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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > Istagosthi, Vaisnava

61 -Istagosthi, Vaisnava Counseling


1. What is istagosthi ?


Without the association of pure devotees there cannot be an istagosthi. The word ista means "desired subject matter," and the word gosthi means "assembly." The assembly of pure devotees has been described as istagosthi by combining the above-mentioned two words. (Sajjana Tosani 10/12)


2. How many types of istagosthi of pure devotees are there?


Istagosthi is of two kinds, "following" and "preaching." While following, pure devotees recite Srimad-Bhagavatam, hear, and chant the holy name of Hari. While preaching, these devotees propagate the science of the Absolute Truth, the living entities, the transcendental mellows, and the holy name's glories according to the qualification of their audience.

{Sajjana Tosani 10/12)


3. What is krsna-kathd-gosthi ?


When two devotees meet and discuss the topics of Krsna, it is called krsna-kathd-gosthi. (Sajjana Tosani 10/11)


4. What is the difference between ordinary talk and istagosthi ?


What to speak of awarding happiness, ordinary talk causes extreme unhappiness. However, such talk never appears in an istagosthi.

(Sajjana Tosani 10/11)


5. Why is the assembly of pure devotees so rare?


Pure devotees are rare in this world. Therefore it is difficult to find more than four or five such devotees in an assembly or istagosthi. {Sajjana Tosani 10/11)


6. What are the different stages of the Srimad Gauranga Samaj?


A gathering of all types of people is called Srimad Gaurahga Samaj. A gathering of devotees is called Vaisnava Samaj or Vaisnava istagosthi. A meeting of two pure devotees is called krsna-katha-gosthi. The existence of one pure devotee is called the solitary bhajana of chanting the holy name. (Sajjana Tosani 10/11)