The following is a transcription of a discourse delivered by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in Birmingham, England, on July 11, 2002


Today is a very auspicious day. In all our maṭhas we are engaged in arranging for the Ratha-yātrā festival for Jagannātha, Baladeva, and Subhadrā; but before that we celebrate the divine disappearance day of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Gadādhara Paṇḍita are in the same line. We can say, and it is also stated in śāstra, that Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura is a manifestation of Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was always in a mood of service to Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita. He is Kamala Mañjarī, serving the Divine Couple Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa under the guidance of her beautiful friend Rūpa Mañjarī, with a special inclination towards Śrīmatī Rādhikā.

For us, this means some exceptionally good fortune. We are very fortunate because only a little time has passed since he disappeared. When I joined the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s Mission, I could have even met and served his son and real disciple, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, for a little while. At that time I was old enough to have had his darśana and served him, but unfortunately – even though I was very near, I was not able to meet and associate with him.

But still I’m very fortunate, because his direct disciple, his very bold disciple, the life and soul of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, my Guru Mahārāja, took me by my śikhā and engaged me in his service.

Once I discussed with the disciples of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Prabhupāda. When they spoke some siddhānta that was not proper, I could not appreciate it and I told them, “I have seen Śrīla Prabhupāda; you have not seen him. I saw him through my ears, and you saw him only through your eyes. My vision is perfect.”

Then they complained to my Guru Mahārāja, saying, “He is very proud. He is challenging us that we did not see Śrīla Prabhupāda but he has seen him!” My Guru Mahārāja politely answered, “He is right. He saw him, by hearing from me, and you saw him only by your eyes. The eyes can cheat, but the ears cannot cheat.”

I am very lucky that my Guru Mahārāja was pleased with me, kept me with him and engaged me in his service, and I can still serve him. He even wrote something about me in his preface to Jaiva Dharma, and therefore I feel very fortunate.

If we follow the instructions of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and Śrīla Gadādhara Paṇḍita, especially Śrī Śrī Gaura-Gadādhara, we can develop our Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We should read and hear their teachings deeply, so that we may become inspired to follow them.

(Prema-prayojana dāsa tells about the life and character of Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita.)

Why did Caitanya Mahāprabhu forbid Gadādhara Paṇḍita to leave Jagannātha Purī? Why did He ‘cruelly’ order him to stay there, while He went to Vṛndāvana without him? What was His real, internal mood? The answer is that if Gadādhara Paṇḍita would remain with Him, then His mood of being Kṛṣṇa would arise. When they would go together to Govardhana, to Vṛndāvana, Rāsa-sthalī and other places, then Gadādhara Paṇḍita would say something like:

barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayāpūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 10.21.5)

[“I worship that Parabrahma, whose crown is decorated with a peacock feather, whose large forehead is marked with tilaka of musk, whose shark-shaped earrings swing around His neck, whose eyes resemble lotus flowers, whose neck has three lines like a conch shell, whose lotus face is graced with a gentle smile, who holds a flute to His bimba fruit-like lips, whose bodily complexion is like that of a fresh monsoon cloud, who is supremely peaceful, who stands in a delightful three-fold bending posture, whose yellow cloth is resplendent like the rays of the sun, who is adorned with a victory flower garland, who is surrounded by hundreds of gopīs, and who resides in Śrī Dhāma-Vṛndāvana in the guise of a cowherd-boy.”]

By hearing this, Mahāprabhu would not have been able to control Himself. His kṛṣṇatva (His being in His identity as Kṛṣṇa) would have become visible to all, and His pastime of giving rāgānuga-bhakti and tasting Rādhā’s mood would have been finished.

(Prema-prayojana dāsa tells the pastime of Gadādhara Paṇḍita and Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi.)

There is an important teaching here. When Gadādhara Paṇḍita first went to meet Puṇḍarīka with Mukunda, he misunderstood him. It was only by the mercy of Mukunda that Gadādhara was able to see Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi’s true ecstatic moods. The teaching in this pastime is that if you want to know who is a Vaiṣṇava, you cannot understand him by your sense perception. You cannot recognize a Vaiṣṇava by yourself. You will have to go to him under the guidance of a Vaiṣṇava; then you can understand.

Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita is Śrīmatī Rādhikā Herself; he cannot commit any mistake. Only to teach us that we have to take shelter of a high-class, bona fide guru, he played a role and performed this pastime. Only through this process can we achieve pure bhakti. You may be intelligent or an important person, but without a guru you cannot serve Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Your bhakti cannot develop.

[Gadādhara Paṇḍita and Mukunda were very dear friends and always kept each other’s company. Mukunda thus told Gadādhara Paṇḍita, “Listen carefully Gadādhara, a very great devotee has come to Navadvīpa. You have been hankering for the association of pure Vaiṣṇavas and today your desire will be fulfilled. I will take you to see a wonderful Vaiṣṇava devotee. In return, I want you to think of me as your dear servant.”

The excited and happy Gadādhara Paṇḍita called out the name of Kṛṣṇa as they proceeded towards the great Vaiṣṇava’s residence with Mukunda. Arriving there, they found Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi sitting comfortably. Gadādhara offered his obeisances and was respectfully seated.

Vidyānidhi inquired from Mukunda, “What is his name and from which village does he come? I can see that his body is effulgent due to rendering devotional service to the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu, both his form and demeanour are extremely wonderful.”

“His name is Śrī Gadādhara,” Mukunda replied. “He is very fortunate because from early childhood, he has been completely detached from family life. In his external material identity, he is the son of the brāhmaṇa Śrī Mādhava Miśra. Since he is absorbed in devotional service, he only associates with Vaiṣṇavas, and he is extremely dear to all the devotees. When he heard about you, he was anxious to meet you.”

After hearing about the wonderful qualities of Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Vidyānidhi was very pleased to meet him. The great personality, Śrī Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, sat like a prince. His beautiful bed was made of wood, covered with intricate brass and reddish stone inlay work. Above it were three tiers of ornamental drapes made of glittering brocade cloth. He was seated on a soft mattress covered with clean expensive sheets, and silk pillows were placed under his back.

On either side of him, many small and large water pots sat within his reach, as well as a nice shining brass plate with a neatly prepared betel-nut preparation (pān) upon it. Two large ornate mirrors hung on either side of him into which he continually glanced while smiling with lips reddened from chewing pan. He wore a sandalwood paste tilaka mark upon his forehead and his face was decorated with dots made from a mixture of sandalwood and perfume. As for his hair, it was well-groomed and shining with delicately perfumed hair oil.

Two persons stood behind him fanning him gently with long peacock feathers and in front of him was a nicely prepared hammock. As he followed a life of pure devotional service, he looked as charming as Cupid himself. Those who did not know him would consider him a prince, as everything about him and around him gave the impression that he was a man of the easy and comfortable life, given to pleasure.

When Gadādhara Paṇḍita saw these luxurious items and a general atmosphere of materialistic life, he became suspicious. Since Gadādhara was a fully renounced soul from his early childhood, naturally some doubts regarding the character of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi entered his heart. He thought, “What sort of a Vaiṣṇava is he, surrounded by so much finery and lavish living? Hearing about his devotional mood, I developed a great respect for this person, but now upon seeing him, it is slowly giving way to doubt and suspicion.”

Mukunda understood the mind and heart of Gadādhara Paṇḍita, thus he took it upon himself to reveal the true nature of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi. By the special mercy of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Gadādhara Paṇḍita would be allowed to perceive everything; nothing would remain unknown to him.

In a very sweet voice, Mukunda began to sing a verse from the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describing the glories of devotional service, “Alas, how shall I take shelter of one more merciful than He who granted the position of mother to the she-demon, Pūtanā? Pūtanā was unfaithful and always hankering for the blood of human children. With that desire in mind, she prepared deadly poison to be sucked from her breast and came to kill Kṛṣṇa, but because she offered her breasts to the Lord, she attained the greatest achievement.”

As soon as these words concerning devotional service entered his ears, Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi began to weep, tears of ecstatic love welled up in his eyes, rolling down his face profusely like streams of the Gaṅgā. Simultaneously, all the symptoms of ecstasy manifested in his person. He wept, trembled, rolled, horripilated, roared and finally fell into an unconscious state of ecstasy.

Then suddenly regaining consciousness, he said in a loud voice, “Speak! Speak!” and again fell to the ground. Agitated with spiritual emotions, he kicked everything that was near him and all the luxurious paraphernalia went crashing to the ground. The shining brass pots of water, the container of the betel-nut preparation (pān), pillows, bed sheets, everything became a confused jumble. He began tearing his fine clothes, and his well-groomed hair went haywire as he wept and rolled in the dust.

He cried out, “O Kṛṣṇa, My Lord, My soul, My very life, You have made me hard-hearted like a stone!” He lamented loudly, piteously crying out, “I have been deprived of the Lord’s association in His most merciful incarnation!” He rolled around and crashed down to the ground. Everyone was afraid he might break his bones.

He trembled so violently that three persons could not hold him down. He kicked everything that was in his way, as his disciples stood by helplessly, unable to control him. In this way, the storm of ecstatic love continued until it finally abated and he fell into an unconscious state of bliss. He lay down without breathing, totally submerged in an ocean of spiritual ecstasy.

Amazed at what he had witnessed, Gadādhara Paṇḍita began to worry, thinking, “What inauspiciousness has overcome me to make me think in such an offensive manner about this great personality?” He embraced Mukunda, being extremely pleased with him. Drenching him with tears of love, he said, “Mukunda you have acted like a true friend, you have shown me a pure and unalloyed devotee of the Lord. Finding another pure Vaiṣṇava like him anywhere in this creation would be difficult.

“One can become entirely purified simply by observing his devotional attitude. Today, because you are right next to me, I have been able to avoid a great catastrophe. When I saw all the luxurious paraphernalia surrounding Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, I was convinced that he was a materialistic Vaiṣṇava given to the pleasures of life.

“You could read my mind and being a greatly magnanimous soul you have revealed to me the unlimited extent of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi’s love for Kṛṣṇa. Yet, today, I have been offensive and the extent of my offence can only be mitigated by your mercy. You must be merciful to me and purify my heart.

“All the devotees who have surrendered to the Lord by the process of devotional service have accepted the shelter and instructions of a guide. Yet, I do not have such an instructor, so I have decided to take shelter of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi and follow devotional service under his guidance. I shall counteract all my offences to him by becoming his disciple.”

Thus, Gadādhara Paṇḍita revealed to Mukunda his desire to become a disciple of Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi. Mukunda was extremely pleased with the decision and patted him on the back saying, “Very good, very good.” (Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, Madhya-līlā, Chapter 6)]

Seeing Gadādhara Paṇḍita’s doubt, Mukunda Datta recited one verse to Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi:

aho bakī yaṁ stana-kāla-kūṭaṁ
jighāṁsayāpāyayad apy asādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry-ucitāṁ tato ’nyaṁ
kaṁ vā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema

(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, 3.2.23)

[“How astonishing! When Pūtanā, the wicked sister of Bakāsura, tried to kill child Kṛṣṇa by offering Him deadly poison on her breast, He bestowed upon her the position of His nursemaid. Could I ever have as merciful a shelter as that of Lord Kṛṣṇa?”]

Upon hearing this, Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi became overwhelmed with ecstatic emotions.

(Prema-prayojana Prabhu tells the story of Vallabhācārya, who visited Mahāprabhu, trying to prove his scholarship.)

A question comes, Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has stated that Svarūpa Dāmodara, Rāmānanda Rāya and Śikhi Māhiti are Mahāprabhu’s antaraṅgā, most confidential associates. He even spoke about Mādhavī-devī as being His half-intimate associate, but why did he not mention Gadādhara Paṇḍita?

The answer is that Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita, as Śrīmatī Rādhikā, is non-different from, or in other words, is in Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always in the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā – sometimes in the mood of another sakhī, but always in the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā – and always crying. When Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is in the mood of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, Gadādhara Paṇḍita has no function there like others who are antaraṅgā. He is Rādhikā. Rādhikā is not different from Kṛṣṇa, She is not an antaraṅgā.

We can learn so many things from these pastimes. Without a guru one may be powerful like Brahmā or Śaṅkara, but one cannot even become liberated, what to speak of serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally took initiation from Īśvara Purīpāda, and He inspired Gadādhara Paṇḍita to also take initiation. Initiation is very important.

Some people think that they don’t need a guru. They think that the mantras are written in books, so to read and repeat them is sufficient. But this is absurd. I have seen many sannyāsīs and other senior male and female devotees who do not even chant their mantras given by their bona fide Guru Mahārāja Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda. They do not meditate on them. So how can one who does not even have a guru become inspired? From where will he get strength?

To accept a guru is essential. An initiated devotee will think: “I must carry out the order given by my Gurudeva.” We must accept any high class rasika Vaiṣṇava guru. Some may think, “We came in this line because of Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda. We are reading Svāmī Prabhupāda’s books and are following him. There is no need for any other guru.” Even some whose gurus fell think in this way: “I believe that Śrīla Prabhupāda is my guru, no need to take initiation from anyone else.”

But this will not do. One has to take proper initiation and follow his guru, as did Lord Rāmacandra Himself, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and Nityānanda Prabhu, who is akhaṇḍa-guru-tattva, the original guru Himself. Nityānanda Prabhu personally took initiation from Lakṣmīpati Tīrtha, and after that He accepted as His śikṣā-guru Mādhavendra Purīpāda, whose status was even higher than that of Lakṣmīpati Tīrtha. Even Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with Balarāmajī, took initiation. They were disciples of Bhāguri Muni. Do not think they took initiation from Sāndīpani Muni. Sāndīpani Muni was a school teacher who taught Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma the sixty-four arts, but Their real dīkṣā-guru was Bhāguri Muni.

Kṛṣṇa personally spoke this to the gopīs. The gopīs were telling Him, “You do not have a guru, so You are a bogus person.” Kṛṣṇa replied, “Why are you saying so? You can go and ask Durvāsā Muni. It was in front of him that My father Nanda Bābā had Me take initiation from Bhāguri Muni. Bhāguri Muni came to my house and I took initiation from him.”

As Nityānanda Prabhu gave even more respect to Mādhavendra Purīpāda, his śikṣā-guru, if the śikṣā-guru is more qualified and rasika, we should honour him and give him respect. Giving respect to our dīkṣā-guru, we should serve such a śikṣā-guru even more. There are thousands upon thousands of such examples in our Vaiṣṇava scriptures. Don’t be weak. If you are developing your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, your life will be successful, otherwise not. And, someone who is inspiring me in my Kṛṣṇa consciousness, especially one who helps me to become a rasika Vaiṣṇava, is superior to anyone else. He is truly a guru. We do not consider Keśava Bhāratī to be the guru of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, although he was a Vaiṣṇava in the line of Īśvara Purīpāda. Rather, we consider him to be the veśa-guru of Mahāprabhu (who gave Him saffron cloth).

It is very hard to recognize a Vaiṣṇava. We see that even a devotee like Gadādhara Paṇḍita (in his human-like pastimes) could not recognize a pure Vaiṣṇava. He rejected Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, because Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi was chewing betel-nut and living in luxury like a king. If the internal mood of a Vaiṣṇava is high, then such a Vaiṣṇava is to be accepted as highly advanced. A devotee may have a five-, six-, or eight-kilo japa-mālā, very long, big tilaka, and thick kānti-mālā, and he will start to chant “Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa” as soon as he sees someone. But that person may not be a pure Vaiṣṇava. Another devotee, who is not chanting on a japa-mālā, like Puṇḍarīka Vidyānidhi, may put us in a dilemma regarding whether or not he is a devotee.

Therefore Mahāprabhu advises, “Do not try to understand who is a Vaiṣṇava by his external appearance.” Only an uttama-adhikārī can recognize an uttama-adhikārī. Even a madhyama-adhikārī may be confused. Therefore, do not criticize any Vaiṣṇava or judge him according to his external appearance.

Your life should be successful. If you can develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then your life is successful. You may possess great wealth, position, power, beauty, and so many good qualities, but if this one quality, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is not there, your life cannot be successful. Endeavour only to develop your Kṛṣṇa consciousness. If the whole world is against you, or if you don’t become wealthy or acquire any position, there is no harm in that. Try to maintain your life only to develop Kṛṣṇa consciousness; this is the teaching of Śrīla Rūpa and Raghunātha and our guru-paramparā. Don’t try to buy bhakti by wealth and money. Only by pure-hearted internal service to Śrī Guru can you purchase it. Always remember what Kṛṣṇa promised in the Bhagavad-gītā:

ananyāś cintayanto māṁ
ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ
yoga-kṣemaṁ vahāmy aham

Bhagavad-gītā 9.22

[“But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have.”]

Those who continuously chant and remember Kṛṣṇa have no time to maintain themselves and their family; therefore Kṛṣṇa will come to maintain them. He has promised this. Why fear? If we have strong faith in His words, certainly He is bound to fulfil His promise. But we are very unfortunate; we don’t have such strong faith; this is the problem. Try to overcome this and maintain strong faith, complete faith, in Kṛṣṇa. He is bound to fulfil His promise. All others may fail to keep their promises, but He cannot fail. He cannot.

Try to realize this, and be always conscientious to become a high-class devotee. Give your life only for developing bhaktibhakti, bhakti, bhakti.

harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā

 (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa 38.126)

[“In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way, no other way, no other way.”]

Harer bhakti harer bhakti harer bhakti eva kevalam – There is no other way; only bhakti, only bhakti, only bhakti.

(Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja leads the devotees in first singing Rādhikāṣṭakam and then the kīrtana of “Jaya Gaura-Gadādhara.”)

Jaya jaya Gaura-Gadādhara ki jaya! Gadāi-Gaurāṅgajī ki jaya! Gaura-premānande hari hari bol!

Now we should discuss about the incarnation of Gadādhara Paṇḍita, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. But don’t hear in such a way that my words will go in one ear in and out the other. Hear with both ears and take what you hear into your heart.

(Śyāmarāṇī dāsī speaks about the presence of many sahajiyā sects during the time of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura’s preaching)

We find so many ‘Lalitā-sakhīs’ in Navadvīpa. Male persons put on Indian style sārīs and nose rings, and say, “We are gopīs“. At the same time, they engage in nonsense, illicit activities. Even among us, I know many ladies and gentlemen who can’t even chant five or six rounds, but are very interested in tasting goopi-bhāva – they want it immediately. For this so-called attainment they can even give up their high-class Guru Mahārāja Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda, and instead they go to any Bābājī, pay two rupees, and get goopi-bhāva very cheaply. Such so-called gurus tell them, “You are Lalitā, you are Viśākhā, and you are Citrā, Rūpa Mañjarī etc.” Bogus.

Everywhere, in France and also here (in England), I see these bogus gurus, those who cheat devotees. I request all devotees to be careful. First follow Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and read Jaiva Dharma. Chant continuously and follow the instruction given by Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī in his Nectar of Instruction (Upadeśāmṛta):

vāco vegaṁ manasaḥ krodha-vegaṁ
jihvā-vegam udaropastha-vegam
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.]

Also, give proper honour to proper Vaiṣṇavas. This is more important. If you have no interest in chanting the holy names and listening to hari-kathā, then listen more, again and again. Come to the point of tannāmarūpacaritādisukīrtanānu (pure chanting of the holy names). Then, when renunciation appears in your heart and all material desires will disappear, automatically your siddha-deha, your perfected spiritual body, will appear. At that time you will be able to remember aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā. This is the process of śuddha-bhakti, or pure bhakti, as Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has told; there is no other path. Don’t worry about your siddha-deha. Don’t try to prematurely think, “I’m the dāsī of Rūpa Mañjarī” and so on. First practice with firm determination.

Remember this śloka from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.7):

vāsudeve bhagavati
bhakti-yogaḥ prayojitaḥ
janayaty āśu vairāgyaṁ
jñānaṁ ca yad ahaitukam

[“By rendering devotional service unto Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one immediately acquires causeless knowledge and detachment from the world.”]

Ahaitukam (causeless knowledge) will come. Wait for that, otherwise you will be like an unripe jackfruit.

[Puṇḍarīka dāsa explains how sometimes a jackfruit is plucked prematurely. The persons who want to eat it first cut it, and their fingers get entangled in the sticky glue-like substance inside that becomes a source of trouble.]

All the teachings of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura can be summarized in one verse from his Gītāvalī:

kṛṣṇera saṁsāra karô chāḓi’ anācāra
jīve dayā, kṛṣṇa-nāma—sarva-dharma-sāra

Nadīyā-godrume, verse 4

[“Give up all sinful behaviour and live your life with Kṛṣṇa at the centre. The essence of all forms of religion is to show compassion upon all living beings and chant the holy names of Krṣṇa.”]

What is the meaning?

(Prema-prayojana dāsa explains)

The essence of this śloka is jīva-dayā, mercy towards all living entities. Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura explained what is real kindness towards jīvas, and we should try to follow this. If you can turn the mood of even one person toward Kṛṣṇa, so that he chants the holy name and remembers Kṛṣṇa in the way given by our ācāryas, this kindness is millions of times better than opening millions of hospitals or schools.

So, I want that next year each of you will bring five new devotees. Then I will think that you have preached. Otherwise, if one cannot inspire a single person, if he is only engaged in sense gratification, then fie on such a wretched person.

What is the meaning of kṛṣṇa-saṁsāra (making one’s home Kṛṣṇa-centred)? It doesn’t mean to be an ordinary family person. It means to be family persons like the gopas, like Śrīdāmā, Subala, and Madhumaṅgala. Sudāmā, married, but he married for Kṛṣṇa.

Once, while Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja was staying in Navadvīpa near the Ganges, and was doing bhajana without any hut or other possessions, a man came to him and said, “Bābājī Mahārāja, I am your disciple. Today I have collected a kṛṣṇa-dāsī. I just married her; please sprinkle your mercy upon her.” Bābājī replied, “I am very happy; you are fortunate to have collected a kṛṣṇa-dāsī. Worship her daily and don’t be lusty; don’t try to enjoy her, otherwise you will be finished forever.” Hearing this, that man quickly ran away and never came back.

So, our marriage should be for Kṛṣṇa, like the gopas, without any lust at all. I want you to preach, thus showing jīva-dayā, mercy towards all living entities. Collect sincere devotees who will come to hear hari-kathā. The managers here should not have problems how to accommodate everybody; I want this. Preach everywhere. Don’t depend on any preaching centre. Whether there are preaching centres or not, preach. If the preaching centre is easily accomplished, very good; but even without it, preach and distribute the message of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and help others to become pure sincere devotees regardless of their āśrama. They can be family men, brahmacārīs, or vānaprasthas, but they should be sincere devotees.

This is the teaching of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. He wrote more than one hundred books in different languages. He was like Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, and Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, and therefore he is called Saptama Gosvāmī, the Seventh Gosvāmī. As Mahārāja Bhagīratha brought the river Gaṅgā from the heavenly planets to this Earth to liberate his ancestors, similarly Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura brought the current of pure bhakti, bhakti-bhāgīrathī, prema-dharma, and especially upapati-bhāva (unnatojjvala-rasa) from Goloka Vṛndāvana to this world. What he brought was not only from heaven like the Ganges; he brought the very sacred stream of love and affection from its original place in Rādhā-kuṇḍa, from the lotus feet of Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Thus, he is called Saptama Gosvāmī. There is so much more to say in his glorification. His glories are like an unlimited ocean. We tried only to touch a little from the shore of that ocean.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura ki jaya! Gaura premānande!


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Unless indicated differently, all verse translations and quotes are from the books by Śrīla Prabhupāda (

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