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Some Queries & Answers Jan to Apr 2005
Q. Do we place a peacock feather on Lord Nityananda or Balarama? If not, then why?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada: In Shri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika Verse 14, Shrila Kavi Karnapura has described Lord Nityananda and His Associates as "gopala veshinah" means that they always dressed as cowherd boys. The cowherd boys of Shri Vrindavana dress themselves with peacock feathers and other ornaments to participate in the pastimes of Lords Krishna-Balarama. So what to speak of Lord Nityananda Balarama Himself who is the leader of all the cowherd boys? Besides they always imitate the pastimes of Lord Krishna so also they dress themselves up with peacock feathers and forest flowers just like Lord Krishna.
Q. What are NITYANANDA and GAURANGA'S homes like in the spiritual world?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: For beautiful descriptions of Shri Navadvipa Dhama and places of Lord Gauranga's pastimes, please read the eternal pastimes.
Some same descriptions are like this:
The nicely-constructed golden temple is pervaded with happiness. On the four sides are four bejeweled terraces with gazebos. On top of the temple are flags and golden jugs and strands of pearls so large that they look like full moons. Both sides of the temple are beautified by eight crystal pillars supporting rows of swan formed of silver.
In four directions are four gates that are studded with jewels and inlaid here and there with emerald. The golden doors shine with their solid coral bolts and crystal cornices glitter like rows of candles. Ranks of huge mirrors are fixed on the walls.
SHRI SHRIVASA ANGANA
and they are painted with scenes of the mellow-sports of Radha and Krishna. These spotless mirrors are also embellished here and there with artificial flower-trees and lotus flowers with hundreds of petals. These ornamentations on the mirrors radiate a luster so much like real lotuses that swarms of bumblebees wander here. mistaking them for actual lotus-groves.
The four directions shine with eight round windows on the doors which are expert in mocking the orb of the sun. These round windows are lined with brilliant sunstones that are bordered on the inside and outside edges with rubies. The temple's altar, vestibule, courtyard and staircases are beautifully formed of solid crystal slaps.
Within the temple, by the sleeping-chamber, is a flower -garden. Sitting upon branches here and there are cuckoos and other birds. The cool breeze flows with the pleasant fragrances of various flowers while the branches of the trees sway along ever so gently . Hanging upon the door of this inner chamber is the lovely sight of shoes ,umbrella and pure white chamara whisk. On both sides of the bed are golden tables supporting jeweled boxes containing betel-nut packets and golden pitchers full of scented water. On the floor in front of these tables is a beautiful place for rinsing the mouth. ..
Description of the Flower Garden
In this way Gauranga-Chandra comes to the flower garden and beholds the splendor of the forest with His red-tinged eyes. This flower garden is a grandly expansive place. In all four directions are groups of very tall kadamba trees. At the base of these kadamba trees are dense screwpine bushes which are encircled by thorns. Seeing this thorny forest from afar, the common people never come her. Madhavi and malati jasmine-vines climb up and embrace the kadamba trees. The pleasant south wind blows, carrying flower-pollen with its breezes. In four directions are four paths formed with jewels. In two directions are beautiful rows of bakula trees. The forest blooms with small white kunda-jasmine buds, splender, red amaranth, tagara flower-trees, groups of jewelled gardens, nageshvara flowers, and many other varieties of fragrant jasmines like jati, yuthi and mallika. Bakula trees, clove-pink vines, pink trumpet-flowers, and guelder-roses are beautifully manifest in row after row.
White lilies, yellow magnolias, and many red flame-trees are blooming. Here and there are seen very enchanting jewelled altars above which the trees and creepers are formed like canopies The dark tamal trees are splendrous with their bunches of fresh sprouts and golden creepers that climb and encircle them. Temples bloom with trees of pinkish color accented here and there by flowering mango-saplings. At the base of the trees are seen beautiful groups of rose-apple bushes, jackfruits and so many juicy limes. The inner part of the forest is surrounded by groves of banana trees. Some are bearing ripe fruits while others bear unripe green ones. Rows and rows of coconut trees hold many, many fruits. Among the rows of betel trees are date-palms and wood-apple trees. There are sweet jujube berries, oranges, plums, plus cardamon and clove vines. All the fruit and flower-trees are so full with offerings that their branches bend down and touch the ground.
Pomegranates are bursting and soaking the ground with their juice. Hedges of jujube berries appear very beautiful. There are so many varieties of trees that they defy description. In the center of the garden is a colorful temple. Just in front of it is a lake full of cool waters. The landing-steps are formed of crystal slabs. On four sides are four bathing places inlaid with jewels. Surrounding the lake are lilies-of-the-valley formed of gold, white sephalika flowers, golden champaka creepers, and moonlike mallika jasmines. All these beautiful flowerbeds line the bank of the lake and their reflections can be seen in its pure waters. From the weight of all the flowers, their stems bend down and caress the surface of the water.
Sweet little ripples move along with the gentle breeze. Lotuses of white, blue, red and more are in full bloom. These lotuses sway so much that the bumblebees cannot land on them. Greedy for honey, millions of bees fly all around. Royal swans, storks, herons, partridges and many other birds playfully sport in all directions. The fish living within the water move about by the hundreds.
In a golden temple, upon a golden altar sits Lord Gauranga of golden complexion. Surrounding Him are His associates also of golden complexion, Their limbs tremble out of pure prema and their eyes are wet with tears. There are twelve gates supported by reddish-golden pillars. On the outside are golden posts holding up a nice canopy. These gates are interwoven with garlands of mallika-jasmines. The top edges have clusters of hanging sapphires that sway to and fro. The East courtyard has groves of divine Tulasi plants. The West courtyard has groves of colorful flame-trees. The North and South have grasses of dark Syamala color which bring to mind soft pillows to sit on. Pet deer roam all about in search of grass to eat and they spread their eyes wide upon beholding the beauty of Gauranga. A peacock alights from a magnolia tree upon seeing Gauranga there and begins to dance in great happiness.
The trees and creepers all bloom with golden flowers. The forest is perpetually served by the Six Seasons. The sparrows chirp loudly and the cuckoos are all-pervading. Male and female waterfowl wander around on the ground. Parrots see ripe bimba berries and peck them with their beaks. Bluebirds and doves sport within the trees. Meditations on the Vrindavan Pastimes Female and male parrots call out, “Jai Shri Shachi-Nandana! Glory to the life and soul of Narahari and Gadadhara ! Glory, glory to the Lord of Lakshmi Vishnu-Priya's life! Glory, glory to Radha and Krishna who have united in one form!
Glory, glory to He who has manifested all these desire-fulfilling trees ! Each and every one of our Vrindavan-vasis has increased their prema unlimitedly by sporting here in Navadvipa !" Vishvambhara hears these statements of the parrots and remembers the lila of Radha and Krishna at Radha-kunda within His mind.
And remember each particle and item is living and conscious in the spiritual world directly engaged in the Lord service.
Q. Dear Swami Gaurangapada , obeisances to you , all the devotee's and our beloved lords nityananda and gauranga my query is in relation to the defining characteristics of the soul in self realisation , shrila bhaktivinode thakura states that there are 11 characteristics unique to each soul which can be realised , and so i am asking what is the best way to meditate , what should the thought processes be to come to a stage where one can realise these characteristics and become self realised .
i look forward to your reply , and pray that my question has been submitted in a suitable way so as to be clear .
your servant sacinandana_das
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
There is only one thought and meditation process required for realizing the 11 eternal characteristics of the spiritual body and that is full absorption in the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna. No other thought process, meditation or pranali is required for the same nor will work for this age of Kali Yuga. The Holy Names are the means and end of spiritual realization.
Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura states:
premera kalika nama, adbhuta rasera dhama
hena bala karaye prakasa
"The Holy Name is the bud of pure love for the Lord and an astonishing abode of blissful mellows. By the potency of the Holy Name, so many truths are manifested before my eyes."
isat vikasi' punah, dekhaya nija rupa-guna
citta hari' laya krishna-pasa
"As the bud of the Holy Name gradually blossoms, it grants me vision of my spiritual body and it's spiritual form and spiritual qualities. In this way attracting and enchanting my mind, the Holy Name brings me close to Lord Krishna."
purna vikasita haina, vraje more yaya laina,
dekhaya more svarupa-vilasa
"When the bud of the Holy Name blossoms completely, the Holy Names takes me to Vraja and shows me my eternal spiritual form and pastimes in the service of the Lord."
more siddha-deha diya, krishna-pase rakhe giya,
ei dehera kare sarva-nasa
"Granting me my spiritual perfected body (with the 11 characteristics), the Holy Name drags me and puts me very close to Lord Krishna while simultaneously fully destroying and replacing my material body."
I had to translate these verses personally as I did not find any translations satisfactory.
Q. What is the wicked mind?
Answer by Swami
This Wicked Mind Evil or Very Mad
By Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada
"This wicked mind, which is never to be trusted, should be broomsticked every
morning with such warning as, "be not anxious to find fault with others, or to
declare thyself a true sincere, bonafide bhakta, which certainly thou art not!"
There is an adage to the effect that "para-carccakera gati nahi kona kale", "a
man who is habituated to criticize others' conduct will never prosper!" Let
others do whatever they like, I have no concern for them. I should rather find
fault with my own damned mind and think like the Vaishnava mahajana who sings:
amara jivana, sada pape rata,
nahiko punyera lesa
para-sukhe duhkhi, sada mithya-bhasi,
"Ever engaged in vicious activity...and without the slightest trace of virtue
in me. A liar as I am, always sorry at others pleasures and merry at others'
sorrows, troubles and cares."
We should always remember this song and engage our mind ceaselessly in
hari-bhajana. We should not run about attacking others with dissuading policy;
such conduct behooves only deceitful persons and not preachers."
From an English lecture given at the Calcutta Gaudiya Math the evening of
Q. Shri Chaitanya bhagavata Ch17 : The Supreme Personality of Godhead Narayana, the Supreme instructing spiritual master of everyone, accepted initiation from Shripada Puri, with an initiation mantra consisting of ten syllables.
What was the initiation mantra the Lord received from Shripada Puri?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
It was the ten-syllable Gopala Mantra:
are the ten syllables.
This ten-syllable Gopala Mantra is a part of the eighteen-syllable Gopala Mantra glorified in the Gopala Tapani Upanishad and the Hari Bhakti Vilasa and one of the seven Mantras imparted at the time the Gayatri Diksha in our Vinoda Sarasvata Parampara:
klim krishnaya govindaya gopijana vallabhaya svaha.
Q. Brahma-Gayatri is Sun meditation or Impersonalist meditation. What´s your opinion about this?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada: The word savitur in Brahma Gayatri is not only the Sun God Surya, but it also means Lord Krishna Himself and bhargo means the hladini potency of Lord Krishna who is Shri Radha Herself. Also Savitri in Savitur means the source of all intelligence who is Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu.
The Gaudiya Vaishnava understanding of Brahma Gayatri is as follows:
gayatri muralista kirtana dhanam radhapadam dhimahi
The Brahma Gayatri which has originated from the flute song of Lord Shri Krishna sings only the exclusive glories of Shri Radhika, both of Whom have combined to form Lord Gauranga.
In the Padma Purana, Shristi Khanda, Chp 17, 5th Khanda, Texts 15-37 describe how Shri Gayatri devi the personified form of the Brahma Gayatri Mantra and the wife of Brahma please Lord Krishna by worshiping Him, and the Lord blessed her that she will become a gopi in Vrindavana - gayatri gopikanyaka, a gopi maidservant of Shri Shri Radha Krishna. So the purpose of the Brahma Gayatri is the exclusive worship and surrender to Radha-Krishna and Gauranga.
bhuh, bhuvah, svah (maha vyahritis)
tat savitur varenyam (gives us the sambandha gyana or the science of our relationship with Gauranga and Radha-Krishna)
bhargo devasya dhimahi (means abhidheya or surrendering to the practice of pure devotional service to Gauranga and Radha-Krishna)
dhiyo ya nah pracodayat (means prayojana or the achievement ultimate goal of pure for Gauranga and Radha-Krishna)
So Brahma Gayatri is a summary of the teachings of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu and the Lord Himself.
Q. What is the source of Pancaratrika initiation?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada: The original Pancharatrika Diksha is described in Shri Brahma Samhita 5.27:
gayatrim gayatas tasmad
dvijatam agamat tatah
Translation and Purport by Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada:
Then Gayatri, mother of the Vedas, being made manifest, i.e. imparted, by the divine sound of the flute of Shri Krishna, entered into the lotus mouth of Brahma, born from himself, through his eight ear-holes. The lotus-born Brahma having received the Gayatri, sprung from the flute-song of Shri Krishna, attained the status of the twice-born, having been initiated by the supreme primal preceptor, Godhead Himself.
The sound of Krishna’s flute is the transcendental blissful sound; hence the archetype of all Veda, is present in it. The Gayatri is Vedic rhythm. It contains a brief meditation and prayer. Kama-gayatri is the highest of all the Gayatris, because the meditation and prayer contained in it are full of the perfect transcendental sportive activities which are not to be found in any other Gayatri. The Gayatri that is attained as the sequel of the eighteen-lettered mantra is kama-gayatri which runs thus: klim kama-devaya vidmahe pushpa-banaya dhimahi tan no ’nangah pracodayat. In this Gayatri, the realization of the transcendental pastimes of Shri Gopijana-vallabha after perfect meditation and the prayer for the attainment of the transcendental god of love are indicated. In the spiritual world there is no better mode of endeavor for securing the superexcellent rasa-bedewed love. As soon as that Gayatri entered into the ear-holes of Brahma, he became the twice-born and began to chant the Gayatri. Whoever has received the same Gayatri in reality. has attained his spiritual rebirth. The status of a twice-born that is obtained in accordance with one’s worldly nature and lineage, by the fettered souls in this mundane world, is far inferior to that of the twice-born who obtains admission into the transcendental world; because the initiation or acquisition of transcendental birth as a result of spiritual initiation is the highest of glories in as much as the jiva is thereby enabled to attain to the transcendental realm.
Q. In the pastimes of nityananda prabhu , lord virabhadra often revealed himself to give immense pleasure to nityananda , but one day advaita acarya visited and on seeing the child advaita who often speaks in riddles said this ,
" A child born in the house of a thief , will naturally be a thief , but how to catch this thief ? "
swamiji , would this be saying that by chanting and glorifying virachandra one can please nityananda and thus attain his mercy ?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
"A child born in the house of a thief, will naturally be a thief, but how to catch this thief?"
When Lord Advaita Acharya speaks in this way, it has many meanings. One of the meanings is:
"O Lord Nityananda, You are the biggest thief in creation because you immediately steal my mind with the beauty of Your golden bodily form and Your ecstatic symptoms of love. And in the same way, your divine son Virabhadra also steals my mind with His enchanting form just like His father. So He is also a thief."
A son of a thief is trained from childhood how to steal so he is even more difficult to catch than his father. Similarly Virbhadra has been taught by His divine father Lord Nityananda how to steal and enchant the hearts of all the souls by His great devotion and mercy so it has become to catch Him now.
swamiji, would this be saying that by chanting and glorifying virachandra one can please nityananda and thus attain his mercy?
Ofcourse. Glorifying and worshiping the Associates of Lord Nityananda is the best and easiest way to get His mercy. There is a saying in English: "I can only believe that you love me, if you love my dog first."
Shrila Virabhadra Goswami is the one who propogated the chanting Nityananda Gauranga Nama widely all over Bengal and emphasized that Gauranga Kirtana is means to please Lord Nityananda.
If you notice there is beautiful combination here in this pastime. Lord Mula Sankarshana is present as Lord Nityananda, Lord Mahavishnu is present as Lord Advaita Acharya and Lord Kshirodakashayi Vishnu is present as Lord Virabhadra Goswami.
Q. Does the word jnana as referred to in Bhagavad Gita only refer to mundane knowledge about the material world or does it refer to all types of knowledge? Is knowledge about the spiritual world different from jnana?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Gyana or Knowledge is basically of 5 types:
(1) A-gyana or misused knowledge when it is used for satisfying one's mundane senses.
(2) Ku-gyana means the worst kind of offensive knowledge which is practiced in an effort to become God or one with Him. It is like borrowing a knife from someone and then try to murder him with that. God gives us all knowledge and then we claim it is ours and use that same knowledge to try to become God and fruitlessly attempt to dislodge the real Lord from His position as God.
(3) Brahma Gyana or speculative knowledge of analysis used in an effort to differentiate matter from spirit and to understand the impersonal aspect of God.
(4) Paramatma Gyana or the knowledge of the yogis who want to understand the four-handed Paramatma Vishnu form of the Lord in the heart by deep meditation.
(5) Bhagavad Gyana or the topmost knowledge of the Supreme Person Bhagavan Lord Gauranga-Krishna which is practiced through Bhakti Yoga and chanting the Holy Names of the Lord to engage in the pure unalloyed service of the Lord.
(6) Nityananda Gauranga Bhagavad Gyana is the most sublime and effortless even among Bhagavad Gyana but is very rarely understood or practiced by souls. This is the most superior knowledge of knowledge that Lords Nityananda Gauranga are Bhagavan Themselves and Their mercy is the only means to attain Shri Shri Radha Krishna or to attain the mercy of any other incarnation of the Lord.
99.99% of the people of this world practice the first three kinds of knowledge and thus fruitlessly and perpetually transmigrate in this material world. Shri Bhaktivinoda Thakura is hinting at these three kinds of knowledge in his above song.
The last three kinds of knowledge are very very rare in ascending order and they are aspired for by those supremely pious souls who are nearing the completion of their stay in this painful material world of birth and death.
Bhagavad Gita is spoken by the Lord Himself so there is no tinge of the first three kinds of knowledge in the Gita.
Mundane Knowledge & Spirituality
Song by Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
vidyara vilase, katainu kala,
parama sahase ami
tomara carana, na bhajinu kabhu,
ekhona sarana tumi
1) With great enthusiasm I spent my time in the pleasures of mundane learning, and never worshiped Your lotus feet, O Lord. Now You are my only shelter.
podite podite, bharasa barilo,
jnane gati habe mani'
se asa biphala, se jnana durbala,
se jnana ajnana jani
2) Reading on and on, my hopes grew and grew, for I considered the aquisition of material knowledge to be life's true goal. How fruitless those hopes turned out to be, for all my knowledge proved feeble. Now I know that all such erudition is actually pure ignorance.
jada-vidya jata, mayara vaibhava,
tomara bhajane badha
moha janamiya, anitya samsare,
jivake koraye gadha
3) All the so-called knowledge of this world is born of the flickering potency of Your illusory energy (maya). It is an impediment to the execution of devotional service to You. Indulgence in mundane knowledge verily makes an ass of the eternal soul by encouraging his infatuation with this temporary world.*
sei gadha ho'ye, samsarera bojha,
bahinu aneka kala
bardhakye ekhona, saktira abhave,
kichu nahi lage bhalo
4) Here is one person who has been turned into such an ass, who for so long has carried on his back the useless burden of material existence. Now in my old age, for want of the power to enjoy, I find that nothing at all pleases me.
jivana jatana, hoilo ekhona,
se vidya avidya bhelo
avidyara jwala, ghatilo bisama,
se vidya hoilo selo
5) Life has now become agony, for my so-called erudite knowledge has proven itself to be worthless ignorance. Material knowledge has now become a pointed shaft and has pierced my heart with the intolerable, burning pain of ignorance.
tomara carana, bina kichu dhana,
samsare na ache ara
bhakativinoda, jada-vidya chadi,'
tuwa pada kore sara
6) O Lord, there is no treasure worth seeking in this world other than Your lotus feet. Bhaktivinoda abandons all his mundane knowledge and makes Your lotus feet the sum and substance of his life.
Q. hare krishna hare krishna krishna krishna hare hare re
hare rama hare rama rama rama hare hare re
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
This "re" at the end of each line of the the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is not added by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the original author of the song. It has been added by some later singer to make it adapt to his or her singing tune.
There have been many incidents when Shrila Prabhupada got every angry when a devotee was adding "bhaja" before chanting Hare Krishna...One should be very careful not to the change or add to or subtract anything from the Hare Krishna Mahamantra or the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas while chanting them kirtana as well as japa even though it may be convenient for singer to fit the new mantra to the music tune.
We do not sing the Mantras for hearing pleasing tunes neither is the Lord interested in kirtana tunes. The Lord is interested only in our devotion and devotion can be expressed to the Lord by not adding or subtracting anything to the Mantras while chanting Them in japa and kirtana.
That is why we ideally recommend to chant separate rounds of the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas in Their actual Mantra form of (5-sllable Haladhara Balarama Mantra) Nityananda and Gauranga (4-syllable Gaura Gopala Mantra), because someone who may be chanting Nityananda-Gauranga on one bead may think of adding Advaita or another name while chanting later on down the line and there is no end to the whimsical changes which can be imagined in the original Mantra and after a few years the original Mantra gets replaced by some imagined Mantra.
So we should keep the Mantras in their original form intact and never add or remove anything from Them and chant Them in that way to get the full benefit. The Hare Krishna Mahamantra is a 32-syllable and 16 word mantra as follows and this "re" is not the part of the Mantra:
ha-re ha-re krish-na krish-na krish-na ha-re ha-re, ha-re ra-ma ha-re ra-ma ra-ma ra-ma ha-re ha-re
are the 32 syllables and
16 names comprised of 2-syllables each.
Q. in siksastakam verse two ,it states that the lord has millions of names and there are no hard and fast rules for chanting them , so by this ( individually ) can one chant any of the names in japa that one is attracted to ? especially names of gaura and nitai .your servant sacinandana_das
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: One can sing and chant any primary Holy Names of the Lord assciated with His pastimes in any form or manner though some devotees like to sing them in the same poem and verse form as written by our previous Acharyas.
But for japa (soft chanting) on the beads, one should chant the Mantras which have been chanted as japa by our previous Acharyas, Associates and Lord Himself in the exact form they gave us.
In the conditioned stage, a soul cannot fully know what he is attracted to or not attracted to. In the name of attraction, the soul may change a mantra according to his whims and start chanting the new manufactured mantra on beads. This has already happened in the past and will happen again if we do not strictly follow this principle.
Gauranga (Gaura Gopala Mantra) was chanted as japa by Shrila Shivananda Sena and many other mahajanas and Nityananda Mantra was als chanted by many associates. The Hare Krishna Mahamantra japa was directly recommended by Lord Gauranga and all His associates. So one can chant japa on the beads of these three Mantrarajas always.
Shrila Prabhupada recommended to chant the Pancha Tattva Mantra before the Hare Krishna Mahamantra but not separately on beads because though Pancha Tattva Mantra contains the most powerful and merciful Names of the Lord there is no information of it being chanted as japa on beads by any previous Acharyas.
There other Gaura and Krishna mantras for chanting japa beginning with klim tec. but they can only be chanted when one has a particular stage of spiritual realization.
But Nitai Nama in form of the Nityananda Mantraraja, Gaura Nama in the form of the Gauranga Manatraraja, and Hari Nama in the form of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra can be chanted by anyone and everyone in that form on both japa beads and kirtana as demonstrated by our Acharyas.
It is described in the Ananta Samhita:
utsrjyaitan-maha-mantram, ye tvanyat kalpitam padam;
mahanameti gayanti, te shastra-guru langhanam.
“Abandoning this maha-mantra and the authorized Mantras for Kali Yuga, those who recite verses or poems or songs full of even the principal names of Lord Krishna (mahanama) but which have been manufactured through someone’s imagination, certainly transgress the instructions of the scriptures and the bona-fide spiritual masters."
>My question is in the purport Ch 14 text 27 ,in the last sentence ,"One
>who can thus situate himself in the Brahmajyoti or the different varieties of
>the Brahman conception is equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead in
>quality." It is not quite clear in my mind by what Prabhupada is referring to
>stating "or the different varieties of Brahman conception". By using the word "or"
>is he elaborating more on the Brahmajyoti or does he mean something else.
>Dear Swami could you please clarify.
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada:
He is talking about the five kinds of mukti or liberation:
Sayujya (merge in the Lord) - Brahmajyoti
Sarupya (get the same form as the Lord) - Vaikuntha
Samipya (Physical proximity to the Lord) - Vaikuntha
Sarsti (Same opulence as the Lord) - Vaikuntha
Salokya (Same spiritual planet as the Lord) - Vaikuntha
>Also I have some other question in this purport. In the previous sentence
>Prabhupada says "By following such a process one becomes completely
>"detached" from material activities." Am I speculating by thinking he uses the >word "detached" to mean that material activities may continue for some time due >to the influence of the 3 modes ,but being tanscendentally situated in Brahman we >will not be swayed or disturbed by these activities.?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada:
It is like this. If one is 20% advanced in the chanting process, one becomes 20% detached from material activities and so on. Taste for the Holy Names is inversely proportional to the tase for materialistic activities.
>I also have one more question from this Ch 14 ,I hope you dont mind.
>In the purport to text 19 Prabhupada says "Unless one has the help of
>spiritual authority, he cannot understand in what postion he is actually
>situated.With the association of a bonafide spiritual master ,he can see
>his real position ,and by such an understaning he can become fixed in full
>Krishna consciousness." When Prabhupada says "he cannot understand in what >position he is actually situated" ,does he mean by what modes he is effected by or >more clearly simply that he is pure spirit soul which is his "real position".?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada:
Real position means many different aspects:
(1) Whether one is a kanishtha, madhyama or uttama devotee,
(2) In what stage of the 9 stages of bhakti from shraddha to prema one is in and what one should do to go to the next stage.
(3) Ultimately in advanced stages the rasa of the soul with the Lord among the five rasas (mellows).
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura’s letter to one of his disciples from Shri Chaitanya Math, Mayapur, December 22, 1927:
"Even though in this world we don’t get to meet many devotees from the spiritual world, the conversations and pastimes of the devotees of Gauranga Mahaprabhu’s time eternally exist in the form of books and sound, and that is why we do not feel so much pain from material troubles. If we live here in the association of the words of the spiritual world in this way, then the memory of this association will keep us at a distance from material misery."
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
So he means that real sadhu sanga or association is the association of the great Gauranga Parshadas or eternal devotees of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu which everyone can receive by reading or hearing Their pastimes in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata, Shri Chaitanya Chandramrita, Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya, Shri Chaitanya Mangala & Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita. Even more than reading philosophy, when one reads the pastimes of Lord Gauranga intimate associates in Gauranga lila and chants Their Holy Names, one makes tremendous spiritual advancement and one will never feel alone.
Q1. Please can you let me know how many disciples both Indian and Western do you currently have.
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
I am the servant of all living entities what to speak of becoming the Guru of the devotees. In the core of my heart, I always consider myself the servant to help souls to achieve pure love of God. I am presently regularly guiding about 100 devotees worldwide and have given Mantrarajas and Mahamantra Initiation (Mahadiksha on various levels) to around 1000 devotees worldwide.
Q2. If some religious institution invited you to join them or become their leader, would you be interested?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
If any institution desires to work with me in spreading the Holy Names, I am ready to help them in any way I can, provided they understand and publicly support the importance of the regular japa chanting of Nityananda Gauranga Names and Pastimes and the holy process of Mahadiksha in the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas along with the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and provided they are not offensive to any Vaishnavas in their thoughts, word and deed. But I will personally not be joining or be officially connected to any religious institution or organization or association or society till my last breath even if I am offered the post of Acharya of the materially biggest religious institution in the world.
I do not have any ambitions to be a leader of any institution. I want to remain as a humble preacher of the most merciful Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna. I have only one ambition in life which is to see with my eyes before dying that Lords Nityananda Gauranga and Their Holy Names and Pastimes are very widely known, worshiped and chanted in this world.
Q3. Have you formed some Trust or Society, etc yet of your movement?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
Even a very small Trust or Society involves management. As per Jaiva Dharma, a sannyasi should never get entangled in management but always be immersed in lekhana (writing Holy books for the benefit of the world), shravana (hearing), kirtana (chanting), and prachara (preaching). And plus a Trust or Institution or temple structures leads to so many problems which I am fully aware of including the entry of deceitful people in the garb of devotees who have ulterior motives which destroys the whole sanga.
Also I do not believe in hoarding donations or accumulating them. As per Shrila Prabhupada's instructions, I immediately use the very meagre personal donations I receive in spreading the Holy Names through the internet (Holy eBooks, Audio eBooks, Websites etc.) or to translate and print paper books or pamphlets on Nityananda Gauranga without holding back anything. In this way I always remain dependant on Lord Nityananda Prabhu. So I do not need a Trust because I do not want to construct an empire nor to accumulate wealth nor to have huge temple structures. Due to Lord Nityananda's causeless mercy, I have widely and successfully preached the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna so far with hardly any money, resources, structures, or institutions. The power of spreading the Holy Names is given by the Holy Names Themselves and not by some material arrangements.
Lord Gauranga did not build any Institutions or Trusts nor did he construct any temple structures nor did He personally instructed anyone to do so. He was still the most successful in spreading His own Holy Names. So I also want to humbly follow in His footsteps and prove to the world that His Holy Names can surely be spread without any beaureaucratic institutions or sectarian considerations or huge temple structures. More important is the temple of the offenseless Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna in the hearts of the people. The Ray of Vishnu Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada and Shrila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada did establish lots of big temple structures as an exceptional case since they were very powerful personalities but I do not want to imitate them.
In my case, I prefer that devotees start Holy Name Preaching Centers on the internet and in their homes if they want to preach the Holy Names and if required rent a hall to have a big gathering weekly or monthly or whenever required to hold Nityananda Gauranga Nama Katha festivals and attract the souls. The chanting and preaching of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna is much more important than building temples in Kali Yuga. When Lord Gauranga was asked by the people of Navadvipa about how to achieve perfection in life, He did not ask to them do Deity worship at Home or to establish temples and maintain or attend elaborate Deity worship in temples nor did He instruct Them to build big temples. Instead He gave a very simple instruction. He told them to gather together in their homes and to sing and chant His Holy Names in kirtana daily by clapping the hands or with karatals and mridangas if available. This is the only simple formula required for spiritual perfection in Kali Yuga.
Regarding the tax exemption being difficult without a Trust, I am not so keen on accepting huge donations from people who are non-devotees because such kind of money is not conducive to nama bhajana (chanting) and even prachara (preaching) in the long run. I want people to first become devotees, factually understand Lords Nityananda-Gauranga and Their Holy Names and Their paramount importance in Kali Yuga and then help and support to spread the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna all over the world as per their capacity.
If I can make one devotee to chant the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna regularly or if I can make Lords Nityananda Gauranga widely known in this world, that is infinitely more important to me than getting a donation of millions of dollars from a person who is unwilling to chant the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna. Other may have their own opinion on this but I have the right to have mine and to follow it till the end. And anyway devotees do not ask for tax exemption but give their support and resources because of their genuine love and desire to spread the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna not for saving some tax.
Q. What is love over majesty?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita states that aisvarya shithila gyane nahi mora prita..."I am not so pleased by devotion mixed with awe and reverence of Vaikuntha, Ayodhya and Dvaraka as I am with intimate devotion without awe and reverence of Vrindavana."
Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami is Kasturi Manjari in Radha-Krishna's pastimes, who worships Them without awe and reverence, and he himself has written the above verse, thus he fully realizes that the highest thing is to worship the Lord with pure intimate affection.
Even the gopies of Vrindavana who worship the Lord in pure intimacy are fully aware of the glories and opulences of Lord Krishna. But this knowledge of the glories does not affect their mood towards the Lord in which the awe and reverence is not there.
Similarly the topmost description of the glories of the opulences and position of the Lord in Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita in no way minimize aishvarya mukta prema or love. Infact unless one fully realizes and understands how great God is, one can never develop an intimate relationship with Lord Gauranga-Krishna and one will never be able to appreciate the good fortune of such an intimate relationship which is without awe and reverence.
If one directly jumps to thinking about intimate relationships with the Lord and does not understand the full glories of the Lord, then one can end up being a sahajiya or one who takes bhakti or devotion cheaply.
That is why Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita takes us in the perfect philosophical sequence of achieving love for the Lord as Shrila Krishnadasa Kaviraja is the most expert preacher. No part of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita is more important than the other.
Q. I AM PERPLEXED SOMETIMES, AS TO WHICH IS THE BETTER PROSPECT, DONATING MONEY TO THE NEEDY AND THE POOR, OR FOR SOME GOOD CAUSE,I.E FOR VARIOUS MEDICAL CHARITIES ETC, OR DONATING MONEY FOR SPREADING THE NAME OF THE LORD. IT IS SAID BY THAT GOD RESIDES IN THE NEEDY AND THE POOR AND SERVICE TO THEM IS DIRECT SERVICE TO THE LORD, HENCEE,PLEASE GUIDE, FOR.E.G.IS IT BETTER TO BUY A GOLDEN CROWN FOR THE LORD, OR TO BUY BREAD FOR THE POOR. HARE KRSNA, GOPAL.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada:
There are three kinds of charities in the mode of goodness, mode of passion and mode of ignorance as Bhagavad Gita as described in the verses below. Charity in the mode of ignorance yields a negative result, just like for example, if someone donates money to buy nets for the fishermen then one will partake of the sinful reactions incurred in killing, selling and eating fish which is considered a great sin in Vedas as the fish in the sea eats the meat of kinds of bodies including human beings, cows, animals etc.
Charity to sincere Devotees to spread the Holy Names or service of the Lord for saving the souls not just the bodies -> Charity in the mode of Pure Goodness -> Result: One gets millions of times in returns then what one gives in the next life.
Charity for spreading the Holy Names to sincere Devotees done with a desire for name, fame or material returns-> Charity in the mode of Passion -> Result: One gets hundreds of times in returns then what one gives in the next life.
Charity done to unqualified people who may use it for non-Vedic sinful activities -> Charity in the mode of Ignorance-> Result: One will have to partake the sinful reactions relating to how the donated money was used by the recepient of that donation.
The govts, orgs and people give millions and billions of dollars to save the material bodies of the people and rehabilitate them which is very good and required, but when it comes to permanently save their souls from the cycle of birth, old age, disease and death, totally put an end to these material miseries and send the souls to the spiritual world where there is no more suffering, though the chanting of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna, they oppose this spiritual welfare work what to speak of sponsoring it.
They say that we can see the suffering of the material bodies with our own eyes but we cannot see the suffering of the soul neither the transmigration of the soul in the 8.4 million species of life and the spiritual world, so why should we help or even care about it. It is just like when an ostrich was chased by a cheetah, the ostrich stuck it's head in the sand and said that the cheetah is gone, but the cheetah was actually there behind and the cheetah caught the ostrich and devoured it.
Similarly the people nowadays deny the scientific process of the transmigration of the soul in the 8.4 million species of life and thus do not care to undertake or support the social welfare work for saving the soul from taking birth in the animal species, which is only possible by massively spreading the chanting of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna. Just like the ostrich, their blatant denial to even consider the ghastly possibility of the fall down of their souls to the animal species at the end of this life if they do not chant the Holy Names, will not stop the cheetah of their karma to throw their souls for zillions of lives and years in the 8 millions species of animal life (4 millions species are of human beings). Let us hope and pray that their eyes open one day and they take up the chanting and preaching of the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna, before it is too late.
Bhagavad Gita 17.21
datavyam iti yad danam
dese kale ca patre ca
tad danam sattvikam smritam
Charity given out of duty, without expectation of return, at the proper time and place, and to a worthy person is considered to be in the mode of goodness.
PURPORT By Shrila Prabhupada
In the Vedic literature, charity given to a person engaged in spiritual activities is recommended. There is no recommendation for giving charity indiscriminately. Spiritual perfection is always a consideration. Therefore charity is recommended to be given at a place of pilgrimage and at lunar or solar eclipses or at the end of the month or to a qualified brahmana or a Vaishnava (devotee) or in temples. Such charities should be given without any consideration of return. Charity to the poor is sometimes given out of compassion, but if a poor man is not worth giving charity to, then there is no spiritual advancement. In other words, indiscriminate charity is not recommended in the Vedic literature.
Bg 17.21: Translations & Purports by Shrila Prabhupada copyrighted by The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
yat tu pratyupakarartham
phalam uddisya va punah
diyate ca pariklishtam
tad danam rajasam smritam
But charity performed with the expectation of some return, or with a desire for fruitive results, or in a grudging mood, is said to be charity in the mode of passion.
Charity is sometimes performed for elevation to the heavenly kingdom and sometimes with great trouble and with repentance afterwards: “Why have I spent so much in this way?” Charity is also sometimes given under some obligation, at the request of a superior. These kinds of charity are said to be given in the mode of passion. There are many charitable foundations which offer their gifts to institutions where sense gratification goes on. Such charities are not recommended in the Vedic scripture. Only charity in the mode of goodness is recommended.
adesa-kale yad danam
apatrebhyas ca diyate
tat tamasam udahritam
And charity performed at an impure place, at an improper time, to unworthy persons, or without proper attention and respect is said to be in the mode of ignorance.
Contributions for indulgence in intoxication and gambling are not encouraged here. That sort of contribution is in the mode of ignorance. Such charity is not beneficial; rather, sinful persons are encouraged. Similarly, if a person gives charity to a suitable person but without respect and without attention, that sort of charity is also said to be in the mode of darkness.
Q >>>that Nityananda Prabhu is an expansion of ananga manjari from the krishna lila, and that Balaram is serving Krishna in the rasa lila as Ananga Manjari. i am a little bit bewildered because i dont really have an spiritual guidance now.It would be nice if you could answer this question.
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: As per our scriptures, all our Acharyas have achieved the shelter of Shri Shri Radha Govinda and Shri Vrindavana Dhama by the mercy of Lord Nityananda Balarama. The madhurya dhama of Shri Vrindavana where Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Krishna are manifesting Their pastimes is actually a manifestation of the sandhini energy of the Lord Nityananda Balarama.
Shrimati Jahnava devi (Revati devi) and Shrimati Vasudha devi (Varuni devi) the eternal consorts of Lord Nityananda Balarama expand as Ananga Manjari in the pastimes of Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Krishna in Shri Vrindavana Dhama as per Shri Gaura Gannodesha Dipika by Shrila Kavi Karnapura. Shrila Gopala Bhatta Goswami si also sometimes considered a partial expansion of Ananga Manjari. Please refer to our page http://ngnc.gaurangapada.com/index.html?page=ngassociates.htm for furthur details.
So Ananga Manjari is a direct expansion of Shrimati Jahnava, the eternal consort of Lord Nityananda Balarama and thus one can state that Ananga Manjari (the younger sister of Shrimati Radhika) is an expansion of Lord Nityananda Balarama's pleasure potency to assist in the conjugal pastimes of Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Krishna where Lord Nityananda Balarama does not directly enter.
Question: In CB lesson 5 it says: I am entrusting these confidential topics to you; do not reveal them to anybody. As long as My present incarnation remains on this earth, if you reveal My identity, I shall destroy you. I have a hard time understanding the part where is said "I shall destroy you". Could you please elaborate on this? Why would Shri Chaitanya destroy a pious Brahmin if he would reveal the real identity?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
Lord Gauranga used the word "samhaara" in Adi lila Chp 5.150 means kill. This is a very good question because one may wonder why is the Lord talking of killing His own pure devotee when He has Himself revealed Himself to him and given him His full mercy by showing His eight-handed form.
The answer is simple. When the Lord revealed His eight-handed form to the brahmana, the brahmana understood the complete truth about Lord Gauranga being the Supreme Absolute Truth and Lord Krishna Himself. As a devotee is very merciful and always intensely wants to reveal the Lord to the common people in order to deliver them. So if the Lord would have just told him only generally that do not reveal Me till I complete My pastimes, he would have still gone ahead and done it because the pure devotees are even more compassionate than the Lord.
So in order to make him understand that this is a very serious instruction and cannot be broken even for the sake of delivering the people, Lord Gauranga very playfully threatened to kill him if he disobeys this order. Lord Gauranga did not at all meant to actually kill him because the same Lord states in the Bhagavad Gita that na me bhaktah pranayasti: My devotees never perish.
Lord Gauranga wants to relish the vatsalya rasa of parenthood affection from Shri Shachidevi and Shri Jagannatha Mishra and also His scholastic pastimes. So He did not on any acount want the brahmana to reveal to His parents that He is God Himself because that would disturb His childhood pastimes as His parents would not be able to love Him as a child if they knew that He was God. There is much more I can say but this is all for now.
These questions show you great sincerity amd meticulousness in studying the most merciful scripture Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. Please keep it up. Going deep into Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is a 100% guarantee of ensuring our place in the spiritual world.
Question: I also have a new question concerning Ch8. Why did Nimai destroy his complete house when His mother didn't have the flower garland ready when He wanted to bathe in the Ganga and offer his prayers to the Ganga? I wouldn't expect such an outburst over some flowers. So there must be a deeper meaning. Could you please explain this to me? Thanks for your help.
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
There are quite a few transcendental reasons for this pastime. I will try to list just a few:
(1) Lord Gauranga wanted to show to the world that He is same extremely mischievous Lord Krishna of Gokula Vrindavana reincarnated in Kali Yuga. So He acted is this extremely mischievous manner.
(2) Mother Yashoda in Vrindavana feels extreme bliss and pleasure to behold the great mischief of Lord Bala Krishna. Similarly does Mother Shachi in Navadvipa. Though apparently shocoked externally, Shachidevi was experiencing the topmost bliss when Lord Bala Gauranga was breaking the whole house.
(3) The whole creation is the energy and property of Lord Gauranga so why not His own house? He broke it to show that He is the proprietor of everything.
(4) In all His incarnations, the Lord wants to relish the pastimes of krodha or anger. In Vrindavana it was against the demons. In Navadvipa He exhibited these pastimes in His own home by breaking the pots just like Lord Krishna became angry and broke the pots when His mother Yashoda left him to go and attend to the pot of milk on the stove. Krishna and Gauranga are both the same personality and it the same transcendental anger which manifest in His pastimes.
(5) Lord Gauranga wanted to show to Mother Shachi not to worrried for the maintainence of the household even if everything is lost because He is there. So He broke everything and then returned back everything.
(6) Unless the Lord displays some exceptional pastimes, how can we understand that He is God?
There are more but for now I will end.
Q1. Regarding the Nityananda & Gauranga Mantras is it mandatory to chant the same first and then the Hare Krishna Mantra or is it okay if one chanted the Hare Krishna Mantra and then chanted the Nityanand & Gauranga Mantras......of course completing 16 rounds minimum of each of the above daily like chanting the Mahamantra in the morning and the Nityanand & Gauranga mantras during the course of the day....I hope the above is clear to you.
Ans by SG: As Lord Gauranga Himself states in Shri Shikshashtaka that there no rules of time or sequence in chanting the Holy Names. Therefore you can chant in any order at any time of the day to complete the 16 rounds of each of the Mantras. Normally devotees find it easier to remember by chanting 1 round of Nityananda, 1 round of Gauranga and then 1 round of Hare Krishna. So in this way they chant 16-16-16. They do not have to count the three Mantras separately, they have to count only once.
Q2. Also could you please let me know if it would be offensive or not to print the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on small polybags for Prasad distribution......I mean people would take the prasad and throw the small polybag.....I have heard that it would be offensive to throw something with pictures on it but the mahamantra is okay.....is there any scriptural reference regarding the same or did Prabhupada mention anything about it.I wish to print the following on the polybags which would be beneficial in preaching: Please guide and advise.
Ans2 by SG: If you want to preach the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, you can make Mantra Stickers and distribute them freely. People will take them and stick them or place them in their house and chant at least once daily when they look at the Mantra sticker.
Holy Name, Form and the Lord are all one - absolute. There is no difference between the syllables of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and a picture of Lord Krishna. So printing the Holy Names on disposable plastic bags is not at all a good idea. It will lead to offenses towards the Holy Names when the bags are thrown on the ground, trampled on, disposed in the garbage or eaten from etc. etc. So please avoid it if you can.
Q3. Would you be having the book "Amrita Pravaha Bhasya" by Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura.
Ans3 by SG: Shri Amrita Pravaha Bhashya is the most nectarean commentary of Seventh Goswami Shrila Saccidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakura to Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita in which he reveals the four syllable Gauranga Mantra and many other esoteric truths about Lord Gauranga's pastimes. It has not yet been translated into English. I have read it a few times in the original Bengali script which I have. I plan to translate the Amrtita Pravaha Bhashya and Anubhashya to Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita later on in my life after I have completed Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata and other main scriptures.
Q1. When we worship Lord Vishnu, he is worshipped along with his merciful consorts Shridevi and bhudevi. In most of the South Indian Vaishnava temples this is the tradition. So why we do not worship Lord Nityananda with his divine consorts Vasuda devi and jahnavi devi. Similarly why we do not worship Lord Chaitanya accompanied by His divine consorts Laxmipriya and Vishnupriya?
A1 by SG. We do worship Shri Shri Jahnavi Nitai and Shri Shri Vasudha Nitai. Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura ended the Chapters in his holy book Hari Nama Chintamani by seekings the blessings and shelter of Shri Shri Jahnavi Nitai. You will note that in the 12 Holy Names of Lord Nityananda which you are chanting daily, the Holy Names of Lord Nityananda in relation to Shrimati Jahnavi devi and Shrimati Vasudha devi are glorified. So by chanting These 12 Holy Names daily you are worshiping Jahnavi Nitai and Vasudha Nitai. One can also worship Them in Deity like They are in Shri Ekachakra Dhama.
Q2. When we are offering guru pranams starting with "Vandeham", according to my imperfect understanding there is no specific prayer addressing Lord Nityananda. Since Lord Nityananda is considered to be the original spiritual master, would it be appropriate to add a prayer before addressing Lord Chaitanya with "Namo maha vadanyaya" prayer.
A2 by SG. The following are the Mantras for Shri Nityananda Pranama. You can chant either one or both.
Shri Nityananda Pranama Mantras
nityanandam aham naumi, sarvananda-karam param;
hari-nama-pradam devam, avadhuta-siromanim.
"I offer my prostrated obeisances to the Supreme Servitor Lord Nityananda Prabhu, who is the awarder of the topmost joy and happiness to all living entities and to all our senses, the bestower of the Holy Name of Lord Gaura-Hari, and the crest jewel of all paramahamsa mendicants."
nityanandam aham vande, karne lambita-mauktikam
"I offer my prostrated obeisances to the Supreme Servitor Lord Nityananda Prabhu, on whose left lotus ear a pearl ornament is swinging. Accepting the role of the elder brother of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda completely purified the entire earth by the the pollen of His lotus feet."
Question: I have started reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. What should be my consciousness?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada: You have truly found the greatest treasure in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. It is the most effective scripture in Kali Yuga to melt the thunderbolt like hearts of the souls immersed in sense-gratification. Please keep on reading Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata continuously and repeatedly till the rest of your life which will guarantee your journey back to Godhead. As you progress to Madhya Khanda your spiritual pleasure will increase even more and more and ultimately you will become a pure lover of God by the mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu. Actually Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata is to be scrutinizingly studied with notes etc. and the pastimes memorized just like you did in school to get the maximum benefit. Some pastimes are very touching and elevated and if you need explanations please let me know.
Q. there is this man claiming to be an ______monk with a signpost that says visiting him will solve all problems. he looks fake. i once spoke to him about kalkin avatar and he didnt say much. why focus on here below when we should be working on a successful
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Yes, it is predicted in the Shrimad Bhagavatam that 99.9% monks in Kali Yuga will be bogus and just after their own sense-graitification and thus so many people will be misguided (manda bhagya) and led to deviated paths other than pure bhakti to Lord Gauranga-Krishna. The common people are already sumanda matayo that is that they do not have any inclination for spirituality and a few of them that do have end up getting misled by bogus people. This is Kali Yuga. And that is why Lord Krishna has come again in Kali Yuga as Lord Gauranga in the form of the original Sadhu and Guru of all living entities: sadhu guru rupe krishna aila nadia....Anyone who worships Lord Gauranga in Kali Yuga and chants His Holy Name is the most intelligent real sadhu despite one's limitations if any. The primary symptom of a great devotee is how much he or she is attached to chanting and spreading the Holy Names of Nityananda, Gauranga and Hare Krishna and Their pastimes.
You are right that we
should rather vigorously chant and spread the Holy Names of Supreme Gods of all
Gods and creation---ÂShri Shri Nityananda Gauranga rather than endeavor to
make a list of the bogus sadhus who are cropping up at every moment in this
world preaching something other than devotion and surrender to the Holy Names
of Lord Gauranga-Krishna and Lord Nityananda-Balarama.
Q. I am attracted to meditating on the eightfold daily pastimes of Gauranga and visualizing myself somehow participating. How does one discover one's role in Gauranga-lila?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada: You can read the whole process of going from Name to Lila in my book Maha Mantra Yoga at http://mahamantrayoga.gaurangapada.com at the following url: http://mahamantrayoga.gaurangapada.com/index.html?page=the-process.htm . The process of Mantra Dhyana is the same while meditating on the Nityananda and Gauranga Mantrarajas as well as on the Hare Krishna Mahamantra.
Q. Do you think it best if I just try to visualize Nityananda Gauranga with out participating in it? Am I jumping ahead of >myself?
Chanting has to be accompanied by Meditation on the meanings otherwise it becomes inattentive which leads to all kinds of offenses. First you should fix your concentration on the forms of Supreme Gods of all Gods and creation--ÂÂShri Shri Nityananda Gauranga while chanting, then gradually realize Their qualities, then Their associates, abode and finally one can realize their pastimes while chanting. The Holy Names are so powerful that even though the sequence is from Name to Form to Qualities and the Pastimes, chanting even in the preliminary stages gives us a glimpse of the nama siddhi or perfection of chanting by giving us a window peek into the pastimes of the Lord. The Holy Names are as independent as the Lord Himself and can reveal many truths to the chanter at any time even in the sadhana stage. But the chanter should never think that one has achieved perfection by this glimpse of the pastimes and slacken one's Nama Smarana (remembrance). That is why a spiritual aspirant who is sincerely chanting the Holy Names requires a spiritual master to guide one through these realizations.
Gradually by practicing Mantra Meditation with concentration one will reach the stage of sveccha purvika where one will be alble to recall at will the pastimes of Lords Nityananda-Gauranga while chanting. After one perfects this stage by contant Mantra Meditation, then one will never forget the pastimes of the Lord while chanting, They will spontaneously arise in the mind when one hears the Holy Names or chants Them or even when one is eating, sleeping etc. Such a devotee becomes jivanmukta or an associate of the Lord.
Even while chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, one can meditate on Hare as Gadadhara, Krishna as Gauranga, Hare as Jahnava in the second line and Rama as Nityananda. This is recommended for the neophyte devotees because the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra becomes offenseless if one accompanies the chanting of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra with meditation on Lords Nityananda-Gauranga in the beginning. Only then one can then gradually and easily penetrate into the pastimes of Their Lordships Shri Shri Radha and Krishna in Shri Vraja Dhama. Meditation on the forms, qualities and pastimes of ÂÂShri Shri Nityananda Gauranga while chanting grants us Gauranga-sambandha which according to Shri Navadvipa Dhama Mahatmya is the only way to achieve Shri Shri Radha-Krishna servitorship. By Nityananda Gauranga Mantraraja Dhyana and Japa, one will suddenly and effortlessly find oneself in Vrindavana one day surrounded by the gopies singing Lord Krishna's Holy Names and will drown in the bottomless ocean of nectar.
Q. I have been reading a bio of Shrila Gaura Kisore das Babaji Maharaja. In it it makes reference to renunciationalists, but doesn't go into specifics of why their association is to be avoided. I am thinking if they are making show of renunciation only? I am wondering if this is correct?
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
Yes, because it was a show of markata vairagya (monkey renunciation) to achieve some name and fame that is why Shrila Gaura Kishore dasa babaji rejected it. You see it is better to honestly live a life of a non-renunciant and practice nama bhajana then to dress in a garb of a renunciant and display and show off one's renunciation in different ways to simply achieve name, fame and following. That is sometimes even more unfortunate and dangerous than being a non-devotee in ignorance about spiritual knowledge.
In Chapter 16 of the Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata Shri Haridasa Thakura says the following: "My dear brahmana friends, do not feel sad because of what happened to me. This punishment was certainly due me. I stood in the court and listened to the Muslims blaspheme my Lord; for this the Lord has punished me suitably. ... One goes to hell if he hears blasphemy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. My sinful ears were filled with such blasphemy and the Lord has given me the proper punishment so that I may never commit this offense again."
The original blasphemers eventually get 'rewarded' when they start worshiping Haridasa Thakura when he entered the Nawab's room: "By this worship the Muslims became free from material entanglement." Why would the Lord severely punish a very saintly devotee when he just hears someone blaspheming? How can he be made responsible for what the others said or did? Why must he suffer and not the blasphemers? I don't understand. Please enlighten me with your knowledge.
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
This pastime is a big mystery. The truth is that though it appeared that Shrila Haridasa Thakura was being punished and inflicted severe pain by the executioners and soldiers while being whipped in the 22 market places but he himself was not experiencing any kind pain or suffering due to the whipping because Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu had covered Shrila Haridasa's body with His own transcendental golden body. Though the body of Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu is fully transcendental, Lord Gauranga lifted His cloth and revealed the wounds He has personally incurred when He had covered Shrila Haridasa's body with His divine body protecting Haridasa from any kind of pain and misery. That is why Shrila Haridasa Thakura was still alive chanting the Holy Names even after the lashing in 22 market places because the Lord had taken all the beating upon Himself.
One may ask that how the sat-chid-ananda body of Lord Gauranga got wounded. The Lord's body can never be wounded or harmed with material whips. The soul can never be even touched by material elements that how can the Supersoul - the soul of all souls Lord Gauranga be hurt by material weapons. He simply manifested the wounds which were inflicted on Shrila Haridasa Thakura's body by the executioners and which were taken by Himself to display to the world that He is the eternal protector and devotee of His own devotees and to enable Shrila Haridasa Thakura go into an extreme and supreme trance of samadhi and bliss when he saw them on the Lord's body.
Next the question may arise, why did the Lord not kill the executioners? This is answered by the Lord Himself in the pastime quoted below from Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. Lord Gauranga has appeared there with His Disc to kill them but Shrila Haridasa was intensely praying for their deliverance because a pure devotee does not want to become a cause of causing even a pinch of distress to any living entity even at the sake of his own life. Though the Lord wanted to kill them personally with His own disc and thus automatically they would get liberation, He could not do so because the desire of His pure devotee Haridasa was even more important than His own desire. So the only other option for Himwas to cover the body of Shrila Haridasa with His own body so that Shrila Haridasa Thakura is protected.
The third question which you have raised is that why did Shrila Haridasa Thakura say that he had to suffer this whipping because he heard blasphemy of the Lord and devotional service from the mouth of their king. Due to complete absorption in Nama Bhagavan, Shrila Haridasa Thakura cannot commit any offense against any soul knowingly or unknowingly. He was just stating this to the brahamanas because he wanted to teach to all the people of this world what kind of heinous punishment is awaited or can be expected by those who foolishly dare to criticize the Lord, His Holy Names, Bhakti and His Devotees. He was using himself as an instrument to expressly caution the world against commiting offenses towards Lord Gaura-Hari and His devotees. Also he was demonstrating how a devotee chanting the Holy Names should be humble and never curse or blame others for one's sufferings. bhunjana eva kritam vipakam.. As per Shrimad Bhagavatam, a devotee should always feel that he is suffering due to his own misdeeds and whatever happiness and prosperity in life is there is due to the causeless mercy of Lord Gauranga-Krishna.
Though the original blasphemers saw and heard Shrila Haridasa Thakura and got tremendous spiritual benefit and though they begged for forgiveness after Shrila Haridasa Thakura returned, they were all destroyed within a few days along with their families according to Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata. So no one in this creation can escape the reactions caused due to offenses against pure devotees. It is explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam, that even though elevated Vaishnavas never take any offenses and forgive even before the offense is committed, the dust of their lotus feet (mahapursuha te pada pamsubhir) and Lord Gauranga-Krishna Himself do not forgive the offender who has to bear the stringent and hard reactions.
The above statements are explained and proved by Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu Himself in Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata Madhya Khanda 10.35 onwards:
Lord Gauranga then turned His benign glance towards Haridasa and called out, "Look at Me, Haridasa. Your transcendental body is even superior to Mine because you are my devotee, and your caste is My caste. That sinful Muslim tormentor has inflicted great pain on you. However, knowing your compassionate nature, I hesitated in My heart to punish him, for it would disturb you and cause you great distress.
"Listen, Haridasa. When you were lashed with the whip in many different market places, I took up My Sudarsan disc and descended to the earth from Vaikuntha, intending to sever the tormentors' heads.
"While your tormentors were trying to beat you to death, all along you were thinking of their well being. You were unconcerned about your own pains; you had only compassion for them. Because of your merciful heart I could not use force; My Sudarsan disc weapon was rendered impotent.
"I could not strike those men because you were determined to forgive them. So, unable to see your misery, I protected you from their lashes by placing My back on your back.
"I accepted all those lashes meant for you on My back. See the marks on My back; I am not lying. Whatever other secondary reasons there were for My descent, I hastened My advent to this world, unable to bear your sufferings. My beloved 'Nada', Advaita Acharya, fully recognized who you are. I am totally bound by his loving devotion."
These pastimes of Their Supreme Lordships Nityananda Gauranga are very deep and have unlimited transcendental meanings and I wish I could most blissfully spend my whole life happily discussing and explaining it through my writings.
Question: Lord Gauranga said " I vow that ,from today I will see Lord Jagannath from a distance ,I will never enter inside the temple room ; rather I will see Lord Jagannath while standing beside garuda stambha column , by good fortune ,I did not embrace Lord Jagannath , had I done this it would have been a serious predicament !" I find this very intereting as to why Lord Gauranga did not embrace Lord Jagannatha , pls can you shed some light on this pastime.
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
Every pastime of Lord Gauranga is unlimitedly meaningful. There are three primary reasons:
(1) Though Lord Gauranga is Lord Jagannatha Himself, when He exhibits the mood of His own devotee, He feels Himself unqualified and insignificant to approach Lord Jagannatha or to touch Him. This is how every devotee should feel and Lord Gauranga Himself is showing it by His example.
(2) Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu does not want to cause disturbance and inconvenience in the altar worship of the priests and guards of the Jagannatha temple because if He would rush to embrace Lord Jagannatha then they would all be alarmed like it happened when Lord Nityananda embraced Lord Baladeva on the altar.
(3) Lord Gauranga is the Supreme Lord and He has full right to embrace His own form of Lord Jagannatha and to even sit on the altar and accept worship like He used to sit on the throne of Lord Vishnu in Navadvipa in Shrila Shrivasa's home and accepted elaborate worship and prayers. In Chaitanya Mangala it is described how Lord Gauranga was placed on the altar of Lord Jagannatha in Puri Dhama and the priests worshiped both the forms of the Lord simultaneously. But Lord Gauranga Mahaprabhu wanted to teach us that we should not make a show of our devotional ecstasies especially in front of those (99% people of this world) who may not be able to understand it. An advanced devotee should always try to intelligently conceal the devotional ecstasies so that the general people do not take devotional service very cheaply. Some infinitesimal soul would have tried to imitate Lord Gauranga's mood and would have tried to commit the biggest offense of jumping on the altar to try to touch Lord Jagannatha. That is why Lord Gauranga refrained from doing so. The altar of Lord Jagannatha is only reserved for Lord Vishnu, and Lord Gauranga and Lord Jagannatha are both the self-same Lord who is the origin of all Vishnu forms.
Q. 1."DOES KRSNA CHANGE THE DESTINY OF HIS FAVOURITE DEVOTEES?"
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada: For the favourite devotees of Lord Gauranga-Krishna, there is nothing called destiny because the Lord takes direct charge in their lives. tanra bhala manda ami kari vichara. Shri Chaitanya Bhagavata states that Lord Krishna told Lord Shiva that I directly handle the good and bad in the lives of My dear devotees residing in Puri Dhama. This is also applicable to His dear devotees residing anywhere in creation.
Q. I MEAN PRARABDHA KARMA WHICH CANNOT BE OVER RULED BY ANY MEANS.
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada: The Lord's dear devotees do not have prarabdha karma or manifested reactions. If they get any distress in their lives, it is the direct arrangement of the Lord either to purify them more and more or to intensify their devotion or to show the glories of their devotion to the world.
Q. CAN A PURE DEVOTEE REACH KRSNALOKA BEFORE HIS LIFE SPAN ENDS,IF HE IS A PURE DEVOTEE?
Ans by Swami Gaurangapada:
If one is a sadhana-siddha devotee (perfected through practice of nama bhajana), one can enter the aprakata (unmanifested pastimes) of the Lord in Gauranga-Krishna-loka by one's deep meditation while chanting even in this life. Then at the end of this life, the soul will first join the same manifested pastimes of the Lord in one of the universes in the material creation and get trained directly in the Lord's service by the nitya-siddha (eternally perfect) associates of the Lord. Thenat the end of those manifested pastimes of the Lord, the Lord takes that soul back with Him with all His associates eternally to His spiritual abode from where there is no return. So this material creation is both a rectification ground as well as a training ground to go to the spiritual world. This is the natural sequence, but if the Lord wants a sadhana-siddha soul to directly to come to His abode at the end of his life, then He can directly do that also. The existence and location of the soul is simply dependant of the independent desire of Lord Gauranga-Krishna.
Q. Is there any relationship between the name of Gauranga, Saccinandana, son of mother Sacci and the words Sat-chit-ananda that I read about.
"sat-chit-ananda, Being-Consciousness-Bliss. The Absolute simply is--an eternally stable, self-luminous, conscious force
continously and joyously manifesting its own awareness. Satchitananda." Is the above statement an impersonal view of God, whereas to view Saccinandana as a person , a son of a mother , even though the words have meanings, is that what makes it personal rather than impersonal. Any comment on this really would be appreciated, i thought it a coincidence that the name correlates so well with those words. Nityananda Gauranga Hare Krishna. Chandrika Gauranga dasi
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Sat (truth)-chid (knowledge)-ananda (bliss) is an adjective for Lord Shachinandana to describe His transcendental form meaning His form of full of infinite truth (eternity), all knowledge and the supreme bliss. Satchidananda is also used to describe anything of the Lord's internal potency like pastimes, qualities, associates, abodes etc. and even the spiritual soul which has the same quality of satchidananda as Lord but in infinitesimal quantity. So Satchidananda is a qualitative attribute of Lord Shachinandana Gauranga.
Q. What are the Pranama Mantras for Lord Jagannatha?
Answer by Swami Gaurangapada: Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! There are two Pranama Mantras for Lord Jagannatha:
(1) nilaachala-nivaasaaya, nityaaya paramaatmane;
balabhadra subhadraa bhyaam, jagannaathaaya te namah.
"I offer my humble prostrated obeisances to the eternal Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Jagannatha, the Supersoul in the hearts of all living entities, Who resides with His divine elder brother Lord Baladeva and His sister Subhadra-devi in the most holy abode of Shri Nilachala Kshetra Puri Dhama.
[nivaasaaya - resides, nitya - eternal, paramaatma - Supersoul, bhyaam - accompanied by, namah - obeisances.]
(2) jagadaananda kandaaya, pranataartta haraaya cha;
nilaachala nivaasaaya, jagannaathaaya te namah.
"I offer my humble prostrated obeisances to Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Jagannatha, Who resides in the most holy abode of Shri Nilachala Kshetra Puri Dhama, and Who is famous for completely removing all the distress of those who offer prostrated obeisances unto Him."
Jaya Jagannatha, Baladeva, Subhadra!
Also you can sing this beautiful Shri Jagannathashtakam while offering obeisances or glorifying Lord Jagannatha:
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
1. Sometimes in great happiness Lord Jagannatha, with His flute, makes a loud concert in the groves on the banks of the Yamuna. He is like a bumblebee who tastes the beautiful lotus-like faces of the cowherd damsels of Vraja, and His lotus feet are worshiped by great personalities such as Lakshmi, Siva, Brahma, Indra and Ganesa. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
bhuje savye venum sirasi sikhi-puccham kati-tate
dukulam netrante sahacara-kataksham vidadhate
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
2. In His left hand Lord Jagannatha holds a flute. On His head He wears the feathers of peacocks and on His hips He wears fine yellow silken cloth. Out of the corners of His eyes He bestows sidelong glances upon His loving devotees and He always reveals Himself through His pastimes in His divine abode of Vrindavana. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
mahambhodhes tire kanaka-rucire nila-sikhare
vasan prasadantah sahaja-balabhadrena balina
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
3. Residing on the shore of the great ocean, within a large palace situated upon the crest of the brilliant, golden Nilacala Hill, along with His powerful brother Bala-bhadra, and in the middle of Them His sister Subhadra, Lord Jagannatha bestows the opportunity for devotional service upon all godly souls. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
surendrair aradhyah sruti-gana-sikha-gita-carito
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
4. Lord Jagannatha is an ocean of mercy and He is beautiful like a row of blackish rain clouds. He is the storehouse of bliss for Lakshmi and Sarasvati, and His face is like a spotless full-blown lotus. He is worshiped by the best of demigods and sages, and His glories are sung by the Upanishads. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
ratharudho gacchan pathi milita-bhudeva-patalaih
stuti-pradurbhavam prati-padam upakarnya sadayah
daya-sindhur bandhuh sakala-jagatam sindhu-sutaya
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
5. When Lord Jagannatha is on His Ratha-yatra cart and is moving along the road, at every step there is a loud presentation of prayers and songs chanted by large assemblies of brahmanas. Hearing their hymns Lord Jagannatha is very favorably disposed towards them. He is the ocean of mercy and the true friend of all the worlds. May that Jagannatha Svami, along with His consort Lakshmi, who was born from the ocean of nectar, be the object of my vision.
nivasi niladrau nihita-carano ’nanta-sirasi
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
6. He is the ornament of the head of Lord Brahma and His eyes are like the full-blown petals of the lotus. He resides on the Nilacala Hill, and His lotus feet are placed on the heads of Anantadeva. Lord Jagannatha is overwhelmed by the mellows of love and He becomes joyful in the embracing of the body of Shrimati Radharani, which is like a cool pond. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
na vai yace rajyam na ca kanaka-manikya-vibhavam
na yace ’ham ramyam sakala-jana-kamyam vara-vadhum
sada kale kale pramatha-patina gita-carito
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
7. I do not pray for a kingdom, nor for gold, rubies, and wealth. I do not ask for an excellent and beautiful wife as desired by all men. I simply pray that Jagannatha Svami, whose glories are always sung by Lord Siva, be the constant object of my vision.
hara tvam samsaram druta-taram asaram sura-pate
hara tvam papanam vitatim aparam yadava-pate
aho dine ’nathe nihita-carano niscitam idam
jagannathah svami nayana-patha-gami bhavatu me
8. O Lord of the demigods, please quickly remove this useless material existence I am undergoing. O Lord of the Yadus, please destroy this vast ocean of sins which has no shore. Alas, this is certain that Lord Jagannatha’s lotus feet are bestowed upon those who feel themselves fallen and have no shelter in this world but Him. May that Jagannatha Svami be the object of my vision.
Q. Please give me Your explanations to the following verses from the chapter Lord Nityananda's Traveling To the Holy Places of the Holy Book Shri Nityananda Charitamrita:
(1) - Remembering Lord Balarama’s glorious activities in Hastinapura, Lord Nityananda called out, “O Haladhara, please save Me!” and then offered obeisances.
(I don't understand this exclamation of Lord Nityananda for he is considered to be non-different from Lord Balarama.)
(2) - Lord Nityananda then visited a monastery where He found them all sitting together. The Lord asked a question, but no one replied. Becoming angry with them, the Lord kicked them in the head. They all simply smiled and ran away.
(What did He ask them and why did he become angry?)
Reply by Swami Gaurangapada:
Thank you for reading Shri Nityananda Charitamrita with sincerity. It is the most glorious and merciful subject matter in the world. If you try to understand the pastimes of Lord Nityananda, your mind and heart will be simply astonished with love.
(1) Lord Nityananda has two kinds of moods just like Lord Gauranga. One is the mood of being God Himself and the second is the mood of His own devotee. He adopts the second mood sometimes as He has come to relish His own devotion and He adopts the first mood sometimes as He cannot avoid His own godliness. Here you see Lord Nityananda crying out to His own form of Lord Haladhara Balarama in the second mood of being His own devotee. In this way He relishes the devotion which His devotees feel for Him. This is the same as Lord Gauranga crying out to His own form of Lord Krishna.
(2) The people in the monastery were discussing impersonalistic subject matters and rejecting the truth that God is a person. This constitutes an offense against the very core of the existence of God. When God personally comes to them, they reject Him because they do not believe in His form. So Lord Nityananda asked them a question regarding this but they were so intoxicated in their mental speculations that they hardly cared to answer the Lord Hismelf. Seeing that they are not accepting His mercy even though He has come personally, Lord Nityananda still wanted to deliver them somehow and also shake them from their gross ignorance about His position. So the Lord kicked them giving them the greatest good fortune of receiving the most purifying touch of His lotus feet which is rare for even Brahma and Shiva. This is the extraordinary mercy of Lord Nityananda Prabhu upon all the conditioned souls. He gives them His mercy even if they do not want it. Jaya Nityananda Charitamrita!