20th January 2020
Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramananda Rai Conversation Part 2
Today is Ekadasi. Japa should be constant, not seasonal. A few of the devotees chant on this conference on special days such as Ekadasi. Don't do like this. If you chant daily, at the same place and the same time, then it is beneficial. The Lord will be pleased with us. Our meditation will increase.
We have two breaking news! Hare Krishna devotees also have their news. We should listen to this. News from material world are gram katha and Hare Krisna news are Krsna katha.
Yesterday in Greater Noida Purnanandi Mataji organised a children’s padayatra with 64 kids. They did kirtana as well as distribution of books. It’s good morning news. Please take note of this and you can organise such a special one day padayatra. Jayabhadra mataji had also organised Girl's padayatra. One day padayatras are also going on which are organised by Murali Mohan prabhu. This way preaching is conducted through padayatra. It is also called nagar sankirtana or Prabhat Pheri in Maharashtra. Prabhat means morning hours and Pheri means to go from place to place while doing kirtana.
rama nama ke heere moti
main bikhraaun gali gali
Harinama is a jewel and we distribute these jewels of Harinama in various streets during Sankirtana. ( anonymous Rama bhajan)
Today is Ekadasi. We have to chant more and with more attention. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has recommended introspection of our sadhana on Ekadasi from the last Ekadasi to this one and to make some resolutions to improve our weak points. This is our homework.
ISKCON Amravati in Maharashtra is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of its temple opening this year. They want to renovate the temple and hence they are organising a 20 hour Sankirtana Mahayajna today. They already have started. For this Mahayajna and renovation, all of you please chant Haribol and give your best wishes and blessings and inspire their leaders, devotees and congregation of ISKCON Amravati.
One more news, This year we have the 30th Anniversary of Mayapur, Nabadvipa-mandala Parikrama. This is a special celebration. You all are cordially invited. 30 years ago, we started Nabadvipa Parikrama and the number of participants went on increasing starting from 100. We are expecting 10 thousand participants this year. Please make an announcement regarding Nabadvipa Parikrama in your temple. There will be Kirtana mela in Mayapur and then Parikrama.
Now we will read the remaining conversation between Lord Caitanya and Rāmānanda Rāi. Caitanya Mahaprabhu is asking questions from Rāmānanda Rāi.
'śreyo-madhye kona śreyah jīvera haya sāra?'
'krsna-bhakta-sanga vinā śreyah nāhi āra'
"Out of all auspicious and beneficial activities, which is best for the living entity?"
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "The only auspicious activity is association with the devotees of Krsna.” (CC.Madhya 8.251)
Which is the best activity? One is śreyah and another is preyah.
na ca sreyo 'nupasyami
hatva sva-janam ahave
na kankse vijayam krsna
na ca rajyam sukhani ca
I do not see 5any good (śreyah) can come from killing our own kinsmen in this battle, nor can I, my dear Krsna, desire any subsequent victory, kingdom, or happiness. (BG 1.31)
Arjuna call this śreyah. Preyah means immediate sense gratification. We don't think of the result of such enjoyment. We don't think of śreyah or long term benefit. We should not do this. We should think of śreyah. Children like to play. They don't like to go to school. They are asked to think of the future. The world does not think of the future. They just think of the present. But everything's not lost with death. We need to think of life after death. Please understand what is śreyah and preyah. We should act now in such a way that we will get the sweet fruits of our current endeavours later in future.
Krsna-prāpti hoy jāhā ha'te (Guru Vandana verse 1) Attaining Krishna is real śreyah. Which is the best activity for the living entities? How can we get śreyah is the question asked now.
There is no other medium to get śreyah other than through the association of devotees of Krsna.
Therefore, It is said that
'sādhu-sanga', 'sādhu-sanga', sarva-sāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-sange sarva-siddhi haya (CC. Madhya 22.54)
Simply by associating with a pure devotee, one becomes wonderfully advanced in Krsna consciousness. (CC. Madhya 22.54)
Siddhi means śreyah. san siddhi hari-poshanam Rāmānanda Rāi replied to get siddhi or śreyah, the association of devotees is mandatory.
'kānhāra smarana jīva karibe anuksana?'
'Krsna-nāma-guna-līlā--pradhāna smarana' (C.C. Madhya 8.252)
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, "What should all living entities constantly remember?"
Rāmānanda Rāi replied, "The chief objects of remembrance are always the Lord's holy names, qualities and pastimes."
Anuksana comes after Ksana. Anu means to follow or Anusaran or Ramanuj, Krsnanuj. Anuksana means constantly. Whom to be remembered constantly? Rāmānanda Rāi replied that we should remember Krsna, His name, qualities, pastimes, form, abode, and His devotees. This is Bhagavad, anything which is related to Lord.
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam
Srila Vishwanath Cakravarti Thakur has said that our ideal acaryas are always eager to chant and hear about the unlimited conjugal pastimes of Sri Sri Radhika and Madhava, and about Their qualities, names, and forms. (Sri Gurvashtakam Text 5)
lokanam hita- karinau tri-bhuvane manyau saranyakarau radha-krishna-padaravinda-bhajananandena mattalikau
vande rupa-sanatanau raghu-yugau sri-jiva-gopalakau
Six Goswamis are absorbed in the mood of the gopis and experiencing bliss remembering name, form, pastimes, qualities of Radha Krsna. (shad Goswamy Ashtakam verse 2)
It's been asked to remember Krsna always.
Smartavyam satatam Vishnu vismartvyam na jatu chit
Gopis also had asked to remember Krsna always. Not to forget ever Krsna. We have to practice this.
'dhyeya-madhye jīvera kartavya kon dhyāna?'
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu further inquired, "Out of many types of meditation, which is required for all living entities?"
Śrīla Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "The chief duty of every living entity is to meditate upon the lotus feet of Rādhā and Krsna."(CC. Madhya 8.253)
Dhyeya means one worthy of remembrance. Object of remembrance. What should the living entity meditate on? Srila Prabhupada would ask us to fix our object of meditation before beginning our meditation. If you don't know on whom you are going to meditate then what is the use of such meditation. This is the question.
Meditation on the lotus feet of Radha Krsna is real meditation.
sa vai mana krishna-padaravindayau
King Kulashekhar used to meditate on lotus feet of the Lord. This is speciality of Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
I was hearing Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur. He was saying that those who worship Visnu are Vaisnavas, those who worship Krishna are Karsnas and those who worship Radha are Gaudiyas or Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Radha and Krsna are always together. We should meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha Krsna.
'sarva tyaji' jīvera kartavya kāhān vāsa?'
'vraja-bhūmi vrndāvana yāhān līlā-rāsa'
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, "Where should the living entity live, abandoning all other places?"
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "The holy place known as Vrndāvana or Vrajabhūmi, where the Lord performed His rāsa dance.” (CC. Madhya 8.254)
Where should living entity stay giving up everything? Give up everything and run towards Vrindavan. This is our aim. We can go from time to time. If you get frustrated, then go to Vrindavan. When you return, then if you remember Vrindavan wherever you are, say Amravati, Nagpur, Moscow, New York or Pune, then you are in Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada said once, "I am not in New York. I am in Vrindavan." So, this is also a way to live in Vrindavan. Srila Prabhupada would say that he was missing his Radha Damodar, Radha Govind of Vrindavan because his heart was not in New York, but in Vrindavan.
So, you can also go to ISKCON temples which are also Vrindavan or else you can turn your home into Vrindavan.
asha pashashater bandhe A living entity should leave everything behind and reach to Vrindavan.
'śravana-madhye jīvera kon śrestha śravana?"
Śri Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, "Out of all topics people listen to, which is best for all living entities?"
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "Hearing about the loving affairs between Rādhā and Krsna is most pleasing to the ear.” (CC. Madhya 8.255)
What is worth of hearing? Hearing Pastimes of Radha Krsna is worth hearing. Gaudiya Vaisnavas are like this only. They don't leave Radha Krsna. If you want to live, live in the abode of Radha Krsna. If you want to meditate, meditate upon the lotus feet of Radha Krsna. If you want to hear something, then hear the pastimes of Radha Krsna. First hear, study or chant then automatically you will remember or meditate. śravanam, kirtanam, visnu smaranam or remembering the lotus feet of Radha Krsna. This is the best thing - to meditate upon but for this we have read or hear Srila Prabhupada books, Krishna book, Srimad-Bhagavatam.
'upāsyera madhye kon upāsya pradhāna?'
'śrestha upāsya--yugala 'rādhā-krsna' nāma'
Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu asked, "Among all worshipable objects, which is the chief?"
Rāmānanda Rāya replied, "The chief worshipable object is the holy name of Rādhā and Krsna, the Hare Krsna mantra."(C.C. Madhya 8.256)
Whom to worship? We sadhakas are upasak then who should be Upāsya?
The greatest worship is the name of Radha Krsna. He hasn't spoken about the worshipping of Deities although we do this also as a part of navidha bhakti as aradhana. But this was recommended in Dvapara Yuga. Whatever benefit was attained by worshipping deities in Dvapara Yuga can be attained by chanting the holy names of Radha Krsna in age of Kali Yuga. That is why it is said in sastras:
harer nāma harer nāma
harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva
nāsty eva gatir anyathā
" 'For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord.' ( CC Adi 7.76)
The best worship amongst yajnas is the chanting of the holy names. You can refer to the 8th chapter of Madhya Lila Caitanya-caritamrta from verse 240 onwards , if you want to read this again or you can give class on it.
Gaura prema nande hari haribol !