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7. HIS LAST INSTRUCTIONS
Just a week prior to the departure of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura from this mortal world (Thursday, January I, 1937, at 5:30 am) he gave many essential instructions to his disciples. These instructions were later compiled in Bengali verse by one of Sarasvati Thakura's most affectionate associate servants, Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has said:
sakale parama utsaha sahakare
rupa raghunatha vani pracdra sabdra
"All of you preach the message of Rupa and Raghunatha to everyone with great enthusiasm.
rupanugd-pada-dhuli haite sabAra
(jena) carama dkdnksd cine jdge anibdra
"May the ultimate desire to become a speck of dust at the lotus feet of the followers of Sri Rupa remain ever awake in our hearts.Comment It is being recommended here that for all spiritual perfection one should desire to become a 'speck of dust' at the lotus feet of the followers of Sri Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada. To achieve even the most negligible position in the subjective plane of divinity will draw the highest benefit for the jiva. However, there are some devotees who have raised an objection by stating that e should desire to become gopis, that being the highest perfection.
Are we to think that Sarasvati Thakura, on the verge of entering the eternal lilds of the Supreme Lord, has misguided his disciples into some inferior or unknown region? I would think not.
The path of perfection is shown by the acarya and with regards to the followers of Sri Caitanyadeva, that supreme perfection is found at the lotus feet of Srila Rupa Gosvami and his intimate followers. In his last instructions Sarasvati Thakura has mentioned several times 'to be a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Gosvami.' Is it a novel expression or is it something more? Indeed, such is the most straightforward expression of how to attain life's ultimate goal, loving devotional service to Sri krishna in the divine serving group of Srimati Radharam.The highest wealth of the Gaudiya Vaisnava is that of eternal servitude to the illustrious Queen of Vrndavana, Srimati Radharam (Radha-dasyam). For admittance into the circle of Her intimate servants Sri Rupa holds the key. Admittance into Her group will only be possible for one who has caught the foot dust of Rupa with all his heart and soul. It is the law of that land. It cannot be otherwise.
advaya'jndna'tattva vraje vrajendra'nandana
(mula)'visaya-vigraha sei sawa-sevya-dhana
Vrajendra-nandana krishna is the principle of non-dual consciousness. He is the root object of devotion and the treasured object of service for all.
tanra aprakrta indriya tarpana uddese
asrayanugatye sabe thaka mile, miie
"In order to satisfy the transcendental senses of the one, non-dual Supreme Truth, remain united in following Radha, the original reservoir of love for Him.Comment In the transcendental land of Vraja (Vrndavana) where love (prema) is supreme, Sri krishna is the Subject-Divinity (visaya-vigraha) and Sri Radha is the Object-Divinity (airaya-vigraha). The love of Sri Radha (Her capacity to satisfy the transcendental senses of krishna) and that of Her intimate circle of friends is unsurpassed by any other group. Therefore, we should strive to perfect this human life by learning the ways of love by following in the footsteps of the residents of Vraja headed by the gopis, always united under the banner of Srimati Radharam.
sabara uddesya eka iri-hari-bhajana
taha sadhibare sabe haraha jatana
"Everyone make the effort to perfect your worship of Sri Hari (krishna); make this the only purpose of your lives.
dudinera jani ex anitya-samsara
ihate mamata tyaji hao maya-para
Remember that this world is temporary and lasts only a day or two. Give up your family attachment and transcend this world of illusion.
kona-rupe j'wana nirvdha kari cala
nitya-tattva krishna-bhakti karaha sambala
Maintain your worldly obligations in whatever way you can, but make the eternal principle, devotion to krishna, the true provision for your voyage through life.
Comment In this world of birth and death only one thing has real value and that is devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead Sri krishna. Whatever else there may be is only an illusion and it is sure to perish today or tomorrow (in a day or two). The world is temporary and filled with sorrow. Those who desire real happiness will make devotion to krishna the main principle in their life.
vipad ganjana sata Sato, se lafichana
dsuk tathapi hari-bhajana chedo na
Let hundreds of dangers, insults or persecutions come, but despite them, do not give up your worship of krishna.
sarva-vighna-vinteana prabhu gaura-hari
avatya iri-pade sthana dibena daya kari
"Lord Gaura-hari destroys all obstacles on the path. He will surely be merciful and give you a place at His lotus feet.
This is not only an instruction, but this may be taken as a special benediction also. Those who follow closely the instruction of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura are sure to achieve the merciful grace of Lord Gaura-hari (Sri Caitanyadeva).On the earnest prayer of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Sarasvati Thakura came down to this world from the personal entourage of Sri Caitanyadeva. It is mentioned in the testra that a divine personality would advent in this world to consolidate the four Vaisnava sampraddyas.In Premeya-ratnavaU by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana a verse is mentioned in this regard from the Padma Purdna as follows:
atah kalau bhavisyanti catvarah sampradayinah
brahma-riidra'Sanakah vaisnavam ksiti-pawnah
catvaras te kalau bhdvya hyutkak purusottamat
Four sampradayas inaugurated by LaksmI, Brahma, Siva, and the Kumaras will appear in the holy place of Lord Purusottama (Jagannatha) in Utkala (Orissa) to purify the earth in Kali-yuga.If one makes a pilgrimage to the most holy samadH'mandira of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta in Mayapura Dhdma one will find this ihka from the Padma Purdna written on the wall behind the murti of Sarasvati Thakura. It was thus understood by the disciples of Sarasvati Thakura and by all the noble Vaisnavas of Jagannatha Purl, Vrndavana, and Mayapura that Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura was indeed the personality that fulfilled the statement of the Padma Purdna. This understanding was based not only on the fact that Sarasvati Thakura had taken his birth at Jagannatha Puri, but it was a self-evident truth that Sarasvati Thakura had consolidated die teachings of the four Vaisnava sampradayas. Under the banner of Sri Caitanyadeva the teachings of the four Vaisnava sampradayas were preached by Sarasvati Thakura, spreading the Holy Name in every town and village as predicted by Sri Caitanyadeva Himself.
prthivite ache yata nagaradi-grama
sarvatra pracara haibe mora noma
My Name will be propagated in all the towns and villages of the world.a (Sri Caitanya'bhdgavata, Anfya 4.126)In the main temple at Sri Caitanya Matha established by Sarasvati Thakura in Mayapura, one will find the sYi-murtis of each of the four Vaisnava sampraddya'dcaryas (Sri Madhvacarya, Sri Visnu SvamI, Sri Nimbarka, and Sri Ramanuja) at each of the four-corners of the main Deity sanctum of Sri Sri Guru-Gaurariga-Gandharvika-Giridhari.The service of these four sampradayas deary as as seen at Sri Caitanya Matha established by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta is the first of its kind in the world. This is indeed unique and certainly echoes the prophecy of the Padma Purdna.Also, in the Sutra'Khanda of Sri Caitanya'tnangala of Srila Locana Dasa Thakura, we find the mention of a great general (sena-pati) who will spread the mercy of Sri Caitanyadeva outside of Bengal:
yadi papi chadi dharma dure deie yaya
mora sena'pati-bhakta yaibe tathaya
Even if the sinners reject religion or flee to other countries, still they will get the mercy. I will send my sena-pati-bhakta to go there and deliver them.Sena'pati means general and a general must have such intelligence and capacity that he can lead other great men and qualified persons in battle, the battle against mdyd, illusion. Before the advent of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura the pure theistic teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva were all but lost or destroyed. The situation was so lamentable that even the process of sankirtana (congregational chanting of the Holy Name) had been stopped even in Navadvlpa the sacred land where Sri Caitanyadeva had appeared. Prior to Sarasvati Thakura's advent there was no organized preaching to spread Sri Caitanyadeva's teachings nor was there any bona-fide institution to shelter those who wished to sacrifice their lives in devotion to Godhead.To spread the krishna consciousness movement all over the world Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura established the Gaudiya Matha and instituted the sannydsa dsrama. He then sent his sannydsi preachers throughout India and to western countries to perform the Gaudiya missionary activities. In 1965 our spiritual master, the foremost preacher disciple of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada, came to the western world to fulfill the order and desire of his spiritual master. Our spiritual master said many times that the great krishna consciousness movement that he was conducting (ISKCON) was actually going on by the order, the desire, and the mercy of his Guru Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta. Many times our spiritual master made such statements as follows:"So far I am concerned, I am a humble disciple of His Divine Grace Om Visnupada Sri Srlmad Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI GosvamI Maharaja, who was the original pioneer of spreading this movement in the western world. During his lifetime, up to 1936, he started 64 main centers all over the world, including centers in Berlin, Germany and London, England. His Divine Grace entrusted me to spread this movement in western countries, and since 1965,1 am trying in my humble way to spread this movement in this part of the world." (letter to Mr. David], Exley, ChiefNGO Section at the United Nations, dated 68-02-21)
"Actually I am the most unworthy servant of His Divine Grace (Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura) because I delayed to execute his order by so many years. But it was better I began late than never, and therefore he has kindly sent to me so many young hearts to cooperate with me in this great movement" (letter to Kirtandnanda, dated 70-05-06)In recent years some of the disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada have forgotten the eminent position of their parama-guru, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura. Attempting to illuminate the special position of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada some of his disciples have unwittingly omitted the importance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura along with the importance of all previous Gaudiya sampradaya dcdryas. This group of disciples has declared that Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada is the acarya for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas for the remaining 10,000 years of the Golden Age of Kali-yuga. Such is a zealous declaration, but it unfortunately indicates a genuine lack of fundamental understanding of our guru-parampard system by glaringly omitting the importance of our parama-gurus and lasdy by even omitting the position of Srila Rupa GosvamI Prabhupada.It is indeed a fact that our Guru Maharaja, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada was an empowered representative of the Supreme Lord, as it is said:
guruvajnam Sirasi-dharyam Saktyavesa sva-rupine
hare-krsneti mantrena paicatya-pracya-tarine
Taking the order ofhis guru on his head, he became empowered by Nityananda Prabhu to act as a s'aktydves'a avatdra. He distributed the Hare krishna mantra all over the eastern and western world, delivering and uplifting all fallen souls." (Sripdda B. S. GovindaMaharaja, Sri Caitanya Sdrasvata Matha)Although the above verse is accepted as fact (not only by the disciples of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, but by many of his godbrothers also) it does not nullify the facts concerning the previous dc&ryas in the Gaudiya disciplic succession.In the ontological line of disciplic succession it is unanimously recognized that Sri Caitanyadeva is the founder of the krishna consciousness movement in Kali-yuga. Thereafter, Sri Rupa GosvarnI Prabhupada was personally recognized and appointed by Sri Caitanyadeva as the most qualified devotee to spread bhakti' rasa (krishna consciousness). It cannot be otherwise, since it is Rupa Gosvaml who in his siddha-rupa is Sri Rupa Manjari, the leader of the intimate group of Sri Radha's servants. It is understood by all the bona-fide Gaudiya Vaisnavas that Sri Rupa GosvarnI is the leader (Founder-dcdrya) of our sampraddya for the duration of the Golden Age of Kali-yuga.To spread the glories of the rupdnuga sampraddya (the succession of Sri Rupa Gosvaml), Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura appeared in this world at the end of the 19th century.
Srila Bhakti Pramoda Purl Gosvaml Maharaja has emphasized this in the following words:"Many heterodox sects came into existence that vocally claimed to be following Mahaprabhu, but in fact were simply using His name to promote their false doctrines. The Lord Himself could not tolerate deviation from the truths of the Gaudiya Vaisnava doctrine and He would be gready pained by misrepresentations of the divine relations between the Lord and His devotees. For this reason, Svarupa Damodara and Rupa Gosvaml appeared again at the desire of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through Srila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura Prabhupada, to preserve and protect the doctrines taught by Srila Rupa Gosvaml. Preaching these doctrines of pure devotion, these two great souls gave great joy to the Lord Himself and to all of His followers in the Gaudiya Vaisnava school." (Of Love and Separation, pp. 89)Certainly it must be said that all the dedicated disciples and followers of Srila SarasvatI Thakura are of no less importance than their guru since they carry forth the same message. Yet it does not look good if the future generations of devotees omit the importance of the previous dcdryas. Therefore, it must be said that all of them are glorious.
Sri'krishna'vimukha heri adhikdmsa jana
Sumha'krishna'Seva'katha na hire grahana
hayo na utsaha-hina tahate kakhana
chedo na jivatu tava nijera bhajana
When you see that most people are indifferent to Sri Krsina and show no interest in selfless service to krishna and in talks about Him, don't be discouraged. Most of all, never give up your bhajana, your life and soul.
nija sarvasva krishna katha sravana-kirtana
chadiya daridrya kena karibe varana
Why would you accept the poverty of a life without hearing and chanting about krishna, your sole wealth?Comment Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has also mentioned in one of his songs:
nama bina kichu nahiko aro, caudda'bhuvana'majhe
(Arunodaya Kirtana 1, Gitavall).
"There is nothing except the Holy Name within all the fourteen worlds." Whatever we find in this material world such as wealth, prestige, power, kingdoms, and so many things actually have no permanent existence, it is all a temporary illusion. The Holy Name of krishna is non-different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself and therefore it is eternal. The Holy Name is not destroyed by time nor is the Holy Name under the three modes of material nature. The Holy Name of krishna is purely transcendental as stated in Padma Purdna:
ndma cintdmanih krishnas
purnah Suddho nitya-mukto
"The Holy Name of krishna is transcendentally blissful. It bestows all spiritual benedictions, for it is krishna Himself, the reservoir of all pleasure. krishna's Name is complete, and it is the form of all transcendental mellows. It is not a material name under any condition, and it is no less powerful than krishna Himself. Since krishna's Name is not contaminated by the material qualities, and there is no question of it's being involved with matter, krishna's Name is always liberated and spiritual; it is never conditioned by the laws of material nature. This is because the Name of krishna and krishna Himself are identical.Therefore, who other than a person who has lost all intelligence, would give up the chanting of the Lord's Holy Name?
krishna'pada'padma maga jivera kalyana
acire purabe vancha sarva-saktiman
"Beg for krishna's lotus-feet, the ultimate benediction for all living beings. The Lord is all-powerful and will quickly fulfill your desire.
asamartha nahe krishna dhare sarva-bala
(krishna) -sevakera vancha kabhu na hay a viphala
"krishna is not incapable. He is omnipotent and His servant's desires never go in vain.
trnapeksa hina dina apane manibe
trusama sahya-guna bhusita haibe
amani manada haye sada nama labe
iri'nama'bhajane sarva-pradhana janibe
"Please always chant the Name of the Lord, being humbler than a blade of grass and more tolerant than a tree. Give all respect to others and demand none for yourself. Make the worship of the Holy Name the most important aspect of your devotional life.
Here we find paraphrased the third verse of Siksdstakam:
trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna
amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih
Humility is often described as the crest jewel of the Vaisnava qualities. Humility is indeed the quality of a devotee that most attracts the Supreme Lord. We have seen that knowledge, austerity, power, becoming an author, or even a world preacher are sometimes easily achieved, but those who have developed real qualities of humility are rare souls in this world.Our iiksd-guru Srila B. R. Srldhara Deva Gosvami used to say that humility means to be submissive to the order of our guru. Humility does not mean to be complacent or obedient to the commands of the rouges and thieves, the non-devotees. We must eagerly take the instruction of our guru on our head as our life and soul. We must be ready to sacrifice everything and anything for his satisfaction. We must not project ourselves in any light, but we should strive always to be a transparent via media for our guru to work through us. That is real humility.
ihate laiya diksa bhajibena vijna
"A wise person will worshiip the Lord after taking initiation in the sacrifice of thie Holy Name inaugurated by Sri krishna Caitanya and Hiis associates.
sapta'sikha noma yajjnanale atmahuti
visese kahte ei saistrera jukati
"Offer yourself up to the seven flames of this sacrificial fire. The scriptures say that thiis is especially the religious principle for the Age of Kali.Comment In his purport to Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's Sri Sanmodana Bhdsyam of the first verse of Siksdistakam, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saras vati Thakura has mentioned sseven stages of perfection that may be compared to the seven flames of the sankirtana of the Holy Name. The seven stages of perfection in chanting of the Holy Name of krishna are as follows: (I) Chanting of the Holy Name cleanses the mirror of the heart. (2) The chanting of the Holy Name protects the devotee from material existence. (3) The chanting of the Holy Name bestows the highest benediction on the living entities. (4) The chantimg of the Holy Name is the source of all transcendental knowledge. (5) The chanting of the Holy Name expands the ocean of transcendental bliss. (6) The chanting of the Holy Name cures the disease of material existence. (7) The chanting of the Holy Name is the essential ingredient in every devotional service.Therefore let the Holy Name of krishna be victorious all over the world.
karmci'Vira dharma-vlra haye kaja nai
indna-yoga-tapa'adi pathe kasta pai
"We do not seek to become heroes performing great works or religious deeds. We will become distressed if we take up the paths of knowledge, works or austerities.Comment This material world is the plane of exploitation where the conditioned souls perform works for enjoying the senses. A little superior to the plane of exploitation is the plane of renunciation where one acquires knowledge and sometimes performs severe austerities for liberation. Superior to both the plane of exploitation and the plane of renunciation is the plane of dedication. Dedication alone is the inherent nature of the living entity.
jlvera 'svarupa ' haya krsnera 'nitya-dasa
krsnera 'tatasthaSakti,' 'bhedabheda-prakasa'
"It is the living entities constitutional position to be an eternal servant of krishna because he is the marginal energy of krishna and a manifestation simultaneously one and different from the Lord." (Cc. Madhya 20.108)Therefore, if a devotee takes up the path of either exploitation or renunciation he will surely meet with distress. Dedication to the Supreme Personality of Godhead alone can fully satisfy the soul.
sri-rupera pada-dhuli janaha svarupa
sei se sarvasva take na hao virupa
"Know that your true identity is to be a speck of dust at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa Prabhu; don't go against this identity, which is your treasure.
rupanuga-varya hana sri-bhahivinoda
se bhaktivinoda-dharaya bahe suddha moda
"Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura [s the best of the followers of Sri Rupa Gosvaml. The pure joy of devotional service comes in the stream that started with him.Comment As we have heard from our s"iksd-guru Srila B. R. Sridhara Maharaja, it was not possible for Srila Sarasvatl Thakura to conceive of krishna without the intervention of Bhaktivinoda Thakura in him. Srila Sridhara Maharaja has said:"We have seen that Prabhupada took Bhaktivinoda Thakura as guru from the internal consideration. His outside and inside was filled with Bhaktivinoda, not in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense. He installed Deities of Vinoda-Vilasa, Vinoda-Rama, Vinoda-Ananda, and Vinoda-Prana in many mathas. We saw his attempt also through his gurudeva, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, to approach Radha-Govinda and Mahaprabhu. It was inconceivable, not possible without Bhaktivinoda Thakura's influence in him." (Follow; the Angels, pp. 163)
bhakti sasamrta-puma sei puta dhdra
kakhano habe na ruddha iata-vighna dvdrd
"That stream is holy and full of nectarine flavors of devotion. Even a hundred obstacles will never obstruct it"
se dharaya haiya snata buddhiman jana
bhaktivinoda'mano'bhista karaha purana
"Intelligent persons who have bathed in the waters of that stream should endeavor to fulfill the heartfelt wishes of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura."
bahu yogya krti-vyakti achaha tomara
hao sabe aguwan esa kari wara
"Amongst you are many capable and worthy individuals. So all of you quickly come forward and take up this task.
dante trna dhari ei jaci punah punah
sri-rupa-pada'dhuli jena hai janma janma
"Taking grass between my teeth, I pray repeatedly that I may become a speck of dust at Sri Rupa Gosvaml's lotus feet, birth after birth."Comment This humble prayer at the feet of Sri Rupa GosvamI appeared again and again on the lips of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saras vatl Thakura just prior to his departure from this mortal world.On the evening before his pastime of entering the eternal lllds of the Supreme Lord, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saras vatl Thakura requested Srila Sridhara Maharaja to sing his most favorite bhajana, 'Sri Rupa Manjari-pada.' This song was sung by Srila Sridhara Maharaja at which time tears of love glided down from the eyes of Sarasvatl Thakura and he clutched his hands to his chest in feelings of great separation from the most cherished object of his worship.
ihd vina anyakanksa nahuka hrdaye
ei vancha sarva-hrde hauk udaye
"Ocher than this, I pray that no other desire will manifest in my or anyone else's heart.
e samsare thaka-kale ache nana, badha
take muhyaman kabhu nahibe sarvatha
While living in this world, we encounter many difficulties; but there is no need for us to be ever bewildered by these difficulties.
badha matra dura karai nahe prayojana
atahpara kiba labhya cinte vijna'jana
"We need make no effort to remove any of these obstacles. What is necessary for us, while we are still here, is to learn what is beyond what will be the nature of our eternal life.
Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura often said that he admitted to no deficiency in this world except the lack of krishna consciousness. If we can remove the ignorance that covers the living entities eternal identity then in that one stroke we can remove all the problems of the world. There is no need to endeavor independently to solve the problems of the world. krishna consciousness is the only and final solution.
nitya-atma ami mora nitya sei jivana
ekhani hauk tara tattva-nirdharana
Let me realize at this very moment the nature of my eternal spiritual identity and my eternal life in the spiritual world.
akarsana-vikarsanera vastu ache jata
cahi va na cahi emana kahibe va kata
There are so many things that attract and repel us. There is no end to the things that we want and don't want.
ei duhun mimamsa sighra kari madman
nitya-tattva krishna-bhakti karaha sandhana
"We have to resolve what exactly we do or do not want and decide to search out our devotional service to krishna, the eternal truth.Comment Human life is a rare opportunity to make progress in spiritual life. If after coming to the human form of life one neglects the chance to make spiritual progress then it must be considered that such a person is the most unfortunate being.
emana durlabha mdnava'deho paiya ki koro bhava na keho
ebe na bhajile yaioda-suta carame poribe laje
You have achieved this rare human body. Don't you care for this gift? If you do not worship the darling of Mother Yasoda now, then great sorrow awaits you at the time of your death." (Thakura Bhaktivinoda, Arunodaya Kirtana I, Gitavali)The intelligent human being should understand that this mortal world is not his eternal home. This mortal world is a foreign land where there is danger at every step, padam padam yad vipaddm na tesdm. Therefore, with great determination one should make devotion to Sri krishna the sole aim in life.
o duwera yuddhe jadi jayi hate cao
(tabe) aprakrta namakrsta hale raksa pao
"If you wish to conquer over attraction and repulsion then you should remember that by becoming attracted to the transcendental Holy Name, you will be delivered from them.
krishna-seva rasa-katha tabe ta bujhibe
tuccha saba rasa prati ghrna upajibe
Then you will understand the nature of service to krishna and the taste of His divine topics. Then you will feel nothing but disgust for the other insignificant pleasures of this world.
krishnanufilana jata vardhita haibe
(jada) visaya'pipasa tata kamite thakibe
As you increase cultivating your consciousness of krishna, your thirst for material sense-objects will decrease.Comment In Kali-yuga chanting the Holy Name of krishna is the only recommended process for spiritual perfection, as stated in the Bmad-naradiya Purana (3.8.126):
harer noma harer noma, harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nastya eva, nastya eva gatir anyatha
"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the Holy Names of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.There are nine processes of devotional service; sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, ddsyam, sakhyam, and dtma'nivedanam. In each of these processes the Holy Name of krishna is the central ingredient. Greater importance is given to the Holy Name than to any other process of devotional service. In fact without being sufficiently established in purely chanting the Holy Name, some processes, like lild'Smaranam (remembering the lilds of the Lord) may even be injurious to our spiritual development.
bada-i kathina tattva krishna-katha haya
apata camaka-prada jatilartha-maya
The philosophy of krishna consciousness is very perplexing. In the beginning it seems startling and full of complex details.
nami hate tanra noma adhika karuna
dsraya laile tattva karena jnapana
The Holy Name is more compassionate than the Lord of the Name Himself. If one takes shelter of the Name, then it unravels all these philosophical complexities.Comment Taking shelter of the chanting of the Holy Name of krishna presupposes one having taken shelter of the guru (guru'pada' dsraya) and having received hari-ndma-diksd from him. One must chant the Holy Name with firm faith in the spiritual master and then all the complexities of the krishna conscious philosophy will automatically be revealed.
yasya deve para bhaktir yatha-deve tatha gurau
tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah
"Only unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord (His Holy Name which is non-different from Him) and the spiritual master are all the imports (complexities) of Vedic knowledge automatically revealed." (SvetdSvatara Upanisad, 6.38)
nitya-praypjana modera krishna-prema'dhana
taha anubhave kama badhe sarva-ksana
"The treasure of love for krishna is the eternal goal of our lives. At every moment, personal desires interfere with our realizing it."
ndmds'raye sei badha haya apanita
krishna -prema-rajye vasa haya abhlpsita
"By taking shelter of the Holy Name, all these obstacles are removed and we can obtain the fulfillment of our true desire, to dwell in the realm of pure love of krishna."
Sri Caitanyadeva has stated that the fifth goal of life is love of krishna, prema pumdrtha mahan. Nothing else should be the goal of one's life. Sense gratification and the cultivation of all things not actually related to krishna's service such as astrology, palmistry, reiki, gemology, crystal worship, UFO abductions, conspiracy theories, women's liberation, channeling, past-life regressions, I-ching, hatha-yoga, boji-stones, colonics, blue-green algae diets, grape fasts, self-urine therapy, hollow-earth theories, pyramids, ouija boards, pendulums, exorcisms, numerology,tarot cards, copper-plate bdbds, tantric practices, Machiavellian politics, Coveyian management systems, Nostradamus, new-age prophecies and self-proclaimed dcdrya-ships are actually a waste of time because they do not directly foster love of krishna. If we want love of krishna, then we should take to chanting the Holy Name as our life's occupation. Unfortunately, the above mentioned non-krishna related topics have become very popular among many so-called Vaisnavas including some sannydsis and even gurus.In the time of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta SarasvatI Thakura and also during the time of our Guru Maharaja, Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada there was no other focus for their disciples other than chanting the Holy Name and distributing the chanting of the Holy Name to the fallen souls. Now in the absence of these great personalities many 'isms,' false doctrines and non-krishna conscious practices have all but consumed a major section of the western Gaudiya Vaisnavas. If the krishna consciousness movement wants to truly get back on track then it would be advisable for its members to again take up the Holy Name as the central focus and abandon all activities not recommended in sdstra by the previous dcdryas.It is especially disheartening to see senior disciples and sannydsis of Srila A. C. Bhaktivedanta SvamI Prabhupada traveling around the world delivering seminars on astrology, rekhi, UFOs, channeling and other non-krishna conscious topics. The fact of the matter is that the dovetailing process of our material propensities and material desires is slowly but surely suffocating the Hare krishna movement. Due to extreme attachment to these non-krishna activities it is difficult these days to find the association of devotees who are prepared to make the necessary self-sacrifices to improve this movement.
e jagate keha nahe anurdga-patra
athavd viraga-patra nahe anumdtra
"In this world no one is the special object of my affection, nor do I have the slightest hostility towards anyone."Comment The spiritual master (sad-guru) is not partial to a particular disciple. The spiritual master is an ocean of mercy and according to what degree a disciple surrenders at his lotus feet, the spiritual master will award him krishna consciousness accordingly. There is no question of partiality on the part of the spiritual master.Some disciples are of the opinion that a physical proximity with the spiritual master is what makes one dear to the spiritual master. Such foolish disciples do not know that it is by following the vdni (instruction) of the guru that one obtains his divine grace. Some times the disciple thinks foolishly that just by serving the institution of the spiritual master, even though neglecting his instructions, that all perfection will be achieved. They sometimes say, "Just stay in the boat —it does not matter how bad things are— if you just stay in the institution you are going back to Godhead." However, such 'boat people' may be in for a rude awakening at the end of life. Srila Bhakti Pramoda Purl Gosvami has the following to say in this regard:"If we wish to show our love and faith for our spiritual master, it will be by following these teachings. However, rather than giving full attention to the desires of the spiritual master, we may focus on serving his body or the extensions of his body represented by temples and (teramas. If we do so, we will never be free of the pitfall of seeing the guru in purely human terms (martyasdd' dhih). The Lord can only be seen through the path of transcendental sound (Sruteksita-pathaK) and the spiritual master, being His manifest representative, is also perceptible through divine sound vibrations." (Of Love and Separation, pp. 91)
sakala vyavastha ethd ksanasthayi haya
etha-kara labhalabha vicaraha naya
"Whatever arrangements we make in this world are momentary. There is no need to waste time thinking about gain or loss here."
sabakara labhya sei eka prayojana
sri-krishna -padaravinde prema mahadhana
"The only thing anyone should strive for is the one supreme goal of life. That is the treasure of love for krishna's lotus feet."
tad-uddesya sabe mili hao yatnavan
eka-dhyana eka-yhana hao eka-tdna
So, join together all of you and strive for this goal. Work together harmoniously, with a single thing in mind and a single understanding.Comment Sadhu'safiga is our strength. We must keep the association of saintly persons who are advanced in krishna consciousness. If such association is not readily available, then the Sdstra is our next best friend. Sometimes devotees do not understand how one can have a Siksa-guru (instructing guru) outside the formal institution of his spiritual master. Such disciples do not understand that the guru' tattva principle does not come under the sway of any institutional consideration or society consciousness. krishna is independent of any social consideration and He sends His representative to save the fallen souls as He sees fit. krishna is not under the power of our voting committees.There are some people who think that the guru (krishna's representative) must appear in India, in a particular society, or in a brdhmana family, but such persons are victims of a poor fund of knowledge. Such persons do not know that birth in India, belonging to a particular society, or being born in a brdhmana family are all material designations. Such considerations have no jurisdiction in the guru'tattva.It is also commonly misunderstood how one can simultaneously have love for his diksd'guru and also for his s'iksd'guru. Love is poorly understood these days as affection for one's guru and hatred for all others. If someone says he has love for his guru but cannot see the representation of krishna in any others (and thus no love for them) then it becomes doubtful if such a person actually has a guru other than in name only. For as it is said, vande 'ham sri-guroh sri-yuta'pada-kamalam sri-gwrun vaisnavams ca. The principle of guru is Sri'guroh and sri-gurun. It is both singular and plural. There is no difference between one's diksd'guru and slksd'guru for both have been declared as equal manifestations of krishna and love for both is appropriate. The diksd'guru represents Madana-mohana and the Siksd'guru represents Govinda-deva. One should not discriminate between the two, otherwise one makes an offense. (Caitanya' caritamrta, Adi-llla, ch. 1)
ekoddesya aikatane avasthita hao
mulairaya-vigraha-sevaya adhikara lao
"Working together with the same purpose, you will become qualified for the service of RadharanI, the original reservoir of love for krishna .Comment If we cannot cooperate with the Vaisnavas in this life then what chance will we have to cooperate with them in the spiritual world of eternal pastimes? The inability to cooperate with the Vaisnavas and especially with the senior Vaisnavas is actually a manifestation of one's envious nature due to association with the objects of sense gratification.To achieve harmony and cooperation among the Vaisnavas it is essential that one give up all types of material sense gratification, desire for name, fame and power, and humbly take up the mood of Vaisnava-sevd (service to the Vaisnavas). However, sometimes envious persons themselves take up the responsibility of uniting the Vaisnavas, but their goal is actually to lord it over (to control) the Vaisnava community, not to serve them. Seeing through the ill motives of these envious persons the advanced Vaisnavas never cooperate with such diabolical schemes.
rupanuga'Cinta-srota hok pravdhita
ta hate svatantrya kabhu nahe samihita
"May the stream of ideas promoted by Rupa Gosvami and his followers ever flow. We must never try to be independent of his doctrine."
sapux'jihva nama'Sanklrtana'yajna prati
kakhano viraga jena na hay a arati
"May we never become indifferent or disinterested in the sacrifice of the Holy Name with it's fire of seven flames.
ekantanuraga tahe thake vardhamana
tabe xa sarvartha'Siddhi puma manaskama
"In the performance of sankirtana, if your single-minded devotion goes on increasing, then all your desires will be fulfilled and all your goals achieved."
iri-rupanuga janera pada-padma dhara
ekanta bhavete tandera dnugatya kara
"Take hold of the feet of the followers of Sri Rupa Gosvami and follow them with exclusive commitment."
(Sri) -rupa-raghunatha-katha parama-utsdhe
nirbhaye pracara kara sarva-siddhi jahe
"Preach the message of Sri Rupa and Raghunatha fearlessly and with great enthusiasm. Through this preaching, you will attain all perfection."Comment The highest ideal of the Gaudiya sampraddya is found in its entirety in the message of Sri Rupa Gosvami and it is fully exemplified in the aspirations of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami. Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami is taken to be the disciple of Sri Rupa Gosvami. What Sri Rupa Gosvami taught has found its fullest expression in the heart of Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami (our prayojana'dcdrya) who has shown us the highest aspiration, Rddhd'ddsyam. Rddhd'ddsyam or Rddhd-pada-sevd, service in the camp of Sri Radha, is the highest aspiration or achievement of a Gaudiya Vaisnava.As the teacher, Sri Rupa Gosvami was himself the abode of ecstatic love of krishna, yet we will want to see what effect his teaching had in his disciple. It was found to have had its fullest effect in Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami, who in the climax of his spiritual aspiration prayed as follows:
kalo mayatigamitah kila sampratam hi
warn cet krpamayi vidhasyasi naiva kim me
pranair vrajema ca varoru bakarinapi
"With that hope I am somehow passing my days, flagging my days, dragging my life through these tedious times only for that hope. That hope is sustaining me, the nectarine-ocean of hope is attracting me and sustaining me. Somehow I am dragging my days to my only safety. Otherwise, I have lost the direct association of Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara and so many other great souls, and still I am living. Why? I have a particular ray of hope. And the prospect and quality of my hope is very great and high. But my patience has reached its end. I can't endure it any longer. I can't wait. I am finished. I can't wait any more. At this moment if you do not show your grace to me, I am finished. I shall lose the chance forever. I shall have no desire to continue my life. It will all be useless. Without Your grace, I can't stand to live another moment. And Vrndavana, which is even dearer to me than my life itself—I am disgusted with it. It is painful; it is always pinching me. What to speak of anything else, I am even disgusted with krishna. It is shameful to utter such words, but I can have no love even for krishna, until and unless you take me up within your confidential camp of service. Such a charm I have come for. I have seen the clue of such a charm within the service of your camp. Without that, everything is tasteless to me. And I can't maintain my existence even in Vrndavana. And even krishna, what to speak of others, has no charm for me." (Translation by Srila B. R. Sridhara Deva Gosvami, Sri Guru and His Grace, p. 150)
As we find in Raghunatha Dasa Gosvami we should expect to find the efficacy of the teaching of a particular acarya in at least one of his disciples if not more. But as it so happens, after the disappearance of a great acarya there are always those who cannot recognize the advanced Vaisnavas and thus conclude that the books of the previous acarya are all that is necessary. Their assumption is that one need not accept initiation from a living guru, but one can achieve the perfection of life just by reading books and serving in the temple or dirama of the previous acarya (Founder'deary a).When Srila Bhaktivinoda.
Thakura disappeared from this mortal world a certain section of his admirers proclaimed that since the Thakura had so extensively written on the topic of krishna consciousness that it was not necessary to accept a living representative in the line of Bhaktivinoda. To this Srila Sarasvatl Thakura remarked that if one does not take shelter under the guidance of a true follower of Srila Bhaktivinoda then the attempts to understand him simply through reading books and singing songs will be baffled.Again after the disappearance of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saras vati Thakura a group of devotees proposed the same idea. Since , Sarasvatl Thakura had written and preached so extensively on the topic of krishna consciousness what need was there for persons to initiate and carry on the disciplic succession in that way. Their reasoning was that just by reading the books of Sarasvatl Thakura everything was there. This conception however was not given space to grow by the advanced disciples of Sarasvatl Thakura, who in turn continued to carry on the disciplic succession.Then again after the disappearance of our Guru Maharaja, Srila A. C. haktivedanta Svami Prabhupada, the same situation has occurred. A certain section of his disciples are convinced that no further succession of gurus is necessary. Convinced by seeing the many who tried to become gurus fall down, these disciples advocate an 'ism' known as rtvik.Once when discussing rtvikism with Srila Bhakti Pramoda Purl Gosvami Maharaja he remarked that the rtvik conception was "the death of the sampraddya.
The rtvik conception however has not so easily been dispensed with as in previous times. Unfortunately, it seems that the rtvik conception has caught hold of the very life force of our guru's formal institution (ISKCON). In the absence of senior Vaisnavas and having rejected any available senior association outside of the formal society, its members now toggle between the rtvik conception on one hand and the covered rtvik system (GBC as the ultimate spiritual authority) on the other. The rtvik conception means Prabhupada takes you back to Godhead and the covered rtvik conception means the GBC is the body of Prabhupada and the institution takes you back to Godhead. Unfortunately both these concepts are mental concoctions.The institution of our Guru Maharaja at present seems to be bereft of a proper understanding of guru'tattva. If there is a correct understanding there, somewhere within its members, then it certainly hesitates to raise its head for fear of excommunication or even decapitation.We do not mean to alarm our readers or to offend anyone, but the fact of the matter is that devotees should remember with firm faith the words of their parama-guru, Srlla Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura as given in his last days. One should endeavor to carry on the disciplic succession as he envisioned it.
rupanuga'Cinta'Srota hok pravahita
ta hate svatantrya kabhu nahe samihita
May the stream of ideas promoted by Rupa GosvamI and his followers ever flow. We must never try to be independent of his doctrine.