The following is a transcription of a lecture delivered by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja in Houston, Texas, on June 17, 1996
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: I have never lost a minute in chattering and in desire for worldly things. They are of no use. Our lives should anyhow go on. Be very simple and don’t have any worldly desires. And we should go on. Worldly desires only serve to make the heart impure. So, if there are no worldly desires, then the heart will be pure. And try to always remember Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes.
Devotee: Sometimes I am afraid that my husband… [unclear]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Your husband is not so bad. He is okay. He gave you permission to come to me and to take initiation. So, I think that he is okay and he will not disturb you. For maintaining your worldly life, you will have to do something because without that you cannot go smoothly in your life. So, this is also needed. But don’t hanker. You will have to do something for maintaining your life. But you should see that there will be no quarrels between the both of you.
You should read Svāmījī’s books and read my books also. If you have anything to write, you can write to me. I will try to answer. I think that you are a very simple lady. You don’t have any desires. You are very calm and quiet.
Devotee: When I am sitting all the time, it is very difficult for my back. I find it hard to move around. So, I was thinking that maybe I should do yoga-bhakti.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: That is not yoga. It is exercise; so, no harm. I also do like this and like this. But when I was young, then I would always be dancing during kīrtana. Then nothing will come. I cannot dance now; I cannot move so much. So, I have to go on morning walks and I also do some exercises.
Devotee: Are you telling me I shouldn’t do it?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No, you can do. Everyone can do it. This is not yoga. Yoga means to think, “I am brahma.” You should not think like this. One is always absorbed in that mood.
You can do simple exercises because we are not going out of the house. We are always cooking or sitting here and there. So, it is necessary to do something. If you are in Vṛndāvana, then you should do parikramā. But here there is no parikramā.
[Pointing to a devotee]
Oh he knows so many tricks. This is also a very good trick.
So, you can do it. Vicitrī can also do some exercises.
Devotee: I asked you the other day about taking grains cooked by non-devotees. I was always taught that this was very bad. So, then I heard that you said, “If we buy from shops then the karma...”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But you should see that in the shop the sweets should be so pure. The sweet-sevākas should also be pure. They should not take gāñjā (marijuana), bhāṅg, biḍi or cigarettes. They should not take meat, eggs, and all other things like onion and garlic. If they are taking all these things, and you are buying sweets from them, then it is not pure. Try to take it from a pure vegetarian shop. Giving them some rice.
Devotee: Because normally my husband is very strict. He never takes; so I also never take.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You can continue; no harm. But, generally in India, the workers in the vegetarian shops have mālā around their necks and don’t eat any prohibited food. So, we can take.
Devotee: I understand now.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But if you can only cook and give to Kṛṣṇa, then no harm.
Devotee: If Kṛṣṇa likes certain food. But, say for example that you are at home… [unclear] Therefore, is it okay to offer?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes. You can offer anything like water, tulasī leaves, or anything you have. If someone is very poor, then he can give anything. But, you should not offer food, which is not vegetarian. It should be vegetarian.
Devotee: And if you don’t have tulasī leaves, then is it okay?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: But in case there are no tulasī leaves, then what to do? You will have to offer, but try to manage for tulasī leaves also. Anyhow, if you cannot get tulasī leaves; then we should offer. Those, who have offered themselves—their everything is offered. Do you understand? We should try to offer ourselves. We should offer our hearts, mind, body, and everything to Kṛṣṇa. Then, everything is offered.
The gopīs never offered anything. But somewhere we see that Nanda Bābā has a śālagrāma–śilā and he used to offer. Otherwise, not all gopīs used to offer. They have offered themselves. Like Vṛndā; she has offered herself. So, I think that what she gives me has been offered to Kṛṣṇa.
Have you seen my capātīs in Mathurā or Vṛndāvana? Navīna makes them.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You have not seen? The boys in Mathurā make capātīs. How many capātīs can you make from wheat flour?
Devotee: Not more than two.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Not more than two.
Devotee: Can you tell me something about Vṛndā-kuṇḍa in Nandagrāma? So how did it manifest?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Vṛndā used to live there. From there she used to come to Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā. And, she would manage for Them to meet. She used to live in a forest there. Yogamāyā and Nāndīmukhī also used to live there. They used to live near Nandagāon in a forest. They had a hut and from there, they used to come. Sometimes, Yogamāyā and Nāndīmukhī would meet together and they would plan on how Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa could meet. They would also plan on where They could meet. They would make all plans. There are lakhs and lakhs of pastimes there. Sometimes, Kṛṣṇa comes, when He is worried for Śrīmatī Rādhikā. If any problem comes to Kṛṣṇa, He runs to Vṛndā hoping she will solve the problem. Without Vṛndā, He cannot solve any problem.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Will he agree that he will manage to give you so much money that you can travel with Mahārāja everywhere?
Devotee: If Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is there.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Perhaps, he has a lot of money? How does he manage?
Devotee: We didn’t have anything. We only had books and incense. So, we went on a marathon and…
[Break of audio]
[Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja starts to speak after reciting the Jaya-dhvani prayers]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Svāmījī is here. He is so pleased. He wanted to bring me with him. But at that time, I was foolish. I could not do anything. But now, he is telling me that “Anyhow, you have come.” And, he is so much pleased.
What is the history of this temple? Has Svāmījī come here?
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: This temple here was started by one disciple of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. At that time, the Indian community here cooperated to help start this temple. But it was never officially an ISKCON temple. And they have their board and they run the temple with their board which has about six members. Those board members will come tonight also.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Are they Indians?
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: They are all Indians. And of course they are connected with ISKCON here because ISKCON devotees from Los Angeles come here. But they are not officially ISKCON; they are not listed in the centres.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: How far is the ISKCON temple from here?
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: A forty-minute drive from here.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Forty minutes. Towards the town?
Devotee: Towards the airport.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Actually, when we came from the airport, we could have gone to the temple. The temple is only five minutes away from the airport.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Tīrthapāda prabhu is okay?
Tīrthapāda dāsa: Jaya.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Your health is also okay?
Tīrthapāda dāsa: Yes.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Everything is okay. But I am only worried that I am giving problems to you.
Devotee: We are not worried about them at all, Śrīla Gurudeva.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They should be pleased. They should be glad. I have come to help them. One day they will realize this.
Were you there when Svāmījī was in Vṛndāvana and was going to leave this world?
Devotee: No, I wasn’t there.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: After Svāmījī spoke to me, he ordered all the GBC leaders like Jayapatāka, Tamāla Kṛṣṇa, Brahmānanda, Bhavānanda, and all others that “You should go and take Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja everywhere.” So many ISKCON leaders took me to Śrī Mandira and everywhere in Vṛndāvana.
Svāmījī told me, “You will have to give my samādhi with your own hands. You will have to help my disciples become mature.”
[Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja speaks to a devotee in Hindi]
Do you live in Vṛndāvana?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Where?
Devotee: Near Govardhana.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Which place near Govardhana?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: We always go to Gāṅṭholī.
[Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja resumes speaking in English]
Gāṅṭholī is also a very sacred place in Vṛndāvana. Sometimes, Kṛṣṇa used to hide there. So, the gopīs took one end of Kṛṣṇa’s pītāmbara (yellow upper cloth) and took one end of Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s veil and they tied the corners of their cloths in a knot in such a way that “Kṛṣṇa would never fly away.”
Śrīnāthajī stayed there for three days. He used to come to Gāṅṭholī from Govardhana Hill. And to take His darśana, Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to go with all His parikāras, associates. Also, Rūpa-Sanātana, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, and all others went there. When Caitanya Mahāprabhu came with His associates to this place, Śrīnāthajī made an excuse.
The excuse was that the Mohammedans are coming and they will take Śrīnāthajī. So, the priests used to take Him to that village. So, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to take the darśana of Śrīnāthajī there because Mahāprabhu has said, “I will not go on top of Govardhana. And anyone should not go because Govardhana is Kṛṣṇa Himself. So, we should not climb on Govardhana to see Gopālajī.”
So, Gopālajī Himself used to come down to that village and all used to take His darśana. There is a village there called “Parsoṅ.” Parsoṅ means the day after tomorrow. Kṛṣṇa promised the gopīs that “I will come tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.” So, the village is called, “Parsoṅ.”
You will find the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa everywhere in Vraja. Each name of a place has a corresponding pastime associated with it. There is also a place called, “Kyoṅ Nāī .” It was named Kyoṅ Nāī (Konāī) because Kṛṣṇa asked the sakhīs, “Why has Śrīmatī Rādhikā not come?” (Kyoṅ nā āī?)
[Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja speaks to a devotee]
Oh you have come now.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Even if the ISKCON leaders are not welcoming you, I welcome you.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And I am also happy to see you.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: We have been dreaming for a long time of this thing. So, our lives have become completely successful to see you here.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Only my Gurudeva and Svāmījī have brought me here. Otherwise, I never dreamt that I would come to these Western countries and meet so many devotees.
You have to make a program for the places where I will have to go like California, Canada, and other places.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Everything is arranged.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Tomorrow, we will see. Bhūdhara Prabhu will also come. They have helped so much. This Prabhu, Vrajanātha Prabhu and his wife, and all have helped so much.
Bhūdhara Prabhu, Ānandinī…
Vrajanātha dāsa: Śrīdāma.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: How are you?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Have you taken anything from morning?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Were you there or are you coming now?
Devotee: I am coming now.
Devotee: Gurudeva, when I heard some people in ISKCON talking about you among each other, I got so angry.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Why?
Devotee: And then, I see how sweet and beautiful you are. How can they talk like this about such a great personality? What can we do?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You should not be angry.
Devotee 2: They have no eyes to see; no adhikāra.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They are helping me. I could not have done so much propaganda as they are doing for me.
I have no money to do all these things. Actually, they are doing everything.
Vrajanātha dāsa: They are doing everything for free.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They are doing everything for me and I am so much indebted to them.
They are so kind to me. As Kaṁsa was so kind to Kṛṣṇa and towards all that he brought Kṛṣṇa from Goloka Vṛndāvana. If there was no Kaṁsa, then no pastimes of Kṛṣṇa would have manifested.
So, Nārada said, “I am indebted to Kaṁsa.”
Vrajanātha dāsa: Jayādvaita Svāmī said, “Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja is one of the persons who are most advanced in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. This I know for sure.” That is what he mentioned. So, they are so much glorifying you.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Are you living nearby or very far away?
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: No, the arrangements are being made. The leaders are coming this evening. I spoke to them yesterday evening. This evening they will come and everyone will be transported here and there.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And yourself?
Devotee: Maybe I am hoping that I will stay here.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Otherwise, you will be alone.
Devotee: Hopefully, a few of us will stay here.
Devotee: Tomorrow will be a rest day.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes, there is no program. Only you can come and make a program. You should tell each other how my preaching is going on so well in countries like Holland and England. My preaching is going on well in Houston also. It is so marvellous.
Devotee: Jaya Guru Mahārāja.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Svāmījī has arranged everything and Kṛṣṇa is arranging everything as well. Without his mercy, I could not have come here. He has made a platform for me. Actually, he has given the seeds some water and nourished them. The plants are now dry. So, Svāmījī told me, “You should go there and give water to the plants.”
Are you okay? No problem at all?
Devotee: No problem at all.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Do you know any of the devotees here? Or are they new to you?
Devotee: I know most of them Mahārāja.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Gurudeva, I can introduce you to a couple of devotees. This is Keśava Prabhu. He is also a disciple of Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. He is our Godbrother.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Very good.
Keśava dāsa: So nice to see you Mahārāja.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: I have been connected with him as a friend for many years. And I have told him many things about you and he is so happy that you are here.
Keśava dāsa: Thank you Mahārāja for coming here. It is so good to see you.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And who is this Prabhu?
Devotee: This is Rāghava Paṇḍita.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Rāghava Paṇḍita?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: We have so much regard for Rāghava Paṇḍita.
Devotee 2: They have been to Mathurā, Gurudeva.
Devotee: They came to Mathurā.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They were with me?
And this is his wife, Nāgarī dīdī.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: She has also met me?
Nāgarī dāsī: Yes, I have met you.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: So, you are both from Holland?
Rāghava Paṇḍita dāsa: Yes, we are originally from Holland.
Nāgarī dāsī: We are disciples of Gaura Govinda Mahārāja.
Devotee: Yes. And they are staying in Malaysia.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They have come from Malaysia?
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: We have all come. Myself, Prāṇa-kiśora, Rāghava Paṇḍita Prabhu, Gokula Prabhu…
This is Gokula Prabhu. He is also a disciple of Gaura Govinda Mahārāja.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Very good.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: We were all together in Malaysia.
Devotee: They have come specifically to come on this tour.
Devotee 2: [Unclear]
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: He says you are satya-saṅkalpa.
Devotee: And, there are two ladies here in the far back. One of the two is Sarasvatī. She has been born as a devotee in ISKCON. And this is the first time that she is seeing you. She is very much desiring to have your mercy.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: And who is she?
Devotee: And this is Vipi, she is together with Keśava Prabhu. And she has been connected with the Hare Kṛṣṇa movement for many, many years. But she has not found any guru. But she wants to accept a guru.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You have not seen me earlier?
Devotee: No, I was in ISKCON.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This Prabhu is coming from India with me. He is so near and dear to me.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: He is near and dear to all of us.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: The mainland preaching was so good, so good. In Birmingham, there were 400 or 500 persons who listened to hari-kathā and danced so happily. And everyone heard me so patiently everywhere.
Devotee: Gurudeva, when I was in Glastonbury right before kīrtana, there was this lady who I was sitting with. She did not know anything about Kṛṣṇa consciousness, but she said, “All of a sudden I saw this beautiful, glowing, golden man who is standing like this.” She never saw any pictures of Gaura-Nitāi or Prabhupāda before.
And she said, “There is this beautiful person who has just come here. And he is dancing in the kīrtana.”
So, was Lord Caitanya there? You have the eyes to see. Did you see?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: It maybe Caitanya Mahāprabhu or Nityānanda Prabhu Himself. They Themselves came to see. But where there is a good kīrtana, Caitanya Mahāprabhu comes; He descends. And, where there is a bona fide recitation of the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, then Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā come. Uddhava comes. Śukadeva Gosvāmī comes as well. Nārada Gosvāmī and everyone come whether we can see or not.
When Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura used to sing and dance with so many devotees, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and all His associates used to come and dance as well. When his kīrtana ended, Mahāprabhu and all His associates at once disappeared. Narottama Ṭhākura would especially sing, “Gaurāṅga’ bôlite ha’be pulaka śarīra.” When he would sing, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu used to come and dance. Everyone was seeing this and realizing. And when the kīrtana ended, They disappeared.
Devotee: Did only the devotees see or did everyone see?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Everyone saw. General people as well because Yogamāyā used to come and connect them. Where there is no Yogamāyā, there is no connection. Now, if you go to Māyāpura or Vṛndāvana, then there is no connection with Yogamāyā. There is not such a powerful person who can attract Yogamāyā and establish a connection. So, we cannot see. But Kṛṣṇa and Mahāprabhu are there; They are always there. But if a personality like Narottama Ṭhākura will come, then Yogamāyā will come and connect.
Devotee: Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura used to worship Yogamāyā.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Everyone has worshiped Yogamāyā. If Yogamāyā wishes, then they will sprinkle some mercy, and then we will be qualified.
Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!
Devotees: Jaya Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja!
[Break of audio]
Devotee: I was actually born in East Africa and somehow, I could not go to India. The first time I went to India was in 1959. And then, I went to India for the second time in 1992. After staying there for 42 years, I was told to leave the country. So, we came here and after some time, by Prabhupāda’s mercy we went all over India for the first time. And then I went to Vṛndāvana. When I went to Vṛndāvana, one Mātājī called Jagadambikā came to my wife and me and she said, “Let me take you to the temple and if you are very fortunate, you will see one Mahārāja.”
I didn’t know anything, so I said, “Okay. Let’s go.”
I have seen so many Mahārājas here. I went there. There, I went to a room and Mahārāja was taking rest there and all the people were sitting around. Even Satsvarūpa das Gosvāmī was sitting near Mahārāja’s feet and I was sitting near Mahārāja’s feet also. That was the first time that I had darśana of Mahārāja.
Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: How is your health? Okay?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Svāmījī desired that I accompany him when he went to the West the first time. He told me, “You should also come with me.”
I told my Gurujī to tell Svāmījī to take sannyāsa. I told Svāmījī, “You should take sannyāsa. You are so qualified. So, you should take the renounced order.”
Gurujī also came at that time. Svāmījī then took sannyāsa from Gurujī. I helped Svāmījī in some ways. I sent him his books, mṛdaṅgas, karatālas, and deities. I sent them from India.
Devotee: I gave him a copy of the Veṇu-gīta where we have this section at the back of the book that has your biography. I gave him the book.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Svāmījī told me, “You should join me and come with me to the Western countries.”
I replied, “My Gurudeva has ordered me to serve here and he is not here. If I will go, then everything will be upset. So, I will try to come with you later.”
So, he wanted me and he wrote many letters to me. He wrote more than two hundred letters to me. He would write to me from wherever he was preaching. He would tell me, “Preaching is being done very nicely here.” He would tell me so many things. I gave all the letters to Satsvarūpa Mahārāja who was writing the biography at that time. I still have many letters left. So, by his mercy, Svāmījī called me here.
He told me, “My words can never be false.”
A devotee is satya-saṅkalpa; what he will say will surely bear fruit. Every desire of his will be fulfilled. So, he has called me here and by his mercy, I have come. Otherwise, I am a penniless person and now, I have become old. I never dreamt that I will have to go to Western countries for preaching. But, he has dragged me here. Wherever I go, by Svāmījī’s and Kṛṣṇa’s mercy, there are always some people to help me. You were also ready to help me from the first.
Devotee: We have been ready for fifteen days.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Wherever I go, I see that the management is being done nicely. So many devotees are helpful.
Svāmījī had so much love and affection for me. He used to tell me, “You should sing ‘Gaurāṅga’ bôlite ha’be pulaka śarīra, Jaya Rādhe Jaya Kṛṣṇa, Hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ, Śrī rūpa mañjarī pada and all the other very beloved kīrtanas.’”
When I would sing, he used to play on the mṛdaṅga. Sometimes, both of us would make capātīs when Svāmījī was in the Rādhā Dāmodara temple in Vṛndāvana. At that time, he was a penniless person. He didn’t have good clothes. He wore torn clothes. His books were worn and torn. But, he had a firm belief to preach in the Western countries because his Gurudeva had ordered him to.
Devotee: Mahārāja, it is our greatest fortune that we are present among Vaiṣṇavas. We came from Uganda. We were feeling quite unwanted because Idi Amin threw us out. We were wondering, “Where are we going to go? We were brought up here. We don’t know anyone in America.” And here we came and we probably would not have been exposed to Kṛṣṇa consciousness at least soon enough. But now we are here, we got Prabhupāda and of course, the association of you.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Being among you, I feel I am in India.
This person is a priest in a temple in Gāṅṭholī where Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s clothes were tied in a knot. His wife is from Gujarat. All of you are also there.
Devotee: It is like the saying, “Sitting at home, we are bathing in the Gaṅgā.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: This is Kṛṣṇa’s causeless mercy. I feel that I am so fortunate because Kṛṣṇa is managing everything. He managed for you to help me. You, Sītā, and all of you are helping.
All glories to the devotees!
May Kṛṣṇa’s and Śrīmatī Rādhikā’s mercy shower down on all of you. May the mercy of the Goddess of Varsānā shower down on all of you.
[Break of audio]
If Śrīmatī Rādhikā loses, then we will become very upset. But Madhumaṅgala will be very happy because he is in the group of Kṛṣṇa. These are the pastimes of Vṛndāvana. Leaving Vṛndāvana, I don’t want to go anywhere. I think all of you are Vrajavāsīs. He is already a Vrajavāsī; he is from Vraja. Except Vṛndāvana, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇajī don’t stay anywhere else.
vṛndāvanam parityajya padam ekaṁ na gacchati
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa never go even a step away from Vṛndāvana. Kṛṣṇa doesn’t go to Dvārakā with His flute and peacock feather. If He goes there, He will have to change His name. He is known as Vāsudeva there. He will say, “My father’s name is Vasudeva and My mother is Devakī.” He is a warrior there if He leaves Vṛndāvana. He has no relation with the gopīs. The gopīs cry for Kṛṣṇa and continuously think, “Where is our Kṛṣṇa?”
When Kṛṣṇa comes to Dvārakā, He doesn’t carry the flute in His hands and there is no peacock feather on His crown. Śrīmatī Rādhikā will not be there on His left side. If He will say, “I am Vāsudeva-Kṛṣṇa. My father is Vasudeva,” then the gopīs will offer Him praṇāma and go far away. They have nothing to do with Him.
The gopīs tell Kṛṣṇa, “If You don’t have the peacock feather and flute and if You are not giving Your identification that ‘Nanda Bābā is My father and Yaśodā-maiyā is My mother and My Priyājī is Śrīmatī Rādhikā,’ then we have nothing to do with You. You can go away from here.”
All right, I have to go now.
Kṛṣṇa is so merciful to me because He has provided so many helpers.
Devotee: It is the other way around Mahārāja. Kṛṣṇa is so merciful to us. He gave us your association.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He is a very big astrologer. He has told me where I will go, how I will go, what I will preach, and what I will do.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: At the last moment, he was bound to do like this.
Devotee: So many things in ISKCON have become new concepts.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Offering Tulasī-devī pranama, you should say:
bhaktyā vihinā aparādha-lakṣyaiḥ
kṣiptāś ca kāmādi taraṅga madhye
kṛpā-mayi tvaṁ śaraṇaṁ prapannā
vṛnde numaste caraṇāravindam
[Devoid of devotion and guilty of committing unlimited offences, I am being tossed about in the ocean of material existence by the turbulent waves of lust, anger, greed and so forth. Therefore, O merciful Vṛndā-devī, I take shelter of you and offer obeisances unto your lotus feet.]
Otherwise, you can say:
priyāyai keśavasya ca
satyavatyai namo namaḥ
[I offer praṇāma again and again to Śrīmatī Tulasī-devī, who is most dear to Śrī Keśava and who is also renowned as Vṛndā-devī and Satyavatī. O Devī, you bestow kṛṣṇa-bhakti!]
This is enough.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmrta, Śikṣāstaka are little books but they are private. Those who don’t want will criticize.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He at once gave, so I am indebted to him. Bhūdhara, do you want to be a disciple of Gargācārya? Do you want to take birth in Mathurā to be the priest of Vasudeva-Devakī and to see the horoscope of Kṛṣṇa? Gargācārya was a very good, renowned astrologer. We only want to take the foot dust of Gargācārya and Śāṇḍilya Ṛṣi; that’s all. He will give some counselling and he will teach astrology and other arts. And we will give you some golden coins.
Come to Vraja where Nanda and Yaśodā used to come with Kṛṣṇa and they would place Kṛṣṇa at the feet of Gargācārya. And they would seek some benedictions that “Our boy should be safe. He should have no sufferings and difficulties.”
He used to say, “You should give me ten thousand cows with their calves and I will perform the rituals.” And, he used to do.
Devotee: Is this vātsalya-rasa?
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Vātsalya-rasa.
They are more, more superior to Gargācārya. But yet, they are taking the footdust of Gargācārya or any brāhmaṇa in Vraja.
tṛṇād api sunīcena
Being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa will take the footdust of all the Ṛṣis, Maharṣis, Brāhmaṇas, and all those who are superior by age. This is etiquette, maryādā.
Gargācārya and Śāṇḍilya Ṛṣi know that Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But, they think, “If we will take the foot dust of Kṛṣṇa or if we offer Him prayers, then His pastimes will be disturbed. Kṛṣṇa will be disturbed.”
So, they used to serve in this way. Thus, they would give benedictions to Kṛṣṇa.
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: The Indians and others have been told, “Don’t host Mahārāja.” They want that any person cannot see; but yet, all can see.
The Hindu community told them, “We cannot follow your orders. You are not right. We have donated something to you. Although we have life membership, it is not that we have given our lives to you. According to Indian culture, Vedic culture, if anyone will want to come to our house, we will provide all facilities. We can give our heads to him also. Atithi devo bhava. We cannot follow you.”
I have been serving Svāmījī from the time I met him. He was not in the renounced order then; I have been serving him since then. He is my śikṣā-guru. I have helped so much. I am helping ISKCON from the beginning. Why should I speak against them? I have nothing against them. I have nothing against even those who abuse me. I don’t speak anything against them. I know that due to my past impressions; why should I become involved? I have served my holy masters. I have heard that one should be, “tṛṇād api sunīcena.”
‘sādhu-saṅga’, ‘sādhu-saṅga’ — sarva-śāstre kaya
Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 22.83
Why should I become involved? They can do anything. There was a very black, powerful scorpion that had so much poison. Two sādhu friends were coming to bathe in a river and the river had flooded its banks. One sādhu saw that a scorpion was in the river and he at once tried to save it. He took that scorpion in his hands. But, due to its nature, it stung the sādhu and jumped into the river. The sādhu again rescued the scorpion and the scorpion stung him again. This happened a few times. He tried saving the scorpion four or five times.
The friend of the sādhu asked him, “Why are you doing so? You are being stung by the scorpion repeatedly and you are still trying to save it.”
Then the sādhu began to smile. He told his friend, “If the scorpion is not leaving its nature, then why should I leave my nature?”
A Vaiṣṇava will never fear. Like Haridāsa Ṭhākura, Mīrābai, and others. So, I have nothing to speak against ISKCON. What to speak of Svāmījī who is my śikṣā-guru. Why are they speaking such lies?
Devotee: Everything they say is false.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Everything.
Devotee: They are speaking incorrectly. They say, “Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja said this.” They change some words.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Let them do what they want. I have come for ISKCON and for Svāmījī’s service. I never wanted to come. But Kṛṣṇa and Svāmījī have arranged for me to come.
Devotee: We think that if the devotees are sincere, then they will see through all of this.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: We want to see the truth being spoken because they are not speaking the truth. So, we will speak the truth. We must defeat their lies.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Bhūdhara Prabhu, Sītā-devī, and Śyāmarāṇī have given such good explanations. I have come only to speak on bhakti, I want to speak on what bhakti is and what our goal is. I have come to explain what Svāmījī’s mission is; what Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s mission is. We have not come to quarrel and to answer all these silly questions. We will not have to destroy our time for all of this. If we are going and dogs are barking, we will not have to answer. Otherwise, we will waste our time.
So, we should continue his mission. We should understand what his mission is and we should try to help those who are new or old. Because he especially ordered me to help; all know. Those, who are not interested, will not come. But, we want to help all. This devotee has served me in so many ways. There is no harm in coming to me.
What has he written?
Vrajanātha dāsa: Some questions from a bhakta [new devotee] who came to us in Leicester. He is a nice boy.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: What is he saying?
Vrajanātha dāsa: He is asking any questions to relieve his doubts.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They write so many pages. This is very hard for me.
Vrajanātha dāsa: We can ask any questions and we will send the answer.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes. What are the questions? Who is he initiated by?
Vrajanātha dāsa: No one.
[Vrajanātha dāsa reads the questions]
“Is there a difference between sad-guru and śrī-guru?”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No. Śrī means sat actually. There is no difference. But, there is much difference between an asat-guru and a sad-guru. There is a far, far difference between them.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He is asking this because he says, “Every bona fide guru can give you entry into Goloka Vṛndāvana,” this is what he has heard. And he also heard, “Only very special ones.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Not every bona fide guru. Those who are in Rāmānujācārya’s sampradaya, who are devotees of Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa are bona fide. But, they cannot give the way to Vṛndāvana; they cannot give. But they are sad-gurus. Hanumān is a sad-guru, but he cannot help us go to Vṛndāvana. So, we should follow the sad-guru in the line of Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and especially in the line of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. And, especially the sad-guru, who is in the line of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Then, we can go to Vṛndāvana; otherwise not.
Madhvācārya, Rāmānujācārya, Viṣṇusvāmī, Vallabhācārya, and all are bona fide Gurus. But I think they will not give you this thing.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He is asking, “Those devotees who can distribute prema-nāma and who are speaking.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Also, it doesn’t depend on the disciple’s decision; when the disciple thinks, “Whether my guru is bona fide or not.” Because they all consider that “Our guru is bona fide.” If the guru has lust, anger, and every bad quality; but even then, the disciples think, “Our Gurudeva is bona fide.” So, it doesn’t depend on the disciples’ realization. It should be according to śāstra and Vaiṣṇavas—both. If what the Vaiṣṇavas say is in line with the śāstras and the Vaiṣṇavas are actually following what they say, and we will see the symptoms, then this should be considered; otherwise not.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He is asking, “When does the relationship begin with his Gurudeva—on dīkṣā, or when he meets his…”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: It begins when he first meets his Gurudeva. Whether he is hearing or not, when Gurudeva’s glance falls on that person, the activities begin until he goes to Vṛndāvana.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He has heard that one should accept a guru according to one’s moods.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: No, no. This is wrong. Here, mood in rāganuga-bhakti and not in vaidhī-bhakti. There are no moods there. How will he think and realize whether a person is a bona fide guru or not? How will he determine? He should be in the company of Vaiṣṇavas, śuddha-vaiṣṇavas, and hear continuously from them. And he should also read books. Then, he will choose any good guru. And after that, a śikṣā-guru may tell him all these things. Did any disciple of Svāmījī know his mood? Did they know his mood of service to Kṛṣṇa? This is called a mood. That mood is sakhya, vātsalya, and mādhurya—three moods. The mood of dāsya cannot lead us to Vṛndāvana; never. Dāsya-bhāva is there, but there should be some mood of sakhya. Otherwise, the mood cannot take us to Vṛndāvana. In Vraja, there is no śuddha-dāsya. Śuddha-dāsya is to Rāmacandra and to Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa.
So, how will they decide what the mood is? In mādhura-rasa, there are many kinds of moods. If they will know all these moods from śraddhā, niṣṭhā, ruci, āsakti, bhāva, prema, sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, bhāva, mahābhāva, and after that; then, they can have some greed towards these moods. Otherwise, how can they know?
Vrajanātha dāsa: He says that he has so many questions. He feels that he will only get real satisfaction by getting more of your association.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He should associate with śuddha-vaiṣṇavas—with those, who have no anger, lust, and other impurities. These Vaiṣṇavas have conquered all their senses. He should also associate with those, who have some mood, some greed for Vṛndāvana—vraja-bhāva.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He says that he is going to India in September. He is asking if he can come and visit you.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You can write to him that he should come when I will be in Vṛndāvana.
Vrajanātha dāsa: He is thanking you for making the difficult journey to the West.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: You can go on reading.
Vrajanātha Prabhu reads the letter of the devotee]
“Thank you for making the difficult journey to the West to save us. Kṛṣṇa is so kind. First, He sent Svāmī Mahārāja and now, your good self. You are so kind.”
[Break of audio]
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: If one is “Prabhupādanuga,” then what to think about “Rūpanuga?”
We can be in the line of Rūpanuga. Like, we say, “Gaura-Vinoda-vāṇī.” “Gaura,” means Śrīla Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, “Vinoda,” means Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and “Vāṇī,” means Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Vāṇī. So, we are in this Rūpanuga line. This line can be done. We are Rūpanuga, but in the line of Vedānta Svāmī or any other Ācārya. This is no harm.
But, the conception that “We are Prabhupādanuga,” is quite different. They want to cut off his connection with Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī, and all others. They are not intelligent.
Devotee: They don’t know these things.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: They are cutting his legs and their legs.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: This is aparādha against him.
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: He has given the names of the disciplic order from Kṛṣṇa to his Gurudeva.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Svāmī Mahārāja would often say, “The only reason that I have been successful is because I have not changed anything.”
Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja: Yes.
Transcribed and edited by the Govardhana dāsa (Source: Purebhakti.com)
Image/Art made possible by Pixabay.com, Krishnapath.org and/or Bhaktiart.net
Unless indicated differently, all verse translations and quotes are from the books
by Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Prabhupāda (Vedabase.com)