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14. MY GURU IS RADHARANI
Devotee: I have seen in the song PrabhupadaLila'Smarana'Mangala-Stotram that you have indicated Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada was in mddhurya'rasa. However, we have also heard from other great souls quoting Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Gosvami Maharaja that Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja has shown affinity for sakhya'Tasa. This apparently has been shown in Prabhupada's prayer written on the Jaladuta while he was on his way to the Western world. So my question is, being an admirer of Srila Sridhara Maharaja, how do you harmonize your opinion about the rasa of your Guru Maharaja with that indicated by Srila Sridhara Maharaja?NarasinghaMahardja: What Srila Sridhara Maharaja has spoken, we should take that upon our head. After the departure of our Prabhupada, it is appropriate that we should accept the direction of Srila Sridhara Maharaja. Almost these very same words were uttered about Srila Sridhara Maharaja by our Guru Maharaja in a letter to Sripada Govinda Maharaja (Our Affectionate Guardians, p. 8). To accept Srila Sridhara Maharaja's opinion is quite natural for anyone who even remotely knows something of his higher subjective realizations and of his intimate relationship with our Srila Prabhupada.When Srila Sridhara Maharaja heard the recitation of die poem composed by our Guru Maharaja, Prater to the Lotus Feet of Krsna, he commented that there was indeed strong indication of our Guru Maharaja being in sakhya-rasa. Srila Sridhara Maharaja said,"He has expressed himself, his eternal position, the acme of his aspiration. In Vrndavana he has established Balarama and Krsna and Nitai-Gaura, and he is saying like that, Nitai-Gaura are Krsna and Balarama. It's almost clear that he comes from that group. And now he's again there. Hare Krsna."Such a statement by Srila Sridhara Maharaja is not to be taken lightly. A short time later there was some objection to Srila Sridhara Maharaja's referring to our Guru Maharaja as being in sakhya-rasa. Some of our Guru Maharaja's disciples for some reason took objection to Srila Sridhara Maharaja's statement. Srila Sridhara Maharaja was shocked by the immaturity of those disciples who objected.
The consideration of rasa was obviously not a topic that those disciples were familiar with. Indeed, their harshness in dealing with Srila Sridhara Maharaja reflected their extremely neophyte state of Krsna consciousness.At that time Srila Sridhara Maharaja made reference to the effect that because of the special empowerment of Sri Nityananda Prabhu that our Guru Maharaja might have couched his mddhurya tendencies in deference to Lord Nityananda.The idea given by Srila Sridhara Mahraja was that it is possible that our Guru Maharaja was in mddhurya'rasa, but out of
deference to Nityananda, by whose potency he was influenced for his preaching campaign, Srila Prabhupada may have veiled his mddhurya sentiments.Therefore some of the sakhya influence of Nityananda Prabhu was shown outwardly, keeping mddhurya in the background.It was not unthinkable for Srila Sridhara Maharaja to say such a thing that our Guru Maharaja was outwardly showing sakhya influence and keeping his madhurya sentiments in the background. Certainly such is not unreasonable.To be a follower of Srila Sridhara Maharaja does indeed mean to adhere to his instructions and opinions. Last but not least, his instruction was that one should come to the plane of eternal truth, by surrender to know the truth in the core of one's heart, anurdga.
Some devotees may be in favor of our Guru Maharaja being in sakhya-rasa while others may favor him in mddhurya-rasa, but to establish a right and a wrong in this matter may not be as black and white as some would like it to be. The truth is subjective as He wishes us to see Him, so we shall see Him.In the life of our Guru Maharaja there were innumerable indications for thinking that he was connected to krsna-llld in mddhurya-rasa. We have tried to show practically, by those indications, how Srila Prabhupada is very dear to SrimatI Radharanl. Only a portion of those indications have been recounted in the song Prabhupada Lild-Smarana-Mangala-Stotram. Those were as follows: (I) That Srila Prabhupada's father prayed to the Vaisnava sddhus asking for their blessings that his son become the servant of SrimatI Radharanl. (2) That Srlla Prabhupada took mantrci'diksd (initiation) from Sri SarasvatI Thakura (VarsabhanavI-devI Dayita Dasa also known as Nayana-mani Mafijari in his siddha'TUpa).
(3) That Srlla Prabhupada received his most cherished instructions to print books from his guru while they strolled along the banks of Sri Radha-kunda (the most sacred place of pilgrimage for the followers of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha Dasa). (4) That Srlla Prabhupada's chosen place of bhajana in Vrndavana was just behind the samadhi of Srlla Rupa Gosvami (Rupa Mafijari). (5) That Srila»Prabhupada after completing his world preaching mission returned to Vrndavana and selected Karttika month (the month non-different from Srimati Radharani) as the time of his departure and his entrance into the eternal lilas of the Lord. (6) And lastly Srila Prabhupada manifested a great desire just a few days before his pastime of departure to go to Govardhana Hill, the eternal place of residence of the followers of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha Dasa. These and other indications of Srlla Prabhupada being the dear-most servant of Srimati Radharani were expressed in Prabhupada Lila-Smararui--Mangala'StQtram.It may be said that one cannot judge the rasa of a particular devotee simply by his external movements or place of residence etc. However such a statement may be taken as only partially true. Otherwise Gaudlya Vaisnavas would not choose holy places such as Vrndavana, Navadvipa, and Jagannatha Purl as their preferred places of residence/Wiajana. The prahrta-lild (external movement) of the pure devotee is not necessarily devoid of aprakyta-bhava (one's internal feelings of love of Krsna). Although the movements of the pure Vaisnava are certainly deeply mysterious and not easily understood, they may nonetheless give us some perspective on the level of their intimacy with the Supreme Lord. Further biographical information that has not been mentioned in the Prabhupada Lila'Smarana-Mangala-Stotram indicating the intimacy of Srila Prabhupada in Radha-Krsna lild is as follows.
(1)When choosing to establish his mission 'The League of Devotees' at Jhansi, India, Srila Prabhupada chose a building known as Radha Smarak (Radha Memorial) to set up his offices.(2) When Srila Prabhupada went to Delhi for printing his Back to Godhead magazine he chose a residence in the Chippiwada, Radha-Krsna temple. (3) When choosing a printing press to begin the publication of his life's work Srimad Bhagavatam, Srila Prabhupada chose the Radha Press in Delhi. (4) When introducing his disciples to the worship of tri guru, Srila Prabhupada requested us to daily sing the prayers to the spiritual master composed by Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, in which die glory of the spiritual master as a servant of the divine couple in madhyura-rasa (nikunja-yuno rati'keli'Siddhyai) is mentioned. (5) Srila Prabhupada's favorite bhajana was "jaya radhd-madhava jaya-kunja-vihari, gopl-jana-vaUabha" (This song was sung whenever Srila Prabhupada gave Srimad Bhagavatam class).In any case, we have many such remembrances of our divine master that have unfolded in our heart so as to impel us to contemplate him as a follower of Sri Rupa Gosvami and an eternal member of the intimate madhurya-rasa circle. We feel it proudly in our heart that Srila Prabhupada was the confidential representative of Srimati Radharani who was especially empowered by Sri Nityananda Prabhu to spread Krsna consciousness all over the world.
namah om visnupadaya krsna-presthaya bhutale
svami Sri bhaktivedanta prabhupadaya te namah
gurvajnam slrasi'dharyam Saktyavesa sva-rupine
hare-krsneti mantrena pascatya'pracya'tarine
visvacarya pravaryaya divya karunya murtaye
radha'krishna'padambhoja'bhrngaya gurave namah
"I offer my humble obeisances unto His Divine Grace Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, who is very dear to Lord Krsna on this Earth, having taken shelter at His lotus feet. Taking the order of his guru on his head, he became empowered by Nityananda Prabhu to act as a Saktydve&a-avatdra. He distributed the Hare Krsna mantra all over the Eastern and Western world, delivering and uplifting all fallen souls. He is the best of millions of jagaUgurus, because he is the personification of divine mercy. He has distributed the sweet nectar of Srtmad Bhdgavatam and the transcendental knowledge of Bhagavad-gitd all over the world. He is constandy engaged in exclusive devotional service to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura, Srila Rupa GosvamI, and Sri Gaurariga Mahaprabhu. I offer my humble obeisances unto Srila Prabhupada, who is like a bumblebee always tasting the nectar of the lotus feet of Sri Sri Radha and Govinda." (Prandrna-mantra composed by Srlpada B. S. Govinda Maharaja upon Srila Prabhupada's personal request)As Srila Sridhara Maharaja has said, "If we raise our head a little higher and look up then we shall find Radharani and gurudeva. It is Radharani who is instrumental in accomplishing the function of gurudeva from behind. The source of grace for the guru is coming from the original source of service and love. Sdksdd'dharitvena samasta sdstrair, we are asked to see gurudeva not as opaque but as transparent, to such a degree that through him the highest conception of service, the first conception of service can be seen. It can be obtained there.
If we are earnest then we shall find the highest link from the original source. We are requested not to see guru as limited in his ordinary personification, but as the transparent mediator of the highest function in his line. If only our vision is deep, we can see that according to the depth of our iraddhd, our vision, guru-tattva is very particular, very noble, very broad, wide and very deep." (Follow the Angels, p. 163)In summary we may conjecture that our Guru Maharaja, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada is in rnddhurya-rasa simply because he saw his guru as Srlmatl Radharani. His guru is Srlmatl Radharani. This was also confirmed by Srila Sridhara Maharaja on several occasions as follows:"Svami Maharaja has clearly written that his guru is Radharani, it is there. Krsna, Radharani will be pleased if you help me in this campaign. Is it not written there, e-punya koribe jabe radharani khu&i habe dhruva ati boli tomd tail So he has admitted that his guru is Radharani. So we aspire after the service of Radharani, under the direction of Sri Rupa and other devotees, not committing any wrong.""In general rasa, general service of Krsna he preached in the West, Though he knew and admitted that, 'My guru is Radharani.' Radharani, my gurudeva, has ordered me to preach in the west. And Krsna, my friend, You are to help me, because Radharani will be satisfied, my gurudeva. Your greatness is also like that. So, You must come to help me'"
Srila Prabhupada Lila-smarana Mangala Stotram
jay ore sva parisada, srila svami prabhupada abhaya amrta para gati
tomara car ana padma, dhuli mora sreya-sadma take mama nitya paranati
All glories to His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada. He is always accompanied by his associate servitors, his internal nature is just like the sweetest nectar and externally he appears like fearlessness personified. I continually offer my full prostrate obeisances unto the dust of his lotus feet which are the all auspicious shelter and goal of my life.
satjana vandita, mama cira vanchita
prabhupada'padme sukha-seva tava
sevd parasade, purita se hrdi sadhe
tava guna'Sobha manaAobha ,
The blissful service of the lotus feet of Srila Prabhupada is glorified by the topmost saints and devotees. To obtain the unalloyed service of his lotus feet is the only cherishable goal of my life. That eternal desire is always being fulfilled by the nectar of His Divine Grace and therefore the beauty of his unlimited transcendental qualities continually charms my heart Now my dear devotees please hear with great care and attention the narration of Srila Prabhupada-Uld'Smarana' Mangah'Stotram, the transcendental qualities and pastimes of His Divine Grace, the topmost servant of Srimati Radharani.
sri nandotsava-dine, nija sakhi-gana-sane
premdnanda-nimagna Sri radhe
sukha iccha parotids'a, ddki nija priya ddsa
kahilena "pura ei sadhe"
On the day when the grand festival of Sri Nanda Maharaja, celebrating the birth of Lord Krsna was being held, Srimati Radharani accompanied by Her sakhis, who were all deeply absorbed in the bliss of krsna-prema, called for one of Her dear-most servants. Srimati Radharani, the Absolute Queen of Vrndavana, spoke thus revealing Her happy thoughts, "You must fulfill one desire of Mine."
aji subha divasete, mama krpasisa sathe
avatime hao dhdrdnite
Sri kamala'dhani tatha, tava gauraseva-katha
On this auspicious day you must incarnate on the earth along with My blessings and spread Krsna consciousness in every town and village of the world. My very dear Sri Kamala (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura) has already announced your coming and she has also predicted your devotional service unto My Lord Gauraiiga.
ista-devi-pade-nama, tabe he Sri krsna'prema
e dhardra kroda dhanya'kore
avatirna hoile nama, iuddha'bhakata'vaisnava
That unalloyed servant of Sri Krsna (later to be known as A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada), who's heart was filled with the most inconceivable love of Godhead, paying obeisances and offering countless prayers at the lotus feet of the Supremely Worshipful Goddess of Fortune then appeared on the earth in the renowned Vaisnava family, headed by the pure devotee, Sri Gaura-mohana.
nija putra-tdre tini, parama kalyana mdni
prdrthana karila sneha bhare
he vaisnava sadhu-gana, koro krpa anuksana
mora prana ei putra'pare
mama putra e abhaya, yena radha-dasa hoiya
nitya-kala seve radha-dhana
parama gaurava-bhange, kirtona koruka range
tanra guna bhariya bhuvana
Invoking the blessings of the Vaisnava sadhus upon his son, Gaura-mohana prayed to all of them with great sincerity, "O sadhus, O Vaisnavas, please bestow your blessings upon this dear son of mine, who is my life and soul, so that he can become the servant of Srimatl Radharani eternally serving Her, the Supreme wealth of life. Please bless him so that he can preach and sing Her qualities and glories in a most grand way, inundating the whole world."
pare eka subha-kdie, tvadiya karuna bole
milild sri gurudeva-sathe
Sri visnu-hirana dyuti, sudivya karuna-murti'
rupa tumi herila tanhate
Afterwards, at an auspicious moment arranged by the grace of Srimatl Radharani, Srila Prabhupada met his spiritual master (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura). He saw the divine grace of Srimatl Radharani in his gurudeva and understood him to be an effulgent Ray of Visnu, His Divine Grace personified.
bhaya-hina pracaraka, bhakti sadacara daksa
prabhu bara se dayita dasa
nija drdha citta-mate, noma dila sva-sisyete
Isa abhaya carana dasa
That great divine master Sri VarsabhanavI-devI Dayita Dasa (Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura, meaning the servant of the lover of Sri Radha) who is expert at practicing pure devotional principles and who is a fearless preacher of the Divine Message of Godhead now conferred upon Srila Prabhupada the name Abhaya Caranaravinda according to his own firm self-confident character. The meaning of that name is that he is the servitor of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead which are the abode of all fearlessness and hopes for the pure devotees.
radha'kunda tamngane, ati antaranga sthane
ela tanra sandra premavesa
gadha anuraga-mane, sarva'atma nivedane
mathe tule nila gurvadesa
In the most intimate place of the mddhurya pastimes, namely Sri Radha-kunda, Srila Prabhupada experienced the full ecstasy of krsna-prema. Whole heartedly surrendering unto Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura with intense love Srila Prabhupada received upon his head the most holy order of his Gurudeva, "If you ever get money, print and distribute books."
rupa-sdrasvati-srota, guru icchd-ajnamata
premabhare kirtana karite
pradarsild e jagata, sakala saubhdgya yata
dse gdro guru'nisthd hate
By singing and preaching with great loving devotion that sublime message of his Gurudeva, which is pure devotional knowledge of the Rupa-Sarasvata (rupdnugd) stream, Srila Prabhupada has shown to the world that all good fortune manifests from adherent devotional service unto the lotus feet of Sri Guru.
iri sri rddhd-damodara, Srijivera mandira
prabhu-datta nija kutirete
dra rupa'samddhite, vrajd'rdga dveSete
bhajana korild rasa-prite
suddha^bhakta-ratna-rnani, riipe nityd'kdla tini
sethdya rahena virdjita
yethd rddhd'pada'Sevd, dhari rasa-murti'Sobha
nirantara hana prasphutita
In the temple of Sri Jlva Gosvami, namely Sri Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira and Sri Rupa's samddhi, in his rooms given by his divine masters, Srila Prabhupada performed his bhajana in the loving devotional mood of the Vraja-gopis. Srila Prabhupada lives eternally in his place of bhajana as the precious gem among the pure devotees where the loving devotional service of Srimati Radharani constandy blooms, personifying the beauty of divine ecstatic mellows.
parama suhrda haye, gaura-prema'Vdnl laye
pdscatya desete dild yabe
bhdi boli Sri krsnere, sambodhiyd samddare
prdthamd korild ei tabe
bhdi tava puny a habe, rddhdrdni khusi habe
dhruva ati boli toma tai
labhive se bhdgya dro, yadi tumi khusi koro
bhagya-devurupa Sri rddhdi
Sri siddhanta sarasvati-, rupa dhari se srimati
more djnd dild pracdrite
se icchd purna koro, dmdra vacana dharo
tabe pari tdnhdre sevite
Leaving behind the sacred land of Vrndavana and taking a great risk in his old age, Srila Prabhupada came to the Western world as our Ever Well Wisher carrying with him the message of gaura-prema, love for Lord Gaurariga. Upon his arrival he earnestly prayed to Lord Krsna addressing Him as "bhdi" (O brother) in an intense loving way."O dear brother, my dear intimate friend! I tell You this in a most definite way. You can achieve some invaluable merits by pleasing Srimati Radharani. You (Lord Krsna) can really attain even more good fortune if You can now please Her, the Supreme Goddess of all good fortunes. Srimati Radharani Herself in the form of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura ordered me to preach Her message. Therefore, please take my word and advice and fulfill Her desire; then only can I attain success and serve my guru fully.
atula saubhagya-khani, tanra ei divya-vdni
Sri noma sri Sdci-putrdsraye
Sri svarupa sandtana, rupa-prabhu gurwgana
sabe mahd. krpdnvita hoye
dmd-bhakta sabdkdre, dena pravesddhikdre
vrndavana'govardhane, kabhu rddhd-kunda-pdne
parama abhista siddhi done
The mine of incomparable good fortune is the message of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada: "If someone takes shelter of hrsna-ndma, and Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the son of Mother Sad, along with Their dear associates, Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sanatana Gosvami, and Sri Rupa Gosvami, They being gready pleased with such a person bestow upon him entrance into the embrace of the dear associate servitors of Srimati Radharani at Govardhana, Vrndavana, and sometimes at Sri Radha-kunda, blessing them with the supreme fulfillment of the ultimate goal of krsna'prema.
sri rddhikd priyankari, sri kdrtika-masa bad
girirdja hrdayete smari
tinho aprdkata hoila, nitya lild. pravesild
rdje yetd rddha-sange hari
Completing his missionary activities in the western world Srila Prabhupada returned to Vrndavana. Accepting the month of Karttika, which is non-different from Srimati Radharani, bearing Giriraja Govardhana in mind and embracing the lotus feet of his most worshipful Lord in the core of his heart Srila Prabhupada made his disappearance from this world and entered the nitya-Md, the eternal loving pastimes of Goloka where Lord Govinda is always effulgendy present with His dear-most Srimati Radharani.
ei panthd pradars'ane, siksd dild dmdrgane
kon vastu-siddhi laksya haiya
kori bdsa govardhane, dainya dtma-nivedane
labha sri rddhikd-gandsraya
By showing us his disappearance from this world in the month of Karttika and by revealing his desire to go to Govardhana Hill, Srila Prabhupada has shown us the path which leads to the fulfillment of the ultimate aim and object of life—to obtain supreme shelter in the camp of Srimati Radharani's associate-servants with humble self surrender, residing always at Sri Govardhana.
kabe tana aprdkrta, bhava'guna'bibhusita
satya kori e vdstave, dmdri sampada habe
e jivane ddni sukha simd
When will that day be mine, in some distant lifetime, when the beauty of Srila Prabhupada's transcendental life, possessed by the qualities of pure love for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna actually become my only wealth giving me a taste of the highest happiness? O when will that day be mine?
sakala hrdaya diye, sutivra akdnkhd loiye
se ase rohi mui hina
kabe sex bhdgya habe, e jivana dhanya habe
kabe mor dsibe se dina
prdnabari pratisthane, tanri krpd'Saktyadhdne
labhi eka-nistha tanu-mana
e dina sevaka tanra, guna-gantha-sarnbhara
kori ydbe satata kirtana
Let us always pray to remain the humble and obedient servants of Srila Prabhupada. With a burning heart, filled with an intense longing for his association, this poor and lowly insignificant beggar humbly prays for that fortunate day when the life of his servant will be empowered by His Divine Grace with firm determination so that I may with one pointedness, not caring for anything else, constantly sing with my body and mind the sweetest glories of Srila Prabhupada's unlimited transcendental qualities and pastimes.