Morning Walk in Houston, Texas
by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
May 27, 2009
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Two or three preachers should not visit any place at one time, otherwise it is inconvenient for the local devotees. Vinaya prabhu should be there also.
Vinaya, please explain the problem that arises when two or three preachers go to any place at the same time.
[Vinaya Krsna dasa:] When Srila Gurudeva comes to North America, so many preachers come at that time. Many are traveling from India, and they stop in the New York/New Jersey area. We want all preachers to come, but the problem arises when they all come around the same time that Srila Gurudeva is there.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] At the same time.
[Vinaya Krsna dasa:] From this past April up until June, preachers are coming almost every week; and sometimes two preachers come at the same time.
We have a very small congregation and we call many people to attend the programs, but many people cannot attend so many programs, which come one after the other. Also, it is very hard to maintain and host so many preachers, because we have to go to work and we have numerous responsibilities. We want all of these preachers to come, but we are having this problem.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Every two or 3 months a place should be visited by a preacher, and this preacher should coordinate with other preachers as well as with local devotees, so there is no room for confusion.
[Brajanath dasa:] There are ten sannyasis traveling, and other preachers as well.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] How can this matter be solved?
[Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja:] Srila Gurudeva, we already have a calendar of every preacher’s tour schedule. It is now online. So every preacher can see this. The next step is to discuss these schedules amongst the preachers and organize the annual schedule. We started to do this; it still needs to be completed.
[Padmanabha dasa:] My suggestion is that we divide North America into tiers, tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, for example. Tier 2 could be places where there has not been much preaching, like Louisville and the Midwest. The cost will also be less for this kind of preaching because one can drive from Badger to Los Angeles to San Francisco. This would cost less than flying all across the country.
[Vinaya Krsna dasa:] Particularly what is happening is that because it is cheaper to stop over in New York and New Jersey when flying, the preachers want to stop there and have programs. This area is becoming a place to land, and also to fly out from.
[Mukunda dasa:] The same problem is happening in Miami and South Florida. It is a problem when Srila Gurudeva comes for a program and the preachers want to come and do programs around the same time.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] All the preachers are going to so many old places where Srila Gurudeva has already preached. In America there are 50 states. For example, Austin is very close to Houston (where Gurudeva comes each year), but no one is going to Austin for preaching.
[Mahabuddhi dasa:] That is the point. One thing is that the existing preachers are going to the existing centers. There should be some sannyasis or senior preachers who go to new places where sangas are not formed yet, and generate interest there.
[Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja:] It takes coordinating. Actually what we need to do is consult amongst all of the preachers to make an actual database of all of the places that they have gone and all of the contacts they have. It is also not a bad idea to divide North America into tiers to determine which places are getting more preachers and which places are getting less – and actually coordinate who is going where.
[Visnu dasa:] Maybe the leaders of each sanga can come together and make a North American Preaching Council. We also have so many contacts in other cities.
[Mahabuddhi dasa:] As part of my outside work, I create organizations and organizational structures. I would be willing to offer service to you to help organize exactly what Visnu Prabhu and Padmanabha Maharaja were saying. We can work under the Bhakti Trust for North America to create some levels of organization for the temple sanga leaders, to create the type of structure that you want. It would function in such a way that the devotees in North America, including Canada and Mexico, can coordinate activities so that it can grow nicely under your direction
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Also, I suggest that the preachers go to new places, as Vishnu Maharaja just went to the Midwest USA. This will be better
[Sripad Visnu Maharaja:] There are many devotees here who don’t get preachers in their areas. I have been talking with some people. They come from far away and they never get preachers in their areas, but they do not know how to connect. If an announcement is made at the festival, they can write their names and invite preachers to their places. There are enough preachers here.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Is there any need to come to me?
[Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja:] No, we will organize it on our own, and then we will report to you.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Now let us stop the matter and discuss bhakti.
[Visnu dasa:] Guru Maharaja, you said in your class that the night before Janaka Maharaja was to make the decision as to whether or not Lord Ramacandra should stay in the forest, Bharatji went to meet the wife of Janaka Maharaja, Sunayana, and at that time he requested her to tell Janaka Maharaja what he should say the next day. Was Janaka Maharaja influenced by Sunayana, or was his decision independent?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No, he was not influenced by anyone. He was only influenced by his Guru, Sankara - and that should be ideal. All devotees should be guided by their guru or guru-parampara.
[Ramachandra dasa:] You have said earlier that Bharata never called his mother “Mother.” One time you also told a story that Kaikeyi came to Rama and told Him that Bharata refused to call her “Mother.” Lord Rama then called Bharata and said, “I want you to promise Me something.” Bharata said, “I will do anything for You, except for calling Kaikeyi “Mother.”
But yesterday in your class you mentioned that he said it. What did he really do? *[See Endnote 1]
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] When Lord Ramacandra returned from exile, He first went to Kaikeyi’s house. When he arrived there, he asked, “Where is Bharata? Up until now Bharata was with me, so where has he gone?” Someone said that Bharata did not want to see the face of his mother, Maharani Kaikeyi. He had broken his relation from Kaikeyi and determined, “I am not your son and you are not my mother. I will only call you Maharani Kaikeyi.” All the subjects of Ayodhya used to go to Bharata in Nandigrama and seek advice. So one day Kaikeyi went to him and said, “You are my son, so I want you to keep me here with you in Nandigrama. I cannot remain in the king’s palace. So many serpents and scorpions [representing problems caused by the influence of time, place, and by the influence of the mind and other beings] are biting me, so I cannot remain there. Bharata replied, “This is very good for you. This is your atonement, and by this you will be purified. There is no other way. It is better, Kaikeyi Maharani, that you return to the palace.”
Lord Ramacandra then called for Bharata, because it was by the will of Rama that the relationship between Bharata and Kaikeyi was cut. When Bharata arrived, Lord Ramacandra offered obeisances to Mother Kaikeyi and then He told Bharata to offer her obeisances and call her mother.
Bharata then offered obeisances to Kaikeyi and addressed her, “My dear mother,” and then Kaikeyi began to weep out of happiness. Lord Ramacandra’s heart also melted, and the hearts of all of the people present also melted.
[Mahabuddhi dasa:] Did Lord Ramacandra ever tell Bharata that He had made that arrangement with Kaikeyi when he was young? *[see endnote 2]
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] We went with Srila Gurudeva two times to Chitrakuta, the place where Lord Ramacandra, Laksmana and Bharata all met together. There are many footprints still there, so many footprints, like in Vraja where there are so many footprints of Krsna.
[Sripad Srauti Maharaja:] What is the lesson behind this history; what is the philosophical point?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] If anyone is against guru and Krsna, we have no connection with them. We cut off all connection, even if that person is our mother, brother, sister, father, or any other dear-one. If even a guru is in opposition of Krsna and insulting Him, that guru should be rejected. This is the lesson.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Are there other questions?
[Sahadeva dasa:] Srila Gurudeva, in your classes you are giving so many beautiful narrations of the Lord's glories, with many nice expressions and moods. Why are these moods not coming into my heart?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Your heart is not melting?
[Sahadeva dasa:] No, Gurudeva, my heart is a stone.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:]
hena krsna-nama yadi laya bahu-bara[“If one chants the exalted holy name of the Lord again and again and yet his love for the Supreme Lord does not develop and tears do not appear in his eyes, it is evident that because of his offenses in chanting, the seed of the holy name of Krsna does not sprout.”
tabu yadi prema nahe, nahe asrudhara
tabe jani, aparadha tahate pracura
krsna-nama-bija tahe na kare ankura
(Caitanya-caritamrta Adi-lila 8.29-30)]
If by one's hearing hari-katha or chanting Hare Krsna his heart is not melting, it is due to offences.
tad asma-saram hrdayam batedam
yad grhyamanair hari-namadheyaih
na vikriyetatha yada vikaro
netre jalam gatra-ruhesu harsah
[“If one's heart does not change, tears do not flow from his eyes, his body does not shiver, and his bodily hairs do not stand on end as he chants the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, it should be understood that his heart is as hard as iron. This is due to his offenses at the lotus feet of the Lord's holy name.”
If anyone is chanting Hare Krsna and hearing hari-katha, but his heart is not melting, tears are not flowing from his eyes and the hairs of his body are not standing on end, then it is understood that he has committed uncountable offenses in his past life and in this life. So we should always pray to Gurudeva and Krsna and chant the holy names, and by chanting again and again he will come to the right consciousness.
[Murti dasa:] My name is Murti dasa. I travel and distribute books. Do you have any special instructions on how to distribute more books or how I can be able to serve better in the sankirtana mission? A devotee donated to me many of your books, so I have been distributing your books along with Srila Prabhupada’s books. I like your books very much. They are very inspiring. I have been reading your Jaiva Dharma.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] Very good. You should study Jaiva Dharma. Thank you. Book distribution is very good, but you should also read the books yourself.
[Sudarsana dasa:] The Vedas state, “Aham brahmasmi, the jiva is brahma,” [This brahma is different from the demigod Brahma. The demigod Brahma has a long “a” at the end, and this brahma, meaning “God”, has a short “a.”] and in Bhagavad-gita it is stated that the jiva is para-prakrti, the sakti (energy) of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. How do we reconcile these two seemingly contradictory points?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] You should know that the transcendental constitution of the jiva is krsna-dasa, the servant of Krsna. That is stated in Bhagavad-gita. The conditioned souls have come from tatastha-sakti, and they have forgotten their constitutional position. Though they are all conditioned souls, by transcendental constitution they are all eternal servants of Krsna. All living entities are His parts and parcels. The jiva is the sakti of para-brahma, the Supreme Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna. Krsna has so many potencies, but when He is only with His jiva-sakti, at that time He manifests as the jivas. So the jiva is a part of Krsna.
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] Once, an elderly man came to our temple in Mathura and said that he was brahma (God). I was cooking at the time. That man was arguing with Tirtha Maharaja about this point; he was not listening. Then Srila Gurudeva came out of his room and Tirtha Maharaja told him that this man is saying that he is brahma. Srila Gurudeva said, “Brahma (God, or Krsna) lifted Govardhana, and He swallowed a forest fire on two occasions.” Srila Gurudeva then called me to bring a burning piece of wood so that the man could prove that he was brahma by swallowing the small fire from the piece of burning wood. The man quickly ran away.
[Devotee:] In your books you say that the gopis are expansions of Radharani.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] The nitya-siddha-gopis are Her expansions, not the sadhana-siddha gopis. *[See endnote 2]
[Devotee:] So the nitya-siddha gopis are not jiva-tattva?
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] No. Sadhana-siddha may be jiva-tattva.
[Devotee:] So what tattva are the nitya-siddha gopis?
[Sripad Madhava Maharaja:] They are kayavyuha, or bodily manifestations of Srimati Radhika.
[Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja:] They should be treated like Radhika. In other words, they are non-different from Radhika, having emanated from Her, the origin of svarupa-sakti.]
*[Endnote 1: There is a secret meaning behind the pastime of Queen Kaikeyi asking her two boons from Maharaja Dasaratha. Kaikeyi was not cruel. She loved Sri Rama more than she loved Bharata. When Rama was a young boy, He sat in the lap of Mother Kaikeyi and requested, "I want to ask you something. When I grow up and return home after My marriage, My father will think of giving this kingdom to Me. I want you to ask him to give the kingdom to Bharata, and to send Me to the forest for fourteen years." Hearing this, Kaikeyi fainted. When she regained consciousness she said, "I cannot do such a cruel thing." But then Lord Rama said, "For the benefit of the whole world, you will have to do this." So Kaikeyi agreed.
There is another important point in this connection. When King Dasaratha married Kausalya, he did not beget any sons from her. He further married 360 queens, but still there was no son. One day, when he was out in the forest hunting ferocious animals, he traveled all the way to the border of Afghanistan. He was very tired and therefore went to visit his friend Maharaja Kaikeya, the king of that entire area. Maharaja Kaikeya ordered his daughter to take care of the king. The next day, very pleased by her service, Maharaja Dasaratha asked him if he could marry his daughter, Kaikeyi. The king said, "Yes, you can marry her, but with one condition. If she begets a son, that son will become the king of your entire kingdom." Maharaja Dasaratha replied, "There is nothing that will please me more. I have no son, so if she begets a son, I will be very happy to give my entire kingdom to him." This was another reason why Bharata became the king instead of Rama. (Srila Narayana Maharaja, April 12, 2000)]
Babaji: Two kinds of jivas are free from maya’s control: 1) nitya-mukta (the jivas who were never under maya’s control), and 2) baddha-mukta (those who were once under maya’s control, but are now free). The nitya-mukta-jivas are divided again into two categories: 1) aisvarya-gata (those who are attracted by Bhagavan’s feature of opulence and majesty), and 2) madhurya-gata (those who are attracted by His feature of sweetness). Those jivas who are attracted by Krsna’s aisvarya are personal associates of Sri Narayana, the Master of Vaikuntha. They are particles of spiritual effulgence emanating from Sri Maha-Sankarsana, who resides in Vaikuntha. Those who are attracted by Bhagavan’s madhurya are personal associates of Sri Krsna, the Master of Goloka Vrndavana. They are particles of spiritual effulgence manifesting from Sri Baladeva, who resides in Goloka Vrndavana. (Jaiva-dharma, Chapter 17)]