Govardhana, India – Vraja-mandala parikrama
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In Vraja there is the conjugal mood. They never believe Krsna is Bhagavan, this mood is sweetness mood and all the opulence is completely covered with sweetness, madhurya.
vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
The holy place known as Mathurā is spiritually superior to Vaikuṇṭha, the transcendental world, because the Lord appeared there. Superior to Mathurā-purī is the transcendental forest of Vṛndāvana because of Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa-līlā pastimes. And superior to the forest of Vṛndāvana is Govardhana Hill, for it was raised by the divine hand of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and was the site of His various loving pastimes. And, above all, the super-excellent Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa stands supreme, for it is over-ﬂooded with the ambrosial nectarean prema of the Lord of Gokula, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Where, then, is that intelligent Person who is unwilling to serve this divine Rādhā-kuṇḍa, which is situated at the foot of Govardhana Hill?
(Sri Upadesamrta Verse 9)
Sri Rupa Goswami wrote this. vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī means that Mathura is higher than Vaikuntha. Because in Mathura Krsna performed his sweet childhood pastimes. vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi Vrindavana is higher than Mathura because Krsna performed his sweet rasa-lila. His autumn season rasa called Saradiya-rasa. But Giriraja Govardharn is the topmost because of two things. Krsna lifted Giriraja Govardharn and proved ‘I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead’ and He protected the Vrajavasis from Indra, who tried to destroy Vraja, and also, He performed his Spring time rasa lila called Vasanti Rasa lila at Candra Sarovara, where the moon was completely stunned and forgot his movement. The speciality of the Spring season lila is that only nitya-siddha Gopis assembled Radha, Lalita, Visakha, Candavali and other Gopis. Radha Kunda is the topmost. No one can go there, it is protected by Yogamaya. Candravali cannot go even though she is nitya-siddha. Only Radharani can go with her sakhis.
On the bank of Radha Kunda is the super-excellent rasa lila which is called Maha rasa. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada composed theses types of Katha on the bank of Radha Kunda. Jatila and Kutila cannot go there. Radha Kunda is the worshipable place for Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Lord Caitanya manifested this place. Rupa Goswamipada, Sanatana Goswamipada and Jiva Goswamipada, all of our Goswamis performed bhajana and sadhana at Radha Kunda. Raghunatha dasa Goswamipada performed bhajana and sadhana, with on pointed devotion to Srimati Radhika.
asha-bharair amrita-sindhu mayaih kathanchit
kalo mayati-gamitah kila sampratam hi
tvan chet kripam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vraje na cha varoru bakarinapi
I am living in Radha Kunda by the grace of my Gurus Rupa and Sanatana. Why? I need Radharani’s exclusive service. I do not want Krishna alone. I want the Krishna who is served by Srimati Radharani.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami performed hard austerities on the bank of Radha Kunda without taking prasad, only sometimes taking some buttermilk. Once, a Vrajavasi brought some water in a leaf cup for Ragunatha dasa Goswami. He very humbly said ‘everyday you bring water with little leaf cups, but today you bring it in a big leaf cup’. The Vrajavasis said ‘today I went to Sakhi Sthali (the place of Candravali). When Raghunatha dasa Goswami heard this, he became very angry, took a big stick and began to beat him. ‘Oh you went to the place of my Srimati Radhika’s rival? The Vrajavasi ran away. That means that Raghunatha dasa Goswami has nistha, and nistha with his Swamini Srimati Radhika and Radha Kunda. You need nistha to do sadhana and bhajana, sadhana nistha, Guru nistha, nama nistha, steadiness, because without nama nistha you will never develop your sadhana and bhajana. Never give up Guru and the Holy name.
Take a vow. Jiva Goswami wrote a grantha called Sankalpa Kalpadruma. Sankalpa means vow. In your life, many obstacles will come. On the path, there are many stones but you have to walk on it. And on the path of sadhana many obstacles will come. You have to have steadiness, nistha.
Srila Gurudeva gave an example. In Radha Kunda many saintly persons perform bhajana and sadhana some for sixty years. One day some a Vrajavasi told his elder brother he was going on parikrama to Dvarka. He invited his brother to go with him. His brother said ‘for sixty years I am doing bhajana and sadhana on the bank of Radha Kunda. I am not going anywhere’. His younger brother left and stayed in Dvarka Puri for one month. He then returned to Radha Kunda, but his mind was very disturbed, and he could not chant the Holy name properly and concentrate on Srimati Radhika. He asked His elder brother why this was happening. His elder brother said ‘in Dvarka you were given the stamp of Rukmini, so Srimati Radhika rejected you. This is why your mind cannot concentrate on Srimati Radhika’. The younger brother felt so much separation from Srimati Radhika ‘for sixty years I have performed bhajana and sadhana but now Srimati Radhika has left me’. His nistha for Srimati Radhika did not remain. He left his body in the fire of separation for Srimati Radhika.
Sastra says if you are not one-pointed with Guru and Srimati Radhika you can never achieve your perfection, your goal. Again and again, I remind you that nistha, steadiness in our bhajan and sadhana, is very important. niṣṭhā’ haile upajaya premera taraṅga (CC22.134), When your nistha comes then very slowly the waves of love, , premera taranga will manifest in your heart, Nama nistha, bhajana nistha, Guru nistha, Radha nistha this is very important.
Raghunatha dasa Goswami performed bhaajana and sadhana on the banks of Radha Kunda. He also composed Vilapa Kusumanjali. He composed this verse.
asa-bharair amrta-sindhu-mayaih kathancit
kalo mayati-gamitah kila sampratam hi
tvam cet krpam mayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vrajena ca varoru bakarinapi
For me, the present moment is somehow flooded by a nectar ocean of many hopes. If You do not give Your mercy, then of what use to me are this life, the land of Vraja, and Sri Krsna, the enemy of Baka?
(Vilapa-kusumanjali, Verse 102)
In this verse Raghunatha dasa Goswami explained ‘hey Bakari Krsna (this means that Krsna killed the demon Bakasura. It is another name for Krsna) I don’t want your mercy’. Krsna came in front of Raghunatha das Gowami and said to him ‘hey Raghunatha. You have performed hard austerities for many years. I am very pleased with you. I killed many demons including Bakasura. I am very powerful. I can give mercy to you’. Raghunatha das Goswamipada replied, ‘hey Bakari Krsna. I don’t want your mercy, only Srimati Radhika’s mercy’. If She will not give mercy I have no need for your mercy.
kada karishyasiha mam kripa-kataksha-bhajanam (1)
O goddess worshiped by the kings of sages, O goddess who remove the sufferings of the three worlds, O goddess whose face is a blossoming lotus, O goddess who enjoy pastimes in the forest, O daughter of Vrishabhanu, O companion of Vraja’s prince, when will You cast Your merciful sidelong glance upon me?
kada karishyasiha mam kripa-kataksha-bhajanam (5)
O young girl intoxicated with passion, O goddess decorated with cheerful jealous anger, O goddess who passionately loves Your beloved Krishna, O goddess learned in playful arts, O goddess expert at enjoying amorous pastimes in the kingdom of the peerlessly opulent forest groves of Vrindavana, when will You cast Your merciful sidelong glance upon me?
kada karishyasiha mam kripa-kataksha-bhajanam (11)
O goddess worshiped by Brahma, O goddess to whom countless millions of Vaishnavas bow down, O goddess who give blessings to Parvati, shaci, and Sarasvati, O goddess whose toenails are anointed with limitless opulence and mystic perfections, when will You cast Your merciful sidelong glance upon me?
Gaudiya Vaisnava means to receive a sprinkle of the mercy of Srimati Radhika. If you are not one pointed with Guru and Srimati Radhika you will never realise your perfection. Gurudeva said you make a knot in the corner of your saree, which means that you don’t forget these things. It is very important. Don’t go running here and there like a blind sheep, baa, baa, baa. One sheep going and the others are also going. Don’t become stupid nonsense, be one-pointed with Guru, Krsna and Srimati Radhika. But always one-pointed for Srimati Radhika.
If you want to understand the conjugal mood you have to follow three principles:
anasritya vrndatavim tat-padankam
kutah syama-sindho rasasyavagahah
How can a person become immersed in an ocean of prema-rasa (madhurya rasa) if he has never worshipped the dust of Sri Radha’s lotus feet; if he has never taken shelter of the pastime place of Vrindavana, which is marked with the impressions of Her lotud feet; and if he has never associated with and served the devotees whose hearts are submerged in Her sentiments. It will never be possible.
(Sva-sankalpa-prakasa-stotra 1, Raghunatha dasa Goswami)
If you want to become submerged in the ocean of divine love you have to be one-pointed with Srimati Radhika. That is called Radha nistha.
Radha tu meri swamini
Main Radhey ko daas
Janam janam mohe dijiye
Sri vrindavan ko vaas
Vrajavasis are singing this song. Radhe she is my mistress; Radhe tu meri Swamini. Life after life may I take birth in Vrindavana.
A very rare person knows the glories of the trees of Vrindavana. What are they doing? They are chanting (Gurudeva singing)
Radhe Radhe Radhe, jaya jaya jaya Sri Radhe
Radhe Radhe Radhe, jaya jaya jaya Sri Radhe
Radhe Radhe Radhe Radhe Radhe Radhe Radhe
Radhe Radhe Radhe, jaya jaya jaya Sri Radhe
This is Radha nistha, Vrindavana nistha. Always have nistha with Vrindavana dham. If you cannot physically stay in Vrindavana then you have to saty in Vrindvana with your mind always remembering the pastimes places of Vrindavana. Jaya Radhe Jaya Krsna Jaya Vrindavana, Jaya Radhe Syam.
Radhe Syam, Radhe Syam, Radhe Syam, Krsna is always chanting the name of Srimati Radhika and She is always chanting Krsna, Krsna.
jay radhe jay krishna jay vrindavan
rasika mukuta mani jay gopicand
radhe radhe radhe shyam, radhe radhe shyam shyam
radhe shyam yugala nam mero hai jivan
mero eka prana dhana eka hi hai jivan
nanda nandana madana mohana radhika raman
This is Radha Krsna jugala pastimes. We also worship Krsna with Srimati Radhika because She loves Krsna. In Manah- Siksa Raghunatha das Goswami explain that my Swamini is Srimati Radhika, but I love Krsna because my mistress Srimati Radhika loves Krsna. When you have Radha nistha then you automatically love Krsna because Srimati Radhika, She loves Krsna.
Always associate with high class exalted Vrajavasis, and always listen to Hari katha, and sweet Radha lila. Srila Gurudeva is his commentary on Sri Damodarastakam said Haridas Thakura chanted three lakhs Harinama and Rupa, Sanatana maybe one lakh Harinama and Raya Ramananda maybe one lakh.
Once there was a Brahmana boy, his name was Pradyumna Misra who said to Lord Caitanya ‘prabhu I want to listen to Hari Katha from your lotus lips’. Lord Caitanya very humbly said ‘you go and listen to Hari Katha from Raya Ramananda. So Gurudeva in this context explained why Mahaprabhu did not send him to Haridas Thakura who chanted three lakhs Harinama. Who is Haridas Thakura? He is the combined form of Brahma and Prahlada a devotee of Vaikuntha, opulence. Rupa, Sanatana and Raya Ramananda are the eternal servants of Srimati Radhika. Raya Ramananda is Visakha-Devi. Lord Caitanya in this lila proved that Raya Ramananda is a rasika Vaisnava and you cannot compare him with Haridas Thakura. Mahaprabhu always discussed high level Hari Katha sweet amorous pastimes with Svarupa Damodara and Raya Ramananda. Haridas Thakura is called Namacarya a name that Mahaprabhu gave him. He is the Acarya of Harinama. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu did not discuss sweet amorous pastimes with him.
Do not think he’s higher as he chanted three lakhs Harinama. Gurudeva’s commentary said you can chant the Holy name very quickly for one hour when you sit in front of the television, but how many rounds did Lord Caitanya chant? Hare Krsna Hare Krsna and Lord Caitanya fainted. Then Lord Caitanya jumped in the ocean and floated on the water towards Arka tirtha. A fisherman caught Mahaprabhu in his net. When the fisherman pulled up his nets he thought Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu was dead because his eyes were upside down. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu started making a sound and the fisherman started shaking thinking he would die too. The fisherman was then going to the ghost removal person chanting when Svarupa Damodara came. He asked the fisherman why his mind was very disturbed. The fisherman said ‘every day I come to this place to catch fish, and every day I chant the Nrsingha mantra, but today there was a dead body in my net when I pulled it up. So there is a dead body ghost attached to my body. Maybe I will die. If I die my wife and son will die, so I am going to remove the ghost from my body’.
Svarupa Damodara said ‘I am the best ghost remover, Hare Krsna Hare Krsna’ and gave the fisherman a slap. ‘Now show me the dead body’. When Svarupa Damodara saw Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s body, he was in the stages of prema; it was very long with his limbs elongated, his eyes upturned and he was making a sound. Then Svarupa Damodara and other devotees surrounded Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and started chanting.
hari haraya namah krsna yadavaya namah
yadavaya madhavaya keshavaya namah (1)
O Lord Hari, Lord Krsna, I offer my obeisances to You, who are known as Yadava, Hari, Madhava, and Kesava.
gopala govinda rama sri-madhusudana
giridhari gopinatha madana-mohana (2)
O Gopala, Govinda, Rama, Sri Madhusudana, Giridhari, Gopinatha, Madana-mohana!
(Nama Sankirtana – Srila Narottama das Thakura)
Then Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu regained consciousness. The Svarupa Damodara asked Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu what happened. He replied ‘today, I went to Radha Kunda, and I met with Krsna and the Gopis. Krsna is a big cheater. I was sitting on the bank of Radha Kunda and Krsna is playing water sports with the Gopis’. So I explained these things, for at that time Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu could not chant Holy names. Because one who chants Holy names with this high mood he is higher than others. So don’t think he who chants three lakhs of Harinama he is higher than others. This is not true. Gurudeva has explained it in this way. You are a conditioned soul and you cannot chant three lakhs of holy names. Sixteen rounds are sufficient for you. Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja said you chant sixteen rounds. This is enough. A girlfriend and boyfriend are sitting in a place chanting not Krsna, Krsna, Krsna but kiss, kiss, kiss. Then the girlfriend says ‘you get up early in the morning to chant Holy names, why do you want to kiss me’! Chanting on lakh in your conditioned state takes ten to twelve hours, but very high devotee needs about six hours to chant one lakh. Sixteen rounds take two to three hours. So Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja said you chant sixteen rounds and take Maha Prasad.
Listen to Hari Katha and your anarthas will be removed from your heart. And if you are chanting Holy names just because you are chanting that is called nama aparadha. If you listen to Krsna Katha from a bonafide Guru, that is called Shabda Brahman; transcendental sound. That transcendental sound is coming to your ears and going to your heart and destroying your anarthas.
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Personality of Godhead, who is the Paramātmā [Supersoul] in everyone’s heart and the benefactor of the truthful devotee, cleanses desire for material enjoyment from the heart of the devotee who has developed the urge to hear His messages, which are in themselves virtuous when properly heard and chanted.
(Devotee asks a question) You said yesterday to chant sixty-four rounds but today you said to chant sixteen rounds. Why is that? Gurudeva replies ‘according to your adhikara, qualification you chant sixty-four rounds or sixteen rounds. When I am giving Harinam I am looking at your qualification, so for some devotes I say chant two rounds some eight rounds, some sixteen rounds because different devotees get different instructions. If I say chant two rounds then the next month four rounds, the following month eight rounds, they can do it, but if I say chant sixteen rounds to start with they can’t do, so I give concessions’.
(Devotee asks a question) and Gurudeva replies, ‘you cannot see Radha Kunda with material eyes. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura glorifies Radha Kunda with his song;
tāhe kuñja śata śata
prabāla-vidruma- maya taru-latā,
muktā-phale abanata (1)
The banks of Śrī Rādhā-kuṇḍa are made of transcendental desire-fulfilling gems. Nearby, there are hundreds and hundreds of beautiful kuñjas. The trees and creepers, which are made of coral, are weighty with an abundance of pearl-fruits.
When you do bhajana and sadhana Gurudeva will give you the transcendental eyes to see Radha Kunda. Now you are seeing with eyes covered by Maya’.
Srimati Radhika is called the embodiment of Madanakya-Mahabhava.
premera parama-sāra ‘mahābhāva’ jāni
sei mahābhāva-rūpā rādhā-ṭhākurāṇī
The essential part of love of Godhead is called mahābhāva, transcendental ecstasy, and that ecstasy is represented by Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī.
You may not understand the sequence of prema, of maha-bhava. In the beginning there is faith, sraddha. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains that without the association of Sadhu, faith will not manifest in your heart. When a Sadhu comes maybe you will offer him pranams and an asana, seat. This is Indian culture, etiquette. A Sadhu does not run behind money as money automatically comes. My Gurudeva said you speak Hari Katha, money will come. This is the nature of bhakti. Money runs behind the Sadhu.
guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati
bhuṅkte bhojayate caiva
Offering gifts in charity, accepting charitable gifts, revealing one’s mind in conﬁdence, inquiring conﬁdentially, accepting prasāda and offering prasāda are the six symptoms of love shared by one devotee and another.
(Sri Upadesamrta – Verse 4)
Srila Rupa Goswami explains Sadhu-sanga in Sri Upadesamrta. Listen to Hari Katha from the lotus lips of a bonafide Sadhu, then your faith will come. There are many kinds of Sadhu like yogi Sadhus, stupid nonsense Sadhus and like Ravana. Ravana disguised himself in the form of a Sadhu and went to the cottage of Sita-Devi and chanting give me a donation. How will you recognise a pure Sadhu? By listening to Hari Katha and read sastra. How do you know what I am speaking is perfect if you do not also read sastra? sädhu-çästra-guru-bäkya hådaye kariyä aikya (Verse 10) Narottama das Thakura explained in Prema Bhakti Candrika that you have to have to give emphasis in three things; Sadhu bhakta, the instruction of Sadhu or Guru and the instruction of scriptures, sastra. If you are told that you are Brahma by a Sadhu, reject him because sastra does not say this. Sankarcarya said you are Brahma. A disciple came in front of Gurudeva ‘you say there is only one Brahma but I am Brahma and Gurudeva you are Brahma’.
So Gurudeva agreed. Then the disciple said ‘Gurudeva I cannot understand you philosophy. First you say there is only one Brahma and now you say there is two Brahma’s’. Gurudeva said ‘I am great Brahma and you are small Brahma’. The disciple said ‘okay Gurudeva how do you become great Brahma? How will I know you are great Brahma and I am small Brahma’? Gurudeva then said’ I am showing many kinds of mystic powers. So I am great Brahma and you are small Brahma’. The disciple asked Gurudeva ‘when will I become great Brahma’? Gurudeva said ‘when you get different mystic powers like me then you and I will mix together and become one Brahma like rasgulla’. This is what? This is nonsense philosophy.
So this is not Sadhu-sanga. Sadhu-sanga means you have to associate with a pure Sadhu or Guru. Srila Visvanatha Cakravartipada explains in this is dependant on your sukriti. Everybody will not get the association of a pure devotee. When your sukriti, spiritual pious credits, accumulates and matures then at that time you will get a pure Sadhu.
bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta
sat-sanga prapyate pumbhih
sukrtaih purva sancitaih
Bhakti becomes manifested by the association of the Lord’s devotees. The association of devotees is obtained by previous accumulated piety.
(Brhan-naradiya Purana, 4.33)
So there are three kinds of Sadhu. With the association of karmis Sadhu you will get to Goloka, with the association of Jnanis Sadhus you will get to merge in Brahman and with the association of Bhakta Sadhus your desire will come as to how to serve Krsna, Bhagavan. This is the process. They are many kinds of Bhakta Sadhus. Some are the devotees of Vaikuntha, some are the devotee of Lord Ramacandra, and some are the devotees of Mathuradhish, Dvarkadhish and Goloka Vrindavana. In Goloka Vrindavana there are four kinds of devotees of the Lord, which is Dasa, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhurya (conjugal mood).
Therefore in the beginning laukik sraddha, faith is there which will then become transcendental sraddha sastriya sraddha. After spiritual faith is there then you associate with a pure Sadhu and bhakti will manifest. There are two types of bhakti, vaidhi bhakti and raganuga bhakti. Vaidhi bhakti means one who has no spontaneous love and affection for Krsna. By the fear of Hell, Narada Rsi performed bhajana and sadhana following all the rules and regulations of the scriptures. That is vaidhi bhakti.
rāga-hīna jana bhaje śāstrera ājñāya
‘vaidhī bhakti’ bali’ tāre sarva-śāstre gāya
Those who have not attained the platform of spontaneous attachment in devotional service render devotional service under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master according to the regulative principles mentioned in the revealed scriptures. According to the revealed scriptures, this kind of devotional service is called vaidhī bhakti.
(CC Madhya 22.109)
One who follows the mood of raganuga bhakti follows Krsna’s eternal associates and wants to attain a sprinkle of the mood of the Vrajavasis. In their hearts, there is spontaneous love and affection for Krsna like Nanda and Yasoda, which is Vatsalya. They are called ragatmika. But a sadhaka, a conditioned soul, who performs bhajana and sadhana with his limbs and body, his aim and objective, is how to attain a sprinkle of the mood of the eternal associates of Krsna and follows the path of the Vrajavasis. This is called raganuga bhajana. For example, if you want to attain the mood of Lalita and Visakha, do bhajan and sadhana with your external body, but your aim and objective is how to achieve a sprinkle of the mood of Rupa Manjari and Rati Manjari.
After Sadhu-sanga then bhajana-kriya. They are two types called nisthita-bhajana (steady) and anisthita-bhajana (unsteady). There are six types of anisthita bhakti (unsteady bhakti), utsahamayi means false confidence. Ghana-tarala, is that sometimes your bhajana is going up and sometimes your bhajana is going down with you sometimes chanting sixteen rounds, sometimes chanting ten rounds and sometimes chanting zero rounds. Then there is vyudha-vikalpa which means the indecision stage; what to do and how to do it. At which stage shall I do bhajana and sadhana? Will I do it with my wife and children or in the renounced order? Your mind is flickering. Niyama-aksama means unable to maintain to all the rules and regulations of scripture. Sometimes you take a vow. I will chant sixty-four rounds of the holy names but the next week you are sick and cannot maintain your vow. Visaya-sangara means struggling with sense gratification. You take a vow that from today I will not eat this thing, I will not watch television but sometimes you will not follow this rule, because a football match is going on and then all night watch television. A devotee told me ‘Maharaja when I sit in front of the television I chant’. I said ‘very nice that you are chanting’. So sometimes you enjoy sense gratification and sometimes not.
Chant the Holy names alone. You cannot do two things. If you are an expert then you can. But if you are not very expert then you can’t. Sometimes you see Vrajavasis carrying four water pitchers at one time. They are expert at this. My Gurudeva said ‘you can chant less holy names but you chant properly and concentrate with your mind’. Never criticize any Sadhu and concentrate your mind.
Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains that you wake up in the middle of the night, find a solitary place and chant the Holy names.
Otherwise, you can chant three lakhs of the Holy Names but your mind will be going here and there.
Now the sixth anisthita which is taranga-rangini dancing in the waves of name and fame. What is this? It is saying I am a great Sadhu and everyone will glorify me. This is name and fame and then your bhakti will go. To save yourself from taranga-rangini everything should be about Guru and Krsna.
These are the six stages of anisthita bhakti, unsteadiness, bhajana kriya.
A devotee asks a question? What should you do first, bhajana or seva? Gurudeva replies ‘first you should do seva Guru seva and Vaisnava seva, and your tongue should be chanting the Holy names. When you are making a garland or cleaning the temple room you should be chanting.
In previous classes I explained that our aim and objective is to attain the crown and jewels which is Radha prema. But this is not so easy. Srila Rupa Goswamipada explains in Bhakti Rasa Amrita the nine stages of devotion, sraddha, sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivrtti, nistha, ruci, asakti, bhava and prema. Within prema is sneha, maan, pranaya, raga, anuraga, bhava and mahabhava. rudha, adirudha, modana and madanakya.
Srimati Radhika is called the embodiment of mahabhava. If you want to know about Srimati Radhika’s mahabhava then you have to start with sraddha, sadhu-sanga and so on, otherwise it is not possible.
I also explained sraddha. The first is called laukik sraddha which is just to give respect to seniors. Then there is the spiritual faith that comes with the association of Sadhu or Guru and listening to Hari Katha which is called sastriya sraddha. This human life is very rare and at this time you will be absorbed in doing bhajan and sadhana.
labdhvā su-durlabham idaṁ bahu-sambhavānte
mānuṣyam artha-dam anityam apīha dhīraḥ
tūrṇaṁ yateta na pated anu-mṛtyu yāvan
niḥśreyasāya viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt
After many, many births and deaths one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus a sober human being should quickly endeavour for the ultimate perfection of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died. After all, sense gratification is available even in the most abominable species of life, whereas Kṛṣṇa consciousness is possible only for a human being.
At this time you will take a vow not to give up, under any circumstances Harinama or Guru. Nama nistha, Guru nistha this is your backbone. Haridas Thakura told Caitanya Mahaprabhu never under any circumstance even if my body is hacked to pieces and even if I am killed will I give up chanting.
Then we spoke about Sadhu-sanga. Always associate with a high class exalted Vrajavasi, Sadhu and Guru and listen to Hari Katha.
krīyatāṁ yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ
janma-koṭi-sukṛtair na labhyate
Pure devotional service in Kṛṣṇa consciousness cannot be had even by pious activity in hundreds and thousands of lives. It can be attained only by paying one price — that is, intense greed to obtain it. If it is available somewhere, one must purchase it without delay.
(CC Madhya 8.70)
Without sukriti, your spiritual pious activity you will never attain prema. But if you listen to Hari Katha and associate with high-class devotee you will attain it. The object of the sadhaka is to dream about the pastimes of Krsna Katha.
asad-varta-vesya visrja mati-sarvasva-haranih
katha mukti-vyaghrya na srnu kila sarvatma-gilanih
pi tyaktva laksmi-pati-ratim ito vyoma-nayanim
vraje radha-krsnau sva-rati-mani-dau tvam bhaja manah
O mind, give up the friendship with non-devotees, which is nothing but a prostitute who will steal the treasure of your heart–your desire to serve Radha-Krsna. Don’t listen to talks of impersonal liberation, which are a tigress who devours everyone. You should even give up attraction for Lord Narayana, which leads to the world of Vaikuntha. Instead, O mind, just worship Sri Sri Radha-Krsna in Vraja, for they bestow upon their worshipers the jewel of pure love of Themselves.
(Sri Manah-Siksa – Verse 4)
Srila Raghunatha dasa Goswami composed this. asad-varta-vesya I will never listen to mundane talk or mukti Katha because mukti Katha is impersonal philosophy. Sankaracarya preached this and it means I am one with Brahman, I will merge with Brahman. If you see these people, do pranams from afar. Listen to Vraja Katha, Krsna’s very sweet pastimes in the Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto. How Krsna killed Putana and other asuras (demons). Putana means duplicity and hypocrisy. Then finally you come to Krsna’s topmost Katha His Rasa Lila but don’t jump straight to it. Sadhu-sanga means how to listen to Hari Katha and follow his mood, his footsteps and instructions. Every morning chant the Holy names and learn slokas.
vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
etān vegān yo viṣaheta dhīraḥ
sarvām apīmāṁ pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt
A sober person who can tolerate the urge to speak, the mind’s demands, the actions of anger and the urges of the tongue, belly and genitals is qualified to make disciples all over the world.
(Sri Upadesamrta – Verse I)
atyāhāraḥ prayāsaś ca
jana-saṅgaś ca laulyaṁ ca
ṣaḍbhir bhaktir vinaśyati
One’s devotional service is spoiled when he becomes too entangled in the following six activities: (1) eating more than necessary or collecting more funds than required; (2) over-endeavoring for mundane things that are very difficult to obtain; (3) talking unnecessarily about mundane subject matters; (4) Practicing the scriptural rules and regulations only for the sake of following them and not for the sake of spiritual advancement, or rejecting the rules and regulations of the scriptures and working independently or whimsically; (5) associating with worldly-minded persons who are not interested in Kṛṣṇa consciousness; and (6) being greedy for mundane achievements.
(Sri Upadesamrta – Verse 2)
This is not only slokas. These are powerful mantras. When you chant the slokas then chant the Holy names. Rupa Goswamipada has so much power in these slokas. This is the process of chanting the Holy names. Sitting in front of the television you will chant quickly, but these are not the instructions of our Guru Varga. When you develop your chanting so much mellows will come. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura explains in his book Bhajana Rahasya.
dekhiya arunodaya, vrinda-devi vyasta haya,
kuïje nana rava karaila
suka-sari-padya suni, uthe radha nilamani,
sakhi-gana dekhi hrishta haila
kalocita sulalita, kakkhatira rave bhita,
radha-krishna satrishna haiya
nija-nija grihe gela, nibhrite sayana kaila,
dunhe bhaji se lila smariya
ei lila smara ara gao krishna-nama,
krishna-lila prema-dhana pabe krishna-dhama
Nisanta-lila, the pastime at night’s end, is also called kuïja-bhanga-lila because Radha and Krishna have to separate after Their night-long pastimes in the kuïja. The eager sadhaka who remembers and performs kirtana of this pastime will very quickly become eligible for the treasure of krishna-prema.
This is a very high level. I have to speak this but maybe you do not understand. How Radha and Krsna sleep, how They wake up. But step by step and one day you will you will become an advanced devotee.
anandambudhi-vardhanam prati-padam purnamritasvadanam
sarvatma-snapanam param vijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam
Glory to the Sri Krishna Sankirtana, which cleanses the heart of all the dust accumulated for years and extinguishes the fire of conditional life, of repeated birth and death. This sankirtan movement is the prime benediction for humanity at large because it spreads the rays of the benediction moon. It is the life of all transcendental knowledge. It increases the ocean of transcendental bliss, and it enables us to fully taste the nectar for which we are always anxious.
(Sri Siksastakam – Verse 1)
After Sadhu-sanga then there is bhajana-kriya. There are two kinds which are anisthita, unsteadiness and nisthita, steadiness. In anisthita bhajana there are six types.
The first is Utsahamayi which means false interest, neophyte devotees. Gurudeva says chant sixteen rounds he chants sixty-four then after five years he is chanting one round or no rounds. This is the instruction of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who is Kamala Manjari and Gurudeva who is Ramana Manjari. You have to follow instructions.
And follow the instructions of the scriptures. A neophyte devotee has no sastra jnana, no knowledge of sastra. If you want to become Madhyama adhikari you have to have knowledge of sastra. Learn slokas. If you have no knowledge of the scriptures how will you preach? Krsna tattva, Jiva tattva, Bhakti tattva, prema tattva, you have to learn to be able to preach. A Madhyama adhikari can preach because he has knowledge of sastra and if you are an Uttama, automatically your tongue will chant the Holy Names.
śāstra-yuktye sunipuṇa, dṛḍha-śraddhā yāṅra
‘uttama-adhikārī’ sei tāraye saṁsāra
One who is expert in logic, argument and the revealed scriptures and who has firm faith in Kṛṣṇa is classified as a topmost devotee. He can deliver the whole world.
Who is a topmost devotee? One who has knowledge of the scriptures and he always absorbed. Madhyama has three stages which are Madhyama Kanistha, Madhyama Madhyama and Madhyama Uttama.