GBC: Can we ask some questions?
Śrīla Gurudeva: You can ask and I can answer up to my knowledge; it may be wrong, it may be right.
Pradyumna Prabhu (GBC): It seems to me that after the disappearance of Śrīla Prabhupāda, my spiritual master, I am putting more trust in the caitya-guru within. Is this normal to do after the disappearance of your guru and how can we develop the ability to take guidance from Kṛṣṇa in the heart in order to help us serve our guru. I want to respect the advice of my godbrothers, but they have many different opinions. So, I try to surrender more also to caitya–guru. I wanted to ask you about that.
Śrīla Gurudeva: My opinion is that guru is always within. But we have not seen. But his mercy and he himself is present to us, always giving mercy. So, I need to pray more to our beloved gurudeva. He is always present. As in the present time of your gurudeva, you were serving and wanting guidance. This time also, you should not think that, “our guru is not present, so we should go to our caitya-guru.” Caitya-guru is always, and dīkṣā is always, present. So why should we not go to our dīkṣā-guru? There is no lackness of dīkṣā-guru. He is always present. But we should pray to him that you should reveal in our heart. Caitya-guru, without praying, he will do what he has to do. And he is Kṛṣṇa, He is always wanting that all my dears should come to me. He is hankering to do mercy. So, I think it is better to pray to our gurudeva to reveal in our heart and he should give proper guidance in our heart – how we could serve more and more to him. I think it is proper. And śikṣā-guru can do; who is the mahanta-guru. Dīkṣā-guru is also mahanta-guru and śikṣā-guru is also mahanta-guru. If one has śikṣā-guru he should go to śikṣā-guru, time to time and take advice what to do how to do, how to serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and guru. I think if we are very honest to our guru he would certainly and certainly come in our heart and he will make see us.
GBC: That’s a very satisfying understanding.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I see that in Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta that thousands and thousands of years, lakhs and lakhs of years had passed, but yet gurudeva comes to Gopa-kumara; or Śrīmati Rādhikā sends her near and dear Gopa-kumara to Jnana Sarma and they are eager to do mercy upon them. So, if our gurudeva is in that level and we are in the level of Jnana Sarma, or true devotees, Kṛṣṇa and gurudeva will surely have mercy upon us.
We don’t think this question. Not a single time this question has come to my mind because I have full faith in our guru. I always pray my gurudeva, that he should give me how I can serve him. How he can have parama-puruṣārtha. Do you know this term?
GBC: Yes, last goal, yes.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes, last goal. Yesterday we were reading Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī is telling that we pray for the dust of lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa; but not only the dust of the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. The lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa should have kumkum; kumkum you know? The color the gopīs used to have on their breast and they have kept Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet on their breasts and that color, kumkum, has attached to His lotus feet and it has been colored and the dust of that color I want to put on my head. This is the last parama-puruṣārtha of any jīva at any time. There is no better any puruṣārtha the for jīva better than this. Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī (wanted to give this). So, gurudeva and Kṛṣṇa are also eager always to give these things, utmost highest things. If the jīva has so much qualifications, then he can have, otherwise not. At least this wish should be in the heart of any sādhaka.
GBC: Can I ask another question? I came to see you in Nana in 1986 and I asked you if it was alright to admit to my disciples that I had made some mistakes. At that time the mistakes were that I was sitting on a vyāsāsana the same level as Śrīla Prabhupāda and taking a big title like gurupada and sitting above my own godbrothers. So, you told me that if I admitted that these were mistakes my disciples would not lose faith in me but they would appreciate the honesty as humility. So, since then I tried to be very open and honest with disciples and godbrothers also. If I feel some envy or some bad thing I admit it; but some of my godbrothers say that I may mislead disciples if I am too open. For example a few years ago I read some books by Christian saints so rather than keep it private I told that I am doing this. So, my question is should there be a private life that should be kept private and secret or should a sādhu be as open as possible in regard to things like admitting mistakes but also revealing your mind and also...uh…your intimate realizations. What is the relation of the secrecy and truthfulness.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Some principles, or some things, are subject to hide and some things are for open. We should always think that we should not be harmful for lowers or sons or disciples. As we are practicing rāgānuga-bhakti for example, it should not be open to all, it must be kept secret, only to those who are qualified persons we can tell something. Not all our sphūrtis, inner realizations, should be told to them because it may cause to their fallness. Similarly, uh…so many things can be...that if we can tell everything they are not in the position to take it in a better way – so we should keep it secret. And something which is good for them according to their grade we can tell them. And if you and they are in the same level, as a friend you can tell – you may not tell. Everything which we realize should not be told to openly in general mass. Always we should be careful for this.
apana sadhana kotai na kohibe jata kotai
In Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta it has been told that you are practicing bhakti-yoga and if you have some realizations you should not tell other persons in general mass because it will be like camphor; it will evaporate like camphor; so you must think about the qualification of śikṣās, whether it is harmful or not. In my idea, as vaiṣṇava should keep secret something, it has been told: sleeping, eating, drinking, bhajana, sadhana – If anyone in the general mass will see, they will think, “Oh, we are all the same.” So, it may harm them. Everything should not be told. If it is for benefit of disciples…
GBC: What about the benefit of the person? Does it ever benefit him to disclose something?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Huh?
GBC: You speak of the benefit to the disciples, what about the person who is withholding something? Sometimes to be honest he will benefit – like the original time when you said, “Yes, tell your disciples that you made a mistake.” So, that time I didn’t keep a secret.
Śrīla Gurudeva: If by keeping secret that benefit is there, we can do. But we should always be careful that our heart and vyavahāra and vicāra, inner and outer, should be one. Eh…we should not have any incorrect connection with a lady. If I have any illicit connection then we will have to hide. So we should not have any illicit connection with anyone so that I will have to hide. So we should not do anything so that we may have to hide. Only bhajana and sādhana should be there.
GBC: And I had some questions about rāgānuga-bhakti. Um… in some of the gauḍīya-vaiṣṇava sampradāyas they practice rāgānuga-sādhana even when the disciple is not yet perfect. So, Śrīla Prabhupāda, as I read in his books, he indicates this too, to some degree, but he doesn’t teach it specifically in terms of how to know your eternal rasa with Kṛṣṇa. Um, there is a an impression among the devotees in ISKCON, many of them, most of them I would say, that to cultivate rāgānuga-bhakti is not necessary in order to go back to godhead. And they think like this: "This is how you can go back to godhead: if you work hard in ISKCON, even if you don't know what is your rasa with Kṛṣṇa , you will go to Kṛṣṇa after death and then everything will be revealed to you then. You already have a specific rasa but you don’t know it. It will be awakened within you by service to guru.
Śrīla Gurudeva: This is to misguide, certainly. And to taunch (editor: unsure of meaning of taunch). This is certainly a wrong siddhānta.
GBC: Maybe envious siddhānta.
Śrīla Gurudeva: This should not be taught. Without rāgānuga-bhakti we can not go to Kṛṣṇa. Certainly. If anyone does not know sambandha-jñāna, he is full of anarthas, by serving and by increasing income one can not go in koṭī, koṭī years and never will go to Kṛṣṇa; in my opinion and in śāstra opinion. He should do bhakti. Then it will be very cheaper for us. Then at once Kṛṣṇa concsciousness, leaving all these things; but I think this is to misguide. They are ruining themselves and all persons. Kṛṣṇa consciousness is for serving Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, not for ISKCON. ISKCON is to teach how we can serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and gurudeva. Guru and Kṛṣṇa will not teach a person not to serve them and to serve ISKCON. So I don't think so. Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti or ISKCON, or anything, is to serve Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā. So, rāgānuga-bhakti must be followed. We certainly follow Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. Without following Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī a man with thousands and krodas chan living in ISKCON only, having no sambandha-jñāna, no bhajana, he will never …but he will fall at once, like (person's name) and all others.
GBC: Then I want to ask about the practice of rāgānuga-bhakti.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I think some will be angry with me.
GBC: For your answer? (laughter) Maybe…
Śrīla Gurudeva: Why asking me these questions?
GBC: Well, it is important because sometimes when we express interest in Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa devotees say well, “that is too elevated for us….we just…another expression is….”
Śrīla Gurudeva: What is the duty of ISKCON?
GBC: They say just work in the saṅkīrtana movement and even if you have material desires at the Lord Caitanya will come and bring you back to godhead.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I think…(laughter)…this is to teach persons and devotees how to get Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā's service. This is the main object of ISKCON and that is why Śrīla Prabhupāda, your gurudeva, went to the western countries by the order of his spiritual master. There have no any ambition other than to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and Caitanya Mahāprabhu.
GBC: But if you distribute a book, isn’t that serving Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa? Or clean the temple?
Śrīla Gurudeva: (light laughter: hehe). This can be general sevā so that we can teach the world how to serve Kṛṣṇa, for this it can help like we are doing jñāna, sacrifice. We are bringing ghee, wood, bricks, sand, cement, this can be bringing all these things collecting all these things may be called sacrifice but it is not sacrifice; svāhā – "I am giving myself, whole thing to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa." That is sacrifice. If it is not done, bringing and doing and laboring, everything is not sacrifice. In this manner, if you are doing saṅkīrtana-jñāna for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa to please Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa or to serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu , then if anyone is cleaning the floor, not cleaning, he is also cleaning the vicana of any vaiṣṇava, it is bhakti.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Latrine, like Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura cleaned the latrine of his gurudeva…
GBC: Oh yes...
Śrīla Gurudeva: So, anything, any activity or endeavor or gesture or prana, mana, vacana, anukūla for Kṛṣṇa, it is called uttamā bhakti. Not only saṅkīrtana, saṅkīrtana is best, nama-sankirtana, but anything, any wish, any mental thing, any action, either physical or mental, will be bhakti,
GBC: If the bhava...
Śrīla Gurudeva: …if bhakti is there. And to read bhāgavata and to serve arcana will be against bhakti if you are going against the principles; If you are doing arcana if you are doing bhāgavata-kathā you are preaching for yourself, or wife and children, then it will be against bhakti. To read bhāgavata and to do arcana also. So, it depends on this heart. So, I think that we must follow Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī he (Śrīla Prabhupāda) has come to preach the principles of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrīla Svarūpa Damodara Gosvāmī and Rāmānanda Rāya only. And for the betterment (of society) he established ISKCON to preach the service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. If they are not preaching correctly we should leave at once this society. And if they are doing service we should all thank. I also think, I am in the Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, in a moment when I will see that they are not serving Kṛṣṇa I will at once leave this Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti. I have not come to see Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti, but I have come to see that they are all serving to Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has written in Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi and others, how a jīva, a conditioned soul, can come towards Kṛṣṇa and can achieve the highest thing – highest service of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. So, we certainly must adopt all these things. If they are adopting and doing we should certainly follow ISKCON; but if they are not we can think more.
One thing also, you have question? What rūpānuga-vaiṣṇava?
GBC: In the gauḍīya-vaiṣṇava sampradāya do they practice rāgānuga-sādhana even in the intermediate or neophyte stage?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Here we can see that whether he is a wretched person, he has no ability, he is a rotten person, but yet he has greed by the grace of a rasika vaiṣṇava by reading Śrīmad Bhāgavtam and by hearing Śrīmad Bhāgavtam he is able to do rāgānuga-bhajana. Someone may say that he is not pious, his soul is not pure, he has no satya, sama, dhama and all these qualities, he is hankering after women, do you understand? And he has some bad society or anything. Like Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura, he was not a good person, but anyhow he had a greed by the mercy of Kṛṣṇa Himself as a caitya–guru, or by the grace of Cintāmaṇi who always used to do very sweet songs about Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā; and by his gurudeva, Somagiri. Anyhow he has greed and that greed in a very rotten condition – yet he went so high. There should be greed and this is availability for doing rāgānuga-bhajana . Whether he is a wretched person or not or he is a pure soul or anything – only he should have greed, and that greed should be actual greed. Then he can do rāgānuga-bhajana and by bhajana his all things will be clean. In Śrīmad Bhāgavtam
vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ śraddhānvito 'nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ bhaktim parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ hṛd-roga āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ
[“Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord's playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrndavana will attain the Lord's pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart. (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 10.33.39)]
At first bhakti comes and all these evil things (go away); but greed must be pure and qualified and actual greed – real greed.
GBC: May I ask more about that? I met a person recently, his name is Gadādhara prāṇa he was a disciple of Lalitā Prasāda, the son of Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. So he was in ISKCON then he left. He was telling me that in his sampradāya, now, they practice rāgānuga-sādhana. He said in ISKCON you only practice vaidhi-bhakti you have to practice sādhana even when you are not perfect but to bring this greed. So, they have this praṇāli and they mediate on Kṛṣṇa’s aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā so he was advocating or preaching that you should bring this into ISKCON.
Śrīla Gurudeva: No, we should not follow that. We know Lalitā Prasāda, he has no greed – he has only kāma. So, Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, knowing this, he refused that person. We know these things and our gurudeva also refused that person.
GBC: What would be our answer though? What is our practice of rāgānuga-sādhana if not what they do?
Śrīla Gurudeva: We are doing sādhana bhakti, vaidhi bhakti.
GBC: We are.
Śrīla Gurudeva: By doing this and by the grace of guru and Gaurāṅga, or any rasika vaiṣṇava, we will hear the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa. It is not sure, but we hope that we will have certainly greed. And then we will be advanced. We will not follow sahajiyā vaiṣṇava. This should come from upper side. Not ascending, it should be descending from vaiṣṇava or Kṛṣṇa jñāna or from Kṛṣṇa. As Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has told, they are distributing rāgānuga-bhajana. Devotees are not going and they have no greed to serve Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa but they are distributing. A devotee must have greed – then they should be told. They should be mercified. But they have not seen that I have also no greed and these disciples have no greed and they are distributing like fruits. This is not right.
GBC: Not so cheap.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Not so cheap.
We should not follow – we can not follow these things. I have seen so many persons have been ruined. This greed will take this man very upper, like Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Jīva Gosvāmī, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura. How elevated. So we should always do what our guru has told. What Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has told Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Śrīla Prabhupāda, our gurudeva, we must follow. We have siddha pranali, they have no siddhi pranali.
GBC: We have siddhi pranali?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Certainly.
tṛṇād api su-nīcena taror via sahiṣṇunā amāninā māna-dena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ
["One who thinks himself lover than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honor yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the hold name of the Lord" ( Ādi 17.3, Antya 6.239, Antya 20.21)]
This is siddha pranli. They are not following all these pranali. They are taking by cheap, very cheap. Without being so. By gathering so many ladies and by practicing. Like Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Gaurakiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, how vairāgya–mārga. But I think Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura they are more vairāgya–mārga than Śrīla Gaurakiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja. In my opinion.
GBC: More vairāgya.
Śrīla Gurudeva: More vairāgya. But this requires some heart and mind to know these things. Anything more?
GBC: I have a personal request. I wanted to ask your permission if I could begin to worship the Govardhana-silā.
Śrīla Gurudeva: You have requested me?
GBC: I am requesting you.
Śrīla Gurudeva: First you have requested me?
GBC: First? Now I am. Never before.
Śrīla Gurudeva: (unintelligible) What should I do?
GBC: Does that mean I can go to the Govardhana hill and take one stone?
Śrīla Gurudeva: My permission you want. (unintelligible) guru....
Śrīla Gurudeva: If you like you can do.
GBC: Does that mean I can go to the govardhana hill and take one stone?
Śrīla Gurudeva: If by the permission of guruji. Why you are not going towards bhāva-bhakti?
GBC: Why I am not...?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Following or going towards bhava bhakti…
GBC: I think maharaji thinks worshiping Govardhana will bring him in that direction.
GBC: I can not understand why he asked at that point.
Śrīla Gurudeva: You should know Hindi or Bengali because I can't express fully my idea so there are some…Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī...Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, what has he done? The last saptam gosvāmī, what has he done?
GBC: Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura? What are his activies?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes, towards arcana.
GBC: I know he wrote many books.
Śrīla Gurudeva: No, what activities has he done towards arcana. He used to do arcana?
GBC: I don’t know his arcana activities.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Śrīla Gaurakiśora Dāsa Bābājī Mahārāja, he used to do arcana?
Śrīla Gurudeva: No, no, no. he used to do arcana or not?
GBC: I don’t know.
Śrīla Gurudeva: You don’t know? Your gurudeva, used to do arcana or not?
GBC: Not personally, no.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Not personally?
GBC: In the temples he installed many dieties, arcā-vigraha. No, not very…. for a few years.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Always?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Like you are going to do? You want to take Govardhana-silā and when you take it you will have to always do arcana. You will have to do? Or will you give it to any devotee?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Your gurudeva has done like this?
GBC: No, maybe not.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Why he has not done?
GBC: Why he did not practice arcana? I don’t know his mind, but you might say he was…
Śrīla Gurudeva: There are two kinds of sevā to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, one by arcā-vigraha, by water and flowers and all these things and other is bhāva-sevā, bhāva-puṣpa. Bhāva is their flowers and love is their water. Theire inner bhāvas are upta-karanas of sevā – internal ingredients. They have done like so.
GBC: Yes, that was their arcana.
Śrīla Gurudeva: So, the arcana of Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī was not arcana but it was bhāva-sevā. How sevā? When he sees Govardhana he at once goes inner and sees Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. He only prays to Govardhana with tulasī that I should serve Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and only the līlās in Rādhā-kuṇḍa in mid-day. This is bhāva-sevā. What he has written in Vilapa-Kusumanjali or all other prayers in Vraja-vilasa-stava he used to mentally all these sevās. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa is there and he is seeing that, "I am preparing garlands, tambule, camphor, chandan, aguru and so many things and giving at the need time in certain sevā. He was trying to do. But we are not so high. So, we should do this arcana also. So, you can, if you want, you can do. But you should always try to enter in bhāva-sevā, praying by uttering the ślokas of Vilapa-Kusumanjali, Vraja-vilasa-stava, Śrī Upadeśāmṛta, Caitanya Śikṣāṣṭaka all these things.
GBC: Not just the outer formality of arcana.
Śrīla Gurudeva: I think that if every person, having a mood that I should worship Girirāja with me, whether I am in Western countries or Southern countries or hither and thither, and if everyone will take every silā of Girirāja, then what will be the condition of Govardhana (Laughing)? There will be no sign of Girirāja Govardhana. So, it has been told in the Purāṇas that if you want to take it keep an equal weight in gold there and then you should take; And (only) by the order of your spiritual master or in his absence there should be any high grade of vaiṣṇava. So, many Govardhana-silās and new devotees, they are very fond of worshipping Girirāja Govardhana. They brought without telling anyone they brought from there. And after two, three, four months, there comes any disturbance or anything, they keep it here without…
(break in tape)
Nāma-saṅkīrtana should be followed and service in heart. If these are two everything is there and if not there nothing is there. Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilasa is for gṛhastha-bhakta not for (unintelligible) and in this Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilasa, arcana, sacrifice and all these things are there. And then after reading Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilasa in gṛhastha….(break in tape)…they should obey all these things and if they are mature they should read all these things and they should be vairāgī-vaiṣṇava and follow bhāva-sevā and follow Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and all others. Anything more?
GBC: No….thank you.
Śrīla Gurudeva: In my wordings, what is favorable for you, you can take it, and what is unfavorable you should reject. Tamal Kṛṣṇa prabhu wanted to take one Govardhana-silā for Texas.
GBC: I heard. A very big one.
Śrīla Gurudeva: He told that, “Yout should give me.” I told that, "I will not give, you can take. The responsibility will be upon you. If anything goes against and not in service; after fifty years if he has no good disciple, able disciple, that disciple will take Girirāja Govardhana and will throw in the sea. We should think for abhiṣeka also.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Are you thinking about worshipping Girirāja-Govardhana?
GBC: No, now I am thinking about it. I am not so eager.
Śrīla Gurudeva: If you are so eager I am not going to disturb you. You can take a little and serve.
GBC: Your words make me think, I have to think more.
Śrīla Gurudeva: (break in tape) ...Sarasvati and your gurudeva, my gurudeva, eh…were not in a mood that in this present time all are hankering for rāgānuga-bhakti. They wanted that in a proper way we should go. By real bhakti – vaidhi-bhakti we should go. And if greed comes, it is so much better. So much better. So Bhagavān. But without greed we shold not think all these pasttimes. It should come in proper way. A greed by practice will not come, by reading it will not come. I love a lady. I saw a lady and I loved her. No reason, nothing. So the service of by their gopīs or sakha they hearing the pastimes and by past saṁskāra. Do you know saṁskāra?
GBC: Previous impressions in the heart.
Śrīla Gurudeva: By that a greed comes. By any activities, greed can not come. It will come itself. But by the association of a rasika vaiṣṇava and hearing the līlā-kathā by rasika vaiṣṇava. Without a rasika vaiṣṇava it will not come. If Kṛṣṇa does mercy He will do through the rasika vaiṣṇava. See. And if a rasika vaiṣṇava son comes he can not adopt it, otherwise we have no saṁskāra. We will not recognize him, "Who is he?". So, we should follow faithfully vaidhi-bhakti. The principles of vaidhi-bhakti and rāgānuga-bhakti of the heart are not different, they are the same same –
śrī-prahrāda uvāca śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ smaraṇaṁ pāda-sevanam arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ sakhyam ātma-nivedanam iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā kriyeta bhagavaty addhā tanmanye 'dhītam uttamam
["Prahlāda Mahārāja said: 'Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord's one's best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words)–these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.'" (SB 7.5.23-24, Madhya 9.259-260)]
sādhu-saṅga, nāma-kīrtana, bhāgavata-śravaṇa mathurā-vāsa, śrī-mūrtira śraddhāya sevana
["One should associate with devotees, chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, reside at Mathurā and worship the Deity with faith and veneration." (Madhya 22.128)]
(They are both the) same in vaidhi-bhakti and same in rāgānuga-bhakti, but the moods are different; thinking and hearing and chanting are different. In vaidhi-bhakti Prahlāda- charitra, Uddhava-sambandha, not Sandesh, Uddhava-sambandha in the 11th Canto, Devahuti-Kapila sambandha, (another) asura – and all other things. These are anukūla for vaidhi-bhakti. So śravaṇaṁ this should be so. Any rāgānuga-śravaṇaṁ is another (unintelligble) Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrīmad Bhāgavatam tenth canto, the books of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, and all those things, Jayadeva Gosvāmī, all these according to our greed. Kīrtana, kīrtana is the same, but that kīrtana, vaidhi-bhakti-kīrtana, the kīrtana of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and all others, was primary śaraṇāgatī, Kalyana Kalpataru and all those things. We can do kīrtana of all these and in rāgānuga, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura's Lalasamayi, and Anuragamayi and all these. So, we will have to follow the vaidhi-bhakti also and if he is rāgānuga he should follow also the principles of vaidhi-bhakti.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written
vaidhi-bhakti raka jane / sva-vinota ratna-gane /raga-marge karena-pravesa/ (unknown verse) "those who will heartly follow the principles of vaidhi-bhakti, heartly he should do, then Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's servants will do pravesa in rāgānuga-mārga; by their mercy that devotee will enter in rāgānuga.
(Break in tape. Tape become unclear after minute 54.00)
Śrīla Gurudeva: These are five books. Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Śrī Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛta and Rāga-vartma-candrikā. Those who want to be gaudiya vaisnava, caitany mahaprabhu taught, they should adopt bindu kirankar and Rāga-vartma-candrikā. What means Rāga-vartma-candrikā? Rāga-vartma-candrikā: Chandrika is coming from Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and it is making signing the way of *ragā.
GBC: I read something you spoke in English and he typed on that. Like a translation. Very wonderful.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Madhura-kana meaning, do you know the meaning? Do you know Hindi?
GBC: Uh…shower of nectar?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Mādhurya, mādhurya-rasa, and if rains nectar, this nectar comes from Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu and comes to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura and from him the shower of nectar comes. These five books to commentary, with commentary. This kind with comment.
GBC: You have begun?
Śrīla Gurudeva: Not now, but I want. Vāmana Mahārāja and all other members are telling me to translate Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura's Gita and Śrīmad Bhāgavatam some but I have no time at all to do all these things. It requires a lot of energy which I have not a lot of energy or anything. I could do it but a very precious thing.
GBC: Distill the essence of everything; all the big works are coming into recourse of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura.
GBC: Maharaja, last time you spoke to me you encouraged me to practice arcana inside, not external arcana; I want to learn more how to do that internal arcana. Too many years I have been doing external.
Śrīla Gurudeva: You can continue but you should also do like our gosvāmīs.
GBC: If I am chanting means to say “Hare Kṛṣṇa / Hare Kṛṣṇa” is the external part but what is internal? Think of Kṛṣṇa?
Śrīla Gurudeva: So many things. All these are external. Chanting harināma and being in Vṛndāvana in Rādhā-kuṇḍa in especially...and praying, not now, you should think but you should pray that we should have it. It has been written here in Śrī Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu. Bhajan-aṅga...
GBC: ...Bhajana-aṅga, parts of raganuga...
Śrīla Gurudeva: Those who want to enter, those who yet not enter, but they want, they have some greed. Greed has no reason. It does not require any reason why. Greed is greed. Seeing beautiful dieties of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa very lovely, in the mood of dieties or hearing the pastimes of Kṛṣṇa by vaiṣṇavas; upper room we have very (details) regarding Śrīmad Bhāgavatam especially the tenth canto and the books of gosvāmīs. We can have it. Then we should do to quench our greed. This can be found only in śāstra or in the heart of vaiṣṇavas. These are the five kinds of reasons of how to enter. Tatt tat bhava maiya. Tat bhava maiya, do you know? Bhava maiya some are bhāva-sambandhī related to bhāva. Some are bhāva-maiyī means śānta, dāsya, sakhya vātsalya and mādhurya bhāva-maiyī. We will have to chose upon what our duty is; according to that. We will think Kṛṣṇa and His associates of that bhāva. So this is bhāva-maiyī and bhāva-sambandhī, related to that bhāva…
GBC: Hearing and chanting….
Śrīla Gurudeva: I am explaining… and sat bhava anukula tat bhava anuki – not adverse and some are tata bhava pratikula we should not adopt and forced we should adopt. Among these, to think about dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya and having greed to enter among. We should always think about Kṛṣṇa and His associates like if we want mādhurya-rasa we will have to follow Rūpa-mañjarī and all others and always chanting and remembering, “Oh, Kṛṣṇa.” These are bhāva-maiyī. The prema-kalpa-taru all these bhāvas right? Always thinking and worship like this like rasika mood. In morning you are sitting, about 6 or 5, thinking:
I am going to Yamunā, Keśī-ghāṭa, and I am taking bath and in svaran-karnas I am taking bath, in golden pot, like Indians, and I am also sakhya, sakhya means Sudhama, or I am vātsalya, or I am Yaśodā's very near and dear or I am any dāsī of Rādhā. I have brought water from there from Rādhā-kuṇḍa, Mānasī-gaṅga, or water from Ganges near Varkana-ghata. In front of Māyāpur, in front of where Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu played drums and I am Kṛṣṇa. He will give you varkana so that if you worship me I will give you words that you will have very beautiful husband and if you don’t worship me your husband will be old one, very blackish. So, this is Varkana-vata. Very, very near and dear to Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Or any ghāṭa of Navadvīpa where Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu used to play with boys and to take bath in Ganges. From there I will take.
But in Kṛṣṇa līlā it is very good to take bath in Yamunā, or Mānasī-gaṅga or Rādhā-kuṇḍa, Śyāma-kuṇḍa, manaḥ-sarovara or prema-sarovara and other places. If you want to worship as the gopīs and do arcana – how arcana? If you can go to Javana, it is very good. Śrīmati Rādhikā is there. You should make bath for her there, as if I am bathing and doing arcana if you want you can have a very golden temple, where Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are there. I am cooking myself. After doing arcana not so and giving to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and after doing ārati and other things at last give rest. When, after giving flowers, puṣpa-añjali, and we can again all the time read Kṛṣṇa and do all these things. These are bhāvaa; according to our bhāva and according to time we should do all these things. Perhaps you have heard the story in Padma-Purāṇa, or any Purāṇas, that there was a man who went to hear Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, or any Purāṇa, and he was hearing that Purāṇas a story, that there was a brāhmaṇa who wanted to do arcana of Nārāyaṇa but actually he had no mandira – no anything. That brāhmaṇa heard that mentally we can do arcana. So, hearing he prayed how. After taking bath he sat down facing east and began to do arcana. He went to Ganges, took bath in Ganges, he brought water in colors. In temple. Temple was golden. Diety was very shining. Nārāyaṇa and Lakṣmī. He did arcana by mind. And after that he went to cook room and cooked sweet rice and took it in a golden cup – but it was, what? He put his finger to see if it was so warm or not; but it was so warm and when he put it in his finger – his finger had a blister. In Vaikuṇṭha Nārāyaṇa began to laugh. Lakṣmī said, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “In that tri-loka one of my devotees has given me sweet rice and he put his finger in there to see how how it was and his finger has been burned and he has a blister. She said, “I want to see that devotee.” Nārāyaṇa then told that devotee, "You will have to go to Vaikuṇṭha."
So by mind it can be done and all our aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā smaraṇa is according to this. If a man does all these things then this means our hand is out of indriya. Mind is indriya, so we will have more things by doing hands than by …. Because it is the thing of all indriya. So, a smaraṇa wants one. If mind is sama and it is in immersed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness it is better than outer indriya so our gosvāmīs have discovered all these things to worship Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. So, this can be done. All the things we are doing by indriya we can do it by mind also. We can go in a place where all these things aren’t available but by mind it is always possible. A man can steal all these things. They can take vigraha also, but they can not steal our mind. So, Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu has by mind also so much superior. But we should do also by these indriya also. And for kalikala chanting of nama and remembering the pastimes it is more superior…
GBC: More superior than…?
Śrīla Gurudeva: ...than other practicing. Chanting of name and remembering of pastimes of Kṛṣṇa and their parikara is more superior. And that should be our ultimate goal. So, he has written how sambandhī-bhāva-maiyī at first. What is the meaning of bhāva-maiyī? Bhāva means to remember Kṛṣṇa and his associates in Gopāla-mantra – svaha gopi jana…svaha…this is bhāva which we are going to take or we are going to Kṛṣṇa – this is bhāva.
GBC: The way we wish to worship Kṛṣṇa.
Śrīla Gurudeva: ...and Rādhikā – gopī jana vallabha. Kṛṣṇa is vallabha of gopīs. Now I am giving myself as a gopī and keeping that gopī vallabha is our vallabha. This bhāva is svaha; sva means myself ha means we are giving in purnamurti. Purnamurti you know? Means in sacrifice we give all things. So, we are giving myself in the lotus of gopīs and vallabha as my vallabha. Śrīmati Rādhikā is our worshipful diety and we are maidservants of Śrīmati Rādhikā. So his vallabha will be my vallabha and her bhāva is my bhāva. Now, I am giving everything to the lotus feet Śrī Rādhikā and gopī jana vallabha Kṛṣṇa. This is bhāva-maiyī – paramadhura rāsa. Subala and Śrīdhama and their bhāva are bhāva-sambandhī-maiyī. Understand something?
GBC: Yes, I do.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Bhāva, bhāva-maiyī, and now bhāva-sambandhī. From shelter of guru padapadma from there to śikṣā and dīkṣā, both, and after that śikṣā and dīkṣā means everything comes and then visvama-hena guro sevā means with bhāva, we should serve Kṛṣṇa with gurudeva keeping very away, fear that he is most superior and I am most wretched. Being on the same level – I am very near and dear – this is called visvam-bhāva. Visvama-hena guro sevā – what he wants, we should do. We should always be in a mood that we should make to his order with heart this is visvama-hena guro sevā.
These are ten, ten of 64. These are bhāva-sambandha-gita they were bhāva, bhāva-maiyī and bhāva sambandha. Without this we can not enter. Remembering of gurudeva is not remembering of Kṛṣṇa but yet remembering of gurudeva in spite of gurudeva but gurudeva knows.
nikuñja-yūno rati-keli-siddhyai yā yālibhir yuktir apekṣanīyā tatrāti-dākṣād ati-vallabhasya vane guroḥ śrī caraṇāravindam
[Śrī Gurudeva is always present with the sakhīs, planning the arrangements for the perfection of yugala-kiśora's amorous pastimes (rati-keli) within the kuñjas of Vṛndāvana. Because he is so expert in making these tasteful arrangements for Their pleasure, he is very dear to Śrī Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. I offer prayers unto the lotus feet of Śri Gurudeva. (Śrī Guruaṣṭakam 6)]
You know the meaning?
GBC: The spiritual master is assisting the gopīs in their arrangements for Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa
śrī-rādhikā-mādhavayor apāra- mādhuray-līlā-guṇa-rūpa-nāmnām prati-kṣaṇāsvādana-lolupasya vane guroḥ śrī caraṇāravindam
[At every moment Śrī Gurudeva is experiencing intense greed in his heart to taste the unlimited sweetness of the holy names, forms, qualities, and pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava in Vṛndāvana. I offer my prayers unto the lotus feet of Śrī Gurudeva. (Śrī Gurvaṣṭakam 5)]
To remember gurudeva means to remember what our gurudeva does the sevā of Kṛṣṇa and Śrī Rādhikā and gopīs in Vṛndāvana. That should be required. It is very helpful for going in prema-salbidra, kalpa-vrksa. This is bhāva-sambandhī and as ragatmika-bhakta does in Vraja. Time to time all these sevā you should remember. This is called bhāva-sambandhī. And Ekādaśī, Janmāṣṭamī, Kārtikka-vrata. You should give up enjoyment of all material things. Tulasi astata saman vaiṣṇava samana; all these are bhāva-anukūla; we should do. And namacha, mala with tilaka all are bhāva-avirudha, these are not against our bhāva so they should be accepted and bhava-vrta; that is Rukmiṇī-bhava, Rukmiṇī arcana and all the things which are not anukūla for our bhāva they should be rejected whether these are bhakti among 64 yet they will have to be rejected….
GBC: No harm if we give them up.
GBC: Must give them up.
Śrīla Gurudeva: Yes.
transcribed: September 2011 by Devananda dasa (Dominick Inglese)