Kṛṣṇa-priyā dāsī (from Canada): Govinda has a question regarding your hari-kathā last night. He wants to know how to follow Śrīla Svāmī Prabhupāda’s mood. Would that be in vaidhī-bhakti or rāgānuga-bhakti?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: One must follow vaidhī-bhakti. But if one practices vaidhī-bhakti in our line – reading Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and hearing classes on all the subjects there, one will automatically come to rāgānuga. If anyone practices bhakti as Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī explained it in Bhaktirasāmṛta-sindhu, he will surely come to rāgānuga. All the principles explained by Śrīla Rupa Gosvāmī are connected to rāgānuga. One should begin from vaidhī-bhakti, and then he can easily develop rāgānuga.
Madana-mohinī dāsī: So, those who are just beginning to practice bhakti should not try to practice rāgānuga? It will come naturally?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Simply by hearing hari-kathā, they gradually begin vaidhī-bhakti and then in due course become qualified for rāgānuga.
Kṛṣṇa-priyā dāsī: Are any of us qualified for rāgānuga-bhakti?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: I think many will become qualified.
Do you want to go to Vaikuṇṭha to serve Lord Nārāyaṇa?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do you want to go to Dvārakā to be a queen?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Do you want to go to Mathurā?
Devotee: No. I want to be a servant of Rādhā.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This is rāgānuga – the awakening of such greed. To those who come to me, I give a powerful injection that never goes in vain. This injection will gradually take them up to rādhā-dāsyam (personal service to Śrīmatī Rādhikā). But they must follow. It has been told in Bhagavad-gītā (4.34):
tad viddhi praṇipātena
upadekṣyanti te jñānaṁ
[Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized souls can impart knowledge unto you because they have seen the truth.]
Intellectually knowing the philosophy will not suffice. If one knows all the scriptures, like Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Purāṇas, the Vedas, Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, and Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, but he cannot satisfy his gurudeva, his erudition has no value. On the other hand, even if one does not have much scriptural knowledge but he always satisfies his gurudeva, it is certain that he will become qualified.
vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ
[A grave person who faithfully and continuously hears the narrations of the transcendental pastimes that Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa performed with the young girls of Vraja, and then describes those pastimes accordingly, achieves supreme devotion for the lotus feet of Bhagavān. He very quickly attains freedom from the diseases of the heart, which are the transformations of lust.]
The word anuśṛṇuyād in this verse means that the disciple hears from gurudeva. Then, by serving and pleasing him, that disciple will become qualified to speak and preach. If a learned person is preaching but is not pleasing gurudeva, he is not qualified. His speaking will not produce any good result.
Jayaśrī dāsī (from New York): How do we continue to serve you when we leave here and go back to our normal lives?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You can remember the harikathā you have been hearing this week. Try to understand it and incorporate it into your life. Always meditate on that hari-kathā, and execute the instructions I give while speaking.
Jayaśrī dāsī: To always think what you would want us to do?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes.
Morning Walks and Conversations with Śrīla Bhaktivedanta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja 2007
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com