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Books > Hindu > Vaishnav > Srila Gurudeva: The Supreme Treasure (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Srila Gurudeva: The Supreme Treasure (Set of 2 Volumes)
Srila Gurudeva: The Supreme Treasure (Set of 2 Volumes)
Description

Volume I

 

Foreword

 

THIS VOLUME IS THE FIRST BOOK about the extraordinary character and sublime teachings of our most revered holy master, om visnupada paramahamsa parivrajakacarya astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, affectionately known as our beloved Srila Gurudeva. It is Srila Gurudeva's extraordinary mercy that he has revealed a glimpse of the spiritual world and awakened within us a taste for the supremely sweet pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.

 

Sripada 'Vidyalankara’ Madhava Maharaja is not writing just another book about some charismatic individual who is accepted by the general public as a guru. Nowadays the name guru has become quite fashionable. In the modern world we have financial gurus, management gurus, fashion gurus and so on, and it seems that any common man can be accepted as guru as long as he shows some expertise in his field. The approach of many so-called gurus may be of great appeal to the masses by making them feel good about the prospects of their material aspirations and the anticipated temporary pleasures of the mind and senses. One may receive some temporary upliftment from these self-styled gurus, but in the end, their encouragement for us to continuously chase after material happiness produces only a mental image of a possible future, but no ultimate satisfaction. That is because the material enjoyment they offer always ends in misery. This material enjoyment is just like a big fire; no matter how beautiful it is to look at, if you touch it, it will inevitably burn you and you will suffer tremendously. Similarly, harmful activities will make us suffer in the material world. People who are overpowered by the illusory material maya of Krsna feel happiness and suffering for many births under the influence of that illusory energy. Their happiness and sufferings are all the work of maya, meaning 'forgetfulness of Krsna', There are many persons in this world who may appear or claim to be guru, but a bona fide guru follows Sri Brahma, the original guru and grandfather of the universe. Krsna consciousness was propounded by Sri Brahma aeons ago when the creation was still in its infancy. Only a bona fide guru representing his guru and the Lord can give one the essential help to attain real freedom.

 

Guru is a Sanskrit word and its original and intended meanings are explained in the Vedic literatures. Gu means 'ignorance' and ru means 'dispeller', so a real guru is someone who is in a disciplic succession of gurus that dispells our ignorance. Those in a material conception of life will teach others that they can and will become happy here, thus increasing their ignorance and boosting their false ego of bodily identification. A real guru, on the other hand, gives eternal results by initiating us on the path that activates and reveals our true spiritual identity. He mercifully gives instructions, convincing us of the many perfect philosophical conclusions of bhakti. Serving him and submissively hearing from him frees us from the ignorance that has been ingrained within our hearts since time without beginning. It gradually but firmly establishes within us a deep love for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the divine Youthful Couple and the soul's function fully awakens. This is what a guru should give - our pristine intrinsic nature, our eternal dharma. That's what our Srila Gurudeva, the deliverer of the fallen, is giving to us.

 

Our eternal natural function, or dharma, is bhakti or devotional service. As one cannot separate heat from fire, so similarly, the service nature of the living entities cannot be taken away from them. We have to serve someone or something. We serve either Krsna or maya. Unfortunately, during this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the insincerity and hypocrisy is so widespread that those who have a desire to follow religion are oftentimes misled; consequently they are disheartened to pursue religion with strong determination or conviction.

 

All religions propagated in the world are either steps leading to bhakti or else distortions of it. This being a fact, we should focus on our own cultivation of devotion and not worry or criticize what others are doing. We should be favourable towards the followers of other religions and have no animosity towards them. All of us advance according to the time that is ripe for us. Any religion should be respected according to its proportionate degree of purity.

 

In order to pursue our particular path with great devotion, we have to understand that there are mixed, polluted and imaginary concepts of bhakti that are falsely presented in the name of pure bhakti. There are different categories. One group may have a slight semblance of bhakti or a mixed devotion (mixed with fruitive action or speculative knowledge, etc.). These are gradations of bhakti but only unalloyed devotion (suddha-bhakti) can give life's ultimate goal - the nectar of pure love (prema). Only that suddha-bhakti can bestow the highest results. Yet, on the path of bhakti, many try to give the impression that they are practicing pure bhakti, though in actuality they practice only a reflection or a shadow of devotion. It is important to know that whoever you follow, you will only be able to attain what they have, not more than that. Whatever level of consciousness one's guru attains, the followers. can advance up to that level, not higher than that. That is why the gift of the higher part, the transcendental realm, can only be obtained by the exclusive mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami, the acarya of ujjvala-rasa, and his intimate associates. The original form of Bhagavan descended in this age as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to deliver all the living entities. Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is priya- svarupa, the very embodiment of everything dear to Him, is His foremost disciple in establishing the deepest wishes of His heart. Those who completely come under the guidance and care of the genuine followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami will attain realization and advance through each successive stage of krsna-prema.

 

The realm of the Supreme Lord is naturally full of love and there is never any force. Here also, we are never forced to love, but this world is a place where the Supreme Lord examines us. Do we want only Him, or do we still want something of this world? The Lord will fulfill our desire, as much as we desire, not more than that. According to what we desire in life, we will get an appropriate guru or spiritual teacher. If we want transcendental vision, we can only get it by the special mercy of great devotees who see and perceive the Lord at all times and in all places. Only by their mercy will we excel in the examination, be able to recognize our true selves and begin to hanker for the only thing that will satisfy us - pure bhakti. One can only remember the Lord in all circumstances when the inclination to serve the Lord arises in one's heart by the sweet association and mercy of such a sadhu. Unless we have the opportunity to hear the pure nectar of their hari-katha, we will always go back and absorb ourselves in sense gratification, even if we are inclined towards religious life. It is only by their merciful glance and the sharp words emanating from their lotus mouths that the hidden fantasies in the mind for gross and subtle sense gratification are finally eradicated from the heart forever.

 

If someone possesses only pretentious devotion (chala-bhakti), that is what their followers will get from them. Some, even in the name of bhakti, instruct others against the principles of bhakti and lead them on a path that is totally opposed to it. Therefore our previous acaryas have clearly cautioned us to avoid mixed and polluted concepts of bhakti. Only then will our hearts be thoroughly cleansed, so that our activities can be most favourably executed for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna.

 

Everyone is controlled by the desire for sense enjoyment, even when it comes to modern day religion. Most of the general public become attracted to follow certain religious teachings to get material boons from God in the form of economic development (artha) and sense gratification (kama). They are misled to ask and search for material benedictions, rather than establishing their pure loving relationship with the Lord. Although their values are presented as the topmost and most relevant for God consciousness, they are in actuality a distortion of pure bhakti and the practitioner can only develop a little faith in God. Ultimately it is a deception and infinitely inferior to the flawless and completely pure suddha-bhakti. That is why we should always hear the perfect philosophical conclusions of bhakti (bhakti-siddhanta) from qualified persons. Unqualified persons with the four defects of human frailty- are unable to properly teach anything transcendental that is worth hearing. We need to seek help from those who are free from these very serious defects that prevent us from getting even a glimpse of transcendence. Methods of learning under the operation of the four-fold defects are useless in our progress toward the Absolute, for they can never free us from those defects.

 

Preface

 

FOLLOWING THE SPIRITUAL HIERARCHY of India, I first offer my prostrated obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating Guru- padapadma, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and I offer my prostrated obeisances at the lotus like feet of my instructing Guru, om visnupada parivrajakacarya astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja.

 

It is on the order of my godbrothers, godsisters and other Vaisnavas, that I completed and submitted this doctorial thesis, 'The Supreme Treasure Srila Gurudeva', in 2009. I achieved this PhD degree from Florida Vedic College, United States, on 26th May, 2010.

 

On the inspiration and order of the Vaisnavas, I took this service as a challenge because it is a very hard task. I think that by the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva, our guru-parampara and all the Vaisnavas, I will be successful in this subject matter.

 

Since 1996, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja has been continuously traveling around the world. So far, he has travelled more than thirty-five times around the whole world. He is always giving discourses on bhakti, or selfless devotion to the Supreme Lord. He regularly had me give lectures on the subject of guru and the disciple in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, and particularly on guru-seva. Wherever I travel with Srila Gurudeva, on his order, in my first class among the many classes that I give wherever we stay, I have tried my level best to discuss Sri guru, the relation between Sri guru and disciple, and how to perform guru-seva. In this way, I am bound to say something about both my diksa-guru and siksa-guru. I collected in note form what I have heard at different times from my siksa- guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, my diksa- guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, and param- puyjapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, and also what I have heard from different Vaisnavas and then tried to make them into a book.

 

For the past thirty years, I have gathered different quotations and subject matter. When I first started this work, I requested Srila Gurudeva to check my work to see if these points were okay or not. At the time I started this book I was in Cebu in the Philippines. When I told Srila Gurudeva two or three of the points, he humbly said, "No, I should not listen."

 

I requested, "Why not?"

 

Srila Gurudeva replied, "It is not good for me to listen to my own glorification."

 

I said, "If you don't tell me if this is correct or not, then who will rectify me? Who will correct me?"

 

Gurudeva said, "No, I'm sorry, I cannot help you with this."

 

Two days later, I requested Srila Gurudeva, "If you think that to listen to your own glories is not good for you, whenever it is your vyasa-puja, different devotees are glorifying you. At that time, are you putting in earplugs, or are you listening to their offerings?"

 

The second argument I gave was as follows: "At the time of the vyasa- puja of our beloved Parama-gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, yourself, my Guru-padapadma, Srila Bhaktivedanta Varnana Gosvami Maharaja and param-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, used to glorify our Param-gurudeva, At that time, did Param-gurudeva listen to his glories from all of you or not? At that time, did he put in earplugs or not?"

 

My third argument was, "When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was present in this world, he had so many qualified disciples and at the time of vyasa-puja, they also glorified him. At that time, did he make any objection, or did he allow them to speak about him? If Prabhupada allowed his disciples to glorify him and if Parama-gurudeva allowed all of you to glorify him and at the time of your own vyasa-puja, you allow all disciples and devotees to glorify you, if I glorify you and request you to check if this point is okay or not, then what wrong am I doing?"

 

Srila Gurudeva became speechless and could not refute my arguments. After that, he listened to everything thoroughly and told that, "Yes, this is very nice. It will be very good." And then I got blessings from Srila Gurudeva to compile this doctoral thesis. A relevant selection of these points is presented in this work.

 

This treatise serves toward the fulfilment of a Ph.D. in Vaisnava Philosophy from Florida Yedic College. Since the GYP is exclusively for the publication of Srila Gurudeva's books, this book is not printed under the GYP logo. However, it is with much gratitude that I have completed this work using the valuable materials published by GYP, from which, I have extensively made excerpts and quotations in many important sections of the book.

 

I would like to thank the individuals who have encouraged and assisted me in one way or another. I pray to the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva (who has captured Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Divine Couple in his heart, and is serving Them continuously, twenty- four hours a day) that he blesses whoever has helped me in any way to bring forth this book, to progress rapidly in Krsna consciousness.

 

May Srila Gurudeva, who is the embodiment of the Supreme Lord's compassion, shower upon me abundant mercy by which I can attain ever-increasing qualification to serve his innermost desire. This is my humble prayer at his lotus feet, which can bestow prema.

 

If any devotee wants to reproduce or translate this work, or portions of the work, then they are advised to contact the author.

 

Source of Inspiration

The main source of inspiration in this book is paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja.

 

Many others have kindly encouraged and supported me such as:

B.Y. Tirtha Maharaja, Premananda dasa, B.Y. Parivrajaka Maharaja, B.Y. Padmanabha Maharaja, B.Y. Sajjana Maharaja, B.Y. Nemi Maharaja, B.Y. Srldhara Maharaja, B.Y. Tridandi Maharaja, B.Y. Damodara Maharaja, B.Y. Govinda Maharaja, B.Y. Harijana Maharaja, Brajanatha dasa, Madhava-priya dasa, Krsna-krpa dasa, Amala-krsna dasa, Vijaya-krsna dasa, Dvija-krsna dasa, Rarnacandra dasa, Rohininandana dasa, Sanjaya dasa (Sr.), Hare-krsna dasa, Balarama dasa, Sanjaya dasa (Jr.), Subala-sakha dasa, Syamarani dasi and Vrnda-devi dasi.

 

Advisory Board.

Brajanatha dasa, Punama dasi, Pankaja dasa and Acvutananda dasa

Recording

Madhuvrata dasa

Transcribing

Anantacarya dasa, Madhuvrata dasa, Gauranga dasa and Sanjaya dasa

Editorial Board

Rupa-raghunatha dasa, Madhuvrata dasa, Bhadra dssr, Vrajadevi dasi and Vinava-krsna dasa

Chief Editor - Rupa-Raghunatha dasa, under the direction of Sriman Brajanatha Prabhu

Diacritics and Proofreading

Gauranga dasa, Acyutananda dasa, Santi dasi, Anadi-krsna dasa, Gaura-raja dasa, Gauragopala dasa and Giridhari dasa.

layout & Design

Anupama dasa, Ananga-mohana dasa, Krsna-karunya dasa

legal Consultation and Copyright Permissions

Ann Mueting, Varnsivadana dasa and Mukunda dasa

Public Relations & Communication

Brajanatha dasa and Vmda-devi dast

 

Financial Board

Mukhara-devi dasi, Tamopaha dasa & Campakalata dasi, Vrajesa dasa & Krsna-bhamini dast, Narahari dasa & Bhavatarini dasi, Aristanasana dasa, Dr. Paramesvara dasa & Mala dasi, Taruna-krsna dasa & family, Nandana dasa & Savitri dasi, Sundarananda dasa & Gita dssr, Indira dasi, Nandana dasa, Krsna dasa, Dharmaraja dasa, Vinaya-krsna dasa, Hemant dasa, janardana dasa, Sarvamangala dasi, Lalita-prtva dasi, Yasoda dasi, Vrndavana dasa, Visvambhara dasa, Vrndavana-bihari dasa & Pramila dasi, Dhananjaya dasa, Mahamantra dasa, Yamuna-jivana dasa, jagamohini dasi, Yasomati dast, Pranavallabha dasa, Vinita dasi, Amala-krsna dasa, Ramalingam dasa, Rama dasa and Syama dasa.

 

Chief Of Financial Board - Mukhara-devi dasi (China)

 

Many others eagerly provided their assistance in various capacities. I cannot list everyone but I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all of them, especially Acintya-gaura dasa, Jnana-sakti dasa, Rama dasa, Radha-priya dasi, Govinda dasa, Bhakta Svarupa dasa and Binaya Krsna dasa.

 

Apology

By the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva, guru-parampara and all Vaisnavas, I have tried my level best to present the readers the teachings and biography of Srila Gurudeva. First of all, I beg forgiveness for not putting all the events in regular historical sequence. I could have done so but this is to ensure that appropriate philosophical truths and incidents are presented timely to the readers. In this way, I have recorded many of these pastimes from memories that came first in my mind, inspired by the style of Pandita jagadananda who wrote the pastimes of the Lord in Prema-vivarta according to his loving remembrances and not according to the standard sequential order. This book is therefore by no means an attempt to narrate the pastimes of Srila Gurudeva in chronological sequence.

 

This biographical style may not appeal to every reader ..... not possible. Still, this book may be considered as a biography full of siddhanta, rather than an impartial study.

 

Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja has written in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 2.2.85, "prabhuryei acarana, sei karivarnana, sarva-cittanari aradhite- Some may complain that I have been unduly harsh and perhaps others may object that I have been overly mild. However, I am only trying to describe the truth."

 

I think saragrahi Vaisnavas will understand these teachings by overlooking the faults and accepting the good qualities.

 

I offer homage at the lotes feet of all Vaisnavas holding a blade of grass between my teeth. I humbly beg for their mercy.

 

Introduction

 

This book is about the most auspicious life and teachings of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. It is with great pleasure that we finally present this long anticipated book about Srila Gurudeva who is a treasure house of the most ecstatic form of pure love of God. Those who are fortunate will take advantage of this book. This is more than an historical timeline of events, for this book wonderfully summarizes the entire Krsna conscious philosophy and siddhanta as practised by an unalloyed, pure devotee of the Lord.

 

Hearing about a pure devotee is very auspicious, as it eradicates all doubts, misconceptions, misunderstandings and confusions on the path of pure devotional service. Those who are seriously looking for happiness in Krsna consciousness must certainly give up all preconceived assumptions and transcend all sectarian designations, so that they can read this book with an open mind and get the real benefit of association with a fully realized Vaisnava.

 

Sri guru is the personification of Krsna's mercy in this world. He comes to deliver the conditioned souls by enlightening them on the constitutional nature and eternal function of the soul. Gradually he reveals our eternal relationship and intimate service to the Lord. When we sincerely offer our life and soul to his lotus feet, our good fortune arises and in this way Sri guru opens the way to boundless peace and happiness for the conditioned soul.

 

Everyone tries to remove their suffering and increase their happiness. Some try to achieve this by hard labour and following moral principles, while others take drugs, have illicit relationships, steal and such in an attempt to improve the material conditions of their life. However, we see that all these attempts are baffled and happiness still remains elusive. Whatever happiness we find in this world is meager and not everlasting.

 

For example, one gains some pleasure by eating food, but if one keeps on eating, the same food that gives one pleasure will cause suffering. One does not want old age, diseases and death to come; yet they come. Any sane person will ponder over this problem and try to find a solution.

 

The scriptures tell us that we are not our bodies; rather we are souls, eternal parts and parcels of the supreme personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. The soul's eternal constitutional function (dharma) is eternal service and obedience to Krsna, When the soul forgets his true identity as an eternal servant of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and instead identifies himself with the body, he is subjected to the tyranny of the illusory potency of the Lord (r.1.iiyii) and his eternal constitutional function becomes perverted.

 

In an attempt to enjoy, the soul wanders in the material world taking one material body after another. However, all of his efforts to enjoy are obstructed by the external potency of the Lord. The material body is subjected to various types of suffering such as birth, old age, disease and death. The embodied living entity is always subject to the three types of miseries, namely, miseries caused by the mind, miseries caused by other living entities and miseries due to natural disturbances. However, the purpose of suffering is simply so that the living entities can realize that this suffering is unwanted and that this material world is not their home. The living entities can then strive for something everlasting or eternal.

 

The only way to achieve everlasting happiness is by performing devotional service to Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna, who is infinitely merciful, sends his eternal associates to teach us this process, so a seeker of everlasting happiness must necessarily take shelter of such people and learn this process from them. Such a teacher who can give us this supreme treasure is called a guru.

 

Service to guru is the backbone of devotional absorption (bhajana).

Whoever wants to enter into the realm of bhajana, must first dedicate his life to the service of a bona fide guru. Such a guru will never consider the disciple to be his own property. Rather, he will consider the disciple to belong to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, The bona fide guru will transfer the disciple's attachment and dedication for himself (for guru) to Them.

 

Although he is an expansion (avesa) of Sri Krsna, He never considers himself to be Sri Krsna: He always thinks that he is His eternal servant.

 

Our beloved Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is such a guru. Whoever reads this work will have a clear conception of the subject of Srila Gurudeva and his teachings. This book will be like a lighthouse that guides those aspirants who want to progress in Krsna consciousness to reach spritual perfection. lust as Srila Vvasadeva got inspiration by hearing the life history of his Gurudeva, Sri Narada Rsi, one can get inspiration from hearing the biography of Srila Gurudeva. Without hearing about and serving irf guru, no one can advance in Krsna Consciousness either now, or In the future.

 

The mercy of Sri guru and Vaisnavas is causeless, as it is independent ,If any material cause or piety. It is only by such causeless mercy that the jiva can obtain the merciful, sidelong glance of the eternally youthful couple of Vraja Sri Radha and Sri Krsna and join Them in Their eternal loving pastimes.

 

Therefore, without the mercy of real sadhus and Sri guru, pure spiritual desires for perfection will never awaken and fructify.

 

In describing the bona fide guru, it is never enough to just describe his external pastimes - what he was wearing, where, when, what foods he likes, ete. To properly glorify him, one must explain his teachings and his siddhanta. Unless one understands the teachings of the spiritual master, one cannot understand his mood, and if one does not understand his mood, one will not understand what his mission I, all about. By understanding his mood, one can properly execute his mission. The mission of the bona fide guru is not independent of the previous acaryas; it is the continuation of the mission that Srila Rupa Gosvami established on behalf of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

Srila Rupa Gosvami understood the inner mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and thus wrote many transcendental books on pure bhakti to establish His mission. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give vraja-prema through nama, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. In the same way, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada is giving the same vraja- prema through nama. The same mood and objective is being carried out by the pure devotees in the Gaudiya Vaisnava line such as Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidvabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja.

 

Srila Bhaktivedanta Naravana Gosvami Maharaja is similarly continuing this powerful wave of pure bhakti - bhakti that is without a tinge of speculation, mundane janana or karma.

 

Sri' guru and his mission are thus never independent. The entire disciplic succession (guru-varga) is always with him. Sri' guru teaches lucidly and systematically all that he received from his spiritual master- the a,b,c, the x,y,z, and everything in between. Without securing his guiding grace, one will not be able to understand the deep meaning of his message.

 

People with ambitions other than to humbly serve Sri' guru and Sri Krsna are led astray by their own mind. Such unfortunate persons create enmity by finding faults in pure devotees and are unable to reconcile the apparent differences in the pure teachings of Vaisnavas. We should not hear from such persons who are the cause of their own misfortune. To understand the spiritual meaning of the pure devotee's words, one has to serve the pure devotee favourably and intimately and thus by the grace of Sri' guru, everything will be revealed in the heart. We will then be able to appreciate and understand the uncompromised quality of the siddhanta of Sri' guru.

 

There is no confusion as to what is pure bhakti but as long as our heart is torn with material desires we will not be single pointed in our desire to serve purely.

 

Unless we are ready and willing to accept pure bhakti in our heart, we will not be able to recognize or fully appreciate a pure devotee. Our intelligence will be polluted and we will lose this rare opportunity which has been made accessible to humanity by the most munificent Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has clearly explained that the great opposition in the path of bhakti is the impersonal mayavada philosophy. This impersonalism comes in many forms and keeps us deeply entrenched in illusion, such as the hollow pride of empirical ignorance, which makes its way into the heart of immature devotees, who under such influence regard certain Vaisnavas as enemies.

 

All devotees of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya should take shelter in His eternal spiritual community and unite to fight against such impersonalism and void ism.

 

Sri Krsna alone is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is declared by all authorities and throughout the Vedas. Every living entity is His eternal servant. Our mind and senses are meant to be engaged in His service and only by such engagement will we be truly happy. This engagement is only given by a pure devotee. Sri Krsna reveals Himself to His pure devotee. To the non-devotees, Krsna appears in His deluding feature. When the conditioned soul associates with the non-devotee, the Lord does not reveal Himself. Therefore the association of living pure devotees is most essential.

 

One's nature is determined and shaped by the company one keeps.

 

Such association shapes one's character. The fruitive activities we performed in our past life and our past associations have moulded our nature in this current life.

 

By association with the living pure devotees and by understanding the Vaisnava books, under their guidance, our lower nature will be transformed into good character.

 

Contents

 

Foreword

XV

Preface

XXVII

Guru-varga Photos

XXXIII

Introduction

XLI

Mangalacarana

XLIX

Sri Guru Tattva And Sri Guru Sevaka

1-43

The Path Of Auspiciousness

1

The Bona Fide Guru

7

The Sampradaya

17

Vyasa-Puja Of The Bona Fide Guru

21

Sri Guru-Parampara By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura

26

A Thief Of Hearts

30

Srila Gurudeva's Purvasrama

43-104

Birthplace

43

Srila Gurudeva's Childhood Name

49

Srila Gurudeva's Inclination As A Boy

52

Childhood: Eating With Father

54

Powerful Grandfather

55

Father's Mango Orchard

56

Horse Riding

57

Mango Pulp Cure

57

Taste For Srimad-Bhagavatam

58

Srila Gurudeva's School Days

59

Preaching To The Son Of His Family Guru

62

Srila Gurudeva's Previous Occupation

65

A Business Of No Loss But Only Gain

66

Disciple's Main Identification Is Guru-Parampara

71

Life Before Joining The Matha

72

Serving The Society - Serving The Devotees

78

Serving Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja

79

Eternally Indebted To Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

83

Be Careful Of The First Offence In Chanting

85

Service To Vaisnavas Is Best

87

Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan

88

Sthayi-bhava Never Changes

96

The Preaching Of Sri Narottamananda Prabhu To Srila Gurudeva

105-138

The Nature Of The Soul

105

Story Of The King And The Saint

110

Family Duties

113

Worship Of The Demigods

115

The Process Of Bhakti-yoga

121

The Deity Of Gopinatha In Remuna

125

The Story Of Madhavendra Puri And Sri Gopala

125

Malayan Sandalwood

130

Sri Ksira-cora Gopinatha

131

Fame Follows The Devotee

133

Leaving Home And Going To Navadipa

135

Life In The Matha

139-155

Radhe Syama Syama Syama

139

A Well-Known Kirtaniya

141

The Dancing Of Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

143

Teaching A Very Good Lesson

146

Matha-seva

147

Srila Gurudeva Is Awarded The Title 'Bhakta-Bandhava'

147

Vaisnava-seva

147

At Devaghara In Bihar

153

Back To Home Village

157-208

Talking With The Learned Scholar Varhsaropary a Simha

157

Visnu-tattva As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

180

Avataras As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

185

Laksmi-devi As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

187

The Jiva As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

189

Mukti As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

195

Bhakti As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

196

Types Of Evidences According To Madhvacarya

199

Why Do You Address Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu As God?

202

Return To Matha Life

209-245

Leaving For Navadvipa

209

Travelling With His Srila Gurudeva

211

Taking Sannyasa On Gaura Purnima, 1952

212

Manasa Deha Geha

213

Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

215

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja

222

Srila Gurudeva Begins Serving In Mathura

227

Establishing The Proper Chanting Of The Maha-mantra

227

A Visit From Parents

233

Association With Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja

241

Photo Gallery

246

Charts/ Tables

 

Calendar Chart of the

 

Appearance of God's Incarnations

31

Srila Gurudeva's Family Tree

49

The Four Sampradayas

161

 

Volume II

 

Contents

 

Dedication

vii

Foreword

xiii

Introduction

xxvi

Introduction (Continued) & Entering Aprakata-lila

xxxiii

Mangalacarana

xxxix

Sri Guru Tattva and Sri Guru-sevaka

1

The Glory of Gaudiya Guru-parampara

1

Sriman Mahaprabhu's Greatest Donation

9

The Holy name is the best process for perfection

10

Every Soul has a Particular Rasa

12

How Lobha (Spiritual Greed) will Awaken in the Heart

14

Sri Krsna's Reflection Pastime

15

Madhumangala Exchanges Clothes with Krsna.

18

Finding Srimati Radharani's Nose Ring

19

I Must Do Bhajana

21

The Story of Arjuna Misra

23

The Story of Padmavati and Jayadeva

28

The Uttama Bhagavata and Krpa-Patra

31

Krpa-Patra, The Reservoir of Mercy

31

Three Stages of Uttarna Bhagavara

32

Examples of Occurrences of Siddha Sarira Symptoms on the Sadhaka Sarira

34

Sri Krsna is always in Vraja

37

Srimati Radhika is Always Absorbed in Pleasing Krsna

38

The Mercy of a Rasika Vaisnava

42

Their Intimacy Could Not Have Been Greater

45

At the Guest House

46

Relationship with Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja

51

Fools Do Not Know How to Honour Vaisnavas

53

Compassion in LA

54

Srila Gurudeva and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja

57

Our First Meeting

57

Editorial Seva

58

Residing in Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha

60

Accepting Sannyasa

63

At Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira

66

Preparation and Departure for America

67

Return to India

68

Visiting Him in His Last Days

70

His Divine Departure

74

My Message Is One With His

75

Our Lasting Relationship

79

A Brief History

79

My Mission in the West

88

A Locked Treasure Chest

90

Srila Swami Maharaja's Final Order:

90

Letters From America

99

First Letter:

99

Second letter:

102

Third letter:

106

Fourth letter:

109

There is No Place for Ritvik in Sri Guru-Tattva

113

The Four Most Prominent Types of Rtviks [priests]

114

Why He Came? The Contribution of Sri la Gurudeva

127

The Glory of Bhakti

128

The Definition of Bhakti

138

Early ISKCON Conversations with Srila Gurudeva

143

Difference between Aisvarya and Madhurya

146

Raga-vartma-candrika

152

Samskaras, impressions on the heart

158

Remembering Krsna’s Pastimes and Serving in Separation

159

Bhavas and Rasas

174

Assisting and Meditating on our Gurudeva

181

Receiving all Moods from Sri Guru

183

Tadatmya (Oneness of Heart)

184

Gurudeva gives everything that Nityananda and Baladeva have come to give

185

Remembering Krsna with His Dearmost Associates

186

Tulasi

189

Essential Practices and Chanting of Mantras

191

Eager to Hear

199

Srila Gurudeva Testifies to Save ISKCON

203

ISKCON Leaders in Mathura

205

Juhu Bombay: Tamala Krsna Maharaja Takes Lessons

207

Don't Think You are the Supreme Controller

208

Case Settled

210

Protector of the Sampradaya

211

Lessons on Service and Absorption

217

At Ramacandra Prabhu's Home

217

Weeping Like A Village Girl

218

Serving Prasada

219

Service of Guest is Best, Either in East or West.

219

Bussing Not Allowed During Parikrama

220

Meeting With Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja

223

Pastimes with Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

235

Beginning of Srila Gurudeva's Preaching in the West

237

Obtaining Visas for the United States

237

Representative Heads West

239

First Stop, Holland

241

Prayers to Srila Gurudeva

243

Srila Gurudeva's Arati

243

Sri Ramana-manjari-astakam (visamavrrtena viracitam )

245

The Concluding Transcendental Pastimes of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

253

Indications of Departure

254

Further Manifestations of Illness

258

Residing at Govardhana in Kartika

264

Absorbed in the Moods of Mahaprabhu while residing in the abode of separation (Sri jagannatha Puri-Dhama)

275

The Closing of his Pastimes

278

The Journey from Sri Puri-dhama to Sri Navadvipa-dharna

286

Nagara-sankirtana

287

Samadhi

288

 

 


Srila Gurudeva: The Supreme Treasure (Set of 2 Volumes)

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NAK804
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Edition:
2012
Publisher:
ISBN:
Vol1: 9788190975612
Vol2: 9788190975629
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English
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9.0 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
630 (53 Color Illustrations)
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Volume I

 

Foreword

 

THIS VOLUME IS THE FIRST BOOK about the extraordinary character and sublime teachings of our most revered holy master, om visnupada paramahamsa parivrajakacarya astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, affectionately known as our beloved Srila Gurudeva. It is Srila Gurudeva's extraordinary mercy that he has revealed a glimpse of the spiritual world and awakened within us a taste for the supremely sweet pastimes of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna.

 

Sripada 'Vidyalankara’ Madhava Maharaja is not writing just another book about some charismatic individual who is accepted by the general public as a guru. Nowadays the name guru has become quite fashionable. In the modern world we have financial gurus, management gurus, fashion gurus and so on, and it seems that any common man can be accepted as guru as long as he shows some expertise in his field. The approach of many so-called gurus may be of great appeal to the masses by making them feel good about the prospects of their material aspirations and the anticipated temporary pleasures of the mind and senses. One may receive some temporary upliftment from these self-styled gurus, but in the end, their encouragement for us to continuously chase after material happiness produces only a mental image of a possible future, but no ultimate satisfaction. That is because the material enjoyment they offer always ends in misery. This material enjoyment is just like a big fire; no matter how beautiful it is to look at, if you touch it, it will inevitably burn you and you will suffer tremendously. Similarly, harmful activities will make us suffer in the material world. People who are overpowered by the illusory material maya of Krsna feel happiness and suffering for many births under the influence of that illusory energy. Their happiness and sufferings are all the work of maya, meaning 'forgetfulness of Krsna', There are many persons in this world who may appear or claim to be guru, but a bona fide guru follows Sri Brahma, the original guru and grandfather of the universe. Krsna consciousness was propounded by Sri Brahma aeons ago when the creation was still in its infancy. Only a bona fide guru representing his guru and the Lord can give one the essential help to attain real freedom.

 

Guru is a Sanskrit word and its original and intended meanings are explained in the Vedic literatures. Gu means 'ignorance' and ru means 'dispeller', so a real guru is someone who is in a disciplic succession of gurus that dispells our ignorance. Those in a material conception of life will teach others that they can and will become happy here, thus increasing their ignorance and boosting their false ego of bodily identification. A real guru, on the other hand, gives eternal results by initiating us on the path that activates and reveals our true spiritual identity. He mercifully gives instructions, convincing us of the many perfect philosophical conclusions of bhakti. Serving him and submissively hearing from him frees us from the ignorance that has been ingrained within our hearts since time without beginning. It gradually but firmly establishes within us a deep love for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, the divine Youthful Couple and the soul's function fully awakens. This is what a guru should give - our pristine intrinsic nature, our eternal dharma. That's what our Srila Gurudeva, the deliverer of the fallen, is giving to us.

 

Our eternal natural function, or dharma, is bhakti or devotional service. As one cannot separate heat from fire, so similarly, the service nature of the living entities cannot be taken away from them. We have to serve someone or something. We serve either Krsna or maya. Unfortunately, during this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the insincerity and hypocrisy is so widespread that those who have a desire to follow religion are oftentimes misled; consequently they are disheartened to pursue religion with strong determination or conviction.

 

All religions propagated in the world are either steps leading to bhakti or else distortions of it. This being a fact, we should focus on our own cultivation of devotion and not worry or criticize what others are doing. We should be favourable towards the followers of other religions and have no animosity towards them. All of us advance according to the time that is ripe for us. Any religion should be respected according to its proportionate degree of purity.

 

In order to pursue our particular path with great devotion, we have to understand that there are mixed, polluted and imaginary concepts of bhakti that are falsely presented in the name of pure bhakti. There are different categories. One group may have a slight semblance of bhakti or a mixed devotion (mixed with fruitive action or speculative knowledge, etc.). These are gradations of bhakti but only unalloyed devotion (suddha-bhakti) can give life's ultimate goal - the nectar of pure love (prema). Only that suddha-bhakti can bestow the highest results. Yet, on the path of bhakti, many try to give the impression that they are practicing pure bhakti, though in actuality they practice only a reflection or a shadow of devotion. It is important to know that whoever you follow, you will only be able to attain what they have, not more than that. Whatever level of consciousness one's guru attains, the followers. can advance up to that level, not higher than that. That is why the gift of the higher part, the transcendental realm, can only be obtained by the exclusive mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami, the acarya of ujjvala-rasa, and his intimate associates. The original form of Bhagavan descended in this age as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to deliver all the living entities. Srila Rupa Gosvami, who is priya- svarupa, the very embodiment of everything dear to Him, is His foremost disciple in establishing the deepest wishes of His heart. Those who completely come under the guidance and care of the genuine followers of Srila Rupa Gosvami will attain realization and advance through each successive stage of krsna-prema.

 

The realm of the Supreme Lord is naturally full of love and there is never any force. Here also, we are never forced to love, but this world is a place where the Supreme Lord examines us. Do we want only Him, or do we still want something of this world? The Lord will fulfill our desire, as much as we desire, not more than that. According to what we desire in life, we will get an appropriate guru or spiritual teacher. If we want transcendental vision, we can only get it by the special mercy of great devotees who see and perceive the Lord at all times and in all places. Only by their mercy will we excel in the examination, be able to recognize our true selves and begin to hanker for the only thing that will satisfy us - pure bhakti. One can only remember the Lord in all circumstances when the inclination to serve the Lord arises in one's heart by the sweet association and mercy of such a sadhu. Unless we have the opportunity to hear the pure nectar of their hari-katha, we will always go back and absorb ourselves in sense gratification, even if we are inclined towards religious life. It is only by their merciful glance and the sharp words emanating from their lotus mouths that the hidden fantasies in the mind for gross and subtle sense gratification are finally eradicated from the heart forever.

 

If someone possesses only pretentious devotion (chala-bhakti), that is what their followers will get from them. Some, even in the name of bhakti, instruct others against the principles of bhakti and lead them on a path that is totally opposed to it. Therefore our previous acaryas have clearly cautioned us to avoid mixed and polluted concepts of bhakti. Only then will our hearts be thoroughly cleansed, so that our activities can be most favourably executed for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna.

 

Everyone is controlled by the desire for sense enjoyment, even when it comes to modern day religion. Most of the general public become attracted to follow certain religious teachings to get material boons from God in the form of economic development (artha) and sense gratification (kama). They are misled to ask and search for material benedictions, rather than establishing their pure loving relationship with the Lord. Although their values are presented as the topmost and most relevant for God consciousness, they are in actuality a distortion of pure bhakti and the practitioner can only develop a little faith in God. Ultimately it is a deception and infinitely inferior to the flawless and completely pure suddha-bhakti. That is why we should always hear the perfect philosophical conclusions of bhakti (bhakti-siddhanta) from qualified persons. Unqualified persons with the four defects of human frailty- are unable to properly teach anything transcendental that is worth hearing. We need to seek help from those who are free from these very serious defects that prevent us from getting even a glimpse of transcendence. Methods of learning under the operation of the four-fold defects are useless in our progress toward the Absolute, for they can never free us from those defects.

 

Preface

 

FOLLOWING THE SPIRITUAL HIERARCHY of India, I first offer my prostrated obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating Guru- padapadma, nitya-lila-pravista om visnupada Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja and I offer my prostrated obeisances at the lotus like feet of my instructing Guru, om visnupada parivrajakacarya astottara-sata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja.

 

It is on the order of my godbrothers, godsisters and other Vaisnavas, that I completed and submitted this doctorial thesis, 'The Supreme Treasure Srila Gurudeva', in 2009. I achieved this PhD degree from Florida Vedic College, United States, on 26th May, 2010.

 

On the inspiration and order of the Vaisnavas, I took this service as a challenge because it is a very hard task. I think that by the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva, our guru-parampara and all the Vaisnavas, I will be successful in this subject matter.

 

Since 1996, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja has been continuously traveling around the world. So far, he has travelled more than thirty-five times around the whole world. He is always giving discourses on bhakti, or selfless devotion to the Supreme Lord. He regularly had me give lectures on the subject of guru and the disciple in the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition, and particularly on guru-seva. Wherever I travel with Srila Gurudeva, on his order, in my first class among the many classes that I give wherever we stay, I have tried my level best to discuss Sri guru, the relation between Sri guru and disciple, and how to perform guru-seva. In this way, I am bound to say something about both my diksa-guru and siksa-guru. I collected in note form what I have heard at different times from my siksa- guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, my diksa- guru, Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, and param- puyjapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, and also what I have heard from different Vaisnavas and then tried to make them into a book.

 

For the past thirty years, I have gathered different quotations and subject matter. When I first started this work, I requested Srila Gurudeva to check my work to see if these points were okay or not. At the time I started this book I was in Cebu in the Philippines. When I told Srila Gurudeva two or three of the points, he humbly said, "No, I should not listen."

 

I requested, "Why not?"

 

Srila Gurudeva replied, "It is not good for me to listen to my own glorification."

 

I said, "If you don't tell me if this is correct or not, then who will rectify me? Who will correct me?"

 

Gurudeva said, "No, I'm sorry, I cannot help you with this."

 

Two days later, I requested Srila Gurudeva, "If you think that to listen to your own glories is not good for you, whenever it is your vyasa-puja, different devotees are glorifying you. At that time, are you putting in earplugs, or are you listening to their offerings?"

 

The second argument I gave was as follows: "At the time of the vyasa- puja of our beloved Parama-gurudeva, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja, yourself, my Guru-padapadma, Srila Bhaktivedanta Varnana Gosvami Maharaja and param-pujyapada Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, used to glorify our Param-gurudeva, At that time, did Param-gurudeva listen to his glories from all of you or not? At that time, did he put in earplugs or not?"

 

My third argument was, "When Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada was present in this world, he had so many qualified disciples and at the time of vyasa-puja, they also glorified him. At that time, did he make any objection, or did he allow them to speak about him? If Prabhupada allowed his disciples to glorify him and if Parama-gurudeva allowed all of you to glorify him and at the time of your own vyasa-puja, you allow all disciples and devotees to glorify you, if I glorify you and request you to check if this point is okay or not, then what wrong am I doing?"

 

Srila Gurudeva became speechless and could not refute my arguments. After that, he listened to everything thoroughly and told that, "Yes, this is very nice. It will be very good." And then I got blessings from Srila Gurudeva to compile this doctoral thesis. A relevant selection of these points is presented in this work.

 

This treatise serves toward the fulfilment of a Ph.D. in Vaisnava Philosophy from Florida Yedic College. Since the GYP is exclusively for the publication of Srila Gurudeva's books, this book is not printed under the GYP logo. However, it is with much gratitude that I have completed this work using the valuable materials published by GYP, from which, I have extensively made excerpts and quotations in many important sections of the book.

 

I would like to thank the individuals who have encouraged and assisted me in one way or another. I pray to the lotus feet of Srila Gurudeva (who has captured Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Divine Couple in his heart, and is serving Them continuously, twenty- four hours a day) that he blesses whoever has helped me in any way to bring forth this book, to progress rapidly in Krsna consciousness.

 

May Srila Gurudeva, who is the embodiment of the Supreme Lord's compassion, shower upon me abundant mercy by which I can attain ever-increasing qualification to serve his innermost desire. This is my humble prayer at his lotus feet, which can bestow prema.

 

If any devotee wants to reproduce or translate this work, or portions of the work, then they are advised to contact the author.

 

Source of Inspiration

The main source of inspiration in this book is paramaradhya Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja.

 

Many others have kindly encouraged and supported me such as:

B.Y. Tirtha Maharaja, Premananda dasa, B.Y. Parivrajaka Maharaja, B.Y. Padmanabha Maharaja, B.Y. Sajjana Maharaja, B.Y. Nemi Maharaja, B.Y. Srldhara Maharaja, B.Y. Tridandi Maharaja, B.Y. Damodara Maharaja, B.Y. Govinda Maharaja, B.Y. Harijana Maharaja, Brajanatha dasa, Madhava-priya dasa, Krsna-krpa dasa, Amala-krsna dasa, Vijaya-krsna dasa, Dvija-krsna dasa, Rarnacandra dasa, Rohininandana dasa, Sanjaya dasa (Sr.), Hare-krsna dasa, Balarama dasa, Sanjaya dasa (Jr.), Subala-sakha dasa, Syamarani dasi and Vrnda-devi dasi.

 

Advisory Board.

Brajanatha dasa, Punama dasi, Pankaja dasa and Acvutananda dasa

Recording

Madhuvrata dasa

Transcribing

Anantacarya dasa, Madhuvrata dasa, Gauranga dasa and Sanjaya dasa

Editorial Board

Rupa-raghunatha dasa, Madhuvrata dasa, Bhadra dssr, Vrajadevi dasi and Vinava-krsna dasa

Chief Editor - Rupa-Raghunatha dasa, under the direction of Sriman Brajanatha Prabhu

Diacritics and Proofreading

Gauranga dasa, Acyutananda dasa, Santi dasi, Anadi-krsna dasa, Gaura-raja dasa, Gauragopala dasa and Giridhari dasa.

layout & Design

Anupama dasa, Ananga-mohana dasa, Krsna-karunya dasa

legal Consultation and Copyright Permissions

Ann Mueting, Varnsivadana dasa and Mukunda dasa

Public Relations & Communication

Brajanatha dasa and Vmda-devi dast

 

Financial Board

Mukhara-devi dasi, Tamopaha dasa & Campakalata dasi, Vrajesa dasa & Krsna-bhamini dast, Narahari dasa & Bhavatarini dasi, Aristanasana dasa, Dr. Paramesvara dasa & Mala dasi, Taruna-krsna dasa & family, Nandana dasa & Savitri dasi, Sundarananda dasa & Gita dssr, Indira dasi, Nandana dasa, Krsna dasa, Dharmaraja dasa, Vinaya-krsna dasa, Hemant dasa, janardana dasa, Sarvamangala dasi, Lalita-prtva dasi, Yasoda dasi, Vrndavana dasa, Visvambhara dasa, Vrndavana-bihari dasa & Pramila dasi, Dhananjaya dasa, Mahamantra dasa, Yamuna-jivana dasa, jagamohini dasi, Yasomati dast, Pranavallabha dasa, Vinita dasi, Amala-krsna dasa, Ramalingam dasa, Rama dasa and Syama dasa.

 

Chief Of Financial Board - Mukhara-devi dasi (China)

 

Many others eagerly provided their assistance in various capacities. I cannot list everyone but I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all of them, especially Acintya-gaura dasa, Jnana-sakti dasa, Rama dasa, Radha-priya dasi, Govinda dasa, Bhakta Svarupa dasa and Binaya Krsna dasa.

 

Apology

By the causeless mercy of Srila Gurudeva, guru-parampara and all Vaisnavas, I have tried my level best to present the readers the teachings and biography of Srila Gurudeva. First of all, I beg forgiveness for not putting all the events in regular historical sequence. I could have done so but this is to ensure that appropriate philosophical truths and incidents are presented timely to the readers. In this way, I have recorded many of these pastimes from memories that came first in my mind, inspired by the style of Pandita jagadananda who wrote the pastimes of the Lord in Prema-vivarta according to his loving remembrances and not according to the standard sequential order. This book is therefore by no means an attempt to narrate the pastimes of Srila Gurudeva in chronological sequence.

 

This biographical style may not appeal to every reader ..... not possible. Still, this book may be considered as a biography full of siddhanta, rather than an impartial study.

 

Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja has written in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 2.2.85, "prabhuryei acarana, sei karivarnana, sarva-cittanari aradhite- Some may complain that I have been unduly harsh and perhaps others may object that I have been overly mild. However, I am only trying to describe the truth."

 

I think saragrahi Vaisnavas will understand these teachings by overlooking the faults and accepting the good qualities.

 

I offer homage at the lotes feet of all Vaisnavas holding a blade of grass between my teeth. I humbly beg for their mercy.

 

Introduction

 

This book is about the most auspicious life and teachings of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. It is with great pleasure that we finally present this long anticipated book about Srila Gurudeva who is a treasure house of the most ecstatic form of pure love of God. Those who are fortunate will take advantage of this book. This is more than an historical timeline of events, for this book wonderfully summarizes the entire Krsna conscious philosophy and siddhanta as practised by an unalloyed, pure devotee of the Lord.

 

Hearing about a pure devotee is very auspicious, as it eradicates all doubts, misconceptions, misunderstandings and confusions on the path of pure devotional service. Those who are seriously looking for happiness in Krsna consciousness must certainly give up all preconceived assumptions and transcend all sectarian designations, so that they can read this book with an open mind and get the real benefit of association with a fully realized Vaisnava.

 

Sri guru is the personification of Krsna's mercy in this world. He comes to deliver the conditioned souls by enlightening them on the constitutional nature and eternal function of the soul. Gradually he reveals our eternal relationship and intimate service to the Lord. When we sincerely offer our life and soul to his lotus feet, our good fortune arises and in this way Sri guru opens the way to boundless peace and happiness for the conditioned soul.

 

Everyone tries to remove their suffering and increase their happiness. Some try to achieve this by hard labour and following moral principles, while others take drugs, have illicit relationships, steal and such in an attempt to improve the material conditions of their life. However, we see that all these attempts are baffled and happiness still remains elusive. Whatever happiness we find in this world is meager and not everlasting.

 

For example, one gains some pleasure by eating food, but if one keeps on eating, the same food that gives one pleasure will cause suffering. One does not want old age, diseases and death to come; yet they come. Any sane person will ponder over this problem and try to find a solution.

 

The scriptures tell us that we are not our bodies; rather we are souls, eternal parts and parcels of the supreme personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna. The soul's eternal constitutional function (dharma) is eternal service and obedience to Krsna, When the soul forgets his true identity as an eternal servant of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, and instead identifies himself with the body, he is subjected to the tyranny of the illusory potency of the Lord (r.1.iiyii) and his eternal constitutional function becomes perverted.

 

In an attempt to enjoy, the soul wanders in the material world taking one material body after another. However, all of his efforts to enjoy are obstructed by the external potency of the Lord. The material body is subjected to various types of suffering such as birth, old age, disease and death. The embodied living entity is always subject to the three types of miseries, namely, miseries caused by the mind, miseries caused by other living entities and miseries due to natural disturbances. However, the purpose of suffering is simply so that the living entities can realize that this suffering is unwanted and that this material world is not their home. The living entities can then strive for something everlasting or eternal.

 

The only way to achieve everlasting happiness is by performing devotional service to Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna, who is infinitely merciful, sends his eternal associates to teach us this process, so a seeker of everlasting happiness must necessarily take shelter of such people and learn this process from them. Such a teacher who can give us this supreme treasure is called a guru.

 

Service to guru is the backbone of devotional absorption (bhajana).

Whoever wants to enter into the realm of bhajana, must first dedicate his life to the service of a bona fide guru. Such a guru will never consider the disciple to be his own property. Rather, he will consider the disciple to belong to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the Divine Couple, Sri Sri Radha-Krsna, The bona fide guru will transfer the disciple's attachment and dedication for himself (for guru) to Them.

 

Although he is an expansion (avesa) of Sri Krsna, He never considers himself to be Sri Krsna: He always thinks that he is His eternal servant.

 

Our beloved Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is such a guru. Whoever reads this work will have a clear conception of the subject of Srila Gurudeva and his teachings. This book will be like a lighthouse that guides those aspirants who want to progress in Krsna consciousness to reach spritual perfection. lust as Srila Vvasadeva got inspiration by hearing the life history of his Gurudeva, Sri Narada Rsi, one can get inspiration from hearing the biography of Srila Gurudeva. Without hearing about and serving irf guru, no one can advance in Krsna Consciousness either now, or In the future.

 

The mercy of Sri guru and Vaisnavas is causeless, as it is independent ,If any material cause or piety. It is only by such causeless mercy that the jiva can obtain the merciful, sidelong glance of the eternally youthful couple of Vraja Sri Radha and Sri Krsna and join Them in Their eternal loving pastimes.

 

Therefore, without the mercy of real sadhus and Sri guru, pure spiritual desires for perfection will never awaken and fructify.

 

In describing the bona fide guru, it is never enough to just describe his external pastimes - what he was wearing, where, when, what foods he likes, ete. To properly glorify him, one must explain his teachings and his siddhanta. Unless one understands the teachings of the spiritual master, one cannot understand his mood, and if one does not understand his mood, one will not understand what his mission I, all about. By understanding his mood, one can properly execute his mission. The mission of the bona fide guru is not independent of the previous acaryas; it is the continuation of the mission that Srila Rupa Gosvami established on behalf of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

Srila Rupa Gosvami understood the inner mood of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and thus wrote many transcendental books on pure bhakti to establish His mission. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came to give vraja-prema through nama, the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. In the same way, Srila Rupa Gosvamipada is giving the same vraja- prema through nama. The same mood and objective is being carried out by the pure devotees in the Gaudiya Vaisnava line such as Srila Krsna dasa Kaviraja Gosvami, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, Srila Baladeva Vidvabhusana, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja.

 

Srila Bhaktivedanta Naravana Gosvami Maharaja is similarly continuing this powerful wave of pure bhakti - bhakti that is without a tinge of speculation, mundane janana or karma.

 

Sri' guru and his mission are thus never independent. The entire disciplic succession (guru-varga) is always with him. Sri' guru teaches lucidly and systematically all that he received from his spiritual master- the a,b,c, the x,y,z, and everything in between. Without securing his guiding grace, one will not be able to understand the deep meaning of his message.

 

People with ambitions other than to humbly serve Sri' guru and Sri Krsna are led astray by their own mind. Such unfortunate persons create enmity by finding faults in pure devotees and are unable to reconcile the apparent differences in the pure teachings of Vaisnavas. We should not hear from such persons who are the cause of their own misfortune. To understand the spiritual meaning of the pure devotee's words, one has to serve the pure devotee favourably and intimately and thus by the grace of Sri' guru, everything will be revealed in the heart. We will then be able to appreciate and understand the uncompromised quality of the siddhanta of Sri' guru.

 

There is no confusion as to what is pure bhakti but as long as our heart is torn with material desires we will not be single pointed in our desire to serve purely.

 

Unless we are ready and willing to accept pure bhakti in our heart, we will not be able to recognize or fully appreciate a pure devotee. Our intelligence will be polluted and we will lose this rare opportunity which has been made accessible to humanity by the most munificent Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

 

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has clearly explained that the great opposition in the path of bhakti is the impersonal mayavada philosophy. This impersonalism comes in many forms and keeps us deeply entrenched in illusion, such as the hollow pride of empirical ignorance, which makes its way into the heart of immature devotees, who under such influence regard certain Vaisnavas as enemies.

 

All devotees of the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya should take shelter in His eternal spiritual community and unite to fight against such impersonalism and void ism.

 

Sri Krsna alone is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This is declared by all authorities and throughout the Vedas. Every living entity is His eternal servant. Our mind and senses are meant to be engaged in His service and only by such engagement will we be truly happy. This engagement is only given by a pure devotee. Sri Krsna reveals Himself to His pure devotee. To the non-devotees, Krsna appears in His deluding feature. When the conditioned soul associates with the non-devotee, the Lord does not reveal Himself. Therefore the association of living pure devotees is most essential.

 

One's nature is determined and shaped by the company one keeps.

 

Such association shapes one's character. The fruitive activities we performed in our past life and our past associations have moulded our nature in this current life.

 

By association with the living pure devotees and by understanding the Vaisnava books, under their guidance, our lower nature will be transformed into good character.

 

Contents

 

Foreword

XV

Preface

XXVII

Guru-varga Photos

XXXIII

Introduction

XLI

Mangalacarana

XLIX

Sri Guru Tattva And Sri Guru Sevaka

1-43

The Path Of Auspiciousness

1

The Bona Fide Guru

7

The Sampradaya

17

Vyasa-Puja Of The Bona Fide Guru

21

Sri Guru-Parampara By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Thakura

26

A Thief Of Hearts

30

Srila Gurudeva's Purvasrama

43-104

Birthplace

43

Srila Gurudeva's Childhood Name

49

Srila Gurudeva's Inclination As A Boy

52

Childhood: Eating With Father

54

Powerful Grandfather

55

Father's Mango Orchard

56

Horse Riding

57

Mango Pulp Cure

57

Taste For Srimad-Bhagavatam

58

Srila Gurudeva's School Days

59

Preaching To The Son Of His Family Guru

62

Srila Gurudeva's Previous Occupation

65

A Business Of No Loss But Only Gain

66

Disciple's Main Identification Is Guru-Parampara

71

Life Before Joining The Matha

72

Serving The Society - Serving The Devotees

78

Serving Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja

79

Eternally Indebted To Srila Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

83

Be Careful Of The First Offence In Chanting

85

Service To Vaisnavas Is Best

87

Krsna is Svayam Bhagavan

88

Sthayi-bhava Never Changes

96

The Preaching Of Sri Narottamananda Prabhu To Srila Gurudeva

105-138

The Nature Of The Soul

105

Story Of The King And The Saint

110

Family Duties

113

Worship Of The Demigods

115

The Process Of Bhakti-yoga

121

The Deity Of Gopinatha In Remuna

125

The Story Of Madhavendra Puri And Sri Gopala

125

Malayan Sandalwood

130

Sri Ksira-cora Gopinatha

131

Fame Follows The Devotee

133

Leaving Home And Going To Navadipa

135

Life In The Matha

139-155

Radhe Syama Syama Syama

139

A Well-Known Kirtaniya

141

The Dancing Of Bhakti Prajnana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja

143

Teaching A Very Good Lesson

146

Matha-seva

147

Srila Gurudeva Is Awarded The Title 'Bhakta-Bandhava'

147

Vaisnava-seva

147

At Devaghara In Bihar

153

Back To Home Village

157-208

Talking With The Learned Scholar Varhsaropary a Simha

157

Visnu-tattva As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

180

Avataras As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

185

Laksmi-devi As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

187

The Jiva As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

189

Mukti As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

195

Bhakti As Stated By Sri Madhvacarya

196

Types Of Evidences According To Madhvacarya

199

Why Do You Address Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu As God?

202

Return To Matha Life

209-245

Leaving For Navadvipa

209

Travelling With His Srila Gurudeva

211

Taking Sannyasa On Gaura Purnima, 1952

212

Manasa Deha Geha

213

Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja

215

Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja

222

Srila Gurudeva Begins Serving In Mathura

227

Establishing The Proper Chanting Of The Maha-mantra

227

A Visit From Parents

233

Association With Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja

241

Photo Gallery

246

Charts/ Tables

 

Calendar Chart of the

 

Appearance of God's Incarnations

31

Srila Gurudeva's Family Tree

49

The Four Sampradayas

161

 

Volume II

 

Contents

 

Dedication

vii

Foreword

xiii

Introduction

xxvi

Introduction (Continued) & Entering Aprakata-lila

xxxiii

Mangalacarana

xxxix

Sri Guru Tattva and Sri Guru-sevaka

1

The Glory of Gaudiya Guru-parampara

1

Sriman Mahaprabhu's Greatest Donation

9

The Holy name is the best process for perfection

10

Every Soul has a Particular Rasa

12

How Lobha (Spiritual Greed) will Awaken in the Heart

14

Sri Krsna's Reflection Pastime

15

Madhumangala Exchanges Clothes with Krsna.

18

Finding Srimati Radharani's Nose Ring

19

I Must Do Bhajana

21

The Story of Arjuna Misra

23

The Story of Padmavati and Jayadeva

28

The Uttama Bhagavata and Krpa-Patra

31

Krpa-Patra, The Reservoir of Mercy

31

Three Stages of Uttarna Bhagavara

32

Examples of Occurrences of Siddha Sarira Symptoms on the Sadhaka Sarira

34

Sri Krsna is always in Vraja

37

Srimati Radhika is Always Absorbed in Pleasing Krsna

38

The Mercy of a Rasika Vaisnava

42

Their Intimacy Could Not Have Been Greater

45

At the Guest House

46

Relationship with Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja

51

Fools Do Not Know How to Honour Vaisnavas

53

Compassion in LA

54

Srila Gurudeva and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja

57

Our First Meeting

57

Editorial Seva

58

Residing in Sri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha

60

Accepting Sannyasa

63

At Sri Radha-Damodara Mandira

66

Preparation and Departure for America

67

Return to India

68

Visiting Him in His Last Days

70

His Divine Departure

74

My Message Is One With His

75

Our Lasting Relationship

79

A Brief History

79

My Mission in the West

88

A Locked Treasure Chest

90

Srila Swami Maharaja's Final Order:

90

Letters From America

99

First Letter:

99

Second letter:

102

Third letter:

106

Fourth letter:

109

There is No Place for Ritvik in Sri Guru-Tattva

113

The Four Most Prominent Types of Rtviks [priests]

114

Why He Came? The Contribution of Sri la Gurudeva

127

The Glory of Bhakti

128

The Definition of Bhakti

138

Early ISKCON Conversations with Srila Gurudeva

143

Difference between Aisvarya and Madhurya

146

Raga-vartma-candrika

152

Samskaras, impressions on the heart

158

Remembering Krsna’s Pastimes and Serving in Separation

159

Bhavas and Rasas

174

Assisting and Meditating on our Gurudeva

181

Receiving all Moods from Sri Guru

183

Tadatmya (Oneness of Heart)

184

Gurudeva gives everything that Nityananda and Baladeva have come to give

185

Remembering Krsna with His Dearmost Associates

186

Tulasi

189

Essential Practices and Chanting of Mantras

191

Eager to Hear

199

Srila Gurudeva Testifies to Save ISKCON

203

ISKCON Leaders in Mathura

205

Juhu Bombay: Tamala Krsna Maharaja Takes Lessons

207

Don't Think You are the Supreme Controller

208

Case Settled

210

Protector of the Sampradaya

211

Lessons on Service and Absorption

217

At Ramacandra Prabhu's Home

217

Weeping Like A Village Girl

218

Serving Prasada

219

Service of Guest is Best, Either in East or West.

219

Bussing Not Allowed During Parikrama

220

Meeting With Srila Gour Govinda Maharaja

223

Pastimes with Srila Bhakti Pramoda Puri Gosvami Maharaja

235

Beginning of Srila Gurudeva's Preaching in the West

237

Obtaining Visas for the United States

237

Representative Heads West

239

First Stop, Holland

241

Prayers to Srila Gurudeva

243

Srila Gurudeva's Arati

243

Sri Ramana-manjari-astakam (visamavrrtena viracitam )

245

The Concluding Transcendental Pastimes of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja

253

Indications of Departure

254

Further Manifestations of Illness

258

Residing at Govardhana in Kartika

264

Absorbed in the Moods of Mahaprabhu while residing in the abode of separation (Sri jagannatha Puri-Dhama)

275

The Closing of his Pastimes

278

The Journey from Sri Puri-dhama to Sri Navadvipa-dharna

286

Nagara-sankirtana

287

Samadhi

288

 

 


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