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  • About Giriraj Govardhan

    Chiang Mai 2012 - About Giriraj Govardhan

    Author: Bhakti Sudhir Goswami Cycle: Chiang Mai 2012 Uploaded by: Radha Raman das Created at: 19 November, 2012
    Duration: 00:53:45 Date: 2012-02-14 Size: 73.83Mb Place: Gupta Govardhan Chiang Mai Downloaded: 1601 Played: 4413
    Edited by: Kamala Devi Dasi Transcribed by: Kirtida Sundari

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    Saraswatī Ṭhākur spent his final days in Govardhan, that’s the highest plain of our aspiration. Raghunāth Das Goswāmī, “nija-nikaṭa-nivāsaṁ dehi govardhana! tvam…” (Govardhana-vāsa-prārthanā-daśaka) on his hands and knees begging Girirāj for to be near. “Nija-nikata-nivāsaṁ,” means not even necessarily just near, give me a place nearby. And even Swāmī Mahārāj Prabhupad… his final desire, that just broke the hearts, cracked the hearts of his disciples, when everyone knows he is going to leave this world within a few days, he told them, “I wanna go to Govardhan.” And they should get a bullock-cart and put him on that bullock-cart and he would go to Govardhan. And devotees were fainting. And Tamāl Kṛṣṇa Mahārāj on his hands and knees was begging him not to enforce this desire. Not just to go to Govardhan to go on that bullock-cart. He said, “You know you can put some pillows”… you know. It didn’t happen but it shows also that his final aspiration was to take a place in Govardhan. Saraswatī Ṭhākura so many…
    hantāyam adrir abalā hari-dāsa-varyo
    yad rāma-kṛṣṇa-charaṇa-sparaśa-pramodaḥ
    mānaṁ tanoti saha-go-gaṇayos tayor yat
    (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 10.21.18)
    It is very interesting. This śloka glorifying Govardhan is spoken by the Vraja-gopīs. They are saying, “His ‘hari-dpasa-varyo’…” means of the Haridāsas ‘varyo’ means the ‘best’. And Viśvanāth Chakravartī ever want to supply details says, “There are three Haridāsas we can conceive - Uddhava,” forget another one, why he gives reasons why each one can be conceived of this Haridās in this context. But they are saying, “You, Govardhan, you are the best of the servants of Kṛṣṇa.” And this is a very peculiar thing because we leant in the Govardhan-līlā that at the particular point when they begin the Govardhan-pūjā at one point Kṛṣṇa leads everyone to this conclusion but then they see He is Girirāj. Govardhan is Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is Govardhan. They are seeing this dual identity.
    But here they are saying, ‘Haridās’. He is the best of the servants of Kṛṣṇa. So that is very interesting. Because why supping… like Guru Mahārāj is from Hapaniya, which means sweet water. Ananta Kṛṣṇa named his printing company “Sweet water” after Hapaniya, that’s where he got this name ‘Hapaniya’. So and we know there the coconut in Hapaniya has some extraordinary sweetness. When mālāi becomes coconut pulp the inner part there is some… if you ever had a good fortune to take the coconut in Hapaniya, you’d say, “Oh, there is some extraordinary, unique sweetness here, that we don’t find anywhere else.” And so the name of the place is Hapaniya. So someone detected long ago there is some sweet water there. And that’s not lost upon us if we think that Śrīla Guru Mahārāj appeared in this place.
    What is another interpretation ‘sweet water’, we also say ‘madhura-rasa’. Where is Guru Mahārāj from? - Madhura-rasa. There is a place called ‘madhura-rasa’. That’s where he is from. He sprang out of that soil. The Rūpānuga-dhara. He is carrying that current of the sweet waters of madhura-rasa.
    But they are saying, “Haridās is suppling the sweet water” And they never (interestingly) they never talk about themselves at least publicly. They may have discussions with one another about many things, we cannot imagine. But whenever they are giving the ślokas… We can understand their position by inference. So they are always, “Oh, Govardhan’s supplying the sweet water for the pastures, the cows can go there, they can graze on those grasses that are extraordinary.”
    They are pointing to other Pastimes. Whenever they speak to Kṛṣṇa or Uddhava, who was delivering a message, separation letter, basically the hold-on letter, “Don’t do anything drastic, I’m coming soon.” But when they talk to Uddhava they say, “Kṛṣṇa must be missing his cows. He must be missing his mother and father, they are so dear to him. And the cows and the banks of Yamunā. He must be missing all this things! His cowherd boyfriends. How much he must miss them?! And does he ever, maybe sometimes, is saying anything about us? Does he remember us who we are? - Vraja-gopīs. Maybe, he’s said something?” They are always last on the list or not at all, only inferred their position.
    So it says, “yad rāma-kṛṣṇa-charaṇa-sparaśa pramodaḥ…” (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya 18.34) One meaning is Rāma and Kṛṣṇa, their lotus feet, they are engaging in their divine Pastimes on Govardhan. Govardhan is very happy to have the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa and Balarām.
    Like we see the dancers sometimes, it is very similar to the mṛdaṅga beats. And we know about South India where the dance is still alive they always use the mṛdaṅgam for the beat pattern of the feet of the dancers, those beautiful rhythms and Kṛṣṇa and Balarām are dancing on the hill of Govardhan. And Govardhan is shivering in ecstasy at the touch of their lotus feet.
    But Viśvanāth Chakravartī Ṭhākur says, “Well, that’s one name.” But Rāma, sometimes Rāma means Kṛṣṇa. Like in Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahāmantra. Rāma, Hare Rāma.
    When Śrīla Guru Mahārāj was initiated by Saraswatī Ṭhākur, the leading devotee, who is Ananta Vāsudev Prabhu, called him and said, “What sort of Hari-kathā Prabhupad gave at the time of your initiation?” So we gonna say, we do this things at a big assembles, that’s recent. So they were asking, “What did Prabhupad tell you at that time?” Prabhupad - Saraswatī Ṭhākur. And Guru Mahārāj said on thing, “He changed my name. My name was Rāmendra Chandra.” His pūrvāśram, his previous name was Rāmendra Chandra Bhaṭṭācharya. Cause his mother was anticipating difficult childbirth and they prayed to Rāmachandra for some special grace. That was his name before, then Saraswatī Ṭhākur changed his name to Rāmendra Sundar.
    But when discussion came, what is the meaning of Rāma, Saraswatī Ṭhākur said, “Rāman-Rādhā, Rādhā-Rāman. And Guru Mahārāj said, “That’s sound of him saying, “Rāman-Rādhā, Rādhā-Rāman,” that is still ringing in my ears, in my heart till this day.” You should take it that the Rāma of Hare Rāma Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma Hare Hare as that Rāman-Rādhā, whose… (some noise) alright we understand we are not supposed to say that.
    Sometimes Gurudev was talking about something and then the phone would ring, and we go “ohh.. damm.” And then he wouldn’t finish.” So, comparisons are obvious, but I can understand that much.
    Moving on…
    (Sound of a lizard)
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: A double. I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do now. Are there any questions?
    Bhakti Lalitā DD: Do you feel like answering Rāseśwarī DD’s question.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Alright. Right now I will… that could be an awkward segway, but I file that and trying recover.
    Bhakti Lalitā DD: No rush Mahārāj.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Alright, I’ve got it filed here and I think there is a way.
    Avadhut Mahārāj: I want to ask a question Mahārāj.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yes. Avadhut Mahārāj has been my best questioner over the years.
    Avadhut Mahārāj: Well so far, there is a particular way to approach to worship Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu, Gaura-Nitāi...
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Oh, I remembered what I wanted to say now, but you continue. I think it is on this. So Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said, he made this interesting comparison of Girirāj Govardhan and Mahāprabhu. This is safe to say. Because Jīva Goswāmī has a śloka, this beautiful śloka. It’s in Charitāmṛtam. We should all learn it including me. It says,
    antaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ bahir gauraṁ
    kalau saṅkīrttanādyaiḥ sma
    (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi 3.81)
    …Oh, that’s the last line… I always forget the last two. Anyway, begins on “antaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ” - internally he is Kṛṣṇa (he is talking about Mahāprabhu) internally he is Kṛṣṇa “bahir gauraṁ” - externally he is Gaura. So Kṛṣṇa, Gaurāṅga externally. And that’s indicated in another places too “kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ…” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 11.5.32) śloka.
    So but what it means to say, what Śrīla Guru Mahārāj is pointing out. Is so internally Kṛṣṇa, well who is Kṛṣṇa? He is that enjoyer, the predominating moiety, ādi-puruṣaḥ, akhila-rasāmṛta-mūrtiḥ Kṛṣṇa. So and that’s all suppressed here. That’s all. That’s being suppressed, that’s a better word in this sense.
    This like Saraswatī Ṭhākur points out, we have Chaitanya-charitāmṛta, Chaitanya-Bhāgavata, Chaitanya-maṅgal, there are other works, but what is known Chaitanya-Bhāgavata was originaly Chaitanya-maṅgal, later changed, so there is another Chaitanya-maṅgal of Narahari. Is it Narahari? Narahari Sarakara Ṭhākur. And there are some sections in there that either have been modified or seemed to lancredence to gaurāṅga-nāgarī-vād, which is a type of sahajiyā doctrine. Where they impose the identity of Kṛṣṇa on Mahāprabhu. It sounds very simple and it is in a sense. It is very profound, if this is a śloka of Jīva Goswāmī. We have this tendency to take this thing for granted. This is a śloka of Jīva Goswāmī. That’s quoted, perhaps in the forth chapter of Ādi-līlā , that’s definitely in early Ādi-līlā of Chaitanya-charitāmṛtam. (- Three. Thank you.) Establishing who is Mahāprabhu. We take it for granted. As if everyone should know this.
    I was shocked when I first went into Vṛndāvana in 1973. Where was Mahāprabhu? I was asking about Mahāprabhu and none knew. Or there was one place, where this big Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. Like this. Very tall deity. And you know, they took me, cause I kept saying, “Where is Mahāprabhu?” And they took me, and that big Deity and then… I mean this people in Vṛndāvana they are very sweet. And Sanatan Goswāmī told Jagadānanda Paṇḍit, “Don’t mix with them!”
    So he brings out a picture of his uncle and there is Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu like that and there is his uncle, and he said, “Uncle had friendly relation with Mahāprabhu.” What am I gonna say? Who am I? I said, “Jaya.”
    Avadhut Mahārāj: Western people going to come close…
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Right! Exactly! His uncle there. We have people here they are taking pictures at the shopping mall with the deity guy from the Fishermen’s Wharf. I mean I’m not making it up. I mean not to say, there is anything wrong with that, but that what people do. They take a picture with the statue of Liberty in America or that place where, all the russian people when they get married in Saint-Petersburg, what is it called? You know there is a place where all the couples go to take a photo.
    So what’s beautiful about this. We could say, it is a little sahajiyā, but at the same time, that’s his idea of “Me and Mahāprabhu.” You know they consider him as a part of the family. That’s why Mahāprabhu told to Jagadānanda Paṇḍit, Sanatan Goswāmī, he said, “You don’t mix with them.” And that was kind of the… He is not saying bad, just “Don’t mix with them, they are special. They have special relationship with Kṛṣṇa, Mahāprabhu. Don’t mix with them! Their behavior won’t be appropriate for you, not inappropriate for them, may be inappropriate for you, and many other things.” That way. Not to be offensive either.
    Remember, completing Govardhan-parikramā you feel some pride sometimes, “Oh… I…”. But these little school boys, they are making fun of me and who ever else I was ever with. You know, that’s international. Kids, mocking older, that’s just an international thing, you know when it is happening. The first time your ego comes, and then I realize, these kids sprang out of soil of Govardhan. I guess I’m fortunate to be being made fun of by them. So I’m not gonna get judgmental about this and see them from external. I’m gonna try avoid that.
    Avadhut Mahārāj: Mahārāj, going back to the question.
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Yes, to go back in this. So, because I didn’t finish that part, now I go back to you. So, Guru Mahārāj said, “In a similar way (he said) Girirāj Govardhan (this is his conception) internally he is Kṛṣṇa, and externally he is in a mood of a devotee, (he said) just like Mahāprabhu.” Now I know this is gonna lead a whole series of questions about the pūjā of Girirāj. I’m not going to address that. I’m just going to mention the things, Guru Mahārāj told.
    And to finish the point about Chaitanya-maṅgal. So there, for example, cause there is this famous śloka, that Guru Mahārāj loved to quote Narahari Sarakara Ṭhākur,
    “Gopīnāṁ kucha-kuṅkumena nichitaṁ vāsaḥ kim asyāruṇaṁ…” (Śrī-Śachīnandanāṣṭakam: 1) Where he says, Narahari, Guru Mahārāj said, “He is a very peculiar devotee, he is unique and pure, he is Narahari.” But he says, “I don’t recognize your sannyās.” to Mahāprabhu. And everyone, “What?” And he is saying, “Am I to believe that Kṛṣṇa, famous womanizer from Vṛndāvana, he’s become a sannyāsī? This is ludicrous. I don’t accept it.” He is wearing the saffron dress of a sannyāsī. He said, “His cloth due to contact with the Vraja-gopīs, the saffron from the Vraja-gopīs has died his cloth that color”
    So when Guru Mahārāj would quote this śloka, he would laugh. He thought it was so delightful and charming. And it is. It is very beautiful, but it is unique. That’s the vision of Narahari Sarakara Ṭhākur. He saw like that. An the other devotees, it is very charming to them, that he plays in that way and that’s how he feels from his heart. But what happened and what happens often when a lower level devotee imitates the vision or the standards of Mahābhāgavata, they degrade.
    So, they’ve interpreted this that he is Kṛṣṇa and all the implications of Kṛṣṇa meaning enjoyer. So when they point the sections of this book where ladies of Nabadwīpa expressed erotic sentiments towards Nimāi Paṇḍit. So they are trying to say, “See, this part here in the book they are expressing this.” But Guru Mahārāj would point out is that he never reciprocated those sentiments. They may have been expressed but they were never reciprocated. Why? Because he is in bhakta-bhāv. He is in the mood of a devotee. Not of Kṛṣṇa, the enjoyer.
    “Antaḥ kṛṣṇaṁ bahir gauraṁ, darśitāṅgādi-vaibhāvam…” (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Ādi 3.81), so again, that’s been suppressed that enjoyer spirit of Kṛṣṇa, and he is in the mood of bhakta-bhāv and ultimately of Rādhā-bhāv, of being a devotee, in the mood of devotion. So that means there is no enjoyment of women to be more specifically in the Pastimes of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu. Where is the gaurāṅga-nāgarīs they are trying to put him in that role. That he is Kṛṣṇa, and others, who were gopīs and this is why it is sahajiyā-vāt, givien doctrine. Guru Mahārāj’s point, he says that Girirāj is similar… when they say Haridāsa Varja, he is the best of the servants, internally he is Kṛṣṇa, but he is in the mood of a servant of Kṛṣṇa. That’s the point.  
    Avadhut Mahārāj: My question was about accessibility. Kṛṣṇa is rasarāj, we can understand, why it is hard to approach him, that he is highest consumer…
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: What do we have to offer?
    Avadhut Mahārāj: Yes, what do we have to offer. Mahāprabhu is coming to distribute, but we still know it is very hard to approach Mahāprabhu. Girirāj has some unique position, at some point… it is what if you can highlighted that?
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Well, the accessibility of Girirāj according to Guru Mahārāj was that… Or first we should talk of what is inaccessible. Mahāprabhu. He is mahā-vadānyāya-avātar. We can say last twelve years of his manifest Pastimes he is inaccessible, when he is in Gambīra behind closed doors with Swarup Damodar and Rāmananda. That is. So what do we have.  
    bahiraṅga-saṅga kore nāma-saṅkīrttan
    antaraṅgā-sange kore rasa-āsvādan
    So the internal group “rasa-āsvādan”, tasting the rasa and going to nāma-saṅkīrttan. He is distributing in that way, but about Girirāj will say this. That Śālagrām-śilā has some high requirements, that the pūjā will be perfect. This is Vaikuṇṭha type. And Guru Mahārāj mentioned with regard to Lakṣmī-varāha. Really like saffron cloth brahmachari … etc. Is really the ideal requirement, they were in that situation.
    Now with Govardhan-śilā. Whenever we approach Guru Mahārāj on this subject, he would say, that Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur allowed this for his gṛhastha disciples. That he was not engaging disciples in Śālagrām-pūjā. But Govardhan-śila he would. And in that regard Guru Mahārāj said, because it is rāga-mārg type of worship, implying that if the offering are at exact time or on a ritual side of things that there is more flexibility. There is list requirement of viddhi for greater accessibility.
    But at the same time we are told that really what is best particularly for neophyte is kīrttan. Not ārchan, but kīrttan. And there is nāma-saṅkīrttan in conventional sense and there is kīrttan as defined by Śrīla Saraswatī Ṭhākur, which he said, “Kīrttan means a fight, fight agains Maya.” Making propaganda of Kṛṣṇa Conception verses mayic misconception. That’s what he favored. So he was not interested in accumulating ārchaks meaning those who are implying to do particular type of deity worship. He wanted to be propaganda made in favor of Kṛṣṇa Conception dealing with mayic misconception. Otherwise you could be in retreat, in hiding, in seclusion. He came out of seclusion. He’s been living secluded in Māyāpur chanting ten million names in a month time. Then he got this inspiration to come out and begin the Gauḍiya Maṭh.
    And Guru Mahārāj said many times what he asked of Tīrtha Mahārāj, who was Kunja Babu at that time, the leader, the cofounder sometimes call him was an audience. He said, “Get me an audience.” And when it came to things of being a practitioner Guru Mahārāj mentions when he sent him a letter once about Kṛṣṇadas Bābājī Mahārāj who was chanting a lak of Kṛṣṇa-nāma, 64 rounds a day in place called Baliati. And Guru Mahārāj said, who was in charge of Delhi temple at that time, “I’d like to invite him here for some seva.” That’s why I need your approval. Saraswatī Ṭhākur wrote him back a letter saying, “If you can engage him in some seva, in service in Delhi Maṭh, you’ll be his real friend.” Is that because I do not recognize counting beats, that’s what he referred to that, he didn’t say, “Taking Kṛṣṇa-nāma”. He said, “Counting beats in the jungle of Baliati,” that this is Kṛṣṇa-anuśīlanam. That this is favor of the culture of devotion. So, by all means, invite him to Delhi Maṭh, engage him in service and you’ll be his real friend.
    So he, who came out of this situation, someone might suspect something like that if it came from someone else who is less qualified. But Saraswatī Ṭhākur has been already doing ten millions names a month. His character is impeccable, he is the jāti-rāj - the king of the sannyāsīs. Knows everything there is to know about Kṛṣṇa Consciousness, the difference between brahmiṇism and vaiṣṇavism and everything else. He is the one who is saying, “Kīrttan means a fight.” We need to make propaganda in favor of Kṛṣṇa Conception. So just like in the world now we see basically there certain illusions people are attain. There are all more or less the same, but just modified a little bit in a particular context. And our kīrttan shall be to make proper in the face of this misconceptions, to make propaganda in favor of Kṛṣṇa Conception.
    But this is for us. To maintain us spiritually. To regulate us spiritually. To focus us spiritually. Cause that’s also would came to him on the paper, looked at Tīrtha, you know discover the last holly places, another was the mūrtī-pratiṣṭhā to establish mūrtīs and there pūjā. Originally, Guru Mahārāj said, Saraswatī Ṭhākur contemplated a kīrttan-hall, and later came with the idea of the necessity of the deity. And we see here. If this would be simply a kīrttan-hall, what the level of this Maṭh would be? Where is by having the presence of Girirāj, it is become this Divine Abode. And there are so many opportunities to serve him. He’s become a focal point, the regulator of all spiritual activities here. So that’s good for the aspiring servitors.
    But so what? There will be… have the strength to engage in a greater kīrttan which is making propaganda in favor of Kṛṣṇa Conception. Cause what we are here to do.
    Once Prabhubad… we went with him for a walk this Lodi in Delhi, it is very famous, it is a beautiful place. It was even at the internet recently. Was like, “Beautiful places in the world.” And he said, “Lodi in New Delhi.” He liked to go for a walk in the morning. So he is on his walk and we were all with him. Prabhupad he is so… with this cane walking with his head held high. One place we were going, it was a very narrow path, and we were all going single file. And Prabhupad he bend over and he plugged some flowers from the bush and he pushed one behind this ear, one behind that ear. And then we all did the same thing, of course. Everyone jumped on it. I wish we had pictures of that. And Prabhupad is going like this with two flowers, head held high, we’re all walking behind, we all got two flowers. Truly we were flower children.
    Anyway after a while he goes to sit beneath the tree. And it was very beautiful everything. Oh, this is like from the Vedas, from Puraṇas, the guru with the disciples in ancient India. It is ancient India, cause it’s ancient India, it is really is. But this particular morning Śrīla Prabhupad was very quite and everyone got the feeling not to break the silence we can see that it is not of this talking walks. He is not saying anything and devotees were like afraid to say something. Anyway we just sat he was sitting there. Just on a… . And it is around seven o’clock in the morning. That’s when he went for a walk. And there’re all this indian man, they are out there walking too… groups of them. And some group goes by and we see Prabhupad goes like that. And there’s one group goes by and they all see Prabhupad and he was like, “I think I know…” And I thought, seems like he really wanted to maybe… say something to them. So I paid my daṇḍavats and then I went off to see those man. And we all had japa-mālā there. I run to see those men. And I said, “Oh, my Guru Mahārāj said that he knows one of you.” There were like four of them. And one man says, you know, “I saw him at the Delhi pandal in 1970…” Oh. I’m thinking that’s probably the man. And then another man says, “Oh… many many years ago I had printing press in Delhi and he came there to print some Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.” I was wow. So there is not much more to say and one of them says to me, “Why you’ve come to India? For peace of mind?” That was a very popular phrase of the time. “For peace of mind.” And at that time Prabhupad has just been translating 7th canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam about Prahlad Mahārāj. So those
    matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
    mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
    adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
    punaḥ punaś charvita-charvaṇānām
    (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 7.5.30)
    All these beautiful ślokas of Prahlad Mahārāj. And they are also very intense. “Matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ sva…,” you’ll never get Kṛṣṇa Consciousness on your own. Or you got to, “naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ…,” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 7.5.32) you have to be blessed by the lotus feet of a pure devotee. Many things. And very heavy things against maya, family life, “yan maithunādi-gṛhamedhi-sukhaṁ hi tucchaṁ” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam: 7.9.45) When Prabhupad would say that he would always spilt “tucchaṁ.” That means insignificant. Not gonna get as word for word, anyway but he is really end all this Prahlad section. So they say to me like.
    “So why you’ve come to India, for peace of mind.” And I had my hand... I said, “No, I can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, I said that, i’ve got peace of mind, but the reason I’ve come to India is to give you peace of mind.” And they were all “Oh…Baba…”, you know.
    Anyway they left and I go back, give my daṇḍavats. And I don’t know if Praphupad wants to know about this staff or not. So I look up he is still grave and the atmosphere is still … every one really … and Prabhupad looked so… I went, “Śrīla Prabhupad?” He was, “Yes.” Like, you know, this better be good. I said, “One man said he met you at a Delhi Pandal.” “That is not the man.” “Well, there is another man, he said, he sold you paper at a printing press.” “That is the man.”
    So he remembers who is printing Bhāgavatam. And then he went back to a silent mode. And I went, “Śrīla Prabhupad?” And he like… I said, “You know, they asked me why I’ve come to India.” And Prabhupad eyes could get very large. “Yes?” I now I realized it is too… I cannot turn back. “They asked me if I came here for a peace of mind?” And he is like, “What did you say?” I said, “But I remember the instructions of Prahlad Mahārāj and I said, I haven’t come here for a peace of mind, I can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra, I’ve got peace of mind. But I came here to give you a peace of mind.” And Prabhupad went, “You said that?!” I was like, “Oh, my God!” Now I’ve insulated the man who sold the paper for Bhāgavatam. “You said that?” And “I said that…” And Prabhupad, “This is Preaching! This is Kṛṣṇa Consciousness!” and really the saṁsāra dāvānala clouds open and the shower of nectar came down. And later my godbrothers were touching like this saying, “Oh, Prabhupad really gave you mercy this morning.” This’s a little bit stunned but he says, this is what preaching is. Not we are interested in peace of mind, like that, we come to give you peace of mind, we are extending something to you for your benefit.
    As Guru Mahārāj said when the devotee tries to collect something, it is not that we are collecting the money in the conventional sense for something. You giving them sukṛti by giving them the opportunity to give. That’s the fact, we may say, “Well, who can believe that?!” - “Guru Mahārāj can believe it.” And you can say it, mean it, feel it. And it is true. And if we work under the direction of the higher Vaiṣṇavas, then I will be meaningful to us.
    And go back to what you’ve said originally. What do we have to offer? Some little serving capacity, some energy. If we give it… Just like here. I make a rule here. Anyone who… if you have any potatoes give them to Gopal. Alright. We can print up a sign. ‘Any potatoes, give them to Gopal’. Because Gopal will turn them into some nectarine substance. That’s what it’s like. We are crewed.
    Like Guru Mahārāj said, “Without Guru we are clay.” Meaning lifeless clay like in a Bible. It is not in a Bible? May be it’s not. The part where they take clay… Alright may be it’s not, but in my childhood they used to say. God took clay and made it into a man and woman. In Southern Maryland. Forget the Bible. In Southern Maryland. God took clay and made it into something. So we are told. Guru Mahārāj said, “Without a grace of Guru and Vaiṣṇava we are clay, we’re lifeless.”
    So we are trying to offer ourselves as instruments, “nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savya-sāchin…” (Bhagavad-gītā: 11.33) If even Arjun, he has to submit to Kṛṣṇa, alright, “kariṣye vachanaṁ tava.(Bhagavad-gītā: 18.73) Prabhupad said once, “The supreme mantra.” What does it mean? I’m prepared to do what you say. So “nimitta-mātraṁ bhava savya-sāchin,” He is offering himself as an instrument. And as Gurudev said of this one man, disciple of Saraswatī Ṭhākur, “vilasatu hṛdi bhakti-siddhanta vāṇī,” how sweatly the Saraswatī Ṭhākur played on him. And he was doing some publishing work. But Gurudev observed the way he was arranging the letters in the type. Just offering himself into that seva.
    So fortunately we’re all being given opportunities to do something we can do. We are not being asked to do impossible things. Although that’s also good. As one poet said, “We need more people to specialize on the impossible.” But here we’re given something according our capacity or abilities. Śrīpad Śrīla Avadhut Mahārāj has so many projects and we’re all very fortunate to participate in.
    As Guru Mahārāj said about Śrīla Swāmī Mahārāj that… he said, “Where are you gonna find a better friend then that? He’s left the world and he is still engaging me in service.” Cause Prabhupad was always wanted Guru Mahārāj to preach. So when the westerners showed up at his door step. As they say, “The mountain came to Mohamed.” All the wealth that was deposited him from Saraswatī Ṭhākur came streaming out, and he was saying, “It is all the mercy of Swāmī Mahārāj, cause you came from him.” So he still thought that way.
    And Gurudev said so many times, when good things were going on the West on his tours. And he would say, “We’re still taking Swāmī Mahārāj’s prasād.” Attributing so much coming to him… Again humbly not attributing to himself, but thinking, “Oh, Swāmī Mahārāj, his prasād.” That’s so beautiful, I think that way. So he said about Guru Mahārāj, “Where are you gonna find a better friend? Then someone who engages you in seva of Kṛṣṇa.” So, Avadhut Mahārāj is our best friend, because he is engaging all of us, giving us an unlimited opportunities to serve the lotus feet of Guru and Gaurāṅga. That’s the bottom-line. Where you gonna buy it? If you could buy someone like that. Buy it!
    Mānasa Kṛṣṇa: Once Trivikram Mahārāj’s story, you remember? Same situation… What did he say? “Why did you come to Kṛṣṇa Consciousness if you cannot turn off the light.” He was like…
    Goswāmī Mahārāj: Why have you come? Yes, and Gurudev said about this too. When someone made a mistake in Gauḍiya Maṭh, and Kunja Babu, Tīrtha Mahārāj, Śrīla Bhakti Vilās Tīrtha Mahārāj they came to him with some apology. You know next time and so… And he said, “No, it is not like that” You turn about serving an upper world, it’s got to be done right the first time every time. Not next, that’s not acceptable.
    “Tatra laulyam api mūlyam ekalaṁ, janma-koṭi-sukṛt…,” (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya 8.70) if somewhere you can buy it, this kind of… then buy it. But rather… we are in a position, when he is serving us nectar on a golden plate. If ever this example is appropriate, it is appropriate here. We’ve been served nectar on a golden plate.
    Once, at that time too… Prabhupad… Imagine when the movement goes to sleep. This is before the internet. Then Prabhupad, he starts his translations. He was doing translations from midnight till four am. In the room with the books out, clicking his dictaphone. “In this connection Viśvanāth Chakravarti Ṭhākur says,” looking over the books. So there was also a night watch. Two hour shifts of devotees. In case he needs something. So again this is just reminding me that time. For me this is something rare. But one particular night I’m doing this shift. It is round two to four. And he really doesn’t call anyone. Rarely. But bell buzzer. I come and he wants me to turn off the light. Like Gurudev, “Make off the light.” I looked at the wall and there was like hundred light switchers. Like ten, ten, ten… I’m like Oh… And he is saving the world. And I looked at this, or it was the fan, what ever it was, how am I supposed to know and what I’m gonna ‘chik pshshsh chik pshshsh’… You know, make noise, lights will on and off, fan will turn on and off. So I just… the most pitiful look imaginable. I turned back and looked at him and he went… it’s almost like that and my hand went the way he made it go. And it was the right switcher. I was like “Ooph.” I just really didn’t wanna do one of those very switch in the place, it wasn’t the right time for that.
    When that happened to Gurudev, one girl, not Bhakti Lalitā, another. One man asked Gurudev about siddha-praṇālī, it is very high for the siddha section. And then Gurudev said to make off the light or what ever it was. And she did not the right one and did a few switches to finally get it right. And Gurudev said, “One who cannot make off the light, should not inquire about siddha-praṇālī.”
    If we talked about worship of Girirāj, we were told, our Deities were Jagannāth in San Francisco. And then it was Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and there was some sequence, Prabhupad gave. The strictest, and then less strict and ultimately Gaura-Nitāi. But here were told from the day one, that Rādhārāṇī doesn’t tolerate any mistakes in the service of Kṛṣṇa. That’s her standard. And we can talk about magnanimous this and that. That’s all well and good. But we should be reminded, she won’t tolerate any mistakes. How qualified and trusted someone has to be to get to the point where she pushes them forward to some particular kind of seva. There can be no mistakes. So Tīrtha Mahārāj told that Gurudev was telling that way. He said, “It is not like that, you have to get it right.” We’ll say that’s seems a little unfair, little harsh or unforgiving or whatever.
    But the only example I can think to … immediately give a parallel is like in cooking, you know in cooking you got to get it right. If you ruin it, response can’t be ‘next time’. You know with burnt milk, salt in the wrong thing, or next time… But what we are supposed to do now? And if we can feel that here, then what to speak of there. So by the time someone is entrusted with that sort of seva, they better know how to turn off the light or turn it on.
    Remember in the Bhakti… Jaiva Dharma there is what Gurudev… the same point, where Bābājī Mahārāj and he says, “Silence, that monkey is gonna disturb,” he is in the upper world in the siddha plane and telling the disciple here, “Oh, this monkey is going to create disturbance, so your seva is to prevent that.” That’s what he is talking about.
    It’s beyond what we can conceive but there is a hand there. And at that particular time Gurudev was goes to some fine point and he said, “But… This is I can’t… This is hard to accept.”  “What?” “That’s his seva.” One should be doing seva all the time, 24 hours a day if possible, and his seva is to keep this monkey from making a disturbance.
    And so around that time Nripin Prabhu, who we all know, the elderly gentleman at Dum Dum Park Kṛṣṇa Anuśīlana Saṅga. He would bring Gurudev paper. That was his veranda seva. Mainly he is downstairs, but once a day he comes and gives a paper and have some simple hearted, pure-hearted… He is the kind of person, if he was sick, if you put something in his palm sometimes, even I or Gurudev, he just believes that will cure him. He doesn’t need to know anything about it. Something came from Guru or Vaiṣṇav, that will cure you. That’s his level of belief. I went to Guru and Vaiṣṇav, they put this in my palm, I take that…
    But anyway he brings a newspaper. So I said to Śrīla Gurudev I said like that, mainly he serves downstairs, but once a day he brings the paper to you on your veranda, that’s his veranda seva, then he goes back down to the other plane. I said If he got one seva being introduced in the upper world and mainly he is here. And Gurudev said, alright that we can understand, but as long as there is full engagement.
    And Just to conclude with something that Guru Mahārāj’s always saying that full engagement, 24-hour engagement is only possible in madhura-rasa.
    Hare Kṛṣṇa