Jayanta-kṛṣṇa dāsa: Gurudeva, I have a question. In this material world there are millions upon billions of universes. In each of these universes there are innumerable conditioned living entities. Do the members of our guru-varga, after entering nitya-līlā, also go to those other universes to save those conditioned souls, or do they only appear here on this planet Earth?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes, certainly. Vṛndāvana and Navadvīpa-dhāma are present in all universes.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: Mostly it is the sādhana-siddha (one who becomes perfect through sādhana, and then experiences the same spiritual bliss as that of a nitya-siddha) who is acting as guru.
Vrajanātha dāsa: Mahārāja understands that in order to be guru and give mercy, one must be a sādhana-siddha devotee. A nitya-siddha parikara, an eternal associate of the Lord from the spiritual world who was never conditioned, cannot do so.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why?
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: It says this in Mādhurya-kādambinī.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Śrīmatī Rādhikā sent Her own nitya-siddha associate, Jayanta, to help Gopa-kumāra. So, a nitya-siddha can act as guru.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: Nitya-siddhas have no experience of suffering…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Generally what you say is correct. The sādhana-siddhas remember what they experienced in their life of sādhana. Even if they are now siddha, they can remember. It is likened to a man who was sleeping and suffering in a dream; even after he has awakened, he can remember his dream. Similarly, these self-realized persons can remember how they suffered, and their hearts melt for the suffering conditioned souls.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: Whereas the nitya-siddha has no…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But the nitya-siddha can also act as guru – like Svarūpa in Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta. Nitya-siddha devotees like Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī have all acted as guru.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: They do not know what suffering is.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Who? Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī? If that were so, how would his heart melt, and how would he have done what he did?
Śrīpāda Mādhava Mahārāja: What to speak of Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī? How much suffering Śrīmatī Rādhikā experiences; how Her in-laws do not allow Her to go to Kṛṣṇa; how they create so many problems for Her.
Madhuvrata dāsa: That is not material suffering.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Generally a sādhana-siddha has more mercy for the conditioned souls, in the sense that he comes more often, but in a special case Kṛṣṇa may arrange that His nitya-siddha associate will also come to give mercy.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita, who is nitya-siddha, manifested as Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura showed so much mercy.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes. And Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita personally made so many disciples, like Gopāla-guru Gosvāmī, Vakreśvara Paṇḍita, and those in his line. He gave mantras even to Śrī Vallabhācārya.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: I was thinking that nitya-siddhas only come along with Mahāprabhu.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No, no.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Nayana Mañjarī came as Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Whatever Śrī Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu think best to do, that is what They do. They may bring with Them Their own personal eternal associates who were never conditioned souls, and they may bring Their sādhana-siddha devotees with Them.
Śrīpāda Dāmodara Mahārāja: How can we know who is sādhana-siddha or nitya-siddha?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: First become siddha, and then you can realize who is who.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: It is stated in scripture, and you also teach, that all those in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu have two constitutional, spiritual forms – one in the pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, and another in the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
Many scriptures describe the personal services of the servants of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in Her transcendental pastimes with Kṛṣṇa. They describe the services of the followers of Rūpa Gosvāmī in his form as Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī.
So my question is this: What are the personal services of the followers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in the pastimes of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes, they may have two constitutional forms, one in the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and also one in the pastimes of Mahāprabhu. In his book, Śrī Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, Śrīla Kavi Karṇapūra explains that in gaura-līlā, Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, Rādhikā is Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Lalitā-devī is Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, and Viśākhā-devī is Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī also explains this in his Rādhā-kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa dīpikā.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: With reference to the books and prayers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, and our other ācāryas, you have told us many times about the personal services of the followers of Rūpa Mañjarī in Goloka Vṛndāvana.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Their services are rendered accordin g to their group (yūtha). For example, Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī is in the group of Lalitā-devī. Lalitā-devī has delegated so many duties for those in her group.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: You have told us about their many services, like assisting Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī in cooking for Kṛṣṇa and then serving His prasādam.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Some make garlands, some fan Her with a cāmara fan, some make powders for massaging Her, and others engage in a variety of other services.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: When those same maidservants are in the form of followers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes, what are their services to Mahāprabhu?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You can see in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta what Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāya Rāmānanda, and Rūpa Gosvāmī are doing. What is Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī doing?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Mostly kīrtana, offering obeisances, and writing books?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja:
sthāpitaṁ yena bhū-tale
svayaṁ rūpaḥ kadā mahyaṁ
(Śrī Prema-bhakti-candrikā by Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura)
When will Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmīgive me the shelter of his lotus feet? Because he understood the innermost desire of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, he was able to establish His mission in this world and is very dear to the Lord.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Preaching and establishing His mission.
Do all the followers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī have the same kind of services?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There may be some differences, and those different duties are all according to one’s particular group. Each group has various duties.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Do they also render personal services?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: One may write books, preach, and perform kīrtana. Śrīla Haridāsa Ṭhākura performed kīrtana and the chanting of the holy names. Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara was always with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the Gambhīrā. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī was writing books, establishing Deities, and engaging in many other services.
Regarding their followers, they do likewise. What am I doing? I am not an eternal associate, but what am I doing? What was your Gurudeva, Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja, doing?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Writing, preaching, and opening temples.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And inspiring everyone to perform bhajana. He was doing that for which Mahāprabhu appeared in this world.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Do Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and his followers also perform personal services for Him, like cooking and serving prasādam?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You can see what they do by reading Caitanya-caritāmṛta and other authorized books. And we should also become qualified to do this.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Gurudeva, just before your flight at the Hong Kong airport you were explaining the types of services performed by the pure Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas when they are with Caitanya Mahāprabhu in Navadvīpa. You said that when we become perfect, we will go there to meet with Mahāprabhu and serve Him under the direction of His associates.
Regarding Śvetadvīpa (Mahāprabhu’s eternal abode of Navadvīpa as it is manifest in the transcendental world within the realm of Goloka Vṛndāvana), is there a difference in what the devotees do there? I am asking because there is no need to write books in Śvetadvīpa Goloka. There is no need to preach to others there.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You will be an associate of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu there. You will serve there, as Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara, and Śrīla Rāya Rāmānanda serve Him. You will serve under their guidance.
What is Gadādhara Paṇḍita doing in the Navadvīpa pastimes of Caitanya Mahāprabhu? He is always with Mahāprabhu. So under him, and under those like him, you will do something. There are so many things to do.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Like what? We have never heard.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: It is endless.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Can you give us a few examples of the endless things that they do in Śvetadvīpa (Navadvīpa in Goloka)?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Gadādhara Paṇḍita is like a friend. He is with Mahāprabhu and serving Him in so many ways.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Sometimes cooking? Sometimes feeding?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No cooking. He would joke, sometimes asking questions with double meanings, and with very deep meanings. What is Śrī Rāya Rāmānanda doing?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: In Gambhīrā, he is singing songs and inspiring the Lord’s moods. In Godāvarī he is…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What is Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita doing?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: He is doing kīrtana and hosting Him…
Rāmacandra dāsa: Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita is glorifying Lakṣmī, and Svarūpa Dāmodara is mock-arguing with him. This kind of pastime is going on.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You will have so many endless services to do there.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: What does Rūpa Gosvāmī do there in Śvetadvīpa?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He will glorify Mahāprabhu there, and play with Him.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: Playing? Doesn’t he consider himself a disciple?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: All His associates play with Him there.
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: What do you mean by playing? Joking and talking and singing and dancing? In Indradyumna-sarovara lake in Jagannātha Purī, they were all joking. Advaita Ācārya and Nityānanda Prabhu and others were all joking and splashing each other. Like that?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: How does a friend serve his friend? How are the cowherd boys serving Kṛṣṇa?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: By playing games, joking, challenging, mock-fighting.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: There are so many things in Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s pastimes that they can do.
Rāmacandra dāsa: Once you told me that Navadvīpa is the mādhurya-dhāma (the abode of sweet, human-like pastimes). I asked you what is the position of Rūpa Gosvāmī, because we have not heard that he is in Navadvīpa. We have seen that he is in Purī…
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: In Śvetadvīpa, all the places where Mahāprabhu performed His pastimes throughout the day (aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā) are present.
Rāmacandra dāsa: One time you said that Mahāprabhu is enjoying Rādhārāṇī’s mood, and at that time Rūpa Gosvāmī and other associates are supporting that activity.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Do you understand?
Śyāmarāṇī dāsī: What do they do to support Lord Caitanya’s mood?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: As Mahāprabhu is doing kīrtana, they will join…
Rāmacandra dāsa: They may recite Bhāgavatam ślokas according to His mood.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: So many things.
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