8 June 2020 Questions and answers Chanting is taking place from 795 locations. That’s almost 800 locations. I welcome you all, I am very happy to see you all chanting. Chant and be happy. Good morning! Suprabhatam!
I will continue with the question and answers sessions
Athāto brahma jijñāsā
Translation: Now one should inquire about Brahman - The absolute truth, the transcendental, spiritual nature”(Vedanta-sutra 1.1.1)
In Vedanta-sutra human beings are inspired to inquire about Brahman. Atha means now, this time and athah means that’s why. Brahma sutra says, “Now this time you have received the human form of life which is very rare - atha, athah – that’s why you should enquire about the absolute truth, the transcendental, spiritual nature, the Brahman. Now is the time to inquire about the Absolute Truth.” The human form of life is especially meant for this purpose.
tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah
Translation: Just try to learn the truth by approaching a spiritual master. Inquire from him submissively and render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge unto you because he has seen the truth. [BG 4.32]
Then it’s said, pariprasnena sevaya Krsna also says that there should be submissive inquiry. Such an inquiry should be enriched with a mood of service, sevaya. There is also the inclusion of submissiveness and humility. If we serve with humility then, vinyat yati patrata [Hitopadesh - verse 6]
When we inquire about the absolute truth submissively then we get the answers and we become eligible to receive it and hold on to the knowledge.
Sometimes devotees ask questions simply which are discussed on this forum. Every day we have different presentations. But some devotees ask different questions like this one.
Question1: Please guide me as my mind is very disturbed sometimes, so it creates a fear of going away from Krsna. What should I do?
Gurudev uvaca: This question is being asked by one devotee, but this question comes to everybody’s mind. We should not think that this question is not mine so I should not listen to the answer. This answer is for everybody. The question is, sometimes my mind gets disturbed. I was thinking you are so fortunate that only sometimes your mind gets disturbed, not always. And when your mind is disturbed you think, let’s go away from the Lord. So what should you do?
Then a question can be asked, where is the place where you go to and the Lord does not exist there? I want to go away from the Lord. Or I want to go away from chanting. Where is such a place? Where will you go where the Lord is not presesnt? Are you disturbed because you are going away from the Lord?
kṛṣṇa bhuliya jīva bhoga vāñchā kare pāsate māyā tare japatīyā dhare
Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, “Oh jiva as you went away from Me with desire to enjoy and now Maya has attacked you. I was here as Lord Krsna’s form and there also I am but in which form? In the form of Maya. So you can’t go away from Me.
[Prema-vivarta] itnā to karnā svāmi, jab prāṇa tan se nikale govinda nāma leke, tab prāṇa tan se nikale
Translation: Oh Lord, Please do this much, when the soul leaves my body, that I take Your beautiful name of Govinda.
We pray to that Lord that when my soul leaves the body may I take the name of Govind or chant Hare Krsna. Hare krsna nama leke tab prana tan se nikale. But those who don’t desire this and want to go away from Krsna, Govinda , will the Lord leave them alone? The Lord will go there also. In which form?
mrtyuh sarva-haras caham udbhavas ca bhavisyatam kirtih srir vak ca narinam smrtir medha dhrtih ksama
Translation: I am all-devouring death, and I am the generator of all things yet to be. Among women I am fame, fortune, speech, memory, intelligence, faithfulness and patience.[BG 10.34]
mrtyuh sarva-haras caham, we can’t go away from the Lord. In manifest or un-manifest form the Lord is present everywhere. Just like the government is everywhere. When we go out on the roads we have to follow traffic rules. In business there are income tax laws and we are being troubled by these laws. We don’t want to follow them. If we break the laws of the land then where will we go? We will be put into jail. The government is there also. Government is in the jail and also outside the jail. Then where will you go? You can’t go away from the government. It is everywhere.
Srila Prabhupada would give an example of a kitten of a cat and a mouse. The baby keeps calling his mother “Meow! Meow!Mummy! Mummy! Help! Help!Where are you?” Then the mummy cat comes and how does she hold her baby? She catches hold of its neck and carries him. The kitten does not know where to go. It is too young. It can’t walk. It’s helpless. The kitten just calls its mother by saying meow, meow. The mother comes and holds its neck with her teeth and takes it away. Then sometimes the same cat sees a mouse and sits at the opening of the hole from where the mouse keeps going in and out. She sits there waiting to catch the mouse. As the mouse comes out, she catches it.
The cat is the same. When she holds her kitten by its neck the kitten is very comfortable, “Oh mummy cat, you can hold me as much as you want. You are welcome.” But what will be the condition of the mouse in the mouth of the cat? Between the two, who is peaceful and who is not peaceful? The mouse is disturbed and the kitten is very peaceful. Srila Prabhupada explains further, the Lord holds us directly or we get direct association of the Lord or in the form of Maya. When Maya catches us then we are in distress and if we get the association of the Lord, we will be peaceful.
kṛṣṇa-bhakta—niṣkāma, ataeva 'śānta' bhukti-mukti-siddhi-kāmī—sakali 'aśānta'
Translation: The word śānta means completely peaceful. Unless all one's desires are fulfilled, one cannot be peaceful. Everyone is trying to fulfill his aspirations and desires, be they material or spiritual. Those in the material world are aśānta (without peace) because they have so many desires to fulfill.[CC Madhya 19.149]
We can’t go away from the Lord. Stay near the Lord. If you go away from the Lord, Maya will catch you, which is also a form of the Lord.
jāhāra nikaṭe gele pāpa dūre jāya
Translation: Where does anyone find such a merciful personality by whose mere audience all sins go far away? We should give up the thought of going away from Visnu and devotees of Visnu. I was also thinking where is your counsellor? When your mind is disturbed go to your counsellor or senior devotees. Stay in the association of devotees and do guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati which is the symptom of love. Then you will be free from all the distress and disturbances.
Question 2: On which principle bhava is our Gaudiya parampara is based and do we need to follow the same bhava for developing our relationship with Radha and Krsna?
nāhaṁ vipro na ca nara-patir nāpi vaiśyo na śūdro nāhaṁ varṇī na ca gṛha-patir no vanastho yatir vā kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramānanda-pūrnāmṛtābdher gopī-bhartuḥ pada-kamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsaḥ
Translation: I am not a brāhmaṇa, I am not a kṣatriya, I am not a vaiśya or a śūdra. Nor am I a brahmacārī, a householder, a vānaprastha or a sannyāsī. I identify Myself only as the servant of the servant of the servant of the lotus feet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the maintainer of the gopīs. He is like an ocean of nectar, and He is the cause of universal transcendental bliss. He is always existing with brilliance.' [Padyāvalī ]
Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said, ramya kacid-upasana vrajavadhu-vargena ya kalpita
Translation: The highest and most pleasing type of worship of Krishna is done by the Vraja gopis. [Caitanya-matta-manjusa by Srinath Chakravarti.]
Make the bhava of the Gopis your ideals. Make the Gopis your hero, heroin. Follow them, but do not imitate them. Yesterday I was listening to Prabhupada who was saying, anusaran and anukaran. Follow in the footsteps and no imitation. We should follow in the footsteps of the gopis, but not imitate them.
Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Chanting is a process to establish our relationship with Radha and Krsna. It’s a process to establish a relationship and that’s Sambandha. Then there is Abhidheya so we need to settle. Then Prayojana is prema. At the time of chanting remember Radha and Her lotus feet or offer a special prayer at Her lotus feet.
karuṇāḿ kuru mayi karuṇā-bharite sanaka-sanātana-varṇita-carite
Translation: O You who are filled with compassion! O You whose divine characteristics are described by the great sages Sanaka and Sanatana! O Radha, please be merciful to me!
This is also a prayer, “Oh Radhe, please bestow the bhava to me like that which You have for the Lord, not that much, but at least a little. Oh Radhe please bestow us with the bhava like the Gopis have for the Lord.”
yam yam vapi smaran bhavam tyajaty ante kalevaram tam tam evaiti kaunteya sada tad-bhava-bhavitah
Translation: Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.[BG 8.6] Throughout our life we practice devotional service with the goal of achieving the bhakti bhava like the gopis. Then if we practice this lifelong then at the end of our life we will remember that bhava as we leave this body. According to that bhava we will get either no birth or another birth. Our next birth depends upon our thoughts at the end of our life. The Lord says, yam yam vapi smaran bhavam, whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.
This bhakti bhava, Radha bhava, gopi bhava is a complete and developed bhava which includes all others bhava. Dasya bhava, sakhya bhava, vatsalya bhava and gopibhava is there. In the dialogue of Ramananda Raya and Caitanya Mahaprabhu the topmost quality of conjugal love is explained.
raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhasmi sasi-suryayoh pranavah sarva-vedesu sabdah khe paurusam nrsu
Translation: O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.[BG.7.8]
In the air there are the qualities of sound and touch. In fire, there are three qualities — sound, touch and form. In water there are four qualities — sound, touch, form and taste, raso 'ham apsu kaunteya.
Then in the earth there are all five qualities — sound, touch, form, taste and also smell, puṇyo gandhaḥ pṛithivyāṁ cha. Now, one can see that the quality of the sky is in all — namely in air, fire, water and earth. In earth we can find all the qualities of the material nature. The same can be applied to the rasa known as mādhurya-rasa, or conjugal love. In conjugal love there are the qualities of neutrality, servitorship, fraternity and parental affection, as well as those of conjugal love itself.
Conjugal love is complete and full developed. According to Caitanya Mahaprabhu with this bhava we become Gaudiya Vaisnava. Gopi bhava or conjugal love is the specialty and excellence of Gaudiya Vaisnavism. If we do not have gopi bhava, then we will become like some other sampraydaya.
Question 3: If Madhavites does not accept Radha or gopi and their philosophy is also different from our philosophy, then how we are connected with them?
Gurudev uvaca: Unity in diversity is there or acintya-bheda-bheda is also there. Some things are the same and some things are different. All the sampradayas are one. We are all united on the basis of Visnu. We all believe in Visnu.
Vasudevam sarvam iti Somebody’s Visnu is Krnsa, somebody’s Visnu is Lord Rama, somebody’s Visnu is Narasimha. All are Visnu, Visnu is common. Then main thing is that all the sampradayas and we, Gaudiya Vaisnavas all reject Advaitvada.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu says, "Mayavada bhasya sunile haya sarva nasa."
Translation: "One who hears the commentaries of the Mayavadis, will ruin his spiritual life." But from where did we get this understanding? It came from Madhavacarya. He shows two fingers, jiva and the Lord. They are not one. Then only is devotional life possible. In all 4 sampradayas and if we call ours the 5th, devotional service is of prime importance.
In Mayavada and Advaitvada there is no devotion, zero devotion. Who do they serve? Aham brahmasmi. If you are Brahman then that is whom you serve.
We get linked up with all these sampradayas by some similar philosophies. We all are one, also we are different in some way. That’s why we all are related.
Question 4: Kindly explain how the name Radhadesh and Damodhardesh came?
Gurudev uvaca: In Belgium ISKCON has one project, under Radha Gopinath temple. It’s a big 40 acre project. It’s a historical place. When ISKCON purchased it, devotees named it Radhadesa. In Caitanya-caritamrta there is mention of Radhadesh. Nityananda Prabhu appeared in Radhadesh. Part of Bengal where the River Ganga does not flow is called Rāḍhadeśa. Devotees saw Radhadesa. The spelling is the same dha is dhaa and dha is also ddha. They liked the name, “Let’s name our project as Radhadesa.” There was mistake in the pronunciation.
Below one dha there is a dot in diacritics, ḍha and below another dha the dot is not there. They did not see the dot. There was a mistake in pronunciation, but name is nice. Before this event there was no such name to any country in the world. But devotees read it as Radhadesa and named that project Radhadesa. Since then Radhadesa is existing, a big project of ISKCON is there in Belgium.
Not only Damodhardesa but many desas are there Avataridesa, Shyamdesa, Balaramadesa. You know Middle East - Dubai, Sharjah, Abu dhabi. The names of these countries are converted. It’s possible that it is the idea of Jayapataka Maharaja. He is the GBC, Governing Body Commissioner of these countries and he likes to keep names. After discussing with the local devotees, they decided why call Dubai, Dubai?We will call it Damodhardesa as it starts with D.
Abhudhabi - Avataridesa, Sharjah - Shyamdesa. Like we give a name to disciples starting with the first letter of their name, so he made these countries also his disciples and named these countries. It’s very good, because in these regions we cannot preach openly. It’s all underground. If we call Dubai Damodhardesa the people there will not understand which country these Hare Krsnas are talking about. They will not think much and our movement and preaching mission will go on and on.
Question 5: There are other mellows higher than santa rasa then why was Sukadev Goswami selected to recite Srimad Bhgavatam when he was practicing Santa rasa and there were many devotees present there in that assembly?
Sukadev was Brahmavadi, Brahmavadis can become devotees. Mayavadis do not become devotees.
Mayavada Krsna Aparadhi
Mayavadis are offenders of the Lord. But Brahmavadis are favorable to Krsna. They can become devotee and Sukadev Goswami became a devotee. He was Brahmavadi in the womb. He wanted to stay there. He was peaceful there. But his mother was in distress as a baby of 16 years was still in the womb. When a baby takes birth he is how many kgs? Just 2 or 3 kgs. But Sukadev Goswami was 50 kgs. He is 16 years old so he is 50 kgs. His mother was suffering. Sukadev Goswami was the son of Vyasadev. Srila Vyasadev called Krsna from Dvaraka. In those day Krsna was in Dvaraka. He came and the baby got darsana of Krsna and was attracted to Krsna. Krsna promised the baby that if he came out he will be protected. Then this baby took birth and as he took birth,
putrena tanmaya viraha katar..
This is a prayer of Suta Goswami. He is offering obeisances at the lotus feet of Sukadev Goswami and glorifying him. Such was Sukadev Goswami. He was detached, without desire and devotion was awakened in his heart. When he went to the forest Srila Vyasadev gave him some teachings through his disciples. He directed his disciples to recite the slokas of Bhagavatam. Sukadev Goswami was able to hear the sloks where ever he was and he may come and enquire more. Vyasadev was training Sukadev Goswami though his disciples, like a counsellor. In this way he became eligible and was empowered to recite Srimad Bhagavatam.
There are two types of Bhagavats - Book Bhagavat and Person Bhagavat. So when Sukadev Goswami became a person Bhagavat at that time he recited Bhagavatam, not when he was Brahmavadi.
svayambhūr nāradaḥ śambhuḥ kumāraḥ kapilo manuḥ prahlādo janako bhīṣmo balir vaiyāsakir vayam
Translation: Lord Brahma, Bhagvan Narada, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and I myself know the real religious principle. [SB 6.3.20]
Vaiyasakir means son of Vaiyasaki, that is Srila Vyasadev. In these 12 Mahajanas , Sukadev Goswami’s name is included. So its explained in Ajamila katha that if anybody knows Lord Krsna they are these 12 Mahajans. Sukadev Goswami is highly qualified. He has all the right to recite Srimad Bhagavatam.
Gaura Premanande hari haribol.