The following is an excerpt from a class on Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Ādi-līlā Chapter 14, 20 — 29 by Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja in Bhubaneswar, India, on 21 April 1994
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Very tricky. Kṛṣṇa is tricky. On the plea of crying, He teaches, just chant hare kṛṣṇa! Then my crying will be stopped and then I will smile, I’ll be happy, and you will also be happy. Yes. Very tricky. Very tricky. Yes.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Māyā is tricky too. A materialistic person is crying because he has lost his hard-earned money. Day and night crying, crying thinking that thing. No sleeping, nothing! A devotee cries for Kṛṣṇa. No sleeping and cries. How nice.
Devotee: We are crying because we are distressed in the material world and we’re thinking of Kṛṣṇa because we are crying now.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: If for one moment you chant the pure name, immediately the very beautiful Śyāmasundara form will momentarily appear before your eyes, a nice form, next moment He vanishes, disappears because again aparādha is there. Then you cry, O I’ve gotten, I’ve lost! I’ve gotten, I’ve lost! What happened, what happened? Then you cry in this way.
Devotee: By getting Kṛṣṇa in that way you cry for Kṛṣṇa. But in a class, you gave a few days ago you said that we only cry for Kṛṣṇa when we are suffering.
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Therefore suffering is a blessing! We have not developed love for Kṛṣṇa. We cannot cry out of love. When we suffer we cry, so this material suffering is a blessing. Dangers are coming. Who can protect me? Only Kṛṣṇa! Then call out to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa! Pāhi mām! Pāhi mām! Rakṣā mām! Rakṣā mām! O Lord Kṛṣṇa, please protect me, please maintain me, I’m hungry, I’m dying, I’m in such great danger.
Devotee: And crying out of love?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Crying out of love is so pleasing. Somehow or other if you are put in danger you will cry for Kṛṣṇa then you will get Kṛṣṇa. Develop such taste and gradually you will develop love and then you will start crying out of love.
Devotee: When we lose something material, we cry. Of course, sādhu-guru makes us understand Kṛṣṇa, but we do not see Kṛṣṇa directly, because you said that as soon we see Kṛṣṇa directly and lose Him, we will always be in anxiety, where is He, where is He?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: Someday Kṛṣṇa may appear to you like a flash of lightning. The moment you chant the pure name, like a flash of lightning the very beautiful Śyāmasundara form will appear before you. When He immediately disappears, you start crying, where did You go? I’ve lost! I’ve lost! I’ve lost!
Devotee: Before we see Kṛṣṇa like that we cannot genuinely cry?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: In the material world you’re crying.
Devotee: How can we genuinely cry if we have not received the darśana of Kṛṣṇa yet?
Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja: By hearing from a sādhu, by the association of a sādhu who is always crying. If you associate with such a sādhu, you will start crying too. For example, during a funeral ceremony the relatives of the deceased are crying and if one attends the funeral ceremony, one will start crying too. In a crying atmosphere where one cries for Kṛṣṇa, one in this atmosphere will start crying for Kṛṣṇa. Be always in this atmosphere with a sādhu. The only thing required. Otherwise you cannot cry.
The following is an excerpt from a class by Śrīla Gaura Govinda Svāmī Mahārāja in Bhubaneswar, India, on 5 February 1995
“If you catch hold of the tail of a goru (a cow), who doesn’t know tri-tattva, who has not seen Kṛṣṇa, who cannot see Kṛṣṇa, who cannot show you the path, if you take shelter of such a guru, who is not guru but a goru, then your condition will be like that of a person who caught hold of the tail of a goru to be guided.”
The following is an excerpt from Śrī Hari-kathāmṛta Volume One, Chapter One, by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja
In the body of a sādhaka, one may rise to the stage of bhāva. Within this stage, prema begins to arise somewhat. Bhāva is defined as follows (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.1):
kṛd asau bhāva ucyate
“Bhāva-bhakti (bhāva-rūpa kṛṣṇa-anuśīlana) is a special manifestation of śuddha-sattva. In other words, the constitutional characteristic of bhāva-bhakti is that it is a phenomenon entirely constituted of śuddha-sattva. It is like a ray (kiraṇa) of the sun of prema and it softens the heart by various tastes (ruci).”
And prema is defined as follows (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.4.1):
bhāvaḥ sa eva sāndrātmā
budhaiḥ premā nigadyate
“Bhāva-bhakti that melts the heart much more so than in its initial stage, greatly augments the feeling of transcendental bliss and bestows a deep sense of mamatā (possessiveness) in relationship to Śrī Kṛṣṇa is called prema by the learned.”
In this human body, prema cannot fully manifest. If prema were to manifest, one would go mad and would have to give up the material body. Especially sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva and mahābhāva cannot be experienced in our present material bodies. These will never take place in the body of a sādhaka. They will only take place after one meets the Lord face to face and enters into his pastimes. The full intensity of prema cannot be experienced in the body of a sādhaka, but sometimes an abhāsa, a semblance of these things is visible. To summarise, when bhāva arises within the heart, it is called prāyiki. When prema appears, it is known as pūrṇa, and when one directly meets Bhagavān, it is ātyantakī. Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has explained these points in his commentary on Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu.
In one place Narottama Ṭhākura has written: “viṣaya chāḍiyā kabe, śuddha habe mana, kabe hāma heraba śrī vṛndāvana—when my heart becomes pure I will see Vṛndavana”; it can’t be seen in the body of a sādhaka. Only a glimpse may be possible, just as once Nārada Ṛṣi received a quick glimpse of his eternal svarūpa. This happens to increase a devotee’s eagerness, so sometimes a brief darśana of Vṛndāvana is given to a devotee to increase his desire to reside there one day. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written, “While chanting the holy name more and more, what did I see? That the entire world is thoroughly void. I could only think, ‘Where is Kṛṣṇa? Where is Kṛṣṇa?’ Then after a little while, I saw Kṛṣṇa standing beneath a kadamba tree in his threefold bending posture. His face displayed a gentle smile and he was playing the flute. I at once went mad and tried to grasp hold of him. He began slowly moving backwards away from me, and when after great endeavour I finally came a little closer to him, he immediately disappeared. Being unable to catch him, I fell unconscious. When I returned to my senses, I began weeping and lamenting, ‘Aha! Kṛṣṇa came into my hands and I couldn’t grasp hold of him?’” This type of glimpse comes sometimes, just as it happened to Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, Mādhavendra Purī and others.
The following is an excerpt from a class given by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in Paderborn, Germany, on April 5, 2006
Śrī Nārada Ṛṣi told Śrīla Vyāsadeva, “At the beginning of Satya-yuga I was a dāsī-putra, a maidservant’s son. During Cāturmāsya, the rainy season, the four Kumāras – Sanat, Sanaka, Sanātana, Sanandana – and so many ṛṣis (sages) and mahaṛṣis (saintly kings) came to our village. My mother used to go and wash their pots and clean for them, and I used to go there with her. I spoke very little with them. I used to serve them, supplying water and many other things. After serving them for some time, one day, with their permission, I took some food remnants from their leaf plates. At once ruci, taste for hearing and chanting about the Supreme Lord, came in my heart.”
In the stages of development in devotion, first comes śraddhā (faith), then anartha-nivṛttiḥ (freedom from unwanted desires and habits), niṣṭhā (steadiness) and then ruci (taste in devotional practices). This ruci came.
Śrī Nārada Ṛṣi continued, “At once I was so much attracted to them – very much attracted. After that, when Cāturmāsya was over and they were about to leave for their own places, I began to weep. By their mercy they gave me bhagavān-mantra and told me, ‘Very soon you will have darśana of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Continue practising your mantra.'”
The sages went away, but Nārada had to stay back because his mother was very attached to him. By the arrangement of Providence a snake soon came and bit his mother, and she died. There was no funeral ceremony or any rites performed.
Śrī Nārada Ṛṣi said, “I became very happy, taking this as the mercy of the Lord. At once I ran to the forest, and in the middle of the forest I began to meditate on the mantra the sages had given me.” Luckily, after some time I saw my Iṣṭa-deva (worshipful deity) in trance – and then He disappeared. I began to weep bitterly, and then a voice came: ‘In this body you will not see Me again. Out of mercy I have given you darśana. Don’t worry. Go on chanting and remembering Me. I’m giving you a vīṇā, which is svara brahma (charged with transcendental sound), and with its help you should go everywhere and broadcast My sweet hari–kathā.
jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty
unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ
[“By chanting the holy name of the Supreme Lord, one comes to the stage of love of Godhead. Then the devotee is fixed in his vow as an eternal servant of the Lord, and he gradually becomes very much attached to a particular name and form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. As his heart melts with ecstatic love, he laughs very loudly or cries or shouts. Sometimes he sings and dances like a madman, for he is indifferent to public opinion.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.2.40)]
śṛṇvan su-bhadrāṇi rathāṅga-pāṇer
janmāni karmāṇi ca yāni loke
gītāni nāmāni tad-arthakāni
gāyan vilajjo vicared asaṅgaḥ
[“An intelligent person who has controlled his mind and conquered fear should give up all attachment to material objects such as wife, family and nation and should wander freely without embarrassment, hearing and chanting the holy names of the Lord, the bearer of the chariot wheel. The holy names of Kṛṣṇa are all-auspicious because they describe His transcendental birth and activities, which He performs within this world for the salvation of the conditioned souls. Thus the holy names of the Lord are sung throughout the world.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.2.39)]
Without shame, Nārada went everywhere, especially to groups of young people like the Pracetās and others, and he turned them all into Vaiṣṇavas.
Śrī Nārada Gosvāmī now advised Śrīla Vyāsadeva: “By going into samādhi, the trance of bhakti-yoga, you will be able to see all the sweet pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa from His birth to Dvārakā–līlā – you will see everything.” Then Nārada Ṛṣi left.
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