even closer.

So, that is Prabhupada’s special mood, coming from the Panca-tattva. It is his special mood to get the Lord’s mercy by preaching, by approaching anyone and everyone to give them Krishna consciousness, give them the holy name of Krishna. So our effort (parisrama) has two sides: one is our own practices, hearing and chanting attentively and following the whole system that Prabhupada gave us (sadhana-bhakti), and at the same time making the effort to give Krishna consciousness to others, to induce others to accept the great gift of the holy name.

Hare Krishna.

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Rama-vijaya-dasami, October 19, 2007, Bhaktivedanta Manor, near London, England]

Source: http://www.girirajswami.com/?p=14877

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“Sripada Madhvacarya took his birth at Udupi, which is situated in the South Kanarada district of South India, just west of Sahyadri. This is the chief city of the South Kanarada province and is near the city of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Udupi. In the city of Udupi is a place called Pajaka-ksetra, where Madhvacarya took his birth in a Sivalli-brahmana dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhatta, in the year 1040 Sakabda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Sakabda (A.D. 1239).

In his childhood Madhvacarya was known as Vasudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvacarya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maniman lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhvacarya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyasa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyasa from Acyuta Preksa, he received the name Purnaprajna Tirtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyasankara, the exalted leader of Srngeri-matha. Vidyasankara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvacarya. Accompanied by Satya Tirtha, Madhvacarya went to Badarikasrama. It was there that he met Vyasadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita before him. Thus he became a great scholar by studying before Vyasadeva.

By the time he came to the Ananda-matha from Badarikasrama,Madhvacarya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gita. His companion Satya Tirtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvacarya returned from Badarikasrama, he went to Ganjama, which is on the bank of the river Godavari. There he met with two learned scholars named Sobhana Bhatta and Svami Sastri.Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvacarya as Padmanabha Tirtha and Narahari Tirtha.

When he returned to Udupi, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Sri Krsna, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvaraka was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvacarya agreed to take some gopi-candana. He received a big lump of gopi-candana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Krsna. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhvacarya received the Deity of Krsna in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Madhvacarya personally brought this Deity to Udupi. Madhvacarya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyasa from him and became directors of his eight monasteries.Worship of the Lord Krsna Deity is still going on at Udupi according to the plans Madhvacarya established.

Madhvacarya then for the second time visited Badarikasrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvacarya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvacarya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.

Often in the province of Ganga-pradesa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvacarya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvacarya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tirtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvacarya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyasadeva, he received from him the salagrama-sila known as Astamurti. After this, he summarized the Mahabharata.

It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Purnaprajna, Madhvacarya. There was a person named Kadanjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvacarya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Srila Madhvacarya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upanisad. For further information about Madhvacarya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Narayanacarya.

The acaryas of the Madhva-sampradaya established Udupi as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararadhi-matha. A list of the different centers of the Madhvacarya-sampradaya can be found at Udupi, and their matha commanders are (1) Visnu Tirtha (Soda-matha), (2) Janardana Tirtha (Krsnapura-matha), (3) Vamana Tirtha (Kanura-matha), (4) Narasimha Tirtha (Adamara-matha), (5) Upendra Tirtha (Puttugi-matha), (6) Rama Tirtha (Sirura-matha), (7) Hrsikesa Tirtha (Palimara-matha), and (8) Aksobhya Tirtha (Pejavara-matha). The disciplic succession of the Madhvacarya-sampradaya is as follows (the dates are those of birth):
(1) Hamsa Paramatma; (2) Caturmukha Brahma; (3) Sanakadi; (4) Durvasa; (5) Jnananidhi; (6) Garuda-vahana; (7) Kaivalya Tirtha; (8) Jnanesa Tirtha;
(9) Para Tirtha; (10) Satyaprajna Tirtha; (11) Prajna Tirtha; (12) Acyuta Preksacarya Tirtha; (13) Sri Madhvacarya, 1040 Saka; (14) Padmanabha, 1120; Narahari, 1127; Madhava, 1136; and Aksobhya 1159; (15) Jaya Tirtha, 1167; (16) Vidyadhiraja, 1190; (17) Kavindra, 1255; (18)Vagisa, 1261; (19) Ramacandra, 1269; (20) Vidyanidhi, 1298; (21) SriRaghunatha, 1366; (22) Rayuvarya (who spoke with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu),1424; (23) Raghuttama, 1471; (24) Vedavyasa, 1517; (25) Vidyadhisa, 1541; (26)Vedanidhi, 1553;
(27)Satyavrata, 1557; (28) Satyanidhi, 1560; (29) Satyanatha,1582; (30) Satyabhinava, 1595; (31) Satyapurna, 1628; (32) Satyavijaya, 1648;(33) Satyapriya, 1659; (34) Satyabodha, 1666; (35) Satyasandha, 1705;(36) Satyavara, 1716; (37) Satyadharma, 1719; (38) Satyasankalpa, 1752; (39) Satyasantusta, 1763; (40) Satyaparayana, 1763; (41) Satyakama, 1785;
(42)Satyesta, 1793; (43) Satyaparakrama, 1794; (44) Satyadhira, 1801; (45) Satyadhira Tirtha, 1808. (For approximate Christian era dates, add seventy-nine years.)

After the sixteenth acarya (Vidyadhiraja Tirtha), there was another disciplic succession, including Rajendra Tirtha, 1254; Vijayadhvaja; Purusottama; Subrahmanya; and Vyasa Raya, 1470-1520. The nineteenth acarya, Ramacandra Tirtha, had another disciplic succession, including Vibudhendra, 1218; Jitamitra, 1348; Raghunandana; Surendra; Vijendra; Sudhindra; and Raghavendra Tirtha, 1545.

To date, in the Udupi monastery there are another fourteen Madhva-tirtha sannyasis. As stated, Udupi is situated beside the sea in South Kanarada, about thirty-six miles north of Mangalore.

Most of the information in this purport is available from the South Kanada Manual and the Bombay Gazette.”

Caitanya-caritamrta, Madyam lila 9:245-278

Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

CHANT HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE AND BE HAPPY
———————————————————————–

Srila Madhvacarya, quoting Padma Purana, states: vivikta-drsti jivanam dhisnyataya paramesvarasya bheda-drstih. “One who has clear vision and who is devoid of envy can see that the Supreme Lord is separate from all living entities, although He is situated in every living entity.” Madhvacarya further quotes from Padma Purana:

upapadayet paratmanam jivebhyo yah pade pade bhedenaiva na caitasmat priyo visnos tu kascana

“One who sees the living entity and the Supreme Lord as always distinct is very dear to the Lord.” Padma Purana also states, yo hares caiva jivanam bheda-vakta hareh priyah: “One who preaches that the living entities are separate from the Supreme Lord is very dear to Lord Visnu.”

Ref. VedaBase => SB 5.5.26

Compiled by HG JT caran prabhu.

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=32149

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Memorial for HH Nitai Chaitanya Goswami

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By HH Niranjana Swami

Below is an edited transcription of the talk I gave on October 18, 2020 on the occasion of the online memorial held for Nitai Chaitanya Goswami.

In a previous blog, I had requested devotees to send some of their favorite photos to share. However, just a few photos were submitted unfortunately. You will find those photos below the transcription. In addition, there are a few photos I had from 1989 and 1990, where Nitai Chaitanya Goswami can be seen. The photos of him taking part in harinama were in Kishinev in 1990, which was the time I mentioned in this talk.

Some last minute video clips are also appearing. You can find the clips by scrolling to the end of the photos. Just click on the media arrows and the videos will play. The last video is a kirtan in Kursk. Towards the end of the video Nitai Chaitanya Maharaja is dancing very enthusiastically calling out the name of Nitai.

Hare Krsna

Please find all the photos here: https://bit.ly/3ADHrqQ and here: https://bit.ly/3lFEYb3

I’m going to read something first from Srila Prabhupada.

“People should not expect that even in the Krishna Consciousness Society there will be Utopia. Because devotees are persons, therefore there will always be some lacking — but the difference is that their lacking, because they have given up everything to serve Krishna — money, jobs, reputation, wealth, big educations, everything — their lackings have become transcendental because, despite everything they may do, their topmost intention is to serve Krishna. “One who is engaged in devotional service, despite the most abominable action, is to be considered saintly because he is rightly situated.” The devotees of Krishna are the most exalted persons on this planet, better than kings, all of them, so we should always remember that and, like the bumblebee, always look for the nectar or the best qualities of a person.”

When I thought of this quote this morning, I was thinking it would very appropriate to read this first. If there’s one quality about Nitai Chaitanya Goswami that perfectly fits his character, it’s that he is someone who gave up all of these things in order to give his whole life in service to Srila Prabhupada’s mission.

According to Srila Prabhupada in this quote, “Such devotees are the most exalted persons on this planet.”

So we’re gathering online today to take this opportunity today to speak a little about our memories of Nitai Caitanya Goswami.

A few days ago my godbrother, Guru Gauranga Prabhu, called me. The first thing he asked when we connected was, “Can you tell me something about Nitai Chaitanya Goswami?” He said, “The reason why I’m asking is because I’ve heard he’s recently departed and to me, he’s just a name and I want to know more about him than just a name.”

So he asked if I could just summarize a little something about Maharaja, based on my personal relationship with him so he can know more of him than just his name.

I told him that for me Nitai Chaitanya Goswami was just like a huggable teddy bear. Just as a child sometimes holds a teddy bear close to them, to hug and snuggle, for me, he was like a huggable teddy bear.

Although he was a senior devotee, he was a sannyasi, and he was even older in age than I am, for some reason, he liked to be hugged by me. We had that kind of a relationship.

Although he’s not my disciple, he called me “Guru Maharaja.” Whenever he would arrive from afar to visit me or I would arrive to be with him, he would pay his dandavats and then he would just stand there looking down at the floor, waiting for his hug.

Over the years I learned many wonderful things about Nitai Chaitanya Goswami. Our relationship goes back to 1990, the time I had my first exchange with him.

I was giving a class in Kishinev. He was present for the class. At that time he was, I guess you could say, a fanatic book distributor. Either that, or he was fanatic about book distribution.

We were having a discussion during class and he asked a question about book distribution. He wanted to make sure that he understood properly from me that book distribution was the most important service.

He was a bit challenging because he was not accustomed to hearing anything that would put book distribution, even on an equal platform with other services. He could only accept that it was the most important service.

I answered by explaining, “Yes, it is most important but we should be careful to not think that other services are not important. In Krsna’s eyes and Srila Prabhupada’s eyes, all these services are important to Them.” He didn’t like that answer.

I asked Acyuta Priya yesterday or the day before, if he remembered this exchange. His response was, “Yes, it was a classic.” Although he didn’t remember the details, he definitely remembered the exchange because Nitai Chaitanya Goswami visibly had a hard time accepting the answer. He therefore continued to challenge my answer.

However, the reason why I’m bringing this up is because at the end of class, he accepted. And for the last thirty years, he’s reminded me at least ten times of how important that exchange in Kishinev was to him.

He would often say to me, “Thank you Guru Maharaja, you smashed me.”

Although we had the kind of relationship that I would hug him, sometimes, though in a joking way, I felt a need to chastise him. When corrected, he would make this distinct gesture when he would be chastised. He would raise his arm and abruptly push his hand down as if to say, “It’s not important,” and then he would look at me with a smile as if to say, “I surrender.” He would affectionately accept my corrections, even though it wasn’t easy for him to do so.

One of the times I remember chastising him was in the early years around the time I had requested Nitai Chaitanya Goswami to take responsibility for the central Moscow region.

I had many encounters with him before then, when he was in the Kiev brahmacari asrama and when he was the Kiev temple president. But I believe other devotees will speak about their experiences with him during that time. Nitai Chaitanya Maharaja was like a fatherly figure for many of the brahmacaris then because he was so much older than they were.

But when he began traveling in the Moscow region, he used to travel to so many different cities alone. There were no temples at that time in his region.

I know what it’s like to have a preaching region where this is no temple. But I had a car at my disposal and my body was thirty years old at the time. But Maharaja didn’t have a car, and he was approaching fifty years at the time.

He always insisted on traveling with his harmonium and he was always traveling by train. He would refuse to take an assistant with him because he didn’t want to spend the money.

So I remember the time. We were in Sucherovo when I chastised him. “You can’t go on doing this again and again constantly. Your body’s getting older, you’re carrying a harmonium, you’re carrying all your personal belongings, you’re traveling to so many cities. Please take an assistant with you!”

It was quite austere for him during those days because he had no fixed place to stay. He was just staying in small householder flats. Sometimes there wasn’t even a place for him to stay.

I used to observe him during those years when he was traveling alone and noticed the kind of hardships he was undergoing. So I had to speak strongly to him. He gradually surrendered.

One other memory I have about Nitai Chaitanya Goswami. He was very attached to speaking and hearing about Lord Nityananda. He would would loudly express this on many occasions with such great enthusiasm. It didn’t take much to trigger a loud, “Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai!” from his mouth.

I remember one time when we were in Voronezh together. I chanted “boro sukher kabor gai,” the bhajan about Lord Nityananda at a program there. I seem to recall it was the first time he was introduced to that bhajan. Nitai Chaitanya Goswami was just so enlivened from chanting that bhajan that continuously for the next two days, everywhere we went in the car, he was shouting “Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai! Jaya Nitai!”

Sometimes I would hear him sit down to give a class on a Bhagavatam verse that had nothing to do with Lord Nityananda and the whole class would be about Lord Nityananda. This is another speciality I remember about Nitai Chaitanya Goswami. He was very attached to hearing and chanting about Lord Nityananda.

One other memory I’d like to just mention briefly. This happened last year during a visit to Kursk when there was a large weekend gathering for discussing devotee care. Devotees came from all over the region for this event. So there was a lot of devotees there at the temple, the building which he personally took responsibility to oversee the construction himself.

But that’s another story. I don’t have time to tell about the kind of austerities he had to undergo to build that temple.

During this devotee care event at the temple, probably about one hundred fifty devotees had gathered. Unknown to me, it just so happened that the event was scheduled at the same time it was Nitai Chaitanya Goswami’s birthday. So when I sat down in the temple room, I had no idea they were having a surprise event for him.

All of a sudden one devotee began speaking that this would be a surprise event for observing Nitai Chaitanya Goswami’s birthday and then Maharaja was asked to sit down on the asana. He was given a special garland that devotees prepared for him although he gradually sank down to the floor.

One by one, different devotees spoke, expressing such wonderful appreciation for Nitai Chaitanya Goswami on how much his service to them meant to them.

After everyone else spoke I was asked if I had something to say. I gave a short account of a recent experience I had with my godbrother, Pyari Mohan Prabhu. Just around that time there was a surprise party for my godbrother who had been the president of the Hartford, CT temple for more than thirty-five years. It was his 70th birthday. The event was a complete surprise for Pyari Mohan Prabhu also.

Pyari Mohan Prabhu generally doesn’t like things like that at all. But from overseas, I had requested his wife through another devotee to hold the event anyways even though he doesn’t like it and said that I would make a special trip just so that I could be there for the event.

In a similar way, many devotees expressed to Pyari Mohan how much his service to them meant to them.

After the event, as we were leaving, I turned to Pyari Mohan and asked, “What did you think about it?” Pyari Mohan Prabhu turned to me and said, “I think it was the happiest day of my life.” For Pyari Mohan Prabhu to make a statement like that was quite out of character. He’s generally not moved by these things.

So when I saw all these devotees in the Kursk temple room, expressing their gratitude and appreciation to Nitai Caitanya Goswami, knowing how much it was not easy for him to continue with that service, my reaction to all that was said was, “I think this one of the most happiest days of my life.”

I was moved by all the love, affection and gratitude, for Nitai Caitanya Goswami that I was witnessing on that day. He was just like a father for so many devotees.

So I’ll end here and will let the other devotees speak.

Hare Krsna

Source: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=96313

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Hare Krsna, dandavat pranams to the World Vaisnava community, all glories to our Divine Master, Srila Prabhupada. It is with a heavy-laden heart that we inform the sudden passing of Pita Das prabhu on Wednesday October 7th of this year 2021. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.

For those who knew and loved Pita it is a great loss for us and certainly the world at large. Why is the passing of Pita prabhu such a great loss for all? Well, it is difficult to begin extolling his glories, there are so many! Pita prabhu was a great devotee, friendly to all, amicable, compassionate, helpful, very honest, funny, a true Southern gentleman, but most of all his highest virtue is that he loved and served Srila Prabhupada with all his heart and soul! Certainly, people of his caliber, whether devotees or not, have risen above the grade of varna shankara, unwanted population.

I met Pita prabhu nearly twenty years ago at the Atlanta temple. He was returning from China where he served under the auspices of His Holiness, Tamal Krsna Gosvami. He spent over two decades there and learned to speak Chinese fluently. Pita related to me many personal pastimes about his service in China, particularly about his enthusiastic preaching. He learned to cook Chinese food expertly and loved to cook for the devotees. Pita was a brahmacari and he related how one day he was shopping at the market and saw the most attractive beautiful young girl he had ever seen, however, as he observed her, he noticed that she was eating fried tiny little birds. We all know how difficult it is to control the senses, just as Arjuna conveyed to Krsna, but that grotesque experience solidified his vow of celibacy (brahmacarya).

Pita prabhu and I became close friends. So, I got to know him very well and easily perceived his kind and loving nature. Truly he liked everyone and never uttered a single negative thing about anyone. He praised the service of other devotees, and sincerely appreciated their association. Simply ask anyone who knew him, everybody liked Pita!

Above all, I personally witnessed his worship of Salagram Sila, ringing the bell, offering puja, chanting intricate mantras like the South Indian brahmins. This worship he performed daily for over a decade without missing a beat. I watched him chant his rounds in deep meditation and offer prayers to Srila Prabhupada. Yes, Pita loved Prabhupada immensely!

Becoming his close friend, Pita took liberty and trust to share with me many anecdotes of his childhood and upbringing as a Roman Catholic. He told me once that several years after joining ISKCON he returned home to visit his parents. He was preaching to his mother about Krsna consciousness and told her that Krsna was blue, and heartily his mother replied, “Really, Krsna is blue? Then He must have a heart condition!” And then he told me about his Dad, who was a salesman who sold cemetery lots. Pita told me that all the kids in the family learned their Dad’s pitch on the phone to customers, and he would imitate it in a funny voice. Many of the things I’m saying may sound mundane, but in actuality hearing his Dad solicit on behalf of imminent death, he said, it planted a seed in his heart to seek out God.

Most importantly, Pita described to me how he came to Krsna consciousness. He met the devotees in Philadelphia and would frequently visit the temple with his karmi friends. His friends displayed little interest in the philosophy, conversely, Pita was fascinated with Krsna consciousness from the very start! Soon he joined the temple and was assigned to traveling sankirtan with the Radha Damodar bus party. There his fortune began, for the Radha Damodhar bus party was headed to Atlanta, Georgia to meet with Srila Prabhupada!

Srila Prabhupada’s visit to Atlanta was superlatively glorious! The BBT Airport party was there,Tripurari and his men, all the stalwart book distributors, like Carudesna prabhu, Balabhadra Bhattacarya, Praghosh, Budhimanta, Svabas, Vaisesika, Sura prabhu Darpada prabhu and his good wife, Danakeli, Mother Svaha, my humble self and other dedicated soldiers (too many to name) who were fighting Maya in hand-to-hand combat in the Sankirtan army of Lord Caitanya Mahprabhu. And of course, the Radha Damodara bus party was there as well.

At the request of H.H. Tamal Krsna Gosvami, permission was given for all the book distributors to come and be introduced to Srila Prabhupada. Gosvami introduced everyone one at a time. He asked, “Who wants to go see Prabhupada first?” Everyone was reluctant and no one dare come forward, but Pita boldly volunteered and enthusiastically exclaimed “ I’ll go first.” “Srila Prabhupada, this is Bhakta Glenn.” Gosvami said, to which Srila Prabhupada swiftly made an impressive motion with his arm and slowly replied: “Glenn, Glenn, Glenn.” Not once, not twice, but three times!” Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, for Pita Das Prabhu.

Prior to Pita prabhu embarking for his service in China, he served at the F.A.T.E.Museum in New Dwarka, Los Angeles. His service was to paint the different sculptured dioramas, like the changing body exhibit. Again, Pita prabhu was fortunate to receive Srila Prabhupada’s association when Prabhupada came to inspect the facility. Srila Prabhupada went on his morning walks at Venice Beach, Pita attended several of those walks, and as you can see in the above photo (next to Prabhupada’s left in saffron ) he was beaming with happiness while basking in sun of Srila Prabhupada’s effulgence.

What more can I say about the glories of Pita Das prabhu? So much more I can share, but suffice it to say, that Pita prabhu loved Srila Prabhupada and the devotees and was firmly fixed in his conviction that Krsna consciousness was simply sublime. Indubitably, no questions asked, our beloved Pita prabhu is eternally situated at the lotus feet of our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada!

All glories to His Grace, Pita Das prabhu, he will be dearly missed. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!

Vaisnavananda Das (ACBSP, 1972)

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Dussehra (Durga Puja) by Ramai Swami

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The festival of Dussehra, also known as Vijaya dashmi, is one of the fascinating festivals of India and is celebrated with joy and enthusiasm. According to the great scripture, the Ramayana, Lord Rama performed chandi-puja (holy prayer). This was carried out in order to invoke the blessings of Durga for the killing of Ravana, the ten-headed demon king of Sri Lanka who had abducted Sita, wife of Lord Rama.

Durga divulged the secret to Rama on how he could slay the great Ravana. Hence upon vanquishing the demon Ravana, Lord Rama with Sita and younger brother Laksmana, returned victorious to his kingdom of Ayodhya on the day, which is called ‘Diwali’.

Revelers across northern India re-enact the legend at sundown in a performance called the Rama lila, featuring actors dressed as Rama shooting flaming arrows at effigies stuffed with firecrackers. 

Dussehra day is considered a most auspicious day. It is a time-honored belief that if any new venture is started on this day, it is bound to be successful. Hence, all the undertakings be it laying-in of foundation of a new building, opening of a new commercial establishment or even initiating a child into the world of learning- are started on this day.

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Source: http://www.ramaiswami.com/dussehra-durga-puja/

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