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sábado, 26 de fevereiro de 2011

Madhurya World

Madhurya World


                                                Jaya Srila Gurudeva ! Hare Krsna !

quarta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2011

Navadvipa Workshops


Navadvipa Workshops

In following the desire of Srila Gurudeva to teach devotee association and relationships,
Harmony Program was created with the aim to facilitate workshops and seminars for devotees who wish to
promote meaningful and fulfilling dealings in our Vaisnava Community.

As much as I apply the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the Transformative Communications principles in my sanga-related services for the mission of Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada, everything goes so much better. I look forward to be with you at both seminars.—Syamarani dasi


Bhakti Sanga

Bhakti Sanga Development – Timeless wisdom for modern times

by Swami BV Nemi

Preaching now and then

Everyone knows that, in principle, we are a preaching movement. Srila Prabhupada continuously emphasised that, and Srila Gurudeva also emphasized it. In his will, he wrote,
“All my work and efforts since 1952 have been exclusively for the missionary purposes described above, and I have not pursued any material gain for myself or others. Thus, I desire that any progress or achievements made by my efforts in my missionary work be used by my disciples and spiritual associates to further and continue my spiritual mission.
When Srila Prabhupada began the Krishna consciousness movement in the West, hundreds and thousands of young people were eager to join religious or spiritual movements. Now, the situation is quite different. People in general are much more suspicious of religion, and the Hare Krishna movement does not necessarily have good press everywhere. On the one hand, we clearly need to modify our approach. On the other hand, despite that, we still tend to present the age-old tradition of Krishna consciousness, replete with Sanskrit and Bengali, and with what look to the uninitiated like archaic Indian rituals.

Furthermore, especially in the Srila Gurudeva’s sanga, devotees tend to present extremely elevated topics to complete newcomers. The man on street can hardly relate to the idea that the Supreme Absolute Truth is a blue boy who plays on the flute, and dances with the wives of others in the forest at night. To tell the truth, the same is true of many of our newer devotees.

How are we relevant?
Do we really have anything to offer modern society, or can we really only offer a shelter to those who can make the gigantic cultural leap from modern society into our rather monastic culture? Is the Krishna consciousness movement really relevant in modern society? If so, what can we offer to modern society, and in what way can we offer it?

My Guru Maharaja deeply pondered these questions before he came to the West, and we see his answers in the Seven Purposes of ISKCON, which he established in 1966. The second Purpose is: “To propagate a consciousness of Krsna as He is revealed in the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad-Bhagavatam.” This is more or less the conventional presentation of Krishna consciousness. His first Purpose established the foundation for the preaching movement: “To systematically propagate spiritual knowledge to society at large, to educate all people in the techniques of spiritual life in order to check the imbalance of values and to achieve real unity and peace in the world.”

What did he mean by this? We know that he very strongly emphasised two particular programs, especially at the end of his presence here. The first was the establishment of varnashrama-dharma, and the second was the scientific preaching by the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Varnashrama-dharma is for those who do not yet have a taste for direct service to Krishna. Scientific preaching is important in proving the existence of consciousness, the soul and Supersoul. However, it cannot reach to Krishna in the spiritual world. Hence, while both of them give a very strong foundation for Krishna consciousness itself, neither of them is directly Krishna conscious.

Spiritual principles
We see that the world today is in dire need of the “peace and unity” that Srila Prabhupada talked about in the First Purpose. Clearly then, there is a great need for the “spiritual knowledge, techniques and values” which are contained – albeit sometimes in a hidden way – in the Vedic tradition. Only Vaishnavas have access to this wonderful knowledge, and amongst them, only the Gaudiya Vaishnavas have the mood to adapt to this and spread in the world at large. It seems to me that, amongst the Gaudiya Vaishnavas, our Srila Gurudeva’s Sanga has a unique quality and position.

By the way, sometimes devotees comment that there is some lack of “peace and unity” in the Krishna consciousness movement as a whole, and even in our own sanga. Could it be that we also need to pay more attention to the “spiritual knowledge, techniques and values” that Srila Prabhupada talked about? I believe that this is the case. Otherwise, why would Srila Gurudeva had given instructions that we should open a school for teaching the principles of harmony in the sanga?

Wisdom into society
You may know that Bhudhara Prabhu and I have each been working for many years on projects for introducing non-sectarian spiritual principles into society. We have been cooperating for the last four or five years, and now we will be working together more closely. Bhudhara Prabhu has done a tremendous amount of research, and has found that many responsible leaders, particularly in the business sector, are looking at the wisdom traditions to solve the problems in modern society. Together with a colleague who is a professor in Holland, he has started a foundation called the Cranmore Foundation, whose purpose is to introduce the principles of the wisdom traditions into society, and specifically to business people.

Bhudhara Prabhu and I have agreed to work together to present spiritual principles and practice in society in various ways, and on various levels. Our intention is to catalyze the formation of an extremely open, informal educational network. We would like to cooperate with devotees who are open-minded, creative, adaptive team-players, and who are professional in their approach. (That is to say, they are disciplined, and they stand up for and stick to values and standards, and attention to detail). We already have good ideas, and the beginning of a good approach. This is just the beginning.
The project will be non-hierarchical, and will be based on mutual agreement. As we form a wider group of participants, one of our first tasks will be to brainstorm to get a good idea of what other approaches we can use, and in what directions.

If you think that you may be interested, or if you would like more information, please get in touch with me. Here is a link for the Cranmore foundation website, which is still under construction: www.cranmorefoundation.org.

From Fear to Love

From Fear to Love

by Radhakanta das
The journey from fear to love presented in this short essay is one of an evolution of consciousness. All living beings are conscious, whether plant, insect, reptile, aquatic, bird, animal or human being. What distinguishes a lower species from a higher one is their level of understanding of their self, their environment and God. Lower species live in excessive fear because of the perception of the world they live in is self-centered and competitive. They are absorbed in their own base physical needs to eat, sleep, mate and defend. In their competitive and hostile world, one living being is food for another, and they live in constant fear.

Higher species like human beings may also be covered by fear and illusion according to the advancement of their consciousness. The more a person has realized the real nature of their selves as spirit soul and their relationship with God, the less fear and illusion they will have.

This article will look at fear’s different aspects, what causes it, and how to eradicate its dominance in our lives. We will define and elaborate on what is beyond fear – pure spiritual love, according to the ancient Vedic literatures and the thoughts of contemporary self-realized souls.

What is fear?

The Encarta Dictionary describes fear as “an unpleasant feeling of anxiety or apprehension caused by the presence or anticipation of danger.” As living beings we inhabit a vulnerable and perishable material body, we are thus, consciously or unconsciously, prone to anxiety about its injury and loss. Due to attachment to non-permanent things and persons in this world we carry an innate fear of their loss at every moment. This is confirmed in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.2.37, wherein the Nava Yogendras instruct Maharaja Nimi, “bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah – fear arises when a living entity misidentifies himself as the material body because of absorption in the external, illusory energy of the Lord”. Thus fear is our constant companion while inhabiting and identifying with a material body.

In some persons a fearful nature is apparent and in others it is hidden. Those who have a greater amount of material opulence and security in terms of wealth, education, social standing, family, friends, youth, health, etc., may exhibit less fear, covered by layers of these so-called securities. Those who have less fortunate karma, who experience ill health, poverty or antagonistic social and political environments, may demonstrate higher degrees of fear in their body, faces, speech and mind. In both cases though, fear is always lurking to undermine one’s happiness and wellbeing.

Is there fear in the spiritual world, in ‘Vaikuntha’?

The word ‘Vaikuntha’ literally means ‘beyond anxiety’. In that realm of the spiritual world it is assumed that there is no fear there. But it is not true. There is fear there but of a different nature. The Encarta Dictionary associates the word fear with ‘reverence’ and ‘respect or awe’ for somebody or something, and the ‘fear of God’. Whenever there is a sense of great respect and awe for a person who is far superior to us, fear is present.

Spiritual love in Vaikuntha, the lower stratum of the spiritual world, is characterized by ‘aisvarya-bhava’, or feelings tinged with awe and reverence due to knowledge of the Lord’s great opulence and the subsequent insignificance of the worshipper. Liberated souls in Vaikuntha worship the all-powerful Lord of Lords, Vishnu or Narayana, in a mood of adoration and respect. In such worship, fear inhibits the worshipper’s ability to fully express feelings of intimacy, thus creating a great ‘wall’ or division, between the Lord and the worshipper.

puri-dvaye, vaikunthadye—aisvarya-pravina……
aisvarya-jnana-pradhanye sankucita priti
CC Mad. 19.193-194

Attachment in which awe and reverence are prominent is found in the two cities Mathura and Dvaraka and in Vaikuntha. When opulence is very prominent, love of Godhead is somewhat crippled.

In the process of regulated devotional service or ‘vaidhi-bhakti’, the practitioner strictly follows the rules and regulations of sastra, based on fear that if they do not, they will incur sin. This spiritual practice along with its concomitant feature of awe and reverence, exhibits a type of fear that stays with the individual through their promotion to the spiritual planets in Vaikuntha. The attraction to the Lord is not based on natural or spontaneous love, but on a sense of duty and religiosity. This type of love cannot blossom to its fullest potential, but remains on a lower platform never entirely satisfying oneself or the Supreme Lord.

aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita,
aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita
CC Adi 4.17-18

[Lord Krsna thought:] “The entire universe is filled with the conception of My majesty, but love weakened by that sense of majesty does not satisfy Me. If one regards Me as the Supreme Lord and himself as a subordinate, I do not become subservient to his love, nor can it control Me.”

Spiritual organizations that over emphasize this regulated devotional service and have rigid hierarchies of authoritarian figure heads; awe, reverence and fear dominate. Such oppressive climates are not conducive to the cultivation of the highest bhakti of spontaneous devotional service. Although vaidhi-bhakti, regulated devotional service, is necessary for sadhakas in this world, it is to be practiced with the aim of attaining the higher state of raganuga-bhakti, pure spontaneous devotion. In Vaisnava sangas that strive for raganuga-bhakti an atmosphere of a more natural flow of love and affection is apparent.

All relationships or ‘rasas’ found in the spiritual world, such as dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya, are also present in this material world but in a perverted form. For example, the relationship between a householder and their menial servant is on the level of reverence and duty, or dasya. The master and servant are not intimate. The servant renders reverential service out of duty and for a reward. The servant has some fear to do their duty and please the master or else their position may be lost.

Between friends (sakhya), a sense of playfulness arises due to a feeling of being ‘equals’. Friends freely share with each other their thoughts and feelings, and spend their leisure time together. Thus, a greater sense of trust and closeness with less fear is created between friends.

The relationship of a mother and father with their child (vatsalya) progresses further in intimacy through the moods of caring, nurturing and protecting. A strong bond of love is formed between a parent and child. The parent is dedicated to providing for their child, without expectation of reward. They form a natural affectionate bond for ‘their own flesh and blood’ that surpasses the intimacy of the two previous relationships, and a reduction of the fear factor.
Higher than all these relationships is the relationship between a husband and wife (madhurya), who make lifelong vows to love and support each other. Each one sacrifices much for the other, revealing their own deep emotions, sharing all their material belongings and even their own precious bodies. This surpasses all other relationships in terms of intimacy. But even this relationship is plagued with some kind of fear and insecurity. This is because all worldly relationships, regardless of how intimate they are, ultimately are temporary. If a relationship can endure the rigors of modern life and last for many years (which is rare nowadays), it is still lost at the time of death. Therefore an underlying sense of fear exists in all worldly relationships, eroding any security and happiness in them.
Spiritual relationships with God, Krsna, and things related to Him, like His holy names and His pure devotees are different. They can be free from mundane fear because they are eternal. They do not end with the death of the body, but continue life after life, eternally. If these relationships are approached with a mood of selfless pure devotion, they can provide lasting happiness and real shelter. It is therefore of paramount importance to understand what is pure devotion and spiritual love and where to repose our love and affection.

nehabhikrama-naso ‘sti, pratyavayo na vidyate
sv-alpam apy asya dharmasya, trayate mahato bhayat

In this endeavor there is no loss or diminution, and a little advancement on this path can protect one from the most dangerous type of fear.  Bhagavad Gītā 2.40
Material endeavors must be completed otherwise everything is lost, but even a small beginning on the path of devotional service can never be lost at any stage. Whatever percentage is complete in one life remains, and in the next life one resumes from where they left off. Spiritual advancement is an eternal asset. ‘To protect one from the most dangerous type of fear’ means to be saved at the time of death from being degraded to take birth in a lower species, like an animal. From the animal species it is very difficult, practically impossible, to make rapid spiritual advancement. All species, except humans, are predestined to evolve in the cycle of birth and death from one species to the next, without separate endeavor. Animals cannot create bad karma like human beings because they have no capacity to make autonomous decisions. They act out their lives strictly controlled by the laws of material nature. Their brain power, reasoning, and higher sentiments are not as developed as in humans; therefore they act impulsively according to the modes of material nature and are always engulfed in fear. After many millions of reincarnations, a soul evolves to a human birth, which affords them the opportunity to resume (or begin) the process of spiritual inquiry and practice. We are very fortunate to now be in this human form and able to make inquiries about how to achieve the ultimate goal of life, love of God.

Pure Love

To comprehend pure love let us examine it from 2 angles, ‘what it is not’, and ‘what it is’. First, pure love is opposite to love in this material world which is selfish and distraught with fear. What is known as love is actually lust, or the desire to satisfy one’s own senses or those of one’s extended self, girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, family, friends and society. Even for a great philanthropist, their ‘giving’ and ‘love’ has its root in a kind of extended self-gratification of the ego, giving the donor a sense of self-importance and worth. It is for this purpose that famous persons sacrificed themselves for their country in war, for their families and friends or for social and political causes. This idea may appear harsh to those accustomed to appreciating mundane kindness and ‘love’. But if we carefully examine from a neutral point of view the subtle intentions as to why people do what they do we will find this to be true.

The ‘love’ found in this world has been romanticized by writers and poets in song, literature and cinema as the treasured object of life. Everyone has been programmed from early childhood to run after this mirage till the end of their life. No-one, however, has ever become fully satisfied by the attainment of worldly love. On the contrary, those who have achieved it become disappointed in time. They then go on to repeatedly seek newer and newer variations of it in hopes of contentment, but ultimately end in despair. Material love is pale and insignificant in comparison to real spiritual love. Those who have had the good fortune to associate with saintly Vaisnavas who imbibe real spiritual love can be familiar with it. They can speak about its authenticity with knowledge and realization. To know and experience real love we must turn to the great spiritual teachers and their writings, and associate with pure devotees who have it.

Pure love or spiritual love is called ‘Prema’. Prema is selfless, unmotivated love of God. At its root is pure devotion or uttama-bhakti. The ‘svarupa laksana’, intrinsic nature and primary definition of bhakti, is given by Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmi in his Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu 1.1.11 ‘anyabhilasita-sunyam jnana-karmady-anavrtam, anukulyena krsnanu-silanam bhaktir uttama’.

Pure Bhakti or uttama bhakti is the cultivation of all activities meant exclusively for the pleasure of Sri Krsna. It is the continuous flow of favorable devotional service to Sri Krsna performed through all endeavors of the body, mind, words, as well as spiritual emotions. Favorable service means that it is performed with the sole intention to make Sri Krsna happy and is devoid of any unfavorable moods. Such uttama-bhakti is free from any other selfish desires like karma (reward seeking activity), jñana (accumulation of knowledge for liberation) or yoga (acquiring mystic powers).

How is pure bhakti achieved? This eternally perfect pure devotion is situated in the heart of all living beings. In conditioned souls it is in a dormant or seed-like state. In order to ‘sprout’ this seed, a certain condition must be present. Just as fertile earth, water and sunshine are required for a plant to grow; the proper state of consciousness (developed through the accumulation of bhakti-sukriti), hearing the powerful spiritual messages from self-realized souls (hari-katha), and the Lord’s mercy are required for bhakti to develop.
The desire to serve the Lord (Krsna seva vasana) can only be inspired from persons who possess it. Such perfected beings are learned, self and god realized and detached from material enjoyment. They have become liberated by the process of sadhana-bhakti over many lifetimes, or they are eternal residents of the spiritual world, ‘nitya-siddhas’, who descend here for uplifting mankind. By approaching such sadhus, taking their shelter, serving them we will receive their mercy and bhakti will manifest in our hearts. Merely by our own efforts, no amount of learning, austerity, or pious activities can cause bhakti to awaken.

bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-sangena parijayate,
sat sanga prapyate pumbhih sukraih purva-sancitaih
(Brhan Naradiya Purana 4.33)

Bhakti is awakened when one associates with bhaktas of Sri Bhagavan. Association with suddha-bhaktas is attained only by the accumulation of transcendental pious activities (bhakti-unmukhi sukriti, unknowingly associating with and rendering service to sadhus) performed over many lifetimes.

Moving from Fear to Love

The Sanskrit word for fear is ‘bhaya‘ and ‘abhaya’ means ‘without fear’. In Govinda Das Kaviraja’s famous song, he sings, “Bhajahu re mana sri-nanda-nandana, abhaya caranaravinda re – Oh mind; just worship Sri Krsna, the son of Nanda Maharaja, whose lotus feet are the abode of fearlessness”. That shelter first takes the form of sri-guru padasraya, or approaching a bona-fide spiritual master, taking shelter of him, taking initiation, serving him with love and following his instructions. From this practice, the tendency to love the Lord arises in the heart and one begins the bhakti process. Gradually through the association of saintly persons and performing the various limbs of bhakti, the practitioner becomes free from unwanted desires and habits and becomes firmly established in devotion. Thereafter, taste or relish in the chanting and hearing of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the Lord arise, giving way to intense absorption and gradually genuine spiritual emotions. When these emotions intensify they manifest as pure love, or Prema. This is the gradual development of prema in the sadhaka.

The predominance of fear will be eradicated when bhakti manifests in our hearts, just as hunger is dissipated through the process of eating. On the other hand, if we keep the association of materialists, or spiritualists shackled by vaidhi-bhakti, fear will dominate our lives. Abandoning unfavorable association and taking the association of rasik vaisnavas (those who are relishing the mellows of devotion) or at least those strongly desiring pure bhakti, love and devotion will blossom in our hearts.

Love in Vrindavana

In Vrindavana, the highest abode of the spiritual world, where Radha-Krsna resides, love abounds to its fullest extent. There love is free from any inebriety that exists in this material world and even in the lower stratums of the spiritual world in Vaikuntha. In Vrindavana, no one knows Krsna as God, but only as their dear-most friend, darling son or intimate lover. Because of the intensity of their love, the Lord Himself becomes controlled by his loving servants. In affection, Krsna runs to greet His father carrying his slippers on his head. He takes his father’s cows out to graze in the forest with his cowherd boyfriends and play games with them all day. If he loses at a wrestling match, he will carry his friend on his own back. Playing like an ordinary boy, Krsna takes great pleasure in the ways of simple village life. In the middle of the night, he slips away from his parent’s house to sing and dance with his girlfriends in the beautiful moonlit forests along the bank of the Yamuna river. When his dearest paramour, Śrī Rādhā, becomes jealous or displeased with him in some way, he will desperately try to console her saying, “I promise never again to do anything to displease you or make you angry”. He will even bow his head down at her lotus feet and beg for forgiveness. Such subjugation of Himself makes Krsna extremely happy. He derives more pleasure by being subservient to his dear devotees than in receiving service from them.

mora putra, mora sakha, mora prana-pati, ei-bhave yei more kare suddha-bhakti
apanake bada mane, amare sama-hina, sei bhave ha-i ami tahara adhina

CC Adi 4.21-22
“If one cherishes pure loving devotion to Me, thinking of Me as his son, his friend or his beloved, regarding himself as great and considering Me his equal or inferior, I become subordinate to him.”

mata more putra-bhave karena bandhana, atihina-jnane kare lalana palana
akha suddha-sakhye kare, skandhe arohana, tumi kon bada loka,—tumi ami sama
priya yadi mana kari’ karaye bhartsana, veda-stuti haite hare sei mora mana

CC Adi 4.24-26
“Mother sometimes binds Me as her son. She nourishes and protects Me, thinking Me utterly helpless. My friends climb on My shoulders in pure friendship, saying, ‘What kind of big man are You? You and I are equal. If My beloved consort reproaches Me in a sulky mood, that steals My mind from the reverent hymns of the Vedas.”
Vrindavana is permeated with this kind of sweet love everywhere, in every direction. Every walk is a dance, and every word is a song. Even the trees, creepers and animals express love and affection for Krsna. The most insignificant dust on the ground is full of conscious loving sentiments and is more precious than the costliest gems. The land of Vrindavana is alive with moods of devotion everywhere. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmi has written in his 8th sloka of Upadesamritam that the best place to live and do bhajan is in Vrindavana.

tan-nama-rupa-caritadi-sukirtananu-smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami, kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram

While living in Vraja, as a follower of the eternal residents of Vraja who possess inherent spontaneous love for Sri Krsna, one should utilize all of one’s time by sequentially engaging the tongue and the mind in meticulously chanting and remembering Krsna’s name, form, qualities and pastimes. This is the essence of all advice.
If we want to have this pure love, we will have to become a resident of Vrindavana, following in the footsteps of Sri Rupa and Ragunatha Goswamis. If we cannot live there physically, we can reside there mentally, taking the moods of the residents of Vrindavana and making them our moods in executing bhakti, wherever we reside.

Prema – the goal of life

Prema Purusottama, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, incarnated in this world to give the gift of pure love to everyone, regardless of their qualification, caste or creed. He accomplished this through the congregational chanting of the holy names, Harinama sankirtana, specifically the maha-mantra, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare / Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
By sincere chanting under the guidance of a self-realized guru, a sadhaka will pass through the various stages of sadhana-bhakti and finally reach bhava-bhakti, the preliminary stage of love of Godhead. At this stage, sattvika bhavas or ecstatic symptoms will appear in the devotee’s body (hair standing on end, horripilation and tears in the eyes, etc.) and internally he will realize his eternal svarupa (spiritual form and service) and bhava (fixed spiritual emotion or sthayi-bhava). The heart will begin to melt on account of 3 intense desires, 1.) The desire to meet the Lord, 2.) The desire to serve Him in a special favorable way and 3.) The desire to have an intimate relationship with Him and make Him happy. Nine external symptoms will manifest such as: forgiveness or tolerance, concern not to waste time, detachment, absence of pride, hope, eagerness, taste for chanting the holy name, natural and increasing attachment for Hari-katha and affection for places of the Lord’s pastimes. These are called ‘anubhavas’ or actions which reveal that bhava has sprouted in the heart.
When these emotions intensify even more, the container of this material body becomes unsuitable for the pure spiritual love of prema. Such a fortunate soul gives up the material body and is awarded a transcendental body in the spiritual domain of Vrindavana or Navadvipa somewhere within the universe where the Lord’s pastimes are going on. There they live in the association of the Lord and His associates as they perform their pastimes, perfecting their own love through the progressive stages of prema. Prema condenses and crystallizes becoming sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and finally mahabhava. One stage matures and develops into the next, each possessing its own individual characteristic and sweetness. Finally his/her love reaches the summit of its eternal platform where one eternally relishes love from that vantage point. After that life in the manifest pastimes of the Lord, prakat lila, the premi-bhakta will transcend to the spiritual world and enter into the unmanifest pastimes of the Lord, ‘aprakrta lila’, never to return to this world of birth and death.
Understanding these stages of prema in detail is beyond the scope of this paper as it deserves another entire study to give it justice. Those who aspire to understand prema-tattva more comprehensively may read Srila Rupa Goswami’s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani under the tutelage of an advanced Vaisnava devotee. These topics have also been discussed concisely in Caitanya-caritamrta in the sections where Sri Caitanya instructs Srila Rupa and Sanatana Gosvamis.
In conclusion, material love and spiritual love imbued with awe and reverence are crippled by fear. Only the pure love of the Vrajabasis controls fear. At times some fear may be present even in Vrindavana, but it appears momentarily only to nourish prema. Our highly esteemed goal of attaining the prema of the Vrajabasis may take lifetimes to attain, but is worth the endeavor however long it takes. It is said that ‘love is kind’ and ‘love is patient’. Therefore, may we be kind and patient with ourselves and others on this sublime path. Fear, control and manipulation have no scope on the path of bhakti. If these tendencies are observed in our self or others, bhakti is far away. Bhakti-devi, the personification of devotion, is a very sweet gentle young girl who inspires sweet and gentle moods in her followers. Those on the path of bhakti will imbibe these transcendental moods along with compassion, tolerance and friendliness to all living entities, whether plants, animals or human beings, and especially towards other Vaisnavas. Love is the universal language of true spirituality. Let there be love in our lives always
Acknowledgements to my spiritual master, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja, Srila Gour Govinda Swami, and AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada for their causeless mercy in exemplifying pure devotion and prema bhakti and giving an abundance of teachings on the subject. I also offer my respects to all the Vaisnavas who nourish and support our development in bhakti. Thanks to Syamarani dd and the BBT for the artwork used.


segunda-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2011

They Accuse Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

They Accuse Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayan Gosvami Maharaja

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura

Lecture, Germany: Dec. 16, 2001 (eve)

[The following is a lecture given by Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja on the morning of December 16th in Paderborn, Germany, during the first festival of his Winter-2001 Preaching Tour. The lecture was given to his audience of two hundred fifty devotees who had come there from various European countries to hear his hari-katha. In this lecture, Srila Maharaja is defending and protecting the glory of the Sarasvata-Gaudiya lineage, the foremost member of that lineage being Srila Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja. - Submitted by Vasanti dasi]
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura saved the whole world by his revolution, and thus we are now hearing something about transcendental life in the real sense.
In a couple of years, by the grace of his Guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja preached the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami throughout the universe. He did this very quickly, especially by translating and writing books, and also by distributing books. Even those who never personally met him came to Iskcon, and to this line, only by his name, fame, and glory. I have also come here only by his grace. I came by the grace of my Gurudeva, but especially by the grace of Srila Swami Maharaja. Therefore, I am also travelling to the places in which he preached, and I am also achieving very rapid success.

I had the curiosity to take darsana of the lands where Srila Swami Maharaja preached so effectively in such a short time, because those places had become tirthas, very sacred pilgrimage places. That is why I came for the first time, in 1996, and at that time I saw his glory everywhere. Now, however, for certain reasons, devotees are becoming weak. Some of them left because after him there was no good nourishment. There was no sweet behavior, and no good training. Devotees quarreled with each other, and many of them became like rtviks. They are not really rtviks, [according to sastra, rtviks are actually professional priests who perform fire sacrifices] but when they realized they had no faith in their 'leaders', they did not know what to do. They tried to organize something, but their activities also turned out to be against the bhakti cult.

Some became sahajiya babajis under the influence of other sahajiya babajis, some became Buddhists, and others became 'nothing.' They became materialistic householders and engaged in very wretched activities, eating and drinking the same abominable things they took before they joined. It was to help all such persons that Srila Swami Maharaja called me in his last days. He also called for me when he first began his Western preaching, and at that time he requested me, "Oh, come and help in my preaching." At that time I could not come, but I came very soon after. His Prabhupada ordered him to preach in the Western countries, and he began his mission there after forty-three years. Your Prabhupada called me, and I came after only twenty years. I came sooner.

Now, everywhere, devotees are again being inspired, and life is again coming in them. I am very happy. The acaryas in our guru-varga (disciplic succession) have said that if one person follows a devotee preaching Krsna consciousness, his preaching is successful, and Srila Swami Maharaja has also said this. I am happy that by his grace we are moving everywhere.

Now we have a 'school team', in which there are some principles, some professors, and some teachers of many various qualifications. They are all part of our college or school training camp. So many persons, with so many diseases, are coming, and we have many kinds of treatments, operations, and medicines. So many senior and sincere devotees of Srila Swami Maharaja are helping us, and by their help we are doing something tangible and getting good response. Without their help it would have been impossible to preach.

I want you to be steady. Don't be weak. At present there are many modern conveniences. Therefore, if there is any doubt, you can phone me in a moment and say, "Narayana Maharaja, I have this doubt." I will at once respond. For example, a devotee may ask me, "Why did Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura introduce yajna-upavit (sacred thread) as a new scheme in our Mahaprabhu line? There was no yajna-upavit previously, but Srila Sarasvati Thakura came and introduced tridandi sannyasa, saffron cloth, and yajna-upavit upanayana (brahminical initiation). Why did he do so?"

This question is asked by ignorant persons - those who don't know anything. The sacred thread was introduced at the beginning of our creation. This is the verdict of sruti sastra, and evidence of this is also found in the Gautamopanisad, Javalopanisad, Yajnavalkyopanisad, and Paramahamsa Parivrajakopanisad.

[In Srila Narayana Maharaja's book, Five Essential Essays, it is stated in the following quote from Sruti: "The saintly king Janaka Maharaja inquired from the great sage Yajnavalkya, 'O Bhagavan! Please explain to me the qualifications and regulations governing the acceptance of sannyasa.' Yajnavalkya replied, 'First of all, strictly observing the vow of brahmacarya, one should study the Vedas in the home of one's guru. Then, after appropriately observing the occupational duties of the grhastha-asrama, one should accept vanaprastha. Finally, after vanaprastha one should accept sannyasa. Before entering the grhastha-asrama, if one develops a powerful sense of detachment from material life while still in the stage of brahmacarya, then one should accept sannyasa directly from the brahmacarya-asrama. Otherwise, as soon as one's vairagya is very strong, it is quite appropriate to accept sannyasa from the stages of grhastha or vanaprastha. In other words, the principle is that one may accept sannyasa from the position of any asrama, upon developing genuine detachment." (p.6)]

We see that at the time of Ramacandra, Vasista Muni was giving sannyasa to all those who were qualified. This included even those who were not born as brahmanas, ksatriyas, or vaisyas. Even sudras were given sannyasa if they were qualified.

Krsna Himself says in Bhagavad-gita:

catur-varnyam maya srstam
tasya kartaram api mam
viddhy akartaram avyayam

"According to the three modes of material nature and the work associated with them, the four divisions of human society are created by Me. And although I am the creator of this system, you should know that I am yet the non-doer, being unchangeable." (Bhagavad-gita 4.13)

Madhavendra Puripada was a tridandi sannyasi, as were Isvara Puripada, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, Svarupa Damodara, Nityananda Prabhu, and so many of their associates. Most of them wore saffron cloth and sacred thread. After Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, however, we see that a few, like Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami, out of regard for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, thought, "Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Supreme Lord, has taken the position of a sannyasi. We should therefore not take that position. Never, never, never. Because we have had the association of Muslims, we are like Muslims. A Muslim has no right to take sannyasa." This was their humility. Actually they were brahmanas. They could have easily taken the sacred thread, but they refused. They very humbly said, "Oh, we are the dasanudasa of Caitanya Mahaprabhu." Those mahabhagavats thought themselves unqualified for yajna-upavit and sannyasa, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu never forced them to take it. He knew that they were paramahamsas.

[It is further stated in Five Essential Essays: "After Sriman Mahaprabhu, His lila-parikaras (eternal pastime associates) such as the six Gosvamis, Sri Lokanatha and Bhugarbha, and later Sri Krsnadas Kaviraja, Sri Narottama Thakura and Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura were naturally niskincana paramahamsa Vaisnavas. There was no need for them to wear sannyasa-vesa or saffron cloth. Secondly, Sriman Mahaprabhu had performed the lila of wearing sannyasa-vesa and saffron cloth. Thus considering themselves to be worthless, lowly and unqualified, these mahatmas did not wear sannyasa-vesa and saffron cloth, in order to show honor and respect to the vesa of Sriman Mahaprabhu and also to maintain their identities as servants under the shelter of His lotus feet." (p.22)]

Another consideration is that their white cloth was the paramahamsa-vesa. Actually, a paramahamsa has no vesa (cloth). He can also be naked, like the avadhutas Sri Sukadeva Gosvami and Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Such transcendental personalities are not under any rules and regulations. The Vedas cannot control mahabhagavatas, who are outside the jurisdiction of all the rules of etiquette. They themselves can create etiquette, and in fact, etiquette runs after them. Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Sanatana Gosvami, and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami have no need of rules.

In all the scriptures, like the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas, that there is no word, 'babaji'. No one was ever called 'babaji'. Babaji was only referred to as a father, a grandfather, or another family elder. Those who wanted to show regard for their fathers or grandfathers used to call them, "Baba, baba." This word was only for that purpose. Neither in Hari-Bhakti Vilasa nor in the thousands of books written by our Gosvamis, has the word babaji been used. I don't know from where the word has come. Srila Rupa Gosvami was affectionately called 'chota baba', young father, and Srila Sanatana Gosvami was called 'bada baba', old father. Gradually, with the passing of time, the term 'Babaji Maharaja' developed.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura saw that during his time it was very hard to preach Krsna consciousness in society. All respectable persons hated the word 'babaji,' because each babaji had two or more widow girlfriends and hought, "We are doing upapati-bhava and parakiya-bhajana. [In other words, they were trying to imitate the paramour love of Krsna and the gopis.] The sahajiya babajis were engaged in so much immoral conduct that it was very difficult for an actual Gaudiya Vaisnava to give his identification, in decent and cultured society, as a Vaisnava in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is for this reason that Srila Sarasvati Thakura again introduced tridandi sannyasa.

[It is further stated in Five Essential Essays: "On the other hand, in order to express veneration for the niskincana parmahamasa-vesa of the associates of Sriman Mahaprabhu and, under their guidance, to preach His message throughout the entire world, many akincana Vaisnavas on the path of raganuga-bhajana, holding the paramahamsa-vesa upon their heads, have accepted a position below their worshipable superiors by wearing the vesa and saffron cloth of the sannyasa asrama which is included within the system of varnasrama dharma. These two customs, each having their own place, are both exquisitely beautiful and also completely in accordance with siddhanta. Today suddha-hari-bhakti has been, is being, and will continue to be, preached and spread throughout the world by these mahapurusa, great perfected saints, who wear this second type of niskincana sannyasa-vesa."(p.23)]

Srila Sarasvati Thakura saw that he would have to preach the mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu in a real sense. He therefore gave sannyasa, the forth order of the varnasrama system. First one will have to be a brahmacari, and after that, if he is married, he should be a vanaprastha, and after that a sannyasi. We should not jump to try to be gopis at once. We should try to maintain all the rules and regulations which have been chalked out in Hari-bhakti Vilasa and other bona fide sastras. First you should fully obey brahmacarya. When you are trained in all subjects of brahmacarya, if you want to be grhasta, you can become so. Then, after some time you should enter the vanaprastha asrama, and those who want to directly come from brahmacarya can also take the renounced order sannyasa from there.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura established a matha in Mayapura, and from there his mission spread all over Bengal. He created a revolution everywhere in Bengal, and all were attracted - especially the young generation. Thus, all over Bengal, and then all over India, people began to join him. Now, by his grace, this Gaudiya Vaisnava cult is spreading throughout the world, and this is our pride.

First be a brahmacari, and follow the rules and regulations. Be qualified in all tattva, like krsna-tattva, jiva-tattva, maya-tattva, and all other philosophical truths, and then if you want to be married, you can become a qualified grhastha. After that, if you like, you can enter the life of vanaprastha or sannyasa, or you can go directly from brahmacari to sannyasa. This is the legal process. If you don't know ABCD of tattva, and at once you want to enter paramahamsa and be situated in a gopi mood, it is absurd. If you try to do so, you are bound to engage in so many illicit activities.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura saved the whole world by his revolution, and thus we are now hearing something about transcendental life in the real sense. The babajis, those who have five or six widows and are engaged in immoral nonsense, will also try to speak before the public, but no one in respectable, civilized society will listen to them.

Who are the babajis of the present time? Those who were rejected by Gaudiya society due to their bad character became babajis. These babajis want perfection very easily and very cheaply. They want a short cut.

Srila Sarasvati Thakura has saved us, and we should try to follow him correctly. I request the Western devotees not to change their husbands daily. They should be together even after sixty or one hundred years. What is done is done, but now, don't change any further. Now you should try to follow all the aspects of Vedic culture that are favorable for bhakti. Otherwise, there will be no bhakti. If you have already divorced, then be renounced now. Don't try to marry again. If you are in grhastha life, remain there, and from there you should do bhakti.

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyam

"Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations that are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds." (Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.3)

Transcriber: Srimati Vasanti devi dasi
Typist: Srimati Radhika devi dasi
Editor: Srimati Syamarani dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa


Appearance Day Of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada

 Giver Of Madhurya-Bhakti

by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

Singapore: February 13, 2001 sbss_sm.jpg - 12759 Bytes This is the appearance day of jagad-guru Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and therefore we should discuss his glories.
namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale, srimate bhaktisiddhanta-sarasvatiti-namine
In this pranama mantra it is stated: bhaktisiddhanta sarasvati. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has given birth to the murtiman-vigraha of bhakti-siddhanta, the personification of the doctrines of bhakti. In Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura there is all the knowledge that Krishna gave to Brahma, Brahma gave to Narada, Narada gave to Vyasa, and thus, by disciplic succession, came through the Rupanuga Vaisnavas down to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja. All the siddhantas, philosophical truths, of the Vedas, Upanisads, and all other scriptures, were embodied in Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura. If any person came to argue philosophy with him, that person was at once defeated, and he was bound to accept all his teachings. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati. There are two Sarasvatis. The power of Brahma is Sarasvati, but that Sarasvati is not the real Sarasvati of Goloka Vrindaban. This Siddhanta Sarasvati, however, is the real embodiment of para-vidya, transcendental knowledge. Therefore, because of this transcendental knowledge, his name was Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada. Why Prabhupada? He was Prabhupada in the real sense because he preached throughout the world the glorification of his Prabhu. Who is his Prabhu? Radha-Krishna Conjugal, or Gauracandra, Gaura-Gadadhara, and Gaura-Nityananda. He preached Their glories everywhere, and therefore he is really Srila Prabhupada.
Namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale. He was very near and dear to Krishna - very near and dear - in that male form. But who is he really? In the second sloka of his pranama mantra it is stated: sri varsabhanavi-devi-dayitaya. He is really the eternal maidservant of Srimati Radhika. He is so very dear to Radhika, in his form as Nayana-manjari. As Mahaprabhu's associate he is Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, and as the associate of Radha-Krishna Conjugal he is Nayana-manjari. What is the meaning of the name Nayana-manjari? As one's eyes are very priya, dear, to one, Nayana-manjari, who is the personification of the eyes of Srimati Radhika, is so near and dear to Her. She is always serving Srimati Radhika. Thus, he has two forms. One form is as Caitanya Mahaprabhu's associate, not only in this world but also in Goloka Vrindavana, in Svetadhipa. And, in Vrindavana also, as Nayana-manjari, she serves Srimati Radhika. You have seen in Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami's Vilapa-kusumanjali how the manjaris serve Radha-Krishna Conjugal. Nayana-manjari serves Them in those same ways.
Srila Sarasvati Thakura is krpabdhaye, an endless ocean of mercy. He was the first acarya in the four sampradayas to desire that all the people in the world, all those who have forgotten Krishna, should realize all the truths of bhakti, and they should be helped to become pure devotees. If Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura had not sent his disciples here and there, none of you, in any country, would have met pure devotees. Now, by the mercy of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami, though Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and my Gurudeva, krsna-kirtana is everywhere in the world. Everyone knows Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krishna only by their mercy. Srila Prabhupada had the wish, and then he sent his arms here and there. Who are his arms? His disciples, his devotees. At first he sent Srila Van Maharaja and others, and next he sent Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. They are therefore like arms, and they are preaching everywhere.
We are very fortunate to come in their line, but we should try to be very strong. Sometimes, if you are not in good association, you become weak. It may be that when I return to India, you will become weak. Don't be weak. Always realize that our whole guru-parampara, Radha-Krishna, Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, and Guru are always with you, and they will help you. Don't give up chanting and remembering Krishna.
Krpabdhaye. He is not called an ocean of mercy only because he gave us harinama. He gave so much more. He brought Goloka Vrindavana. He brought the love and affection of the gopis to this world. If he has not brought all these things, we would never have heard of them. He is therefore an ocean of mercy.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura taught that there are five kinds of knowledge: pratyaksa, paroksa, aparoksa, adhoksaja, and aprakrta. The knowledge of everything we see and realize by our direct experience is called pratyaksa. But this is false. Then, paroksa. We don't see Svarga, but we believe in it. There is also a history of Svarga. We will have to accept Svarga, although we don't see it. We hear that if a man is a thief, a dacoit, a debauch, and so on, he will have to go to naraka, hell. On the other hand, if he is pious, he will go to Svarga and there he will be very happy. This knowledge is called paroksa. Then, aparoksa. This is the knowledge taught by Sankarcarya. One day we will have to die, and we will have to give up everything in this world. Our beauty will go, our body will go, whatever we are collecting will go, and everything else will go. We cannot take anything, neither our pennies nor our pens, from this world. So why are we collecting all these bogus things? Why? An intelligent person thinks about this and becomes detached, but a bogus, foolish person remains attached to sense gratification. He desires only to make his body very beautiful and strong. Nowadays there is a competition for Miss India, Miss America, Miss World, and also Miss Universe. After one year, will Miss India again be selected as Miss India or Miss World? Rather, all will neglect her.
Even devotees, although engaged in chanting and remembering, are also engaged in sense gratification, and they cannot give up lust. This is Maya. Therefore, Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura sent his qualified devotees everywhere --- to make those weak devotees strong. "You should remember Krishna." It is for this reason that he has sent his arms. I am also coming. Why? He ordered me. His disciple, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, ordered me. My Swamiji ordered me. So you should not be weak - never and never.
Then, adhoksaja. What is adhoksaja? Adhoksaja is Vaikuntha, that place where there is no kala, time. There is only the eternal present. There is no birth and death, and no suffering and sorrow. Nothing bad is there. In that abode there is so much opulence, and everyone there prays to Narayana. There is something higher than this, however, and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has taught that this most superior truth is called aprakrta. Aprakrta is that realm where Vraja-lila is performed. Krishna is sometimes like a baby there. There He is controlled by His father and mother, He is controlled by his beloved gopis, and He is controlled by his friends. No one can ever imagine such very, very sweet pastimes. We should try to know this aprakrta. We should try to serve this apraka Krishna who is with so many gopis, with His father and mother, with His sakhas, and with all His cows and very sweet cowherding pastimes. This is the aim and object of our life - service to this Krishna. This is aprakrta-jnana.
Krishna sambandha-vijnana dayine prabhave namah. In this world we have a relationship with our father and mother and our immediate family. We think, "She is my mother, he is my father, and he is my brother." But we are not satisfied with that. We want to be a husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend. But still we are not satisfied.
From where have these relationships come? They come from Goloka Vrindavana. There is actually only one relationship - with Krishna. He is not a father there. He is like a friend, like a baby, or like a beloved. In the constitutional form of our soul there is a relationship with Krishna. We have now forgotten this due to Maya, but we have a relationship. All the relationships of these bodies are false and temporary. They remain only for some days, but the relationship in our constitutional form is eternal. We want love. We want something. We first loved our mother, then our father, then our brothers, then other relatives, and then our neighbors. But we were never satisfied. Then we collected wives or husbands, and when we were not satisfied, we got divorced and changed the old ones for new ones. But still we were not satisfied. You cannot be satisfied. No one can ever be satisfied. When you meet with Krishna and serve Him, then you will be satisfied. This is a transcendental relationship, and this relationship is given by Guru. Prabhupada gave this, and this relationship will be forever. It was for this end that he gave the mantra klim krsnaya govindaya.
Madhuryojjvala premadya sri rupanuga bahaktida. He explained all these truths. He actually came only to give this madhuryojjvala-prema, this gopi-prema, which Srila Rupa Gosvami has written about in his books, and which Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to this world only to give-this relationship. "Krishna is our beloved" He came to only to give this and nothing else. Srila Prabhupada has written in his articles: "I came only to give this, but my whole time was spent in cutting jungles." Srila Swami Maharaja also did this in Western countries. He came to this world to give love and affection for Krishna, but to whom could he give it? He was preaching to unqualified people, and therefore he wanted to make a platform for this love, by cutting the jungles of atheist and mayavada misconceptions. He thus fertilized the field by ploughing and cutting jungles, and most of his time went in this. He could not preach as he wanted, but he stored so many deep truths about gopi-prema in his books.
Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura also did this. In Radha kunda, in his last days, he said that if anyone is only cutting jungles, cutting the arguments of mayavadis and so on, and not accepting the mood of the gopis as taught by Rupa Gosvami, not doing aradhana, worship, of Radha-Krishna Conjugal, not following the line of Rupa Gosvami, then even their chanting will not be sufficient to help them. After some time they will become weak and give up all devotional practices. Then they will become nirvisesa-vadis and mayavadis, as so many are now becoming.
Sri rupanuga bhaktida. Srila Prabhupada descended to this world, and all our disciplic acaryas also came, only for preaching this rupanuga Vaisnavism. But they had no time. From the beginning, therefore, I was very alert to avoid cutting jungles-because our guru varga had already cut them down. I considered that I must do something affirmative. I therefore accepted this and I preached it from the beginning. Now, however, coming to the Western countries, I began to think, "To whom shall I tell?" Now I also have to cut down some jungles. When I am in Vrindavana or Navadvipa, however, I mainly speak about the high class of sweet pastimes of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha and Krishna.
So Srila Prabhupada was like an ocean of madhuryojjvala-prema. He wanted to distribute it, and he distributed it. If he did not, then from where have we collected these things? Namaskara to Srila Prabhupada. All glories to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada. All glories to all his associates. All glories to Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja. All glories to all of you devotees.

Gaura premanande! Hari haribol!

Typists: Sulata dasi and Kanaka Manjari dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
HTML: Bhutabhavana dasa



Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada

Sri Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada

Shri Chaitanya's Teachings
Shrimad Bhagavatam and Vaisnava Cult

Introduction to the book
"Sree Krishna Chaitanya"

Nam Bhajan
(The Science of Chanting the Holy Names of Krishna)

Search For Truth
Spiritual Means and Ends

An Era Not To Be Forgotten
Srila Gaurakisora Still Lives in Our Hearts

Prakrta-rasa-sata-dusani (A Hundred Warnings Against Mundane Mellows)

Sri Brahma-samhita Sri Guru-tattva and Seva Batasur
Selected Nectarean Advise Sri Vyasa Puja Rules For The Temple
Thakur Bhaktivinode The Serpent Kaliya The “Golden” Stone Pot
Organised Religion Every Wave is Favorable Residence in Vraja
Sripada Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakur Sanatana-dharma Transgressing Ones Adhikara
Killing Of Putana Upakhyane Upadesa Initiation Into Spiritual Life
Talk About the Absolute Relative Worlds Associates Of Sri Caitanya
Vaishnavism Real and Apparent Assuming Responsibility of Being Guru The Correct Angle of Vision
Discourse on the Absolute Nomenclature of the Absolute Explorations in Vedantic Truth
The Forgetfulness of the Humanists Holy Talks of the Supreme Lord Introduction to Shri Krishna
Notes from a Discourse Colloquies with Foreigners The Pathway to Highest Blessedness
A Probe Into Life's Relativities Be Humbler Even Than a Blade of Grass     The Chanters of the Kirtan of Lord Hari
The Vedanta -- Its Morphology and Ontology     A Word to Our Madhva Brethren The Standard of Living in Gaudiya Math
What is the Most Severe Nama-aparadha? Utilize Every Moment to Attain True Well-being Should One Accept Disciples?
Sri Nama-sankirtana The Highest Vaisnava Sees Himself as the Lowest of All Words of Wisdom
Reverence for the Mundane World is Aversion to Sri Hari     Chant the Transcendental Word to Others or He will be Eclipsed     Sri Rai Ramananda
Sannyasa Garb Will Not Make Things Easier The Treasure of Bhakti Why are we not realizing Bhagavan?
What Sri Caitanya Meant by Theism Unalloyed Theism

Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur delivered the following lecture
on His 51st birthday on February (14th or 15th), 1925 as a reply to the offerings
of the devotees of Sri Goudiya Matha No. 1; Ultadingi Junction Road; Kolkata

Foreward to Sri Narayan Das Bhakti Sadhukar's    
The Career and Teachings of the
Supreme Lord Sree Krishna-Chaitanya

Associates of Sri Caitanya [from Krsna-kathamrta]

By Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati:

Sri Caitanya-candramrta
[The Nectar Moon of Sri Caitanya]
[also available in .PDF here]

Sri Navadvipa-sataka
[A Hundred Verses Glorifying Navadvipa]

Sri Sri Prabhupada Dasakam
by Sripada Gaura dasa bramacari
[Srimad Bhakti Desika Acarya Maharaja]
Pastimes And Instructions
by Srila Promode Puri Maharaja

Homage to the World Acarya
Speech given by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada before the members of the Sri Gaudiya Math in Bombay,
in February 1935, on the appearance anniversary of His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada

Appearance Day Of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada - Giver Of Madhurya-Bhakti
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja   |  Singapore: February 13, 2001

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura: In Honor of His Disappearance Day
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja   |   Vrndavan 1991

They Accuse Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

About Criticism
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

by Srila Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha Goswami Maharaja
[The last message of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur before his
disappearance on 23 December 1936 at Sri Gaudiya Math, Bagbazar, Calcutta]

Sri Srila Prabhupada and His Transcendental Realisations
by Srila Bhakti Bibudh Bodhayan Maharaja

Rare Video of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada
BSSTvideo.jpg - 41200 Bytes

In this rare footage of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura Prabhupada he is preaching about the glories of the most holy Vedic Scriptures in Sri Chaitanya Math (the main gate and dome shown in the video), Sri Mayapura Dhama, at the lotus feet of his beloved Deities of Sri Gauranga and Sri Sri Gandharvika Giridhari, Who are shown in the first part of the video. There is no audio in this video.
.wmv   |   1.2 MBs   |   29 seconds

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
In Honor of His Disappearance Day

by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

sbsstL.jpg - 22538 Bytes Vrndavana, India: 1991 Srila Sarasvati Thakura knew that he would soon be going to his Master, and therefore he gave some final instructions to his disciples. Our Guru-Maharaja was there, as were Gosvami Maharaja (a prominent disciple), Kunja Bihari prabhu, Bhakti Vilasa Tirtha Maharaja and others. He told those in attendance, "I am unhappy. I have come for a mission – to give the things that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give. He has ordered me to give the teachings of vipralambha (the mood of separation for Radha and Krsna) and gopi-prema. He ordered me to teach the reasons He came to this world, and to share His gifts.
"However, most of my time was spent in cutting the 'jungles' of mayavada, sahajiya-vada, sakhi-bheki and all other non-devotional ideas. If there is a mayavada jungle, the seeds of bhakti will not sprout. I therefore had to cut so many jungles, and still there are so many jungles left throughout the world. Most of my time was spent in clarifying philosophical points."
Saying this, his mood changed and his face became reddish. Then he spoke the following verse:
yasyah kadapi vasanancala-khelanottha-
dhanyati-dhanya-pavanena krtartha-mani
yogindra-durgama-gatir madhusudano 'pi
tasya namo 'stu vrsabhanu-bhuvo dise 'pi
["Obeisances to the direction that faces Sri Vrsabhanu's daughter. When the breeze coming from that direction playfully moves the edge of His garment, Lord Krsna, who cannot be attained by even the kings of the yogis, thinks that His life has now become a great success."
(Sri Radha-rasa-suddha-nidhi, text 2)]
Srila Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura then explained how Krsna is obedient to Srimati Radhika He said, "There is a nice verse by Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami:"
smara-vilasita-talpe jalpa-lilam analpam
krama-krti-parihinam bibhrati tena sardham
mitha iva parirambharambha-vrttaika-varsma
ksanam api mama radhe netram anandaya tvam
["O Radha, who without going anywhere else stays on the couch of amorous pastimes, talking for a long time with Lord Krsna and embracing Him so strongly that Your two forms appear to become one, please, for even a moment, delight my eyes."
(Sri Stavavali, Sri Sri Prema-purabhidha-stotra, text 4)]
"Sri Krsna is very obedient to Srimati Radhika. She is always full of pride, because Krsna is Hers. She has madiya-mayi-bhava, which means that She always thinks, "Krsna is Mine." Candravali has the mood of tadiya-bhava: "I am Krsna's." Krsna is controlled by Radhika only, because of Her madiya-bhava. Srimati Radhika is svadina-bhartrika. This means Sri Krsna is controlled by Her. Svadina bhartrika is of two kinds: maitri and sakhya. Madiya and tadiya are two parts of madhurya-rasa or paramour love, and they are each divided into two parts: maitri-mood and sakhya-mood. When love is slackened by sincerely requesting something, as in a prayer, that is called maitri. When priti (love) becomes prominent and prayer becomes secondary, that type of svadina-bhartrika is called sakhya. Candravali becomes svadina-bhartrika with maitri as the prominent mood (bhava), whereas Radhika becomes svadina-bhartrika with sakhya-bhava. At that time, Srimati Radhika can order anything She likes from Krsna, and He will carry out those orders – He will do so even if He gets a hint of an order. He will always be ready to carry out an order, even if there is only a hint of it. Regarding Candravali's order however, He will only carry out Her prominent orders; she must tell Him what she wants. In this way, Radhika is most prominent among all the gopis."
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was ordered by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to help all devotees understand that Srimati Radhika is the most powerful among all the gopis, and that in order to become Her dasi (maidservant), we will have to become rupanuga. Without being rupanuga – without the guidance of Sri Rupa-manjari – we cannot serve Radhika.
Sri Krsna's priya-narma sakhas (His most intimate of cowherd friends) like Subala and Sridama are inclined towards Srimati Radhika. They are pleased when Radhika and Krsna meet. There are also some priya-narma-sakhas who facilitate Candravali's relationship with Krsna, but Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura was greatly inclined to Srimati Radhika, in favor of rupanuga. He was rupanuga. He wanted to distribute this idea of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu: we want to be the servant of Sri Rupa-manjari, so that we can serve Sri Sri Radha and Krsna, not Candravali and others.
Srila Sarasvati Thakura's idea was to preach rupanuga-bhakti. Actually it was not to preach it, for rupanuga is not preached. His idea was to inspire devotees for this service to Srimati Radhika. At the end of his manifest stay in this world, however, he told his followers, "I could not do this, so I am unhappy. You should all gather and come under the shelter of asraya-tattva (the principle of the pure devotee – the reservoir of love for Krsna). Who is asraya-tattva? Guru is asraya-tattva. Living in such shelter, you should serve the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krsna under the guidance of Sri Rupa-manjari." This was the root motive for all his activities – to give this to the world.
He continued, "For this I have given great suffering to so many persons. I have snatched their educated and very qualified boys and girls, and brought them in this line. Therefore they became furious with me. Also, a certain group (samaja) in Navadvipa and Vrndavana made a movement against me. They could not understand my ideas, and they became opposed to me. The day will come, however, when they will realize that I have done something good, for society and for the individuals in society. I have done something good for everyone's welfare. Later they will regret that they opposed me. They will repent for this.
"So you should serve Radha and Krsna under the shelter of guru-tattva. Don't quarrel. Don't think you will be happy by collecting worldly possessions. You may be lacking so many things, but accumulating worldly possessions and positions will not make you happy. The fruit of having attained a human body is not the fulfillment of useless material ambitions. Besides these desires, we also have various kinds of diseases and our minds are disturbed with many worries. Leave them all.
"Fix an ultimate goal for your life. Decide where you will have to go and what you will have to do, so that your soul will be happy. Don't go towards material enterprises. One day this mundane body will become old and, poisoned by many diseases, it will then be finished. Yet, at that time, if you have given your body to Krsna for His service, your life will be a success. Offer this very wretched body to Krsna."
"Please try to understand my view. Do not quarrel among yourselves over useless worldly values. Always keep in mind what I have told you."
Then he left this world. 

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At that time our Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, was present. Bhakti-vilasa Tirtha Maharaja was also present there, and at that time he had not yet taken sannyasa. He was managing all the affairs in all the Mathas at that time. He proposed that our Prabhupada should be cremated in Calcutta, at the burning ghata (crematorium place) at Karatala. Our Guru-Maharaja opposed this and said, "I request you not to take him. We will take the transcendental body of our Prabhupada to Mayapura, where he used to do his bhajana. And he will continue to do his bhajana, for he is still alive. He will be in samadhi. [*See endnote 1] We will erect a Samadhi-mandira there. Then, living there with his Lord, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he will guide us forever."
When those who had the idea that Srila Prabhupada's transcendental body should be cremated opposed again, Guru Maharaja became furious. Standing by his divine body, He very boldly said, "You cannot take him to Karatala. I will personally stop whoever is doing so." He then arranged a train from Calcutta, (from where Prabhupada left the world) to Krsna-nagara. Around the first of January, in the morning, several thousand persons went with his transcendental body to Mayapura. Then, in the evening they carried his body to the area where the Samadhi is now situated, and they performed kirtana throughout the night. With the assistance of many young boys, our Guru-maharaja dug that Samadhi. He managed the entire separation festival, just as I did for your Prabhupada Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja here in Vrndavana. He anointed the body with fragrant oils and put his Gurudeva in samadhi there.
Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura preached the teachings of Lord Caitanya throughout India in no time. He also sent Bon Maharaja, Tirtha Maharaja and Gosvami Maharaja to the Western countries. Preaching did not advance as he wanted, however. He called for Bon Maharaja to return from England and told him, "We do not want to take anything from the Western countries. We have no need to take anything from them. Simply give them what I have told to you – we only want to give the same bhakti-bhava that Caitanya Mahaprabhu has given. Do not follow the habits of the Western civilization of eat, drink and be merry, as Vivekananda did."
He became somewhat apprehensive. Then he sent Gosvami Maharaja, and after that he ordered Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja to do it. Srila Swami Maharaja then performed a miracle. Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was so pleased to know that he has performed this task, and all of you are completing his task.
May Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada be merciful to all of us today. May he inspire pure bhakti in our hearts, so that we can practice and distribute this to others.
      Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada (right)
      and Sri Vinoda-bihari Brahmacari (second from left).

"At the time of his divine departure from this world, Parama-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja ordered me, “You should serve me in my taking samadhi.” He knew the meaning and significance of entering samadhi, and what should be done at that time. Samadhi is a Sanskrit word consisting of the two syllables: sama-dhi. Sama means “the same” and dhi means “intelligence”. It means that the pure devotee who is departing from this world is entering the same level, same position and same mood as the personal associates of his worshipful deity – with equal intelligence, equal beauty and equal qualities. He is serving properly according to his own svarupa (constitutional form). Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja’s worshipful deity is Srimati Radhika, and he is serving Her under the guidance of Her personal associates, the manjaris, headed by Sri Rupa Manjari."
(Srila Narayana Maharaja; ISKCON's Juhu Beach Temple in Bombay –1993)

sbsst.jpg - 27743 Bytes Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was born in the holy pilgrimage place of Jagannatha Puri to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a great Vaisnava acarya in the line of succession coming from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Although employed as a government magistrate, Srila Bhaktivinoda worked tirelessly to establish the teachings of Lord Chaitanya in India. He envisioned a worldwide spiritual movement and prayed for a son to help him achieve his dream.

On February 6, 1874, in the sacred pilgrimage town of Jagannath Puri, where Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura served as superintendent of the famous Jagannatha temple, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta appeared in this world. He was given the name Bimala Prasada. At the age of seven, Bimala Prasada had memorized the more than seven hundred Sanskrit verses of the Bhagavad-gita and could speak illuminating commentaries upon them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the author of many important books and other writings on Gaudiya Vaisnava philosophy, trained his son in printing and proofreading.

By the time he was twenty-five years old, Bimala Prasada had acquired an impressive reputation as a scholar of Sanskrit, mathematics, and astronomy. His astronomical treatise, Surya-siddhanta, won him the title Siddhanta Sarasvati in recognition of his immense learning. In 1905, following the advice of his father, Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted spiritual initiation from Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji. Although Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji was illiterate, he was renowned throughout the continent as a great saint and Vaisnava acarya. Siddhanta Sarasvati, although a great scholar, exhibited humility and dedication in the presence of Srila Gaurakishora. Satisfied with such humility and dedication of his highly educated disciple, Srila Gaurakishora gave Siddhanta Sarasvati his full blessings and requested him to "preach the Absolute Truth and keep aside all other work." Upon the disappearance of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura in 1914, Siddhanta Sarasvati became editor of his father's journal, Sajjana-tosani, and founded the Bhagawat Press for the publication of Gaudiya Vaisnava literature. In 1918 Siddhanta Sarasvati accepted the renounced order of spiritual life, assuming the title Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja. For purposes of propagating Gaudiya Vaisnavism throughout India, he organized the Gaudiya Math, with sixty-four branches throughout the country. The headquarters of his mission, the Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, is located in Sridhama Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta adjusted ancient traditions to conform with technological and social conditions of the twentieth century. He considered the printing press a most effective means of spreading this message throughout the world and was himself the author of many important translations, commentaries, and philosophical essays. He was the first spiritual teacher in this line to allow his renounced preachers (sannyasis) to wear Western clothes and travel in modern conveyances rather that on foot. Throughout the 1930s, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta expanded and increased his missionary work and succeeded in reestablishing Gaudiya Vaisnavism as the leading force in Indian spiritual life.

On January 1, 1937, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura passed from this world.


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