Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Feeding Pride

(Kadamba Kanana Swami, Radhadesh, Belgium, January 2012) Lecture: SB. 5.9.4

It is very interesting how we have such bachelors in our movement (and in the world) who are in a way renounced. But it is not renunciation linked to cultivating Krishna Consciousness. It’s simply renunciation out of convenience – out of avoiding the trouble….of having to deal with material energy. That kind of renunciation is not valuable….there is not much advantage to that, because by avoiding trouble, you’ll just get another kind of trouble!
Just like, there is an example of Diogenes who lived in a rain barrel with ripped clothes, and Plato lived in a mansion, which contained silk and cushions. One day Diogenes just ran through a pool of muddy water, and with his muddy feet, ran into the house of Plato and jumped over all the silk and cushions! And he called out:
“I’m just stamping. I am jumping on the pride of Plato!”
So Plato replied:
“With the same pride!”
So it’s a classic in the Greek tradition. So yes, that it is a fact that renunciation is another way of feeding pride. So what’s a point of being a bachelor? But the real point is, if we are living in an environment where we keep material things out as much as possible, and we bring in as much spiritual influence as we can, then we are speaking of āśrama………… āśrama is a renounced condition of life. We must live in a āśrama and we must give shape to our āśrama, at least to a point where we are liberated!
When we are liberated souls then it doesn’t matter where we live, but as long as we are not liberated then we should live in an āśrama, and make that āśrama a sacred environment – fill it with remembrances of the Supreme Lord and objects of purification, then that will strengthen us, and from that platform we can engage in our sādhana and get deeply absorbed. From that platform we are strong to deal with the material world, otherwise it is dangerous. So a āśrama is important!

Bhismastami - Anniversary of Bhisma's Passing Away

(30 January was Bhismastami, the anniversary of Bhisma's passing away.)

Bhismadeva, when he was lying on his arrow bed before passing away,
, accompanied with the Pandavas, came to see him. Ordinarily,
Bhismadeva was worshipper of Lord Visnu, but he knew also that Krishna is
the same Lord Visnu. When Krishna came to see Bhismadeva on his death bed,Bhismadeva remembered Krishna in His fighting feature at the battlefield of Kuruksetra. Bhismadeva wanted to see Krishna angry, he knew that Krishna was very kind upon him, but to make a front he displayed a chivalrous mood,
pretending to kill Arjuna, although he knew it very well that no power in
the world could kill Arjuna while he was shielded by Krishna Himself as his
charioteer. Yet he tried to agitate the mind of Krishna, but Arjuna he
almost killed. Actually, Krishna thought it that Bhismadeva was to see Him
in His angry mood and supposed to be broken in His promise, to fulfill the
desire of Bhismadeva. He got down from the chariot and took a wheel of the
chariot, going forward as if to kill Bhismadeva. Bhismadeva, as soon as
found Krishna in that angry mood, he gave up his fighting weapons and
prepared himself for being killed by Krishna. This attitude of Krishna
pleased Bhismadeva very much, and at the time of his death he recalled back
the angry feature of Krishna. He was a military man so he was pleased to see
Krishna in military spirit, as much as the Gopis wanted to see Krishna as
the most beautiful lover. There is no difference between the attitude of the
gopis and Bhismadeva in the matter of exchanging transcendental mellows
between God and His devotee. Krishna can be loved in any feature and because he is absolute there is no difference to love Krishna as a military man or as a simple Gopi.

During the day the two sides would battle, and at night they would visit one
another's camps, just like friends, talking and eating together. Bhisma was
accused of not trying hard enough to kill the Pandavas, due to affection for
them. So, he said, tomorrow I will kill all five brothers, and these five
special arrows I shall kill them with. For safekeeping Bhismadeva gave the
five arrows to Duryodhana, who had accused Bhisma of too much affection for
the Pandavas. Formerly, Duryodhana had made promise to Arjuna that he could someday ask for some favor, so Krishna, knowing all these things, sent
Arjuna to Duryodhana for asking favor of giving the arrows to Arjuna. So as
the promise was made, Duryodhana gave Arjuna the arrows, that night. Next
day, Bhisma knew it was Krishna who arranged all this, and so he told
Duryodhana, today it will be either Arjuna or I, but one of us will die. And
so he fought very hard to kill Arjuna, but with Krishna as Protector, no one
in world could kill Arjuna. Krishna's body was pierced, here and there, all
over as you like. As military man, Bhisma had no right to shoot the chariot
driver, but he knew Krishna's body is not material, and will not be harmed,
so he took pleasure in piercing the body of the Lord. Bhismadeva became so
pierced with arrows that he laid down and with the arrows all standing on
end, all over stuck through his body. Yes, Lord Brahma and Lord Siva came
and were there in the sky with many demigods, and throwing flowers.

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Letter to: Jadurani  --  San Francisco 29 December,

Appearance day of Sri Advaita Acarya

Date: January 30th, 2012
Topic: Sri Advaita Acarya’s Appearance day
Verse: C. C. Adi 6.5
Speaker: H. H. Bhakti V. V. Narasimha Swami ________________________________________________

So today being the occasion of the appearance of Advaita Acarya we will speak on the pastimes, some of the significant events in relation to Advaita Acarya. This is from Adi Lila, chapter 6 - The Glories of Advaita Acarya, text 6.advaitam harinadvaitad acaryam bhakti-samsanat bhaktavataram isam tam advaitacaryam asraye
TRANSLATION: Because He is non-different from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acarya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him. [CC Adi 6.5]

So this is one of the two verses which are used in the beginning of Caitanya-caritamrta by Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami to introduce us to Advaita Acarya. The chapter then goes on to explain how Advaita Acarya is the second branch of the tree of Caitanya Mahaprabhu - the first branch of course being Lord Nityananda and the main trunk being Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself. So Advaita Acarya is the second branch of the tree. And from this branch there are many sub branches of the followers of Advaita Acarya. Then we are told how Advaita Acarya had six sons but from his six sons only three were followers and the other three were deviants and were rejected by him.
Prabhupada then in the purport goes on to explain something of the history of Gaudiya Math and their entanglement in legal affairs, legal disputes because they did not properly work together according to the order of the spiritual master.

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah
That, for those who have implicit faith in the Lord and the spiritual master and who follow their instructions then all the purports of the scripture are revealed. (Svetasvara Upaniñad 6.23)
Srila Prabhupada explains to us that you can understand who is a faithful follower of the spiritual master by the results which they achieve. When the branch is connected to the tree then the branch will produce flowers and fruits. But if a branch is disconnected from the tree then the branch will dry up. The leaves will wither and dry up.

In the same way in propagating Krishna consciousness or the message of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu should be properly spread according to the instructions of the previous acaryas. And if we keep the instructions of the previous acaryas always in the forefront then we can be successful. Srila Prabhupada tells us how he himself always kept his own spiritual masters instruction in mind that whenever he got money use it to print books. This was how Srila Prabhupada explained to us his own success in spreading the message of Lord Caitanya.

In the case of Advaita Acarya there was some controversy. Just as we see controversy, disputes within our own Krishna consciousness movement from time to time there arises some dispute or some different opinions. So similarly some five hundred years ago in the time of Advaita Acarya there was also this problem - difficulties to work together.

Originally there was one idea but in course of time there was some split. Different opinions came out. There was some misunderstanding or different opinions of who was actually the supreme Lord. Who was svayam bhagavan. Some of the followers of Advaita Acarya were claiming that he was the svayam bhagavan. But Advaita Acarya himself had never given that instruction. Rather he always claimed that he was the servant of the Lord. He was the servant of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We see this brought out in many different pastimes involving Advaita Acarya.

The Caitanya-caritamrta describes to us how Advaita Acarya was first of all responsible for the Lord to descend from the spiritual world, from Vaikuntha. Advaita Acarya was lamenting the fallen condition of the world. He was seeing how the people were all engaged in the worship of demigods for material benefits and how they were spending all their wealth on arranging the marriages of their children and they had no interest in the message of Srimad-Bhagavatam or Bhagavad-gita. They were not concerned to take up the process of devotional service.

So although Advaita Acarya is Maha-Visnu Himself and he does the work of creating the material world he did not consider himself competent to deliver the people of the world. Therefore he thought the Lord Himeself, the Supreme Lord, svayam bhagavan, Lord Sri Krishna Himself has to come and deliver them. In this way he remembered a verse from the Gautamiya Tantra which said that if one worships the Lord with devotion offering Him water of the Ganges and Tulasi leaves then the Lord becomes purchased by that devotee and He becomes his servant.

In this way Advaita Acarya residing at his home in Santipur began to offer Tulasi leaves and Ganga water and called to the Lord to come and deliver the world. His calling did not go in vain. Later on Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would remind Advaita Acarya that, “You were the one that woke Me up. I was sleeping peacefully in the milk ocean but your loud calling disturbed Me and brought Me here. So Advaita Acarya was responsible for the Lord to descend.
Initially the Lord did not reveal Himself to Advaita Acarya. Caitanya-bhagavat describes how when the Lord was ready to reveal Himself to the devotees, at that time He sent the brother of Srivas Pandit, Ramai to go to the home of Advaita Acarya and bring him. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was in the home of Srivas Pandit. He had sent Ramai. Ramai did not know who wasAdvaita Acarya. He did not know where to go. He was simply guided by the Lord’s inspiration. Somehow or the other he found his way to Santipur and to the home of Advaita Acarya.

When he finally got there he did not know what to say but Advaita Acarya could understand everything. He said, “I know why you have come here. I know who has sent you. Tell me what do you want.” Ramai asked him, “The Lord is calling you. You please come.” Advaita Acarya was questioning him, “Where in the scriptures does it say that the Supreme Lord will appear in Navadvip? Is it in any scriptures you know?” He said, “Your brother Srivas knows my religious principles. Why is he doing this to me?” In this way Advaita Acarya was challenging Ramai but at the same time he said, “I will come with you but I will not come immediately to see Caitanya. We will first go to the home of Nandanacarya and I will wait there. You go to Nimai Pandit and you tell him that I am not coming and see what He says.”
In this way Rami was sent back to Srivas Pandits home and he told Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu that, “Advaita Acarya said he is not coming.” But Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu showed His ominscince. He said, “You cannot trick Me. I know this person. He is always trying to trick Me. He is always playing games with Me. I know he is at the home of Nandanacarya. You go and tell him to come here now. I am waiting for him.”

So in this way Advaita Acarya when he heard the words of Lord Caitanya He was very happy and he came to Srivas Pandit’s home. Lord Nityananda had already appeared and Advaita Acarya was united with Them. So They were together and could begin to have Their kirtan and chant the holy names. In this way Lord Caitanya became more and more ecstatic in enjoying the pleasure of kirtan experiencing more and more ecstasy.
On one particular occasion all of the devotees requested him. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was giving benedictions to different devotees. He was blessing them with krsna-prema. So Srivas said to Him, “What about Mother Saci. You should give Mother Saci krsna-prema also.” But when Lord Caitanya heard this He changed. He became very serious, very grave looking and He said, “I cannot give krsna-prema to Mother Saci. She cannot get krsna-prema.” All the devotees were shocked. “Mother Saci! She is the mother of the universe! You cannot give her krsna-prema? Why You cannot give to her?” The devotees said, “If You cannot give her krsna-prema we will have to give up our lives. We cannot tolerate.” Lord Caitanya said, “I cannot give Mother Saci krsna-prema because she has committed vaisnava-aparadha. She has offended the devotee.” All the devotees were shocked. “What devotee Mother Saci could have offended?” Lord Caitanya revealed that, “She has offended Advaita Acarya. Instead of calling him Advaita she called him Dvaita.”
It was revealed that Mother Saci was disturbed because her eldest son Visvarupa had left home. Her eldest son Visvarupa used to regularly go to the home of Advaita Acarya. And in the association of Advaita Acarya he would hear all the revealed scriptures particularly Srimad-Bhagavatam, Bhagavad-gita. So at some particular point Mother Scai and Jagannath Misra were planning to arrange the marriage of Visvarupa. Visvarupa understood so he left home and became a sannyasi. He never returned.

After some time Lord Caitanya was also going to the home of Advaita Acarya and Lord Caitanya was not showing any interest even in His beautiful wife, Laxmipriya. He was simply going to the home of Advaita Acarya. Every day he would spend His time there in the company of Advaita Acarya. When Mother Saci saw this then she said, “This Advaita Acarya pretends like he is a friend of our family but actually he is Dvaita. He is putting me in a net of maya. He is entangling me in a net of illusion. He will do the same with my other son. He has already had one son go and take sannyas. Now Nimai will also want to leave home and become a sannyasi. So he is not Advaita. He is Dvaita.”
For this reason which was not really an offense but Lord Caitanya in order to instruct all the devotees on the importance of not committing vaisnava-aparadha He enacted this pastime among the devotees saying He will not give Mother Saci krsna-prema. So all the devotees were telling Mother Saci, “You have to come and get forgiveness from Advaita Acarya. You have to come and touch his feet and get forgiveness.”

Some other devotees went and brought Advaita Acarya and they were telling him, “Mother Saci has committed and offence against you. You have to forgive her.” And Advaita Acarya, “What? Mother Saci offended me? How is that possible? She is the Mother of the universe. I worship her lotus feet. She could never ever commit and offense against me. I am the offender of her. I can never forgive her offenses against me. It is me who should be forgiven if I have offended her. In this way Advaita Acarya became more and more ecstatic thinking of Mother Saci and as he became ecstatic he lost consciousness. He became ecstatic just thinking of Mother Saci.

When he lost consciousness the devotees rushed Mother Saci, “Quick! Now is the time. Go and get the dust from his lotus feet. Otherwise he will never allow you to touch his feet.” So Mother Saci came. She took the dust from the feet of Advaita Acarya. Then she became unconscious. [Laughter] Mother Saci became unconscious thinking of Advaita Acarya and Advaita Acarya was unconscious thinking of Mother Saci. So this is the loving dealings between the Lord and His devotees.

So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is instructing all of us in the importance of avoiding offences. Advaita Acarya had recounted this pastime later on. When he was in Jagannath Puri Advaita Acarya had gone to visit Caitanya Mahaprabhu and at that time one of the servants of Advaita Acarya - like the secretary of Advaita Acarya named Kamala Kanta Visvasa also got some problem. Kamala Kanta Visvasa it is mentioned in Caitanya-caritamrta that he had come to Jagannath Puri along with Paramananda Puri. And it is recorded there in the Caitanya-caritamrta.

Kamala Kanta Visvasa was assisting Advaita Acarya in his duties and at some point he had written a message, a note. Therein he requested Maharaj Prataparudra to liquidate a debt of some three hundred rupees which Advaita Acarya owed. So in the note Kamala Kanta Visvasa had stated that Advaita Acarya is the Personality of Godhead but he is in debt for three hundred rupees! [Laughter] He was requesting Maharaj Prataparudra to kindly liquidate this debt.

Somehow this note came to the hands of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and when Mahaprabhu saw this note He was pleased in some ways because He thought, “This is very good. He understand Advaita Acarya is the Personality of Godhead. But it is not good that he has said that he is in debt for three hundred rupees.” He said, “This person Kamala Kanta Visvasa is a buliya
-meaning one who does not know things as they are.” Then Lord Caitanya instructed His servant, “From today on I don’t want to see his face. He should not come in my presence. So when this news came to Kamala Kanta Visvasa he was very disturbed that he could no longer have darsan of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He felt very bad.

Advaita Acarya however felt very happy. He said, “Oh you are very fortunate. This is very good. You have been punished by the Lord. The Lord is always equal. Whatever He does is always for our good. If He rewards us or punishes us it is always good. You should not worry.” Advaita Acarya remembers how Mukunda had also been punished and then Advaita Acarya recounts, “I was also punished by the Lord.”

Advaita Acarya was also punished by the Lord. He said, “Previously Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu always used to treat me like His father.” Advaita Acarya was about fifty years of age or so when Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared. So Advaita Acarya was a contemporary of His father, Jagannath Misra. So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu would always respect Advaita Acarya as His senior. Advaita Acarya was also a disciple of Madhavendra Puri. Madhavendra Puri was also the guru of Isvara Puri. And lord Caitanya took initiation from Isvara Puri. Therefore Lord Caitanya always respected Advaita Acarya like His spiritual master or like His father.

Caitanya-Bhagavat also describes that when Caitanya Mahaprabhu took sannyas He came to the house of Advaita Acarya and Advaita Acarya’s young son Acyutananda at that time was five years old. Caitanya-Bhagavat describes that Lord Caitanya took the naked little boy on His lap and told him that, “Advaita Acarya is like my father. So you and I are brothers.” In this way Lord Caitanya was disturbing the mind of Advaita Acarya because He was offering him so much respect and reverence as His senior.

Advaita Acarya was thinking, “I brought the Lord here. I did not want Him to worship me. I want to worship Him. He is the Lord. I want to worship Him but He comes and worships me.” So Advaita Acarya devised a plan by which he could change the situation. He decided that he would begin preaching impersonalism. He took the book ‘Yoga Vasista’ and in this book they give all importance to the impersonal Brahman and the process of speculative knowledge. So Advaita Acarya began preaching from this book that the goal of life is to get mukti and you have to achieve it by speculative knowledge and this is how you will achieve perfection. There is no other way.
When news of this came to Lord Caitanya He was not happy and He set out to come to Santipur along with Lord Nityananda. When Lord Caitanya came into the presence of Advaita Acarya He immediately challenged him. “So which is the better process, devotional service or speculative knowledge?”
Advaita Acarya looked at Him and said, “Speculative knowledge is the best process.” [Laughter] Lord Caitanya immediately dragged him out of his chair, dragged him onto the floor out of the house and began to beat him on his back. Advaita Acarya’s wife, Sita Mata came running saying, “He is a Brahmin. You will kill him. It is very sinful. You get severe reactions for killing a Brahmin. Be careful.”

In this way Advaita Acarya was rejoicing that, “Now I am feeling some pleasure.” [Laughter] “This is very nice. Please give me more of this kind of dealing.” Advaita Acarya then heard Lord Caitanya describe to him that actually, “I am that person that killed Kamsa, Ravan. I also killed Hiranyakasipu. Now I have come to deliver the holy name to everyone and to bless everyone with pure devotion.” Advaita Acarya was very happy to hear these words.

Lord Caitanya requested him to ask for a blessing but Advaita Acarya said, “Blessing? No I am already blessed but if you want to please me then give prema bhakti to those people who are low born, to the sudras and to the women, to the ignorant and the uneducated but do not give Your prema bhakti to those who are proud of their birth, who are proud of their wealth and who are proud of their great knowledge and education and who have no interest in devotional service and who are offensive to the devotees. Do not give Your bhakti to them.”

We see also how this wish of Advaita Acarya is enacted. Ever since then Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s teachings have been embraced by people especially in the lower levels of society. Whereas those people who are born in the high class brahminical families are much against the Vaisnava culture.
Advaita Acarya was born in a brahmana family. He was the head of the Brahmins of Santipur but he had no regard for the social culture at that time. He never concerned himself with what was proper and what was not for a Brahmana. He allowed Haridasa Thakura to come and live at his place. He made a home for Haridasa Thakura nearby his own home and everyday he would have food with Haridasa Thakura. When Advaita Acarya’s father disappeared Advaita Acarya performed the sraddha ceremony and with the sraddha ceremony it is customary to give the offering to the most elevated of the Brahmanas. And at that time Advaita Acarya brought the sraddha plate and gave it to Haridasa Thakura.
Haridasa Thakura felt embarrassed and uncomfortable that, “I am born in a Muslim family. I am low class and low born. You are a high class Brahmana. Why you feeding me?” But Advaita Acarya said, “By feeding you I am satisfying millions of Brahmanas. You are more elevated than any of these so called Brahmanas. One who is a devotee of the Lord and who is engaged in the Lord’s service even though he may be born in a family of dog eaters is better than the non devotee brahmana who knows all the Vedas.” So Advaita Acarya exemplified this kind of thinking in his life. Although he is a high class smarta Brahmana he has no regard for these smarta traditions and he is interested in preaching Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita. He spent his time doing that.

He was so happy with the appearance of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He could spread the sankirtan movement. We were telling about Kamala Kanta Visvasa - how he had written this message and Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not want him to come again into His presence. So Advaita Acarya then went to see Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he challenged Him that, “You have given more mercy to Kamala Kanta Visvasa than to me. I never got mercy like that. You have told him not to come in Your presence. You only beat me but You never told me that I could not come in Your presence. Why You give him more mercy than me? What has he done to get the greatest mercy?”

Caitanya Mahaprabhu was appreciating Advaita Acarya’s arguments. Caitanya Mahaprabhu then called Kamal Kanta Visvasa and He explained to him his mistake that, “You must be very careful that the Supreme Lord is not a poor man first of all.” And most importantly He also warned all of His devotees that by accepting charity from materialistic people we become contaminated. It is customary for people to give charity to Brahmanas and to sannyasis. But by accepting charity from people we also accept something of their karma. And certainly if a person is materialistic and sinful then it is very dangerous to accept charity from them.

Prabhupada warned us about going to people’s homes that if they are not vegetarian you don’t want to take any food in their home. You can only take uncut fruit but don’t eat any food. If you eat grains then certainly you will accept also their sinful activities. So it is very important accepting charity. As representatives of the Krishna consciousness movement how do we apply this? Of course we accept charity from so many sinful people but we do not accept it on our own behalf for our own maintenance or subsistence. We accept it on behalf of the Krishna consciousness movement for propagating Krishna consciousness around the world. That is not a problem if we accept money for the service of Krishna consciousness, to spread Krishna consciousness then there is no problem for us and there is only benefit also for the people who are giving charity. So accepting charity is there if it is done with the right mood for the service of Krishna.
Advaita Acarya’s home was in Santipur. One time Srila Prabhupada was considering having his world head quarters in Santipur. Srila Prabhupada used to regulary visit Santipur even before he took sannyas. As a grhasta he used to visit Santipur and he would sit there and chant the holy name. He would spend hours there chanting the holy name. The pujari, one of the priests in Santipur remembers how this man used to come in his white khadhi. He would come and sit ther and chant the holy name and before leaving he would come and see the pujari and thank him for serving the Deity.

Then the pujari describes how he did not see this man for many, many years. Then after many, many years he saw this man and he was in a sannyasi dress. He had become a sannyasi and he was again chanting the holy name as he used to very intently for hours. Then he understood that this is the same person who used to come. Previously he was in white. Now he is a sannyasi. He noticed as he was chanting he was shedding tears and the pujari describes how he had spoken to Prabhupada and asked him what was the cause of all of his shedding tears and Prabhupada had explained to him that, “I have been given the mission to go to the west. My Guru Maharaj has ordered me that I have to go to the west and spread Krishna consciousness and it is impossible but I have to do it. So I am just chanting here and praying for some mercy that I can take on this task.”

It was many years later when the devotees came back to Mayapur and that pujari was able to reveal all of this to the devotees. So Santipura is a very important place. We go there every year of course. We go there on the appearance day of Madhavendra Puri because Madhavendra Puri also came to Santipura. And just like Advaita Acarya was lamenting the fallen condition of the world and how there are hardly any devotees anywhere and the people are all absorbed in sense pleasure, Madhavendra Puri was similarly wandering the earth thinking how hopeless it is and how difficult it is to try to preach. He was thinking to go and live in the forest and at that time he came to Santipur and he met Advaita Acarya.

When Advaita Acarya met with Madhavendra Puri then they both rejoiced. They were both so happy they could understand that they had a common interest in topics of Krishna and hearing and chanting Srimad-Bhagavatam and the holy name of the Lord and in this way they passed many, many days together. From that time on every year Advaita Acarya would observe the appearance day of Madhavendra Puri. He had accepted Madhavendra Puri as his spiritual master and he organized a very big festival. The Caitanya-bhagavat explains in great detail ho Advaita Acarya would fill rooms and rooms with provisions for the festival and people would come from everywhere.
Of course in the present time we are trying to continue that tradition in a similar way. We don’t cook with as much variety as Advaita Acarya did. Usually it is only kitchri in Santipur but we do have a nice festival.
Some years back the descendants of Advaita Acarya came and requested the Iskcon devotees to help them again to take up that festival as Advaita Acarya used to perform - offering so much food stuffs and distributing prasadam for all of the thousands of people who lived around that area.

So Advaita Acarya’s home was in Santipur. Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda would regularly come there and visit him. A nice pastime is described - some of the joking words which used to take place between Caitanya and Nityananda are revealed to us in the Caitanya-caritamrta. Krsnadasa Kaviraja describes how on a particular occasion or maybe it was just after Caitanya Mahaprabhu had taken sannyasa. Lord Nityananda tricked Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to come into Santipura. Lord Caitanya was eager to go to Vrindavan but in His ecstacy He could not recognise where He was going and Lord Nityananda tricked him and brought Him back to Santipur.
When Advaita Acarya appeared Lord Caitanya was surprised and said, “What are you doing in Vrindavan?” [Laughter] Advaita Acarya then replied, “Wherever You are that is Vrindavan.” Wherever Caitanya Mahaprabhu is that is Vrindavan because Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna and Krishna never goes out of Vrindavan. So in this way Lord Caitanya was pacified. He went to take bath. Then Advaita Acarya requested Him saying, “Please come to my home. I have prepared some very simple food - just a palm full of rice and a few liquid vegetables - very suitable for a sannyasi.” [Laughter]

So Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu thought, “Well all right. Just a palm full of rice and a little liquid vegetable, that is okay.” And when He came and He saw the worship was going on and the food was on the altar and He saw so many preparations - hundreds of vegetables and all different sweets and cakes and rice covered with ghee. It was so opulent and the whole thing was covered in Tulasi manjaris. Lord Caitanya was so pleased. He said, “Whoever is worshipping the Lord in this way I take the dust from their feet. They are doing so nicely. Such nice worship!”

Advaita Acarya brought the plates over and said, “Here, this is Yours. One is for Lord Nityananda.” [Laughter] And when Lord Caitanya understood that He was supposed to eat all of these things then He objected. “Common I am a sannyasi I cannot eat like this.’ But Advaita Acarya reminded Him saying, “Common I know Your identity. You eat fifty four times a day at Jagannath Puri. [Laughter] And every time there are hundreds of preparations also. What is this! This is just a mere morsel for You.” Lord Caitanya was coerced to sit down and to begin to eat. As He would eat Advaita Acarya would come and refill everything. Lord Caitanya would eat and again Advaita Acarya would come and refill. In this way it was going on.
Lord Nityananda was joking. He said, “I have been fasting for three days. This is a mere morsel. This would not satisfy My hunger.” Actually They had been travelling for three days. They come from Katwa. Lord Caitanya had taken sannyasa in Katwa. It took Then three days to come to Santipur. So Lord Nityananda was saying, “I have been fasting for three days. What is this? This will not satisfy My hunger.”

Advaita Acarya said, “I am a poor brahamana. You have come to my home. Please kindly accept whatever I offer You.” Lord Nityananda said, “Look you invited Me. You should give Me whatever I want. This is hardly anything. This will not satisfy My hunger.” Anyway Advaita Acarya was persuading Him to sit down Advaita Acarya also rebuked Him saying, You are reject paramhamsa.” By calling Him reject paramahamsa actually Advaita Acarya was not insulting Him. He was glorifying Him because Lord Nityananda is actually paramahamsa. He is an avadhutta. Lord Nityananda is avadhutta and he was on the highest stage of life. He was a paramahamsa. As a paramahamsa one may wear the dress of the sannyasi or one may not. He may sometimes wear the dress of a grhasta. He is not obliged to any particular attire. This is the position of paramahamsa.

So Lord Nityananda is famous as avadutta. Advaita Acarya is glorifying Him that this is His exalted position. We see amidst some of our devotees we have to also sometimes take that risk that you have to put on the civilian dress to get into some country to travel and preach. In certain countries - if you go to Islamic countries, some places where we are not legal you may have to put on civilian dress in order to preach.

I was with some people and someone said, “I will never go there if you have to do that.” But this is a risk we have to take. It is certainly a great risk. If you are Lord Nityananda it is no risk. He is paramahamsa. He is avadhutta. We are imitating when we do that. Very dangerous! Be careful.
So Advaita Acarya was serving the food to Lord Nityananda and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After sometime They finished eating. Lord Nityananda stood up and said, “This food has not satisfied Me. I am not going to take a mere portion of it. It is not sufficient for Me.” He took some rice in an angry mood and He threw it and it hit the body of Advaita Acarya. And when the food hit Advaita Acarya then Advaita Acarya began to dance. Then Lord Nityananda said to Advaita Acarya that, “This food is prasadam. It has been offered to Lord Krishna. You have committed an offense by having it touch your body like that and dancing on it. Now you have to feed a hundred sannyasis in order to get relief from the offence.” However Advaita Acarya said, “I will never invite another sannyasi to my house.” [Laughter]

Actually this pastime shows the potency of prasadam. That because Lord Nityananda was taking prasadam, the remnants of the devotee is so powerful. It simply just touches the body of Advaita Acarya and he danced in ecstasy. This is prasadam that it is so powerful, so purifying that even if it touches the body then it is purifying.So Advaita Acarya was imitating the smarta brahmana - one who is in the position of being an orthodox brahmana. But he was showing how by coming in contact of Lord Nityananda, the Vaisnava, he was being delivered from this position.

Advaita Acarya performs many wonderful pastimes in the association of the Lord. Later on in Jagannath Puri we also saw the son of Advaita Acarya who was brought back to life by the grace of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. One of his sons, Gopal was asked Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu to dance in the kirtan. But while he was dancing at a certain point Gopal fell down and fainted. His father and all of the devotees surrounded him and when they saw that he was no longer breathing, they were all shocked. They thought, “How to revive him?” They were chanting the names of Lord Nrsimhadev. They were calling to the Lord. Nothing could revive him. They began to cry. They began to weep. They though he has left the body, he has given up his life but then Lord Caitanya came. He out His hand on his chest and loudly shouted, “Gopal, get up and dance.” And Gopal came back to consciousness and stood up and began to dance. This is the loving dealings of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu with Advaita Acarya.

Advaita Acarya was responsible for the appearance of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he was also responsible for Lord Caitanya to leave this world, to complete His pastimes in this world. Jagadananda Pandit had gone to Navadvip to meet Mother Saci and to bring prasadam for her and to associate with all of the devotees in Navadvip. At that time Advaita Acarya had given a poem or a sonnet which he had written and he had asked, “Please give this to lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu.” So the meaning of this sonnet could not be understood by ordinary people. Jagadananda Pandit brought it back. When he delivered this message to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu then Caitanya Mahaprabhu greatly intensified His mood of bhava and His feelings of separation for the Lord and became totally like a mad man.

The sonnet simply said that all of the stores already have sufficient supply of rice. There is no longer anymore need to supply. So in this way Caitanya Mahaprabhu took this as a signal for Him to complete His pastimes in this world. So Advaita Acarya is certainly non-different from the Lord and as he is described in this verse he is also acarya - teacher by example. He teaches us the example to be the servant and not to be the master. He gave up any of those persons who wanted to put him in the position of being the master. He rejected them. Even his own sons were rejected for wanting to put him in the position of being the master.

It was described that Caitanya Mahaprabhu was saying that He wanted to deliver everyone. Advaita Acarya pointed out to Lord Caitanya that one who will worship the servant without worshipping the master is doomed. He gave examples. He said, “Just like Satrajit worshipped the sun-god and he was killed. Dhuryodhana although he was a disciple of Balaram he could never be successful. Hiranyakasipu worshipped Lord Brahma. Neither could he be successful. Similarly Ravan also was a devotee of Siva. He was also slain.” Another example is also given of Sudaksana, the son of the King of Kasi, he was also a great devotee of Siva and he produced a fearful demon. He performed a yajna which produced a great asura but Sudaksana requested this demon to go and burn Dvaraka. The demon went to Dvaraka and then surrendered to Sudarsan. Then Sudarsan sent the demon back to kill Sudaksana.
Click on lotus feet
All of these different examples were given by Advaita Acarya to remind all of his followers that, “If you ever separate Me from Lord Gauranga then you will never be successful. If you are actually my follower then you must also surrender yourself to Lord Gauranga. You cannot just simply worship me.” Advaita Acarya also established himself as the servant of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not as the master! It would have been easy for him to claim to be the master but that was not his mood. He came in the mood as a servant of the devotee. So, all of these different pastimes which he enacted are there for our education to enlighten us. We will stop now. Thank you.

Activities of the Lord are beyond Mental Speculation

When Lord Kṛṣṇa appeared just like a six- or seven-year-old boy in Vṛndāvana, He was approached by the residents there. There were torrents of rain, and the Lord saved the residents of Vṛndāvana by lifting Govardhana Hill and resting it on the little finger of His left hand for seven days. This uncommon feature of the Lord should convince even materialistic persons who want to speculate to the limit of their material senses. The activities of the Lord are pleasing to experimental vision also, but impersonalists will not believe in His identity because they study the personality of the Lord by comparing their personality to His. Because men in this material world cannot lift a hill, they do not believe that the Lord can lift one. They accept the statements of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to be allegorical, and they try to interpret them in their own way. But factually the Lord lifted the hill in the presence of all the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, as corroborated by great ācāryas and authors like Vyāsadeva and Nārada. Everything about the Lord — His activities, pastimes and uncommon features — should be accepted as is, and in this way, even in our present condition, we can understand the Lord.

- Srimad Bhagavatam 4.7.32 Purport

Vasanta Pancami Darshan of Sri Radha Madhava

Vasant Panchami is a famous festival that marks the end of the winter season and ushers in the springtime. The color yellow holds a special meaning for this celebration as it signifies the brilliance of nature and the vibrancy of life. The whole place bursts with yellow during the festival. During Vasant Panchami, the advent of spring is felt in the air as the season undergoes change. New leaves and blossoms appear in the trees with the promise of new life and hope.

Vasanta Pancami marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated in a great splendor. Many types of bright yellow flowers were offered to the Sri Sri Radha-Madhava. Following in the footsteps of the Vrajvasis, Krsna’s lotusform was painted with special designs and a special arati was performed for the Lorsdships. Srimati Radharani & Astasakhis appeared as blossoming flowers wearing glowing yellow garments and bright yellow flowers. Their transcendental unlimited sweet forms were smeared with turmeric paste. All the deities had flower bracelets, armlets, necklaces and crown decorations. The altar was decorated with yellow marigolds, orchids, roses, sunflowers and beautiful vases.

Remedy to be free from Material Hankerings

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.7.30

Lord Śiva said to Lord Narayana: My dear Lord, my mind and consciousness are always fixed on Your lotus feet, which, as the source of all benediction and the fulfillment of all desires, are worshiped by all liberated great sages because Your lotus feet are worthy of worship. With my mind fixed on Your lotus feet, I am no longer disturbed by persons who blaspheme me, claiming that my activities are not purified. I do not mind their accusations, and I excuse them out of compassion, just as You exhibit compassion toward all living entities.

Lord Śiva expresses herein his regret at having been angry and having disturbed the sacrificial activities of Dakṣa. King Dakṣa had insulted him in many ways, and thus he had become angry and had frustrated the entire sacrificial ceremony. Later, when he was pleased, the yajña performances were reinstituted, and therefore he regretted his activities. Now he says that because his mind is fixed on the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord, Viṣṇu, he is no longer disturbed by the ordinary critics of his way of life. From this statement by Lord Śiva it is understood that as long as one is on the material platform one is affected by the three modes of material nature. As soon as one is in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, however, one is no longer affected by such material activities. One should therefore always be fixed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, busy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. It is guaranteed that such a devotee will never be affected by the actions and reactions of the three modes of material nature. This fact is also corroborated in Bhagavad-gītā: anyone who is fixed in the transcendental service of the Lord has surpassed all the material qualities and is situated in the status of Brahman realization, in which one is not afflicted by hankering for material objects.

The recommendation of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is that one should always be Kṛṣṇa conscious and should never forget his transcendental relationship with the Lord. This program has to be followed strictly by everyone. From the statement of Lord Śiva it is understood that he was always in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and thus he remained free from material affliction. The only remedy, therefore, is to continue Kṛṣṇa consciousness rigidly, in order to get out of the contamination of the material modes.

The Exclusive Shelter for everyone

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.7.28: The members of the assembly addressed the Lord: O exclusive shelter for all who are situated in troubled life, in this formidable fort of conditional existence the time element, like a snake, is always looking for an opportunity to strike. This world is full of ditches of so-called distress and happiness, and there are many ferocious animals always ready to attack. The fire of lamentation is always blazing, and the mirage of false happiness is always alluring, but one has no shelter from them. Thus foolish persons live in the cycle of birth and death, always overburdened in discharging their so-called duties, and we do not know when they will accept the shelter of Your lotus feet.

Persons who are not in Kṛṣṇa consciousness are living a very precarious life, as described in this verse, but all these circumstantial conditions are due to forgetfulness of Kṛṣṇa. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is meant to give relief to all these bewildered and distressed persons; therefore it is the greatest relief work for all human society, and the workers thereof are the greatest well-wishers, for they follow in the footsteps of Lord Caitanya, who is the greatest friend to all living entities.

Monday, 30 January 2012


Lord Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is described here as Tīrthapāda. Tīrtha means "sanctified place," and pāda means "the lotus feet of the Lord." People go to a sanctified place to free themselves from all sinful reactions. In other words, those who are devoted to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, automatically become sanctified. The Lord's lotus feet are called tīrtha-pāda because under their protection there are hundreds and thousands of saintly persons who sanctify the sacred places of pilgrimage.

Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, a great ācārya of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya, advises us not to travel to different places of pilgrimage. Undoubtedly it is troublesome to go from one place to another, but one who is intelligent can take shelter of the lotus feet of Govinda and thereby be automatically sanctified as the result of his pilgrimage. Anyone who is fixed in the service of the lotus feet of Govinda is called tīrtha-pāda; he does not need to travel on various pilgrimages, for he can enjoy all the benefits of such travel simply by engaging in the service of the lotus feet of the Lord. Such a pure devotee, who has implicit faith in the lotus feet of the Lord, can create sacred places in any part of the world where he decides to remain.

Tīrthī-kurvanti tīrthāni (Bhāg. 1.13.10). The places are sanctified due to the presence of pure devotees; any place automatically becomes a place of pilgrimage if either the Lord or His pure devotee remains or resides there. In other words, such a pure devotee, who is engaged one hundred percent in the service of the Lord, can remain anywhere in the universe, and that part of the universe immediately becomes a sacred place where he can peacefully render service to the Lord as the Lord desires.

Srimad Bhagavatam 4.6.25 Purport

Ornament of a Saintly Person

SB 4.6.48: My dear lord, if in some places materialists, who are already bewildered by the insurmountable illusory energy of the Supreme Godhead, sometimes commit offenses, a saintly person, with compassion, does not take this seriously. Knowing that they commit offenses because they are overpowered by the illusory energy, he does not show his prowess to counteract them.

It is said that the beauty of a tapasvī, or saintly person, is forgiveness. There are many instances in the spiritual history of the world in which many saintly persons, although unnecessarily harassed, did not take action, although they could have done so. Parīkṣit Mahārāja, for example, was unnecessarily cursed by a brāhmaṇa boy, and this was very much regretted by the boy's father, but Parīkṣit Mahārāja accepted the curse and agreed to die within a week as the brāhmaṇa boy desired. Parīkṣit Mahārāja was the emperor and was full in power both spiritually and materially, but out of compassion and out of respect for the brāhmaṇa community, he did not counteract the action of the brāhmaṇa boy but agreed to die within seven days. Because it was desired by Kṛṣṇa that Parīkṣit Mahārāja agree to the punishment so that the instruction of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam would thus be revealed to the world, Parīkṣit Mahārāja was advised not to take action. A Vaiṣṇava is personally tolerant for the benefit of others. When he does not show his prowess, this does not mean that he is lacking in strength; rather, it indicates that he is tolerant for the welfare of the entire human society.

Calamity is a Benediction

tat te 'nukampāḿ susamīkṣamāṇo
bhuñjāna evātma-kṛtaḿ vipākam
hṛd-vāg-vapurbhir vidadhan namas te
(Bhāg. 10.14.8)

The purport of this verse is that when a devotee is in a calamitous condition he takes it as a benediction of the Supreme Lord and takes responsibility himself for his past misdeeds. In such a condition, he offers still more devotional service and is not disturbed. One who lives in such a disposition of mind, engaged in devotional service, is the most eligible candidate for promotion to the spiritual world. In other words, such a devotee's claim for promotion to the spiritual world is assured in all circumstances.

SB 4.6.45 Purport

Sri Sri Radha Raman Mandir, Vrindavan

Sri Radharaman Temple was established by Gopal Bhatta Goswami.

Sri Radharamana's lotus face is like Sri Govindaji's, His chest is like Sri Gopinath's and His lotus feet are like Sri Madanmohanji's. By taking darsan of Radharaman one receives the simultaneous darsan of these three primary Deities of Vrindavan.

This is Ramanji in His Aulai outfit. The Aulai darshan is for sandhya aarti in the early evening. Aulai means "I'm bringing (dinner)" as Krishna is all cleaned up from cow-hearding, and is impatient to eat as He's hungry, and so Yashoda, says "Aulai, Aulai" to pacify Him that she's bringing Him His food...

The Deity of Sri Radharaman was manifested from one of Gopal Bhatta Goswami's salagram-silas on the full moon day of Vaisakha (April/May) in 1542.
This event is celebrated every year (May) by bathing the Deity with 100 liters of milk and other auspicious items. Gopal Bhatta Goswami's other salagram-silas are also worshiped on the altar. There is no Deity of Radharani with Radharaman, but gomati-cakra is worshipped on the altar to His left. According to an injunction of Sri Hari-bhakti-vilas, a gomati-cakra is to be worshipped along with a salagram-sila.

Radharaman is one of the few original Deities of the Goswamis still in Vrindavan. Other Deities went to Jaipur, but Radharaman never left Vrindavan. The fires for cooking in the temple kitchen have been burning continuously for over 435 years, since the Deity was installed. This is so no foreign elements, such as matches, are used for ignition purposes.

The Temple is located at the end of the road coming from the walled Nidhuvan gardens.
One rich businessman made an offering of clothes crowns, and jewllery to Srila Gopal Bhatta Goswami, who lamented that, as he was worshipping Sri Shaligram which was round just like a stone he could not dress, or put crowns and jewellery like the other Goswamis were doing with their Deities. Lamenting in this way, the Goswami took rest. Early the next morning when he came to offer the seva arpanam puja for the Shaligrams he discovered that one of the Silas (Damodar) had transformed into the most beautiful three fold bending Deity of Krishna, Who had manifested Himself out of love, just to receive loving worship from Gopal Bhatta Goswami. The name Radha Raman means "one who gives pleasure to Srimati Radharani". This is one of the numerous names of Lord Sri Krishna. There is no external manifestation or Deity of Srimati Radharani in the temple but there is a crown next to Ramanji that represents Her presence.

This is the entrance to the Radha Raman Gosai compound

Just as a word of caution, these days there are many micheivious monkey who lurk around the walls and roof tops of this compound waiting for unsuspecting pilgrims who they then pounce upon and steal your glasses, bead bags or any food that you may be carrying to bring as an offering to the Deity. Be careful and remove any such items and keep all items in your bag and out of their sharp eye's reach.

....if you look carefully you will notice one monkey sitting waiting on the balcony for his moment.......and a few over to the left.

There's a safe place to keep shoes just around to the right, and for a very small donation someone will guard your shoes from the monkeys.
DO NOT leave shoes outside the temple door as these people have, and PLEASE DO NOT take them inside the door.

Summer - Mangala Arati 4:00am
Darshan - 08:00am thru' 12:30pm
(look out for the green light when you first enter the Gosai compound, up on the left)
(If it is red then darshan is over)
Evening Darshan:  - 6pm - 8pm (18:00 - 20:00 hrs)
Winter - Mangala Arati 05:30am
Darshan - 08:00am - 12:30pm
Evening - 6pm - 8pm (18:00 - 20:00 hrs)

Zoomed in for close-up darshan

The standard of worship at samadhi and temple is exemplary and Srila Prabhupada wanted his disciples to learn Deity worship from local pujaris.

Radharaman Riding Silver Elephant
October 2nd 2006 was the Rama Vijayotsava, also known as Dasshera, the day that Lord Ramacandra conquered over Ravana. On this day every year, Sri Sri Radharamanaji performs a victory ride on a huge 4? silver elephant. This year Sri Padmalocan Goswami was the pujari for this event. We waited anxiously till almost quarter to seven to relish this incredible darshan.
After aratika, Padmalocana Goswami surprised us all by taking the Salagram Silas in an ornate silver cart on a Rathayatra circumambulating Sri Radharamanji. Unfortunately, he was moving too fast for us to get a good photo of the Rathayatra. The photos presented here were taken by a Swedish disciple of Devamrita Swami named Karunapurna Devi Dasi, who is on her first visit to the Holy Dhama, Sri Vrindavan.
Sri Sri Radharamana lala ki jaya!
In service of Srimati Vrinda Devi,
Deena Bandhu das

Following are a couple of pictures of His undergoing an Abhishek bathing ceremony,
where He is bathed in pleasing items such as milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar water and honey.

Being bathed in cow's milk

Half covered still in yogurt, the ghee is poured over His Divine form

After all the auspicious items are offered to Him He is bathed again using waters from the Sahasra-dhara sieve

This black and white shot shows RadhaRaman's real natural beauty and fine detail. Skeptics have speculated that His fine features were carved but devotional scientists from Indian universities have concluded that there are no marks on His body to suggest that He was in any way carved or otherwise manipulated by man. His form as you see it here is cent per cent swayam vyakta - self manifesting. Sri Sri Radha Raman ki jaya

Radha Raman dressed in Sandalwood pulp for Chandan yatra
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's kaupina (cloth) and asana (seat), which Gopal Bhatta Goswami brought from Jagannath Puri, are also in this temple. They are brought out to be seen by the public three or four times a year. The asana is black wood and is about 30 cm (12") by 25 cm (10").
Before large temples were built, the Goswamis worshiped their Deities simply, keeping them in a tree under which they slept......Radha-raman Deity was adored in a tree for centuries. In the area of the present Radha-raman temple, there used to be a large lake, connected to the Yamuna river......For a couple of hundred years they worshiped Radha-raman in a tree, and at night put him in a boat anchored in the middle of a lake......They stood guard with bows and arrows, if anyone came to hassle the Deity. Even today, they have the bows and arrows in the temple.
Besides daily puja there are other festivals held at the samadhis. Upon taking initiation into Gaudiya-vaisnava Sampradaya, a new disciple may sponsor a special uttsava (festival) consisting of hari-nama sankirtana (chanting of the name of the Lord), bhagavatha-katha (discourses about the Lord) and offer an opulent feast of prasadam to present Vaisnavas and Braja-vasis (residents of Vrindavan).

The Radharaman Temple was not attacked by Aurangzeb's soldiers because they mistakenly thought it to be just residential quarter. Because of this Radha Raman ji never left Vrindavan like so many of the other Goswami's Deities.

Gopal Bhatta Goswami's samadhi is to the left after you enter the first gate from the street into the temple compound. Gopal Bhatta Goswami was the son of Vyenkatta Bhatta, a brahmana priest of Srirangam Temple in Tamil Nadu. His uncle Prabhodananda Sarasvati also became his spiritual master. In 1511 Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited Srirangam a danced in ecstasy before Lord Ranganath...



...Vyenkata Bhatta invited Lord Chaitanya to stay at his house during Chaturmasya in Sri Rangam. Gopal Bhatta was at that time small boy and got the chance to serve the Lord and hear directly from Him. After some time Lord Chaitanya left on his tour to South India and told Gopal Bhatta to go in the future to Vrindavan...
...Gopal Bhatta became learned in Sanskrit, poetry, rhetoric and all aspects of devotional service. After passing of his parents, he left home and proceeded towards Vrindavan where he joined Rupa and Sanatan...
...After some time studying in Vrindavan Gopal Bhatta made a trip to Nepal. One day when he was taking bath in Kali-Gandakini river, he dipped his kamandalu into the water and 12 silas mysteriously entered his water pot...
...He put them back into the water and dipped the kamandalu again in the water of the holy river, but the silas again entered his water pot...
...When it happened for the third time, Gopal Bhatta realized, that those are not ordinary stones, but they must be some very special ones and there must be some divine arrangement behind it. He kept them in a cloth bag hung around his neck and from that time on he started to worship them and then returned to Vrindavan...
...As previously mentioned, once he intensely desired to decorate his salagram as the other Goswamis could decorated their Deities, then seat Him on a swing and serve Him as other devotees can. "If only He had arms and legs like a Deity," he thought...
...Lord Krisna, being very kind to His devotees, that very night transformed Himself from one of small salagram-sila into threefold form of Radharaman. If one has darsan of Radharaman's back, one will see that it resemble salagram-sila. Although the Deity is quite small many devotees find Him to be extremely attractive.

The appearance place of the Sri Radharaman Deity is next to the temple besides Gopal Bhatta's samadhi.

Gopal Bhatta was actually originating the Sat-Sandarbhas, later elaborately developed by Jiva Goswami, he also edited Hari-bhakti-vilas which Sanatan Goswami edited to call Dik Darshini Tika. His most prominent disciple was Srinivas Acharya.
Gopal Bhatta Goswami was no other than Ananga Manjari, one of the eight intimate maidservants of Srimati Radharani.


Sunday, 29 January 2012

Value of Krishna


Srimad Bhagavatam 4.3.17:

Although the six qualities education, austerity, wealth, beauty, youth and heritage are for the highly elevated, one who is proud of possessing them becomes blind, and thus he loses his good sense and cannot appreciate the glories of great personalities.

It may be argued that since Dakṣa was very learned, wealthy and austere and had descended from a very exalted heritage, how could he be unnecessarily angry towards another? The answer is that when the qualities of good education, good parentage, beauty and sufficient wealth are misplaced in a person who is puffed up by all these possessions, they produce a very bad result. Milk is a very nice food, but when milk is touched by an envious serpent it becomes poisonous. Similarly, material assets such as education, wealth, beauty and good parentage are undoubtedly nice, but when they decorate persons of a malicious nature, then they act adversely. Another example, given by Cāṇakya Paṇḍita, is that a serpent that has a jewel on its head is still fearful because it is a serpent. A serpent, by nature, is envious of other living entities, even though they be faultless. When a serpent bites another creature, it is not necessarily because the other creature is at fault; it is the habit of the serpent to bite innocent creatures. Similarly, although Dakṣa was qualified by many material assets, because he was proud of his possessions and because he was envious, all those qualities were polluted. It is sometimes, therefore, detrimental for a person advancing in spiritual consciousness, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to possess such material assets. Kuntīdevī, while offering prayers to Kṛṣṇa, addressed Him as akiñcana-gocara, one who is easily approached by those who are bereft of all material acquisitions. Material exhaustion is an advantage for advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, although if one is conscious of his eternal relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one can utilize one's material assets, such as great learning and beauty and exalted ancestry, for the service of the Lord; then such assets become glorious.

In other words, unless one is Kṛṣṇa conscious, all his material possessions are zero, but when this zero is by the side of the Supreme One, it at once increases in value to ten. Unless situated by the side of the Supreme One, zero is always zero; one may add one hundred zeros, but the value will still remain zero. Unless one's material assets are used in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, they may play havoc and degrade the possessor.

Spiritual World and Material World

SB 4.3.15: The great sage Maitreya said: Lord Śiva, the deliverer of the hill Kailāsa, having thus been addressed by his dear wife, replied smilingly, although at the same time he remembered the malicious, heart-piercing speeches delivered by Dakṣa before the guardians of the universal affairs.

When Lord Śiva heard from his wife about Dakṣa, the psychological effect was that he immediately remembered the strong words spoken against him in the assembly of the guardians of the universe, and, remembering those words, he was sorry at heart, although to please his wife he smiled. In Bhagavad-gītā it is said that a liberated person is always in mental equilibrium in both the distress and the happiness of this material world. Therefore the question may now be raised why a liberated personality like Lord Śiva was so unhappy because of the words of Dakṣa. The answer is given by Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura. Lord Śiva is ātmārāma, or situated in complete self-realization, but because he is the incarnation in charge of the material mode of ignorance, tamo-guṇa, he is sometimes affected by the pleasure and pain of the material world. The difference between the pleasure and pain of this material world and that of the spiritual world is that in the spiritual world the effect is qualitatively absolute. Therefore one may feel sorry in the absolute world, but the manifestation of so-called pain is always full of bliss. For instance, once Lord Kṛṣṇa, in His childhood, was chastised by His mother, Yaśodā, and Lord Kṛṣṇa cried. But although He shed tears from His eyes, this is not to be considered a reaction of the mode of ignorance, for the incident was full of transcendental pleasure. When Kṛṣṇa was playing in so many ways, sometimes it appeared that He caused distress to the gopīs, but actually such dealings were full of transcendental bliss. That is the difference between the material and spiritual worlds.

The spiritual world, where everything is pure, is pervertedly reflected in this material world. Since everything in the spiritual world is absolute, in the spiritual varieties of apparent pleasure and pain there is no perception other than eternal bliss, whereas in the material world, because everything is contaminated by the modes of material nature, there are feelings of pleasure and pain. Therefore because Lord Śiva, although a fully self-realized person, was in charge of the material mode of ignorance, he felt sorrow.

With More Strength than a Million Suns

Sound Advice in Difficult Times

We often become overwhelmed by difficult or disturbing situations and feel that our life is getting out of hand.

At that time, don’t despair.

In a lecture in India Shrila Prabhupada gave the remedy: Just pause for some time – sit down and chant. Soon the agitation will settle.

Please try it and see how you will soon see clearly.

Here is the quote:

Something has dropped in the water, in the river. You cannot see the things dropped within the water by agitating the water. Just stand still for some time. As soon as the water is settled up, you’ll see the things as they are. So as soon as our enthusiasm is agitated, it is better to sit down in any temple suitable and chant Hare Krishna. There is no question of being disappointed. After all, we commit so many mistakes. That is human nature. To err is human. That is not fault. But try to rectify with cool head. (lecture on The Nectar of Devotion - Calcutta, January 27, 1973)
- By HH Sacinandana Swami


Vrindavan Daily Darshan - 28.01.2012