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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Other Scriptures by Acharyas > Biographies of Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati > Prabhupada Sarasvati Thakura > Bhaktisiddhanta Vani

Bhaktisiddhanta Vani

Excerpts from lectures  and essays



My Gurudeva is residing in many different personalities. If he does not reside in many different personalities, then who will protect me? Those whom my Gurudeva considered close to him are my saviors. But I hope I never have to see the faces of such evil-doing rascals as those who have criticized the lotus feet of my Gurudeva, or those who have somehow supported such criticisms.



By attributing fatherhood to Divinity, we can only demand some service from Him and later express some gratitude. But expressing gratitude is not rendering devotional service, nor is it a symptom of love. The concept of service from the father on one hand and of expressing gratitude on the other, is founded on partial realization. This is not the same as having the unalloyed desired for the happiness of the Lord; this is not devotional service.

          In the concept of demanding service and expressing gratitude, there is an inherent element of calculation, of give and take. The causeless and uninterrupted desire to serve the Lord cannot develop from this. This underdeveloped concept of theism can blossom fully when one attributes sonhood to Divinity. In the concept of [the Lord's] fatherhood the son's true identity [as the eternal servant of the Lord] is not revealed, but in the concept of [the Lord's] sonhood the father's identity [as His eternal servant] is fully included. "ritmRi vai jayate putraÓ"—"It is the RitmRi (the father) who gives birth to the son." The son cannot serve his father from the beginning, but the father can serve his son from the beginning.



Mundane renunciation, sacri?ce and austerity are not the symptoms of saintliness. The ant may say, "The elephant eats a lot; I do not eat so much, I eat very little." Then the ant becomes a greater sRidhu than the elephant! But the elephant carries Krishna to Syamanta Pa–caka (in Kuruk›etra, where RRidhRirRiˆRi sees Krishna again) and the ant may bite Krishna. In spite of eating a lot the elephant is carrying Krishna, serving Krishna, and in spite of eating a little the ant may bite Krishna.



I who am subject to the three modes of material nature am de?nitely faulty, but the I who can transcend the three modes of material nature is the eternal truth, an attractive and enjoyable entity. If by considering the enjoyable entity (the liberated servant of the Lord) to be the same in quality as the unenjoyable entity (the conditioned soul) the idea of the enjoyable entity is given up, then the resulting inactive condition can be found even in such inanimate objects as stones. The argument or endeavor to give up transcendental qualities in order to give up material faults is only stupidity or self-deceit. For example: suppose I have a boil on my body. I go to a doctor to consult him about how to get relief from this pain. He tells me, "Stab yourself to death, then you will get eternal relief from your pain." What I need is a cure for my boil; I do not need to commit suicide. The mRiyRivRidis commit suicide in order to get rid of the boil. We have to solve the problems of this world of duality. But the faulty argument that in order to do so it is also necessary to destroy the eternal individualty of the soul is only stupidity. The devoteees of the Lord will never accept such advice. To destroy the property of the self, of consciousness, can never be a justi?ed principle. It is the existence of that which is not the real identity of the self that should be destroyed. The element of consciousness which seeks the eternal truth always forbids and scorns self-destruction. No intelligent person can desire the imaginary peace that comes from self-destruction. The eternal desire of the soul is to cultivate its loving relationship with the Lord.



The full realization of Rinanda (bliss or joy) is our supreme goal. Mere relief from pain is not our need. We have to find our wealth in a positive liberation. But we have to make sure that we do not look for the wrong thing. One has to be very cautious about this. We have to do the preparatory groundwork before death. We will accept the help, knowledge and intelligence of our friends, of science, or any other source only if that helps us to serve the devotees of the Lord. But we will not cultivate any tendency to carry our burdens and trash from here to the other world.

          To be under the shelter of the Lord is the only safe path. If we know how to do some arithmetic, we can understand how much endeavor was needed to meet the temporary needs of one hundred years, so in that ratio, how much more endeavor is needed to meet the needs of our eternal life. That effort has to start in this life, because only this human life can facilitate the pursuit of the eternal goal. If human beings can understand this simple mathematics, then they will not pursue any activity in this life other than cultivating Krishna-consciousness. Our every step, every breath, every action should be aimed at establishing our relationship with Krishna.



LrRi Gurudeva has said, "Come, we shall all serve the Lord together." When he said "we", he did not mean any one person. Some people become sel?sh and they think, "I alone will serve; it is my service alone, no one else has a right to do this." But the merciful LrRi Gurudeva says, "Come, give up your envy and competitiveness, let us all serve the Lord together."

          The worship of the Lord is higher than anything else. "Since this is higher than anything else, no one else can do it" or "I will not let anyone else do it"—such envy did not come from the lotus feet of Gurudeva. The kRirtan that is done by everyone is sa/kRirtan.

          The message of LrRi Gaurasundar is that in order to pray to the Lord for his help, we have to become "tÂnRidapi sunRica"—humbler than a blade of grass. One does not ask for the help of someone else unless he understands his own limitations. When we consider ourselves helpless, when we realize, "Things are not getting done by my own endeavor; I have no choice but to accept help from others," then only will we pray for such help. The work that has to be done by many can never be done by one's own effort.



If I proclaim myself to be superior to others, no one will listen to me. They will slap me in the face and knock me down off my pedestal. If I do not have the tendency to give respect to others, then I should not tell others about the Supreme Lord. If the only goal of my life is to serve the Lord, then I should not humiliate and disrespect anyone in this world. If the world belongs to the Lord, then I should know what my relationship is with His world



Just as this great external mansion, the GauÎiya MaÊh, has been built, similarly to establish internal Hari-bhajan in this world quite a few books have to be written and published. The temple which is within the books and the temple which is within the devotees are more important than the temple built with bricks and stones, because by constructing such temples Hari-kathRi can be preached in this world much longer. Now we have only procured a seat [for Hari-kathRi]. We have built a castle to preach about the Lord by spending someone's entire savings of a lifetime. But we have to protect ourselves in this castle from the association of materialistic people; we have to defend ourselves from the confusion of this age of Kali (the age of quarrel and hypocrisy). So we have to publish and distribute many more books. Only if we can construct the temple in the form of books and in the form of ideal lives can the idea of devotional service remain permanently in this world.



Those who are transcendental householders work very hard for devotional service just as they work hard to maintain their families. The transcendental householders are completely indifferent to material enjoyment. They are engaged 24 hours a day in devotional service and all their endeavours are aimed at pleasing Krishna; in so many different ways they are serving the Lord all the time. These householders have great respect for transcendental morality and for devotional injunction. They have no attachment for or hostility towards social rules. Since their consciousness is directed towards devotional service, they transform all moral injunctions into devotional injunctions.


Fruitive activities (karma kRiˆÎa) can never be bene?cial for the living entities. They take the living entities upward this moment and downward the next moment and make them very restless, like soccer balls. When one gets very severe punishment due to one's past sins, one wants to become pious again. And when one enjoys the fruit of pious activities, one fantasizes about more enjoyment and inclines towards sinful activities. This is why the path of renunciation that includes the renunciation of liberation is known as the only favorable path for devotion.



Those who can perceive the immediate benefit of material life think, "Let me now live my life the way I please. When everything is going to be extinguished after death, why should I be deprived of this present happiness?" The concept that consideration for the afterlife is only stupid and a waste of time has been imported into India as a bad effect of Western education. Then there are those who are in favor of learning tricks which will protect them from the law of the land. By confronting the law one may bring obstacles to one's material enjoyment, therefore some people consider those activities moral which do not con?ict with the law.  But there is a great lack of simplicity, honesty and sincerity in this kind of mentality, which is geared towards protecting oneself from the legal system. This kind of insincerity is not favorable for someone who wants to live his life on an elevated level, whether he is an Indian or a Westerner. There is no such lack of sincerity in devotional morality. Nowadays in India, there is hardly any effort to cultivate an attachment for morality and devotional consciousness. I have travelled from the HimRichal (the foothills of the Himalayas) to KumRirikRi (the southern most tip of India), and from Assam and East Bengal (now Bangladesh) to DwRirakRi, Bombay and Goa—and everywhere I noticed a lack of interest in morality and devotion. People are getting many kinds of education and they are learning many techniques to improve their material lives, but everyone is indifferent to the real object of learning. NRirada PancharRitra says


aradhito yadi haris-tapasa tatah kim

naradhito yadi haris-tapasa tatah kim

antar-bahir yadi haris-tapasa tatah kim

nantar-bahir yadi haris-tapasa tatah kim


"If the Supreme Lord Hari is worshipped without practicing any austerity, than what is the need for such practice? If by practicing austerity the Lord is not worshipped then what is the use of such practice? If without practicing any austerity one finds the Lord manifest in his heart and his surroundings, then what is the need for such practice? If by practicing austerity one does not find the Lord manifest in his heart and surroundings, then what is the use of such practice?"




Only devotion is happiness; everything else is lack of happiness. When one thinks, "Let me be happy. Let everyone else experience some inconvenience or discomfort. But let me be happy at others' expense. I dispossess you for my own gain," one is on the path fruitive action, or the path of knowledge, or the path of mundane interest.

          Only one who is on the path of devotion thinks, "Let us not deceive or dispossess anyone, but let us all get together to serve and chant the name of the Lord, 24 hours a day." On the path of pure devotion nothing is needed except chanting (kRirtan); no other irrelevant austerity is needed or accepted. KRirtan is the only neutral and failproof weapon. First one has to hear through one's ears. Gradually all other senses will act in a favorable way.

          Devotion is not based on blind faith. One who has taken shelter of devotion has to go beyond the highest limit of human intelligence. We cannot be interested in any concept created by human beings. This is neutrality. To be influenced by any concept which has come from humankind or from the demigods, which has come from any particular nation or country, is to become shallow—to be on the relative platform. To indulge in one's own imagination or in the state of consciousness that is a result of a deteriorated mind is to become very shallow—to live on a relative level. We will not be tempted by our previous experiences. We have to hear. We are the worshippers of the revealed truth. We have to hear those words that would pierce through our ears. The ricRirya will give us those words that will pierce through our ears, and we will go to him with our offering of self-surrender.




The kinds of gifts with which we are familiar in this world are temporary and inadequate. Moreover, the number of givers in this world is very small. If the receivers of gifts have high expectations, then the givers cannot meet those expectations. The learned cannot give to the uneducated, the rich cannot give to the poor, the healthy cannot give to the diseased and the intelligent cannot give to the foolish as much as they expect. But humankind could not even expect or pray for such a gift as LrRi Gaurasundara has given. They could not hope or expect that such a great gift could come to this world. They could not hope or expect that it was in their fate to be showered with such a gift. The gift that LrRi Gaurasundara has given to humankind is pure love of God. There is a great lack of love in this world. That is why envy, hostility, greed, etc., are causing so much pain to the living entities. People who are as good as demi-gods—and even the demigods themselves—are prepared to impede those who are desirous of serving the Supreme Lord.

          Each of us is in great need; each of us has very limited vision. Being hounded by the three modes of material nature, we cannot search for reality, the Absolute Truth. This is why the bait of false concepts comes to tempt us. If we give in to that then the goal of our human life is not ful?lled. 

          From which sacred source did this gift of Gaurasundara spring? LrRila MRidhavendra PurRi is that gift of Gaurasundara. He is the trunk of the giant tree of love (Krishna Prema), the highest fulfillment of human life. SrRi MRidhavendra sang the original mantra which is the key to that love which is the only goal of life the only need of the uncontaminated soul. LrRi ^Íwara PurRi heard that song. MahRiprabhu displayed the pastime of hearing that song from LrRi ^Íwara PurRi. This is that song:


ayi dRina-dayRirdra-nRitha he mathurRinRitha kadRivalokyase

hÂdaya˜ tvadalokakRitara˜ dayita bhrRimyati ki˜ karomyaham

—LrRi Chaitanya-charitRimÂta: Madhya-lRilRi, 4.127


"O my Lord! O most merciful master! O master of MathurRi! When shall I see You again? Because of my not seeing You, my grieving heart has become restless. O most beloved one, what shall I do now?"

          LrRi MRidhavendra PurRi gave this gift to India. We do not know whether he gave this anywhere beyond India. Any Indian who has heard this original mantra which is the giver of Krishna Prema has attained all his goals in life. And those who have not heard it are attached to petty things. The human life of one who does not undersand the value and necessity of this mantra is wasted. To sing this song of separation is the nature of the uncontaminated soul—this is our spontaneous propensity.

          †hRikura Bilvama/gala at one time displayed the pastime of being attached to vulgar things. When LRilRiÍuk (Bilvama/gal  hRikur) became engaged in the service of Likhipicchamauli (the Lord with the peacock feather on His head), he wrote Krishna KarˆRimÂta, in which he also more or less sang the song of separation. Let us discuss that subject about which Shri Gaurasundara came to enlighten humankind. Even though we are proud of being Bengali, we are still engaged in material activies. This is such poverty that it cannot be expressed in human language. To eradicate this poverty LrRi MRidhavendra PurRi sang this song of separation—"ayi dRina-dayRirdra-nRitha…".

          With great sadness sometimes we jokingly call someone our "beloved" ("dayita") even though he does not undersand our hankering, our grief. When the Supreme Lord left the VrajavRisRis (the residents of Vraja) they called the son of Nanda "Dayita". And they called Him MathurRinRitha (the Lord of Mathura), they did not call Him VÂndRivanapati (Lord of VÂndRivana). Many of you have heard of 'MRithuragRin' (the songs of separation sung when Krishna was in MathurRi). The words of these songs signify the sentiments of separation. What is known as "viraha" (separation) is called "vipralambha" in the Sanskrit Ala/kRir LRistra (the study of linguistic ornamentation). The VrajavRisRis, in their mood of separation, are telling Krishna, "Yes, you are 'Dayita', but You are now the Lord of MathurRi. You have severed Your relationship with us and have gone away.  We are destitute: You are everything to us, and today we have been dispossessed of everything.  So how else can we express our grief except jokingly? You are the apple of our eyes, now You are hidden from them. Leaving us in great anxiety You have gone to Mathura.

          "O son of Nanda, will You always remain beyond our senses? Will we never be able to see Your exquisite form and sweetness? You are attained by knowledge. Because we have no knowledge we cannot see You. For we are ignorant, childish, na ve. Because we have not spent thousands of years performing austerities, You have gone to the level of knowledge, where our senses do not go. You are our only support—and Your heart is moist with mercy. When will we be able to see You again? Once You showed Yourself to us and our hearts have been stolen by that vision of You. You took everything from us and now You have gone away to MathurRi . Our hearts are aching from not seeing You."

           For the heart that is af?icted by the disorienting disease of separation from Krishna—the heart that is so pre-disposed—what is the medicine? That medicine is LrRi Gaurasundara's original mantra.


ayi dRina-dayRirdra-nRitha he mathurRinRitha kadRivalokyase

hÂdaya˜ tvadalokakRithara˜ dayita bhrRimyati ki˜ karomyaham


Gaurasundara said, "O human race, you who are absorbed in matterial matters, when you get tired of carrying the trash of your worldly affairs on your heads like porters, how will you find what is beneficial for you, how will you come to the destination of your life? In order to do that accept this instruction: please be engaged in LrRi-k›ˆa-sa/kRirtan."


ceto-darpaˆa-mRirjana˜ bhava-mahRidRivRigni-nirvRipana˜

ÍreyaÓ-kairava-candrikRi-vitarana˜ vidyRi-vadhN-jRivanam

RinandRimbudhi-vardhana˜ prati-pada˜ pNrˆRimÂtRisvRidana˜

sarvRitma-snapana˜ para˜ vijayate ÍrRi-k›ˆa-sa/kRirtanam


"Let there be all victory for the chanting of the holy name of Lord K›ˆa, which can cleanse the mirror of the heart and extinguish the blazing fire of material existence. That chanting is the waxing moon that spreads the white lotus of good fortune for all living entities. It is the life and soul of all education. The chanting of the holy name of K›ˆa expands the joyful ocean of devotional life. It gives a cooling effect to everyone and enables one to taste full nectar at every step."




Before LrRiman MahRiprabhu, only two and a half of the ?ve kinds of relationships with Krishna were being discussed: sRinta, dRisya, and the lower half of sakhya. The lower half of the sakhya relationship is full of awe and reverence. If we approach our friend with a sense of awe and reverence then that friendship is reverential—he is our revered friend. LrRiman MahRiprabhu has shown us a closer relationship with God, which people cannot easily understand. It is He who ?rst showed us the transcendental relationships of parenthood and consorthood with God. He has revealed a greater scope of the concept that was existing before in human society. Before, people did not know that there is a mode of service to God in which they could think "I can serve You more than You can serve me." People will be amazed that the servant of the Supreme Lord can render more service than the Lord Himself. Krishna's cowherd friends climb on His shoulders to get the fruit from the palm tree. First they taste it themselves, then the portion they like best they give to Krishna, even though they have already eaten from it. They do not consider that Krishna is the Supreme Lord and they are minute souls. They are serving Krishna with intense love. They have such great con?dence in their relationship. They think, "If we do not feed him then who will feed him?"

          Previously the AjRi concept of God (the concept of eternity—"beyond birth") was prevalent. But that is not real theism, that is contrary to theism. To think of God as our father and mother is to think of Him as our servant. Our father and mother serve us from the beginning, when we cannot serve them—that service is not there in the beginning of our life. Therefore that service is not eternal. We will take the initiative to serve our parents after a lot of material experience. First we observe others' behavior, then gradually we consider them worshipable. If we consider the Lord as our parent then we have this rotten concept that He is our servitor and we are the enjoyers—He is only our servant.

          I worship that Nanda in whose courtyard the Absolute Truth, the Supreme Lord, is crawling. I offer my obeisance to him whose parenthood the Lord has accepted and whose service as a father the Lord has accepted. It is not up to me whether that eternal in?nite being will take birth in my house. It is impossible for me to approach Him. But if He comes to me on His own, then I will serve Him as His father. If one cannot have the potency to come down to me because he has eternity, then let him have that eternity; my relationship with him is unnecessary.



MathurRi is higher than VaikuˆÊha because Krishna took birth there. Higher than MathurRi is VÂndRivan, where Krishna has performed his RRisa-lRilRi. Higher than VÂndRivan is Govardhan Hill, where GiridharRi played his pastimes with GRindhRirvRikRi (RRidhRirRiˆRi). Higher than Govardhan is RRidhRi-kuˆÎa, which is ?owing with the nectar of the love of the Lord of Gokul. One who makes his bhajan grove in any other place than this Govardhan and RRidhRi-kuˆÎa is the greatest fool. The bank of RRidhRi-kuˆÎa is the best abode of divine love.

          Unless one's theistic devotion and spiritual propensity have blossomed, one cannot understand these topics. Where the Supreme Lord who is situated in in?nity resides, in a place beyond the boundary of this universe where He is the central personality—that place can be called VaikuˆÊha. But the servant of LrRi Chaitanya, LrRi RNpa, says that MathurRi where the in?nite Lord takes birth is higher than VaikuˆÊha, which is the transcendental plane where the Lord who is eternal and in?nite, to whom no concept of the third dimension can be ascribed, is residing. LrRi Krishna took birth in MathurRi in the house of Nanda—He did not want to be restricted by his eternity (birthlessness); ignoring His eternity He took birth. That plane is not just VaikuˆÊha. But VÂndRivan, where the RRisa-lRila took place, is higher than that. VaikuˆÊha is situated in the lower half of Goloka. In the upper half of Goloka these things can be seen. Higher than VÂndRivan are Govardhan and RRidhRi-kuˆÎa. This is not a vague idea of the transcendental region, this is something higher than that.

          We can see half of VaikuˆÊha from here. When we are down here and we are looking at it with reverence, it is half exposed to us; the other half is invisible to us. From here we can only see the lower half. Our present eyes can see 180 degrees of the horizon. By seeing half, by seeing Vi›ˆu or NRirRiyaˆ, we are situated in Santa Rasa. Gradually it develops into the servitor relationship (DRisya Rasa). Then we realize that millions and millions of servants like ourselves are eager to serve Him. Then we start seeing His friends who feel His glory by serving Him. We only see half of this relationship—we do not see the intimacy of this relationship.

          One who can realize this is a Vai›ˆava. By standing on this lower platform, we can comprehend these two and a half kinds of relationship. Then we can reach up to the point where we can ?atter the Lord. We still cannot go to that platform where intimacy and con?dence are needed. The ecstasy that comes from these two and a half kinds of relationship is a lower kind of ecstasy. One who is situated here does not have the right to enter the higher realm of Unnata Rasa.

          LrRi Gaursundar said, "Why are you curtailing your relationship with the Lord by not reaching for the other two and a half parts of it?" Then he explained the other two and a half kinds of relationship. By His mercy it is possible to see the Lord in these ?ve relationships. He has given us Unnata and Ujjval Rasa. The supreme perfection of Ujjval Rasa is in consorthood. LrRi Gaursundar has distributed the ecstasy of that relationship (rasa) to this world. No other incarnation before Him distributed this Unnata Ujjval Rasa of LrRi LrRi RRidhRi-MRidhav. Being merciful to the living entities of this age of Kali, LrRi Krishna Chaitanya MahRiprabhu has distributed it indiscrimnatingly. If we can earnestly surrender ourselves at His lotus feet, then when we become self-realized after getting rid of our bad habits, we can taste the nectar of this relationship. LrRi Gaursundar has taught the miserable souls how to nicely serve the Supreme Lord Krishnachandra by His own conduct. The perfection of service in the relationship of consorthood (Madhura Rasa) can only be found in the teachings of LrRi Gaursundar.




PrabhupRida, LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi  †hRikura, LrRi-Chaitanya-darÍane PrabhupRida LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi  hRikur, vols. 1–2, ed. by LrRimad Bhakti VilRisa TRirtha GoswRimRi MahRirRija, MRiyRipur, NadRiyRi: LrRi Chaitanya MaÊh, 1974


PrabhupRida, LrRila BhaktisiddhRinta SaraswatRi  †hRikura, PrabhupRidera Hari-kathRimÂta, vols. 1–3, ed. by TridaˆÎipRida LrRimad Bhakti VilRisa TRirtha MahRirRija, MRiyRipur, NadRiyRi: LrRi Chaitanya MaÊh, 1955