June 24, 2010 Badger | Morning Walk with Srila Gurudeva
Balarama: Can I ask you a question, Gurudeva? Tomorrow is Nirjala Ekadasi (to be observed by full fasting, even from water). If there were any defects in our following Ekadasis during the year, how can we properly observe this Nirjala Ekadasi?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should try to follow all Ekadasis. If there was a defect in your observance of any previous Ekadasis, simply continue practicing. By chanting nama, everything will be okay.
Balarama : Should one clean one’s teeth on Nirjala Ekadasi?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why not? Should you not take bath?
Balarama dasa: Bath is not drunk.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: But somehow the water is entering your body.
Of course, you must bathe, but do not take caranamrta on that day; simply offer pranama to the caranamrta.
Balarama: What about acamana?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Just touch the water to your lips.
Vrndavana dasa: When you do acamana, the water is supposed to go to your heart. It says in the Hari-bhakti-vilasa that the proper way to do acamana is like this (demonstrates) – like a chicken.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I have not seen this in any scripture.
Vrndavana dasa: It also says that when you take acamana, it has to come into the body and purify the heart.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can take acamana in that way on other days, but not on Ekadasi.
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: Actually, if we have somehow or other not observed other ekadasis, will observing Nirjala Ekadasi compensate?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I have just answered this. You can compensate only by harinama – not by properly following Nirjala Ekadasis. You will have to follow every Ekadasi. Only for Bhima was a concession given; only for him.
Vrndavana dasa: We always understood that if someone does not observe the other Ekadasis throughout the year, if he very strictly follows Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi, then he won’t get a bad reaction for not following all of the other Ekadasis. Is this not true?
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: It is not true at all.
Vrndavana dasa: No, but we always thought this. Everyone thought this.
Nrhari dasa: It is also stated in Krsna-Balarama Svami’s book – the book you told us not to read.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They are all wrong. ISKCON [the disciples of Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, but not Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja personally] has discovered this.
Vrndavana dasa: They are doing this because of Bhima.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They are not Bhima.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: From ancient times up to the time of the Six Gosvamis, like Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatana Gosvami, devotees used to observe all Ekadasis as Nirjala Ekadasi, without taking even water. Ambarish Maharaja observed each Ekadasi for three days: on the first day he controlled his eating; on the second day he avoided eating and drinking (nirjala); and on the third day he ate only once.
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: The Pandavas used to regularly observe Nirjala Ekadasi, but Bhima once told Krsna, “It is not possible for me to do Nirjala every time. Krsna replied, “On other Ekadasis you can take fruits and roots, but you must follow Nirjala on this one day.” Bhisma was thus permitted to observe Nirjala on this day alone, but he had to observe all the other Ekadasis. This day is therefore called Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: In India, every Ekadasi is generally observed without food or water. Pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja saw that the Western devotees were somewhat weak, so he introduced a concession for them. He said that they could take anukalpa (eating a little, just to maintain one’s life) three times in the day. However, instead of following anukalpa, they took ‘brhat-kalpa,’ eating and drinking as much as they could take. Do you understand? This is not good.
Brajanath dasa: They say that if they do not eat sufficiently, they would not have any strength or power.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaha: Bogus; that was the argument of Mohini. [Mohini was the enchanting and aluring female creation of Brahma who tested King Citranga, a determined follower of Ekadasi]
Devotee: Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada said that Krsna will fulfill a devotee’s desire for preaching only as much as that devotee desires. How can we increase our desire for preaching?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You can do so by following our parampara. Sri Narada, Srila Vyasadeva, Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, the Six Gosvamis, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and all of Mahaprabhu’s followers have personally performed bhajana.
yare dekha, tare kaha ‘krsna’-upadeça
amara ajnaya guru haya tara’ ei deça
Instruct everyone to follow the orders of Lord Çré Kåñëa as they are given in the Bhagavad-gétä and Çrémad-Bhägavatam. In this way become a spiritual master and try to liberate everyone in this land.
This means that you must first become qualified, and then you can teach and preach. If you are not personally following, and you are not realizing anything, then what can you preach?
By first knowing all siddhanta, all philosophical conclusions, your preaching will be successful. We should think, “Preaching is also a bhajana, so we must preach.”
Preaching means to help others. In Bhagavad-gita, Sri Krsna told Arjuna, “Do not explain these truths to those who are selfish, or to bad persons. Explain these truths only to those who have a little faith. [“This confidential knowledge may never be explained to those who are not austere, or devoted, or engaged in devotional service, nor to one who is envious of Me” (Bhagavad-gita 18.67).] In the Bhagavatam, Krsna told Uddhava (in Uddhava-samvad), “What I am telling to you, do not tell it to those who do not have strong faith. Srila Sanatana Gosvami has also written this in his Brhad-bhagavatamrta, and Srila Jiva Gosvami has written this in his Sat Sandarbha: Those who have no sraddha, or faith, should not read my book.
We can read and hear if we have faith. If we think that we will have enormous transcendental gain from such reading or hearing, this means we have sraddha.
Prana Govinda dasa: It is seen that Dhrtarastra does not have very much sraddha, but Sanjaya still tells him what is happening on the battlefield of Kuruksetra.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Sri Krsna allowed that, and at last Vidura inspired Dhrtarastra to go to the forest, giving up everything. Vidura took him to Haridvara, where his body burned to ashes.
Sanjaya had told Dhrtarastra that, through himself, Srila Vyasadeva allowed Dhrtarastra to ‘see’ the events taking place on the battlefield. This is because Vyasadeva considered, “Dhrtarastra is a blind person. One day his eyes should open. He should see that all of his sons – whom he loved so much and had shown partiality in the tension between the Pandavas and Kauravas – have died.”
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Dhrtarastra wanted to see the Mahabharata battle, and therefore Vyasadeva was going to give him the transcendental vision to see it. But then Dhrtrastra said, “I will not be able to recognize anyone in the battle, because I have never seen them. It is better that Sanjaya be able to see what is happening, and he can then narrate everything to me.” And Vyasadeva did just that.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: (To Yasodananda dasa) It is for this that I am attracting you.
Yasodananda dasa: I feel very attracted, Srila Gurudeva.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Somehow you are very lucky; your ‘everything’ is engaged in Krsna’s service.
Madhuvrata dasa: Srila Gurudeva, you mentioned to Giri Maharaja on the morning walk that preachers have five symptoms.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I told him, “Why have you shaved your face? No other brahmacari or sannyasi has done this.” He said that he shaved for preaching. Then I said, “We have not shaven, but who is preaching more? You, or us.” He admitted, “You and all other sannyasis are preaching more than I am.” Then I said, “If you shave in the future, I will reject you.”
Sripad Madhava Maharaja: Then you told him some symptoms of a preacher. You said that the number of disciples will increase, and money [meaning ‘the results of people’s energy will be offered in Krsna’s service]’ will come.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: If one is preaching, but those to whom he is preaching are not inspired to take shelter of guru and initiation, then his preaching is like zero.
Also, money will follow him. Vaisnavas do not want money, but still it will come. The success of one’s preaching depends on how much he inspires others to take harinama and thus make their lives successful. That person is doing a high class of preaching.
I asked him, “What have you done? Nothing.”
I told him, “You preach, but no one is coming to take harinama, so what is your preaching? How much money have you given to me?”
He said, “Nothing.”
“So why are you preaching, and why have you shaved?”
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: Some devotees think that there is no need for them to preach yet, because they are not yet advanced. They think, “First we will read and chant. Then, when we become advanced, then we will preach.”
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They should enjoy the world, and then return to the world. They should take birth after birth, and they should suffer the pain of life and death.
Sripad Nemi Maharaja: I see that you don’t accept their idea.
Yasodananda dasa: Srila Gurudeva, how can we help fulfill Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s mission to make Krsna consciousness the worldwide religion?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We are doing this. Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura did this; and after him, Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja preached everywhere. Then, whatever Srila Svami Maharaja left for me as his remnants, I am taking and continuing his mission.
Spanish Devotee: Gurudeva, one of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples, Jayapataka Svami, claims to have about 60,000 disciples. Do we consider this to be a symptom of successful preaching?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He himself does not chant, and he is not established in bhakti. What to speak of him? In India there is a person named Hasaram Vapu, and he gives diksa by phone to thousands of people at a time. He has more disciples than Jayapataka Svami. Do you Krpalu Maharaja? He is now is jail. He has millions of disciples.
Aniruddha dasa: Our Srila Prabhupada wanted a planetarium to be constructed in Mayapura, and now the GBC has pledged to construct it at the cost of about sixty million dollars. They are doing this mostly in order to gather all of the Prabhupada disciples together, because they are seeing that many devotees are fleeing ISKCON and coming to you. Do you think we should support this project?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why are you thinking about them? What is the use? Don’t think about them.
Aniruddha dasa: But you said that successful preaching means ‘followers and money.’
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: So follow me. Follow Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja and Srila Rupa Gosvami. Why follow them, and why always think about them? If you think about them, their bad qualities may come to you.
What is the teaching in the story we told about the female pigeon and male pigeon?
Devotee: The human form of life is our chance to take up Krsna Consciousness. It is not possible in any other form of life; only in the human form. So…for the short flickering time, so…I forgot.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I want to hear the story of the he pigeon and she pigeon. I want Mahibharata prabhu to explain it. What is the teaching behind this story?
Mahibharata dasa: The teaching behind this story is that one should not become attached to one’s wife and family – and not to even take a wife and family. Simply follow Sri Gurudeva.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The male pigeon was very attached to his wife, and he considered that he could not survive without her. Children also came, and then he became still more attached. Death was waiting for him, but he could not see it.
What became of them? Due to their ‘love’ for each other, both were killed by the hunter. So, if you are attached to ladies, your bhakti will be spoiled. You will be worse than dead. Death is not bad. Worse than death, you will undergo spiritual death, meaning diversion from bhakti. Always think about this.
If you are telling this story and not realizing it, and instead marrying again and again and maintaining a sense of strong relations with children and wives, then your bhakti comes to nothing.
Padmanabha Maharaja: He is saying that although sannyasa, or renunciation, is encouraged, in practical life we see that householders are more steady. They remain in household life and…
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Your realization is zero. We follow the realization of high-class bhaktas. Because you are a conditioned soul, what you tell may be wrong.
Nirguna dasa: Last night I read that the self-realized souls find it quite hilarious that the conditioned souls want to marry, because in actuality we are all female.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: I also say this. They are not realizing that they are both female.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: We see many cases of god-brothers, older devotees, who have been married once or twice, are now reaching the age of fifty or fifty-five. They say that they must again have a partner.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Be careful.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: They say that they want to have a companion. They don’t want to have the sex life or children, but they want a companion
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: They are speaking lies. They have so much lust and other contaminations. Why do they not want ‘guru companions,’ or high-class Vaisnava companions?
Gokula dasa: Gurudeva, I am dying.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why?
Gokula dasa: It is natural that I am attached to my wife, because I am a conditioned soul. I cannot stop this.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: You may remain with your wife; no harm. But don’t be attached. Moreover, regarding those who are not married, they should be careful.
Gokula: But this attachment is natural because I am conditioned.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: It is not natural. We have seen that Maharaja Janaka, Srivasa Pandita, and others like them remain with their entire families, but they are not attached. They support their families out of a sense of duty, and they don’t consider, “We cannot survive without our wives.”
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Many of Srila Prabhupada’s disciples have been following you for some years, and they feel so much help and inspiration from your association. We want everyone to have a chance to hear what they are feeling, so we want to record them speaking about their spiritual life – how they have been helped by you in their relationship with our Srila Prabhupada as well as with you. Is this good?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is good.
Dhira-krsna dasa: Was there any formal diksa initiation in Satya-yuga? It was Krta yuga [another name for Satya-yuga, meaning that everyone was perfect in all respects].
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Why not? Brahma took initiation from Krsna, and Narada took initiation from Brahma.
Dhira-krsna dasa: That was bhagavati-diksa.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Somehow they gave diksa, as Vyasadeva took diksa from Narada. First of all, you must know the meaning of diksa.
Dhira-krsna dasa: Divyam jnanam yatho dadyat.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Does diksa refer only to that mantra? What do you understand by the word diksa?
Dhira-krsna dasa: They will learn their relationship with Sri Krsna.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: Did they realize their relationship with Krsna?
Dhira-krsna dasa: Yes.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: This is diksa. If they don’t realize their relationship via the mantras, they have not actually received diksa. It is about vidvat-rüòhé and avidvat-ruddhi. Do you understand?
Brajanath dasa: Yes. Real diksa occurs when we have taken compete shelter of sadhu-sanga and sad-guru, and when we receive nourishment from them.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The devotee has realization; this is diksa. Diksa is not completed by only giving the mantra. Brahma received kama-gayatri initiation by hearing the sound of Sri Krsna’s flute.
Vrndavana dasa: Srila Gurudeva, does it mean, then, that unless we have realization of our svarupa, our siddha-deha, we have not completed the diksa process?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: We should know all tattvas, established truths, and be situated in those tattvas. We should know our relationship with Krsna and our duty towards Him; we should be established in that. This is real diksa.
By avidvat-ruddhi-diksa [See endnote]
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: Srila Gurudeva, I have a question regarding raganuga-bhakti. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta says: “Raga marga bhakti loke karita pracarana, meaning that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to preach raga-marga bhakti. You have also said many times that Mahaprabhu did not come to preach vaidhi-bhakti. Vaidhi-bhakti has already been preached by other acaryas in other ages. Mahaprabhu has come to give raga-marga bhakti, and all of our acaryas in the line of Srila Rupa Gosvami are trying to give it.
When a guru is teaching vaidhi-bhakti to the beginner student, as Rupa Gosvami taught it, is there a difference between that vaidhi-bhakti which that rupanuga-acarya is preaching and the vaidhi-bhakti which was previously followed and preached?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: The vaidhi-bhakti preached by Ramanujacarya, Nimbaditya, and Madhavacarya is different from the vaidhi-bhakti preached by Mahaprabhu and Srila Rupa Gosvami. If one follows the principles of vaidhi-bhakti as taught by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, that devotee is in the beginning stage of raganuga-bhakti. If one hears from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – Sanatana-siksa, Rupa-siksa, and Raya Ramananda Samvada – his vaidhi-bhakti will turn into raganuga-bhakti.
Sripad Padmanabha Maharaja: You have told us that actual raganuga-sadhana-bhakti can only be done in the stage of at least asakti.
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: When You have a real desire for perfection– real, not artificial – then to follow bhakti means that asakti has come.
Giridhari dasa: Srila Gurudeva, is the harinama-guru considered to be the mantra-guru?
Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja: He is guru. Also, if that guru is qualified but he has passed away from this world and his disciple took only harinama from him, then the disciple will take diksa from a guru who is equal to that harinama guru. The diksa-guru should be equal to the bona fide harinama guru, and in the same line.Endnote: There are two kinds of disciples, and therefore there are two kinds of diksa (initiation)—anusthaniki and vidvat-rudhi. Anusthaniki means the external formality of a fire yajna and the giving of diksa (gayatri) mantras. If one thinks, “I have sacrificed so much, my head is shaven, and I have received my mantras; I am now initiated,” this is external. Of course, formal initiation is essential, but it is not complete without vidvat-rudhi.
Vidvat-rudhi refers to an internal initiation wherein the disciple completely gives his heart at his guru’s lotus feet, knowing that his guru will make him qualified to serve Sri Sri Radha and Krsna. Gurudeva gives all kinds of divya-jnana (transcendental knowledge) about krsna-tattva, guru-tattva, vaisnava-tattva, and prema-tattva.] you are only entering in the course of diksa. If a young boy is admitted in a school, he is a student, and a PhD is also a student; but there is so much difference between the two. Similarly, avidvat-rudhi diksa is also diksa, but it is the entrance; and the other is real diksa. – from Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s Pinnacle of Devotion