Brazil, 8 July 2018
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So today is a super excellent auspicious day. Today is the disappearance day of Shrivasa Pandita, who is the very prominent, nearest and dearest associate of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. So I want to speak few words on who Shrivasa Thakura is. First, I will say that Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested His lila in Navadvipa dhama with His own parikars. Parikars means associates. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu jīve doyā kori’ swa-pārṣada swīya dhāma saha avatari’. This Bengali verse explains that. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu jīve doyā kori’. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu manifested His magnanimous pastimes for the living entities who are completely illusioned by maya. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu especially brought all of His own associates, parikars to perform His lilas, pastimes with them.
For example, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is Krishna. Antar krishna, bahir gaur. He is Krishna. That means Krishna as Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu descended from Goloka Vrindavana with Shrimati Radhika. In Mahaprabhu’s lila, Radhika manifested as Gadadhara Pandita. Krishna also brought His own brother Baladeva Prabhu. In Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila, Baladeva appeared as Nityananda Prabhu. Also Advaita Acharya, who is the combined form of Mahavishnu and Sadashiva. So this is our Pancha Tattva, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu jīve doyā kori’ swa-pārṣada swīya dhāma saha avatari’. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Acharya, Gadadhara Pandita and Shrivasa Thakura. Actually in Krishna’s lila, Shrivasa Thakura is known as Narada Rishi. Naradaji has so many lilas with Krishna, Rama and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
In Narada’s lila, Narada Rishi creates quarrels. The nature of some conditioned souls in this material world is to quarrel with others, which also makes them very happy. In this material world many panditas and many types of people have this nature where they quarrel with each other. They have duplicity and hypocrisy, they will tell to you, “Good.” Then tell others, “Bad.” Is this true or not? Inside this material world you can see some conditioned souls’, baddha jivas’ nature is to create disturbances with each other. When they come in front of you, they glorify you and then they criticize you in front of others. But Narada Rishi, he is no ordinary conditioned soul. Externally it seems he is creating quarrels with others, but actually he is increasing their love and affection. This is the difference between conditioned souls and liberated souls.
Do not think Narada Rishi makes people quarrel with each other. This is not true. He actually, increases the love and affection between them. Understand? Narada Rishi once came to Krishna, in Gokula in Nandagaon, and told Krishna, “Hey Krishna. When you kill Kamsa?” Then Narada Rishi went to Mathura and inspired Kamsa by asking, “Hey Kamsa. How will you kill Krishna?” So why am I saying these things? Because Narada Rishi, in this way, he increased Krishna’s lilas, Rama’s lilas and even Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lilas. Especially when Narada Rishi took part in Ramachandra’s lila. Why did Lord Ramachandra manifest in this material world, with His sweet lilas? Actually this is due to a pastime from Narada Rishi.
I will briefly tell to you this lila from the Ramayana. Once Narada Rishi performed hard austerities and was very proud of his celibacy, brahmacharya. Narada Rishi was always a brahmachari and he performed hard austerities. Then Kamadeva, the presiding deity of lust, appeared. Narada Rishi then opened his eyes, and Cupid, Kamadeva, became afraid of Narada Rishi. Then Narada Rishi said, “Ok, I will not curse you.” Then Kamadeva told, “I have been defeated, you have conquered me.” Narada Rishi very proudly began saying, “I have conquered lust, even Cupid cannot disturb me.” Afterwards Narada Rishi very proudly came in front of Brahmaji, his father. He then told, “Father I conquered lust, I have even defeated Kamadeva.” Then Brahmaji told, “Hey Narada Rishi, I am your father. I cannot conquer lust, and you conquered lust. How is this possible?” Then Narada Rishi left Brahmaloka and came to Kailash and told, “Oh my brother Shivaji I have conquered lust, I have even defeated Kamadeva.” Shivaji replied, “I am your elder brother. I have not conquered lust. How can it be possible that you have?”
After that Narada Rishi came to Vaikuntha, he was very proud of his celibacy, brahmacharya. He told, “I have conquered lust.” Then Narada Rishi spoke of his own celibacy and own glorifications in front of Lord Narayana. Lord Narayana simply smiled and did not say anything. Lord Narayana listened to many of his self glorifications and simply replied, “Yes, yes, I know, I know.” Then Lord Vishnu did not say anything else beside, “Ok, I am very happy. You can return back your place.” Lord Narayana began thinking, “I have to operate his heart, but not directly. I have to indirectly clean his heart. Because he is very proud of his own ahankar.” Ahankar means ego. Then Narada Rishi as he was coming back from Vaikuntha to this world, Yogamaya arranged one very beautiful wedding festival.
It was a very nice wedding festival, vivaha samskara. Everyone attended that wedding festival, Brahmaji, Shivaji, all the demigods and demigoddesses had come. You cannot imagine the kind of wedding festival that was going on there. There was very beautiful lighting with many kinds of sounds. If you have attended an Indian wedding festival, you have heard the many different sounds coming from a sound system. There were also many kinds of dancers and singers, it was very nice. Everybody was completely absorbed with the celebration; a big festival was taking place. So Narada Rishi was thinking, “What is going on here?” Ok, here wedding festivals have a bride and a groom. Understand? But this celebration by Yogamaya was different, there was no groom of the bride, only a bride was present. The Sanskrit term for this type of wedding ceremony is called svayamvara. According to past Indian Vedic cultures, a bride would chose a husband herself.
So when Narada Rishi came, he saw the bride and thought, “Oh this bride is very beautiful and attractive.” Then Narada Rishi forgot his role as a brahmachari. He was previously very proud of conquering lust. But when he saw that bride he completely what? He became completely intoxicated by his own lust. Then Narada Rishi was thinking, “I have to marry her.” So Narada Rishi very quickly returned to Vaikuntha and told, “Prabhu I want one benediction from You.” Lord is Bhagavan, He knows the heart of Narada Rishi, He knows what Narada wants. Still Narada Rishi asked, “Prabhu, give me the very nice beautiful form of Your face. Please give it to me.” Narada Rishi did not say anything else, he just asked Lord Vishnu, “Hey Lord Vishnu, give me the very beautiful form of Your face.” Because Narada Rishi was thinking, “If my face is the same face of the Lord, the bride must choose me to marry her.” But Lord Narayana replied, “I will give you what is best for you.” Lord Narayana did not directly tell him, “I am giving you the beautiful form of My face.” Instead He said, “I will give you what is good for you.” But Narada Rishi was thinking, “Oh, the Lord will give me this blessing. He will give me His very beautiful face.”
Narada Rishi, knowing he must return very quickly thought, “Maybe the wedding festival would be finished. Maybe she has already chosen another person. I have to go.” So he very quickly came from Vaikuntha to where the wedding festival was taking place. Because Narada Rishi was thinking, “Lord Vishnu’s face is unique and unparalleled, she must choose me.” Then Narada Rishi very quickly returned to the wedding festival. All of the demigods and demigoddesses were seated in some chairs, but one chair was vacant. So Narada Rishi very proudly sat in that chair and thought, “This bride must choose me to marry Her.” What type of marriage ceremony was taking place? It is called svayamvara. Remember what svayamvara is. The bride chooses who is appropriate to be her husband. So at that time, the bride took the garland and was looking at all of the people seated in their chairs. Actually, who was that bride? For your curiosity, I will tell you. It was Lakshmi Devi. Lord Narayana’s consort, Lakshmi Devi manifested in that place and was acting the role of a bride.
First, she saw Brahmaji and thought, “Oh, he is not an appropriate husband for Me. Because his age goes only to one hundred years.” Then she came in front of Shivaji and thought, “Oh Shivaji is also not an appropriate husband for Me.” Then she came in front of other demigods who were seated and thought, “Who is My perfect husband?” She held the garland while looking and thinking, “Who is my perfect husband?” Then she came in front of Narada Rishi and he was thinking, “She must choose me.” But when she got close to Narada Rishi she gestured with her nose in displeasure and waived him away with her hands. In this way, she went around a couple of times and while determining who she would choose. But Narada Rishi could not tolerate and thought, “Oh, what happened? Why did she not choose me?” Then Narada Rishi over and over came in front of the bride contemplating, “She must offer this garland to me.” Then all of the demigods and demigoddesses and the rest in attendance in the assembly house smiled and covered their face with cloths as they laughed. Do you understand?
As Narada Rishi was completely intoxicated he thought, “That bride must choose me as Her husband. My face is non different than Vishnu’s face.” In the meantime, Lord Narayana appeared in that place in His Garuda chariot. The bride then offered the garland on to the neck of Lord Narayana. This made Narada Rishi very angry and he thought, “Prabhu is big cheater. He took my food. He was not invited, but still He appeared and the bride chose Him.” Noticing Narada Rishi becoming very upset, all of the demigods and demigoddesses said, “Hey Narada Rishi. Why are you upset? You are thinking your face is very beautiful and attractive as like Lord Narayana? No. You can see your own face. How beautiful is your own face?” Narada Rishi replied, “No, Lord Vishnu gave me this blessing. My face is just like His.” Then all demigods and demigoddesses said, “You should first see your face’s reflection in the mirror. Then you can understand what a beautiful face you have.” Then Narada Rishi came in front of a big mirror and saw that his face was like a monkey. How would Lakshmi Devi possibly marry a monkey?
Then Narada Rishi became very angry with Lord Narayana and he cursed Lakshmi & Narayana. He told to the Lord, “I am feeling so much pain because of this bride. In the same way, You will be separated from Your Wife and feel this pain in Your heart. Also, You gave me a monkey’s face, so only by the help of monkeys, will You be united with Your consort again.” Meaning that in Rama’s lila, the same Lord Vishnu and Lakshmi Devi appeared in the form of Ramachandra and Sita Devi. Then Sita and Rama married each other, then Ramachandra was exiled to the forest with Sita and Lakshman. Then after Ravana kidnapped Sita Devi, what happened? They were separated. Rama and Sita were feeling so much separation towards each other. Then Hanuman, a monkey, helped Rama and Sita reunite. This is the story of the Ramayana. So I have briefly explained this Ramayana katha, which actually originates from the curse of Narada Rishi.
Narada Rishia has many roles even in Krishna’s lilas. In Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s lila we see the same Narada Rishi has come in the form of Shrivasa Thakura. In Rama’s and Krishna’s lilas, Narada Rishi is a brahmachari. But in Mahaprabhu’s lila, he is acting the role of householder, grihastha. You cannot imagine how much Shrivasa Thakura was the perfect example of a householder. Mahaprabhu’s lilas are very sweet and give the perfect example of their life history. If you want prema bhakti, the highest divine love of Radha and Krishna, you must follow Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s and His parikars’ life histories. Especially Shrivasa Thakura’s life history. It is very sweet and the perfect example of a grihastha life, householder life. Shrivasa Thakura was married with, Malini Devi. She was a very nice and beautiful chaste lady. Maybe in the evening, I will explain Shrivasa Thakura’s life history more deeply and how he was the perfect grihastha, householder. One path is called a brahmachari life and another is called a vyabichari life. What does brahmachari mean? To control your senses and vyabichari means performing stupid nonsense, rascal things.
You have to choose your life. This means you have to either become a brahmachari or you have to become a houselholder, grihastha. If you want to become a grihastha like Shrivasa Thakura, then he has given us this very nice and beautiful example. Shrivasa Thakura was married with Malini Devi and he was staying with his family. Still, Shrivasa Thakura was always absorbed with nama sankirtana. For this regard, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would come everday to the house of Shrivasa Thakura, shrivasangam, and perform nama sankirtana. Even before taking sannyasa, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu promised, “Hey Shrivasa, I will always stay in your house.” Chaitanya Mahaprabhu promised He would always simultaneously stay at five places. Mahaprabhu lives in these five places. Since He is Bhagavan, Mahaprabhu told, “I will always stay with my mother Shachi Devi.”, śacīra mandire’. Secondly, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told, “I will always stay in the house of Shrivasa Thakura, performing nama sankirtana.” And third, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “I will stay wherever Nityananda Prabhu is dancing.” Fourth, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told, “I will always stay in the house of Raghava Pandita and Damayanti.” I have spoke many times on the glorifications of Raghava Pandita and Damayanti and how they had so much love and affection for Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Lastly, Lord Chaityana Mahaprabhu said, “Whenever Advaita Acharya will call, I will appear.”
In this Bengali verse, Shahcira mandire shrivasira angane nityananda nartane advaita auhane raghava-panditare-grihe. Mahaprabhu promised, “Though I am taking sannyasa, I will always reside in these five places.” Shrivasa Thakura was a high class exalted devotee who was always absorbed in Krishna’s lilas. Once Shrivasa Thakura attended a Bhagavat katha in the house of Devananda Pandita in Navadvipa dhama. Shrivasa Thakura loved to listen to Bhagavat katha and Devananda Pandita was a very prominent person who gave Bhagavat Saptaha. At that time, in Navadvipa dhama, he was a very prominent pandita. He uttered shlokas from the Shrimad Bhagavatam in different tunes and thousands and thousands of people came to listen to his Bhagavat katha. Do you understand? Once Shrivasa Thakura also attended Devananda Pandita’s Bhagavat Saptaha katha. That day, in his katha, Devananda Pandita, glorified the gopis. Specifically, Krishna’s rasa lila katha. He especially spoke on Krishna’s disappearance from the rasa dance. How gopis felt pangs of separation from Krishna and recited all of the shlokas, glorifying Krishna, known as the Gopi Gita. During that time, the entire audience was completely captivated and absorbed in the same mood of Devananda Pandita.
jayati te ’dhikaṁ janmanā vrajaḥ
śrayata indirā śaśvad atra hi
dayita dṛśyatāṁ dikṣu tāvakās
tvayi dhṛtāsavas tvāṁ vicinvate
Devananda pandita was singing a very nice and beautiful version of the Gopi Gita. He sang this song in many different tunes. At that time Shrivasa Thakura was in that katha and was also completely absorbed in the mood of the gopis. In the same mood of the gopis, Shrivasa Thakura was crying loudly. The audience members in front began thinking, “Oh, this new person has come and is creating a disturbance to our listening of this harikatha.” They did not understand the heart of Shrivasa Thakura, who is an uttama mahabhagavata. So they kicked out Shrivasa Thakura from the Bhagavat katha and Devananda Pandita did not say anything.
When he heard this, Lord Chaityana Mahaprabhu became very angry. At the time, in Navadvipa dhama, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprahu was called Nimai Pandita. He is the lion of Navadvipa, navadvipa simha griva. Then Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, or Nimai Pandita directly came to the Bhagavat katha of Devananda Pandita. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then took his Bhagavat and threw it out. Mahaprabhu chastised him, “Devananda Pandita you do not know anything. You have only read the Bhagavat. But you do not know who a bhakta bhagavat is. Who is a bhakta bhagavat? Shrivasa Thakura is a great devotee and you did not give him proper respect. You are not qualified to read the Bhagavat.” There are two Bhagavats, one is grantha bhagavat and another is a bhaktha bhagavat, a devotee of the Lord. So Devananda Pandita took shelter on the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and asked for his own forgiveness. So why am I briefly speaking this lila? Because Shrivasa Thakura, he is an uttama uttama mahabhagavata acting the role of a householder, grihastha.
Mahaprabhu’s lilas are very nice. How did Shrivasa Thakura maintain his life? He did not work, he had no job, nothing. He also had children, sons and daughters. One day, Lord Chaitayna Mahaprabhu wad performing nama sankirtana in the house of Shrivasa Thakura and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Shrivasa you are householder, you are not brahmachari nor sannyasi. You must have a job. How else will you maintain your family? Do you have to give some clothes to your wife or not? How will you buy these things? You have to buy things from the market. You have to provide food and medicine for your sons and daughters. But you do not have a job.” Mahaprabhu was only just externally chastising, actually this chastisement is called love and affection.
Mahaprabhu continued, “Shrivasa you are not performing any work. Morning to evening you are only doing nama sankirtana. You must get a job.” Is this true or not? If you are householder, you must have a job. Do you understand? If you are a pure householder,shuddha grihastha, then many people in your house will expect for you to maintain them. Is this true or not?” Where do brahmacharis and sannyasis visit? The homes of grihasthas, householders. This is true. If a sadhu comes to your home, you have to arrange prasad and many other things. You have to handle everything because you are a householder, grihastha. If a sadhu or other people visit, you have to buy some rice, sabji, dahl, etc. Not only this, you must also give dakshina. If you do not give dakshina, then you will not receive the fruits of their visit. Shastras are saying this, I am not saying it. This is true. If you do not give dakshina, then you cannot attain any of the fruits from serving a sadhu, guru or Vaishnavas. What does this mean exactly? You have to perform some work. So Mahaprabhu told, “Shrivasa listen, you are householder and you are not holding a job. How will you maintain your life?”
Is this true or not? Do you have children or not? If they are sick, do you have to bring to hospital or not? Give to medicine or not? Being a householder means this, it is not just traveling here and there. Being a householder means you have this responsibility towards your wife and children. So Mahaprabhu very nicely and sweetly chastised Shrivasa Thakura. Then after Shrivasa Thakura listened, he clapped three times, one, two, three. Then Mahaprabhu asked, “What is the meaning of this? I do not understand.” Then Shrivasa Thakura answered, “Prabhu, You cannot forget the instructions You gave to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita during Dvapara Yuga.” Then Mahaprabhu said, “I forgot, what is the shloka? Tell me Shrivasa. I spoke many shlokas to Arjuna at that time. There are 755 shlokas, I cannot tell you exactly which one I said.”
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
You must all learn this shloka from the Bhagavad Gita. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna spoke this shloka to Arjuna. Krishna Himself told, “Hey Arjuna listen to My promise. One who is one pointed with me…” Ananya means one who does not worship any demigods or demigoddesses. Krishna said, “…Be only one pointed with Me.” Do not worship any demigods or demigoddesses, only Krishna. So ananya means, no anya, iti anya. That means one should be completely and absolutely one pointed with Krishna, completely absorbed. Ananyāś cintayanto māṁye janāḥ paryupāsate – Krishna says, “…when he completely worships Me, not any demigods and demigoddesses.” Teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ, Krishna says, “…I am always with him, whatever needs he has, even to maintain his life and his family. I will carry everything he needs on My head.” Shrivasa Thakura quoted this verse. You should all learn this verse. Which shloka?
ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham
Yoga-kṣemaṁ, means Krishna will provide whatever one needs to maintain his own material life, his families’ lives and also their spiritual lives. Krishna says, “I will carry everything on My head. I will not have others carry, I will carry it Myself, on My head.” Actually this story originates from the lila of Arjuna Mishra. Maybe in the evening I will remind you of this pastime. Arjuna Mishra was a brahmana and once, while speaking the Bhagavad Gita, as he arrived at this shloka, ananyāś cintayanto māṁ…, he made three lines with red dots. Similarly, Shrivasa Thakura clapped three times. Why? He explained, “Maybe because, one day I will complete a full fast, Nirjala Ekadashi.” Why exactly did Shrivasa Thakura clap three times? One, two, three. First Shrivasa Thakura said, “Maybe one day I will completely fast, Nirjala Ekadashi.” He continued, “On the second day, if Krishna does not send me anything to maintain my life, I will complete a full fast again.” Shrivasa Thakura then told the meaning of the third clap. He said, “If Krishna will not send me what is needed to maintain my life, then I will jump in the water of the Ganges and give up my body.”
At that time, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu then manifested in the same form He appears during Kurukshetra. Then Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told, “Shrivasa I promise you this. Even My consort Lakshmi Devi may have to beg, but those who are one pointed devotees will never become beggars, I will carry everything they need on My head.” Why I am saying this? Because Shrivasa Thakura’s life history shows us how one pointed he was with Krishna. This is called ananyata, one pointedness with Krishna, performing bhajana and sadhana and always chanting the holy names. When this type of faith come, then we will be like Shrivasa Thakura. Then Krishna will carry everything you need on His head.
Do not doubt the shlokas from the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita. In this shloka, ananyāś cintayanto māṁ, the Sanskrit word vahāmy aham is used. Krishna says, “Whatever is needed for My devotees, I will carry everything Myself.” So I request that all of you be one pointed with Krishna, chant the holy names, perform bhajana and sadhana, then your lives will be successful. But Gurudev would say, “Mother Yashoda takes care of Krishna but Krishna does not take care of mother Yashoda.” You have to become like mother Yashoda, you should not be a burden to Krishna. Do you understand? Do not think, “Krishna will carry everything for me.” No, instead think, “I will carry everything for Krishna.” Would you place a burden on the head of your son? A mother takes all of the burden from her son, without placing any of her burden on him. So do not think, “Oh, Krishna will carry everything for me.” No. You have to do everything for Krishna. Kṛṣṇārthe akhila-ceṣṭā, all of your endeavors should be for the exclusive pleasure of Krishna. This means you have make this samsara, krishna samsara.
krsnera samsara koro chadi’ anacar
jive doya, krsna-nama– sarva-dharma-sar
In this verse Bhaktivinoda Thakura told, “You have to create samsara towards Krishna, krishna–samsara.” One must think, “All of my family members actually belong to Krishna. I am the servant of Krishna and my wife is the maidservant of Krishna, Krishna Dasi. Even my son…” What is your son’s name? (Gurudev asks devotee) (Devotee answers: “Shyamananda Das.”) He is also a servant of Krishna. One should always believe, “My sons and daughters are all the servants of Krishna.” This is called krishna–samsara. So, ‘krsnera samsara koro chadi’ anacar’. Chadi’ anacar means, giving up all stupid, nonsensical, rascal things.
So you have to create this krishna-samsara. Shrivasa Thakura created this krishna-samsara and is one pointed with Krishna. You must always think, “Krishna is my maintainer and Krishna is My protector.” Always chant the holy names, ‘Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna, Krishna, Hare, Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama, Rama, Hare, Hare’. Bolo Shrivasa Thakura ki Jai! Jai Jai Shri Radhe! Jai Shrila Gurudeva ki Jai!
Transcriber: Sanatan das (USA)
Editors: Divya Premamayi dasi (Slovakia), Sanatan das (USA)