Appearance Day of Shri Shyamananda Prabhu

Russia, 2 April 2007

Listen class here

Actually today is a most auspicious day, because today is the appearance day of Shrila Shyamananda Prabhu and also Baladeva Prabhu’s rasa lila. Many people complain about Baladeva Prabhu and say, “Oh, he did not perform a rasa dance. Because Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and only Krishna performs a rasa dance. So how is it possible that Baladeva also performs a rasa dance?” But in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, Shukadeva Gosvamipada very clearly explains Baladeva Prabhu’s rasa dance with the gopis. We will discuss Baladeva Prabhu’s rasa dance later. First, I briefly want to speak about the character, teachings and contributions of Shyamananda Prabhu. You have just briefly heard about the life history of Shyamananda Prabhu, I also want to speak some things. Shyamananda Prabhu was born in Orissa in a place called Dharendragaon. His birth name given by his parents was Duhkhi. Then when he took initiation from Hridaya Chaitanya, his name was Duhkhi Krishna Das, and later when he received the mercy of Shrimati Radhika, that time, his name was Shyamananda Prabhu.

What does Duhkhi mean? Unhappy. Because,

kṛṣṇa bhuli’ sei jīva anādi-bahirmukha
ataeva māyā tāre deya saṁsāra-duḥkha

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, 20.117)

[“Forgetting Krishna, the living entity has been attracted by the external feature from time immemorial. Therefore, the illusory energy [māyā] gives him all kinds of misery in his material existence.”]

All the baddha jivas, conditioned souls, are wandering in the cycle of repeated birth and death and suffering many kinds of distresses from maya, so they are unhappy. That is called duhkhi. Actually Shyamananda Prabhu’s parents naming him Duhkhi also means they previously lost many children and being born last, his parents named him Duhkhi. When he received the mahamantra and took initiation from Hridaya Chaitanya, his Guru gave him the name Krishna Das. What does Krishna Das actually mean? This is called our eternal parichaya, meaning our identification. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has composed one song,

(jīv) kṛṣṇa-dās, e biśwās,
korle to’ ār duḥkho nāi (2)

(Radha Kṛṣṇa Bol Bol, Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

If conditioned jivas is think, “I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna.” Then all of your misery and distress will what? Disappear. When bonded a soul, baddha jiva takes shelter on the lotus feet of a bonafide guru, receive mantras and perform bhajana and sadhana, that time he is actually Krishna Das.

‘Keha māne, keha nā māne, saba tāṅra dāsa’ – that means whether you accept it or not accept, You are eternal the servant of Lord Krishna –

jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya — kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’
kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, 20.108)

[“It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna because he is the marginal energy of Krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord.”]

In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishna Das Kaviraja Gosvami has given this conception, siddhanta – all the living entities are the eternal servants of Lord Krishna. That means jiva’s svarupa anuga bandhi, the spontaneous nature of the soul is to serve Krishna. Do you understand? This is called svarupa anuga vritti. The nature of jivas is to serve Krishna. That is called a servital mood, seva vritti is inside all of the jivas. So, by taking shelter on the lotus feet of a bonafide guru and receiving mantras, your sambandha jnana, knowledge of relationship will come. Then you will realize you are the eternal servant of Lord Krishna. So by rendering services of bhajana and sadhana under the guidance of a bonafide guru, you will realize your transcendental constitutional form, known as siddha deha,

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, 22.107)

[“Pure love for Krishna is eternally established in the hearts of the living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, this love naturally awakens.”]

Krishnadasa Kaviraja very clearly provides evidence in the Chaitanya-charitamrita. Śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte means taking shelter on the lotus feet of a bonafide guru and giving up all kinds of anarthas, unwanted things, from your heart. When your heart is śuddha-sattva, then a ray of prema will come from the eternal associates of the Vrajavasis and manifest in your heart. At that time, you will realize your transcendental constitutional form.

So Jiva Gosvamipada very clearly explained this in Priti Sandarbha, also Vishvanatha Chakravati and all of our Gosvamis have explained it similarly. When jivas come from the tatastha shakti region, they have one potency of rasa in their hearts at that time. Then, only by the association of a sadhu, a pure devotee, will those things manifest. Understand this process. As like one seed, any seed, a mustard seed, all of the potency in the mustard seed, its leaves, roots, everything is already inside the seed. The things in that seed will manifest only by the association of a sadhu. Sahajiyas think and say, “No, only by the association of high classed madhurya rasa sadhus, will your madhurya rasa or conjugal moods manifest.” But this conception is completely what? Wrong. So, Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja also said these things from Jiva Gosvami’s Priti Sandarbha. If you planted five kinds of seeds on the bank of the Yamuna river. They use the examples of bitter melon seeds, mango seeds, and others. So, if you plant five kinds of seeds on the bank of Yamuna and provide them all with the equal water, same climate, same everything, each unique plant will manifest according only to the specific potency of each seed.

That means, if you have planted a bitter melon seed, a mango tree will not sprout, only a bitter melon tree. Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja also gives supporting evidence that each jiva will realize his own transcendental constitutional form with the association of a sadhu according to the individual potency of each jiva. Do you fully understand this concept? I will give another example. Narada Rishi gave mantras to Dhruva, Prahlada and many different disciples. All with different moods, some of his disciples were dasya, some sakhya, some vatsalya, and so on. Why? Narada Rishi’s disciple Dhruva and his disciple Prahlada Maharaja and many other of Narada Rishi’s disciples received mantras from him, but according to their different potencies, different bhavas, moods manifested. You may recall from Jaiva Dharma, where Bhaktivinoda Thakur speaks on Babaji Maharaja’s two disciples, Vrajanath and Vijay Kumar. Both of them received the gopala-mantra from Babaji Maharaja. But one disciple is what? Sakhya rasa and the other was madhurya rasa. What was Vrajanath’s rasa? Sakhya rasa and Vijay Kumar he is in the conjugal rasa or madhurya, shringara rasa.

So in this way our Gosvamis explain your rasa will never change by the association of devotee. Always remember this verse in the Chaitanya-charitamrita,

nitya-siddha kṛṣṇa-prema ‘sādhya’ kabhu naya
śravaṇādi-śuddha-citte karaye udaya

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, 22.107)

What is krishnaprema? Eternal and transcendental. Returning to Krishna Das, I have just explained, Shyamananda Prabhu received mantras from Hridaya Chaitanya, then his Gurudev named him Krishna Das when he gave him diksha initiation. At that time, he was known to everyone as Duhkhi Krishna Das. So Duhkhi Krishna Das came to Vrindavan and met with Jiva Gosvamipada. Especially in Vrindavan, we see Jiva Gosvamipada’s three prominent shiksha disciples, Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa Acharya. Narottama Dasa Thakura received diksha mantras from the very high classed, exalted Vaishnava, Lokanatha Das Gosvami. And Shrinivasa Thakura took initiation from Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. As mentioned Shyamananda Prabhu received diksha mantras from Hridaya Chaitanya. But all three of them took shelter on the lotus feet of Jiva Gosvamipada. They never discriminated between their diksha guru and shiksha gurus. In our Krishna consciousness we say sukshma vicar, enter in this conception very minutely. Krishna Das Kaviraja very clearly explains in the Chaitanya-charitamritam, your shiksha guru and diksha guru are on the same level, do not try to discriminate who is higher and who is lower.

śikṣā-guruke ta’ jāni kṛṣṇera svarūpa
antaryāmī, bhakta-śreṣṭha, — ei dui rūpa

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi, 1.47)

Krishnadasa Kaviraja explained there are no differences between diksha and shiksha guru. So always offer the same respect to your shiksha and diskha guru. But Gurudev always explained, only if your diksha and shiksha guru are on the same level. So Narottama Dasa Thakura, Shyamananda Prabhu and Shrinivasa Acharya all gave respect to Jiva Gosvamipada as if he was their diksha guru.

In Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindu, Gurudev also very nicely explains this diksha and shiksha guru tattva. This is very important. Nowadays, many people cannot understand, they do not want to offer the same respect to their diskha and shiksha gurus. If a guru is not on the same level of Gurudev, your diksha guru, thinking they are your shiksha guru and are on the same level as your Gurudev is an offense, aparadha.

Very carefully try to understand this philosophy, this shiksha and diksha guru tattva. Read Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu Bindu and read Gurudev’s explanation, then you may fully understand. So Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa Prabhu learned all the Vaishnava philosophies, Vedanta darshana and all the philosophies of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu from Jiva Gosvamipada. Because Jiva Gosvamipada is the direct disciple of Rupa Gosvamipada. And Jiva Gosvamipada learned all Vedanta darshana, tattvas and everything from Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s disciple, Madhusudana Vachaspati. Because when Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu discussed all the ‘advaitavada tattva sidhanta’ to Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, his disciple Madhusudana was present and spoke everything he heard to Jiva Gosvamipada. When Jiva Gosvamipada arrived, he learned everything from Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s discussion on Vedanta darshana with Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya. In this way Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya’s disciple Madhusudana Vachaspati told everything to Jiva Gosvamipada.

So, Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa learned all tattva siddhanta, from Jiva Gosvamipada. Understand? Shyamananda Prabhu was staying in Vrindavan, near by Jharu Mandala and everyday he would ask Jiva Gosvamipada, “Gurudev what is my service, what will I now do?” Jiva Gosvamipada replied, “Ok, so everyday you will clean this place in Vrindavan.” Who wants to become a sweeper in Vrindavan? Who wants this? This type of service is not so easy. If you stay in the temple for some time, you will see cleaning the temple is very difficult, then you may just leave Vrindavan. (Gurudev chuckles) Understand? It is not so easy to become a sweeper in Vrindavan, this is true. Maybe only for one or two days will you enthusiastically clean the temple and the toilet, is is very difficult to be a sweeper. This is actually true, all of our Gosvamis, especially Shrila Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada explained in Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi, “I want to become one of the sticks on a broom used to sweep in Vrindavan.” Do you know which shloka?

yat-kiṅkarīṣu bahuśah khalu kāku-vānī
nityaṁ parasya puruṣasya śikhaṇḍa-mauleḥ
tasyāḥ kadā rasa-nidher vṛṣabhānu-jāyās
tat-keli-kuñja-bhavanāṅgana-marjanī syām

(Radha-rasa-sudha-nidni, 8)

[“When will I become a sweeper in the forest courtyard where, surrounded by many maidservants, the peacock-feather-crowned Supreme Personality of Godhead speaks His appeal to The Nectar Ocean that is Shri Radha?”]

This is a very nice and beautiful shloka. We may want this, but it is not so easy to become a sweeper in Vrindavan. Why? Because if no anubhuti, feelings come, then how will you become the sweeper of Vrindavan? Especially in the kunja of divine couple Radha and Krishna. Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada realized this and composed this verse,

yat-kiṅkarīṣu bahuśah khalu kāku-vānī
nityaṁ parasya puruṣasya śikhaṇḍa-mauleḥ
tasyāḥ kadā rasa-nidher vṛṣabhānu-jāyās
tat-keli-kuñja-bhavanāṅgana-marjanī syām

Do you know its meaning? It is a very beautiful and high aspiration, akankha. Akankha means our desire. ‘Yat-kikarīṣu bahuśah khalu kāku-vānī’ – Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but when Shrimati Radhika showed mana, She kicked Krishna out Her kunja. At that time, manini Shrimati Radhika (Shrimati Radhika in the sulky mood) strictly ordered Her girlfriends, Lalita, Vishaka and especially Rupa Manjari no to let Him in. Shrimati Radhika told, “I do not want to see any black things. Those who are blackish are what? Complete big cheaters, I do not want to see anything black. Understand? I do not even want to even see your black hair; you should cover your black hair with a white cloth. Also, cover your eyebrows. Cover your blackish eyebrows with sandalwood paste. Not even a black bee can enter my kunja.” ‘Visantam stri-vesam subala-suhrdam’ – Shrimati Radhika told, “I know the friend of Subala…” She did not utter Krishna’s nama, instead She told, “I know the friend of Subala, He is coming in disguise of Shyamala sakhi. Oh Rupa Manjari, go to the doors of My kunja and stop Him.” Rupa Manjari was very strict, so she went to kunja door and stopped Krishna from entering.

Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada remembered this lila and composed this verse – ‘Yat-kiṅkarīṣu bahuśah khalu kāku-vānī nityaṁ parasya puruṣasya śikhaṇḍa-mauleḥ’ – Krishna, who is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is now doing what? Folding His hands and paying His obeisances at the lotus feet of Rupa Manjari. What was Rupa Manjari doing then? Chastising Him by saying, “Oh You can’t enter this kunja.” Then Krishna was crying, tears were rolling down from His eyes and with so much humility He rubbed His nose on the ground. So, ‘kāku-vānī’ – Krishna was very humble and had a choked throat, He could not speak. Prabodhananda Sarasvatipada is hankering, “I want to become one stick on the broom at the kunja and everyday I will clean that kunja.” This is our high aspiration, akankha. That is called kunja seva, this is our highest aspiration. In the Chaitanya-charitamrita, Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami also briefly mentions, ‘kuñjasevā pāite sei pāya’, once you completely surrender to the lotus feet of the sakhis of Shrimati Radhika, you will be eligible to get this kunja service.

rādhā-kṛṣṇera līlā ei ati gūḍhatara
dāsya-vātsalyādi-bhāve nā haya gocara
sabe eka sakhī-gaṇera ihāṅ adhikāra
sakhī haite haya ei līlāra vistāra

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya, 8.201-202)

[“The pastimes of Rādhā and Krishna are very confidential. They cannot be understood through the mellows of servitude, fraternity or parental affection. Actually, only the gopīs have the right to appreciate these transcendental pastimes, and only from them can these pastimes be expanded.”]

Even those who are devotees of dasya, sakhya and vatsalya bhavas are unable to enter this kunja seva. Only those who are devotees of madhurya, shringara rasa are able to perform these types of services. So according to the instruction of Jiva Gosvamipada, Duhkhi Krishna Dasa would clean there with brooms everyday.

Remember these types of lilas. Especially while chanting the holy names, remember the sweet pastimes of Krishna,

smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram

(Upadeshamrita, 8)

[“While residing in Vraja, under the guidance of a resident of Vraja-dhama, one should spend all their time engaging the mind and tongue in chanting the holy name and remembering the Lord’s divine form, qualities, and pastimes. This is the essence of all instructions.”]

This is the essence of the instructions of Rupa Gosvamipada, how we should chant the holy names and how we should serve guru and Vaishnavas. Rupa Gosvamipada has written everything in his Upadeshamrita. Many times have our Vaishnavas and Gurudev explain this, every year they would explain the Upadeshamritam, from the first to last shloka. I will not deeply enter in these philosophies, I will only briefly mention these things, how we should chant the holy names and how we can realize our transcendental constitutional form, our siddha deha. In this way, Shyamananda Prabhu cleaned that kunja in Vrindavan everyday. Even Brahma, Shiva and Narada are always afraid to get these types of services. Do you know of the Brahma stutis? There, Brahma says, “I am not qualified to take birth in Vrindavan.” What did Brahma say? He said, “I want to take birth in ‘yad gokule ’pi katamāṅghri-rajo-’bhiṣekam’. Brahma said “I am not qualified to take birth in Vrindavan, I want to take birth in Gokula, in vatsalya stan. I do not even want to become any trees or any gopi.” Why? Because he was very afraid. “Oh how possibly can I become a tree of Vrindavan or a gopi? It is impossible for me.” said Brahma. Understand? Who are all the trees and creepers of Vrindavan? Those with a high classed mood, madhurya bhava. And all they are the very nearest and dearest of Krishna. In Stavavali, Shrila Raghunatha Dasa Gosvamipada explained how all the trees and creepers of Vrindavan are the very nearest and dearest of Krishna and also serve Krishna.

So he was thinking, “How can I possibly take birth in Vrindavan? It is better If I take birth in Gokula.” What kinds of service are there in Gokual, what will he do there? Brahmaji was saying, “I will take birth in Gokula, as a stone.” After the Gokula’s sweepers clean the houses of the Vrajavasis’ and would return to their homes, they rubbed their feet on that stone. Do you understand? This means after the sweepers clean the toilets of the Vrajavasis’, they come back home and rub their feet on a stone. Brahmaji said, “I want to become that stone.” So I always explain, for you take birth in Vrindavan and become a sweeper is not so easy.

But according to the instruction of Jiva Gosvamipada, Shyamananda Prabhu would everyday clean that place near Jharu mandala. By now you may have also heard the story of when Duhkhi Krishna Das found one ankle bell bracelet. After finding the bracelet he offered it to Jiva Gosvamipada and Jiva Gosvamipada told him, “Don’t give these things up, keep it very carefully and secretly with you.” And then very early in the morning one young girl from Vrindavan, a cowherd girl came and told Duhkhi Krishna Das, “Oh, did you find something? Did you find something here?”

Then Krishna Das answered, “Yes, I found one ankle bell bracelet.” Then, the Vrindavan village girl said, “Those ankle bells belong to my girlfriend, you should return them back.” Krishna Das told the village girl, “No, no. I will not give it to you. Whomever this ankle bracelet belongs to should come and I will give it to Her.” At that time, the young girl became very angry. Understand? She had become very angry. Who was she? Maybe she was Lalita or Vishakha or some sakhi. What else did she do? She used many harsh words to Krishna Das, “Hey you are a Babaji, why do you want to see the face of a young girl?” She used many harsh words, “Oh, you are not a Babaji you are a cheater. You have come here to Vrindavan to look at some girls.” But Jiva Gosvamipada told Duhkhi Krishna Das, “Don’t give these ankle bells away.” So, Duhkhi Krishna Das told, “No, no. I will not give it to you. You can use any harsh words, but I will not to give it to you.” Krishna Das continued, “Whoever this belongs to, She should come.” At last she said, “Ok my sakhi, She does not look to at others’ faces.” So Krishna Das compromised, “Ok, She can come here and I will only put the ankle bells on Her feet.” But she told, “Oh, my sakhi does not look at anyone’s face.” Then that young girl, Lalita Devi said, “Ok, I will bind your eyes with a blind fold.” So with this argument they at last compromised and that young girl tied a blindfold on his eyes and Krishna Das tied the ankle bells on that young Girl’s foot.

When Krishna Das touched the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika, He realised the mercy of Shrimati Radhika and all kinds of lilas manifested in his heart. Then, Shrimati Radhika became very pleased and She took some dust from a piece of the ankle bell and put a bindi on him, between his eyes. At that time Jiva Gosvamipada gave him the name Shyamananda. Shyama means Shrimati Radhika. One name for Radha is Shyama. Ananda means pleasure, meaning, one who gives pleasure to Shrimati Radhika is called Shyamananda. When She was pleased, Shrimati Radhika put on bindi on middle of his two eyeballs. In his sampradaya, they still apply tilaka the same way, putting one dot in the middle of both eyebrows. So in this way, Shyamananda Prabhu received the mercy of Jiva Gosvamipada and also the mercy of Shrimati Radhika in Vrindavan.

What does this mean? If you stay in Vrindavan, ‘tishthan vraje’, where will you stay in Vraja? There are many places in Vrindavan, but shastras explain, where you will stay. Where ever the sweet madhurya lila is, you must stay there. Those who are bhava sadhakas, high classed, exalted sadhakas, want to stay in Vrindavan in a specific place. Here it explains, ‘tishthan vraje’. Rupa Gosvamipada has written in Upadeshamrita, “You must stay in Vraja.” What will you become if you stay in Mathura? A servant of Kubja. If you want to become the servant of Kubja, you must stay in Mathura, no problem. Do you understand? (Gurudev chuckles) If you want to become Kubja Das, then stay there. If you want to become the servant of Chandravali, where will you go? To Gauri-kunda, very close to Govardhana. If you reside in the dhama, you will realize these things. But where you will stay? We just sang this song, ‘Radha-padamkita-bhumi. Try to understand the mood of Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written this verse, ‘radha-padamkita-bhumi’ – in the place where Shrimati Radhika’s footprints are, in that place you stay.

You can stay in Ter Kadamba where Rupa Gosvamipada performed bhajana and sadhana. It’s in the middle of Yavat and Nandagaon or you can stay on the bank of Radha kunda, where Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, Vishvanatha Chakravarti and all of our Gosvamis performed bhajan and sadhana. Actually, we are not bhava sadhakas, so we are staying here and there and associating with many kinds of devotees, so nothing is really coming to us. This instruction is actually for those who are bhava sadhakas. Those who are bhava sadhakas, when they stay in those places, automatically all sorts of uddipana, stimulations come in their heart.

govardhana-parvata, jāmuna-tīr (1)

(Radha Kunda Tata Kunja Kutir, Bhaktivinoda Thakura)

Bhaktivinoda Thakura sang this song of uddipana, stimulation. We are visiting that place, but no uddipana is coming because we are not bhava sadhakas. If you are coming to this stage and associate with high classed, exalted devotees, you will very quickly realize these things. Or you may also stay where? In Navadvipa-dhama, it is especially important to stay in Navadvipa-dhama. What will very quickly occur there? All of your moods will manifest. Because in Navadvipa-dhama, there are no any considerations of aparadhas, offenses,

‘kṛṣṇa-nāma’ kare aparādhera vicāra
kṛṣṇa balile aparādhīra nā haya vikāra

(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi, 8.24)

[“There are offenses to be considered while chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. Therefore, simply by chanting Hare Krishna one does not become ecstatic.”]

If you go to Vrindavan-dhama or if you chant the holy names, first, consider the aparadhas, offenses. Or chant Gaura, Nityananda,

caitanya-nityānande nāhi e-saba vicāra
nāma laite prema dena, vahe aśrudhāra
(Chaitanya-charitamrita, Adi, 8.31)

[“But if one only chants, with some slight faith, the holy names of Lord Chaitanya and Nityananda, very quickly he is cleansed of all offenses. Thus as soon as he chants the Hare Krishna mahā-mantra, he feels the ecstasy of love for God.”]

There are no considerations of aparadha vichar, no aparadha vichar is found there. Where should you you stay especially? ‘Aparadha bhanjana pitha-sthali’. Do you know? The place where Gurudev constructed a very nice and beautiful temple. Just now you have come from Navadvipa-parikrama. What has happened to all of your offenses? They have been destroyed. They are destroyed if you stay there or if you stay in Godruma, where Bhaktivinoda Thakura performed bhajana and sadhana, especially if you stay in Svanandasukhadakunja. So in this way, shastras gives evidence, we are not qualified and we are not associating with high classed devotees. How will these types of moods possibly manifest in our heart? Try to understand the instructions of Rupa Gosvamipada,

smrtyoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tisthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalam nayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram

So in this way Shyamananda Prabhu received the mercy of Shrimati Radhika and of also Jiva Gosvamipada. Jiva Gosvampiada also instructed Shyamananda, Narottama and Shrinivasa, “You should go and preach. Perform your bhajan and sadhana and also preach, help others.” Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa then took all of the books and put them on a cart, a bull cart and started to go from Vrindavan towards the road. What did Birhambir and his followers do in the middle of their journey? They stole all of their books, they took everything. Because they wrote an advisory on the cart, “These are very valuable and precious things.” Many people thought, “Maybe they are carrying some jewels or gold or pearls.” When they took rest at night, Birhambir and his followers stole all of their books, they took everything. So Narottama Dasa Thakura and Shyamananda left, but Shrinivasa Acharya decided he would stay there, he thought, “Oh, I will not go without getting all of these books back. I will not leave until then.”

Shrinivasa Acharya stayed in the place where Birhambir’s followers stole their property. One day, Shrinivasa Acharya gave a class on the Shrimad Bhagavatam, specifically he spoke on the Bhramara Gita, which is a very high class katha regarding separation moods. That day, Birhambir also attended this class. Upon hearing the katha, his heart melted and he took shelter on the lotus feet of Shrinivasa Acharya. He told Shrinivasa, “Oh, my followers stole all of your books. They thought you were carrying gold or jewels, but we found these books instead.” Birhambir completely surrendered to the lotus feet of Shrinivasa Acharya and he returned all of his books. Shrinivasa Acharya made the many disciples in that place where Birhambir resided. Where did Narottama Dasa Thakura go? He went to Orissa. Shyamananda Prabhu also went to Orissa on his preaching mission. Then, Shrinivasa Acharya came back to Bengal and he also continued preaching and composed many kinds of rhythms, chanda. In this way, we notice the character of Shyamananda Prabhu. These teachings of their lives, how they completely surrendered on the lotus feet of a bonafide guru and especially how they gave respect to their diksha and shiksha guru are very important. If you perform bhajan and sadhana in a similar manner, you will achieve our perfected goal.

Transcriber: Sanatan das (USA)

Editors: Divya Premamayi dasi (Slovakia), Sanatan das (USA)

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