Hong Kong, China
September 11, 2012

When I came to Devananda Gaudiya Math, that time Gurudev also gave Harinam to me. This Japa mala [showing his own mala] is the one that Gurudev gave me 30 years ago. Just as I came inside Gurudev´s room, he told me: ‘Where are you from?’, I told him: ‘Krishna-Kripa is my uncle, Krishna-Kripa brahmachari’. Now he is Srila Madhusudan Maharaj from Devananda Gaudiya Math.

Srila Madhusudan Maharaj is my uncle, he is about 75 years old [in September 11, 2012, year of the class]. In the Temple Devananda Gaudiya Math, he was with Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaja. When he was only 7 or 8 years old he left his house and came to Devananda Gaudiya Math and met Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Goswami Maharaja. And Gurudev has so much love and affection with him.

So when I first met Srila Gurudev Narayana Maharaja that time he gave me Harinam. Sometime I use to go the temple of Srila Bhakti Rakshak Shridhar Goswami Maharaja listen to his Hari Katha. I have so much love and affection with him. He also told me that I could stay in his temple. I told him “I will stay in Devananda Gaudiya Math with Narayana Maharaja and my uncle too”.

At that time I was only 20 years old or 21 years old. I just have finished the Kalkata University of Economics. I was very young. And Gurudev was so nice. And I stayed with him. And for many years I served my uncle, Madhusudan Maharaj. After one year then Gurudev told me to come with him to Mathura. Then I came to Mathura and stayed with him there. I always have served Gurudev. I used to cook for Gurudev and massage his feet”.

(Devotee: And Tirtha Maharaj also?)

Srila Gurudev: “When I came at that time Tirtha Maharaj was mostly absorbed in reading shastra. He also served before. But when I came that time we are serving Gurudev. You know, for those who are coming new Gurudev was very merciful and give us the chance to serve him. At that time we are only a few brahmacharis, maybe 5 or 6 brahmacharis. Premananda Prabhu, Tirtha Maharaj, Madhava Maharaj, myself and Krishna Das, who now is married. The others were coming and going, not staying, but we were always staying with him. Than after a few years Rasananda, now Sridhar Maharaj, came. But he was staying in Vrindavan. We were all staying always with Gurudev. Where was Gurudev we were there too.

(Devotee: Was he - Srila Narayan Maharaj - strict with you at that time?)

Srila Gurudev: “Yes. With so much love and affection. If you love someone, then you are strict: “do this, do that”, and you chastise. Gurudev had so much love and affection with us. Simultaneously chastised us and gave us love and affection also. Every day he gave three, four classes to us. Sometime Sandharba´s class. Bhakti Sandharba, Krishna Sandharba. Only for us. At that time outside people did not come. Only we are there, with Gurudev. Jaiva Dharma, Upadesamrita, Manaha Siksa. Every day we had to learn many slokas. And served in the temple: cooking, cleaning and also, every day we had to chant one lakh of the holy names.

Do you understand these things? Do bhajan and sadhan. Gurudev taught intensively to us how to do bhajan and sadhan. He used to take us everywhere he was. He used to go to Jayapur, so he also took us to have Jayapur Govindadev darsan. He used to go to Navadwip and also took us with him. And after Navadwip parikrama he also brought us back to Mathura. Do you understand this? He was always taking care of us and taught us how to cook and how to offer. Everything.”

(Devotee: Why you are the first one who preached outside India?)

Srila Gurudev: – “Gurudev came (to preach outside India) in 1996. I came in 1997. In 1997, I went to England, London, and preached there. Than from England to Holand, Germany, France. Preaching in this way. So Gurudev and myself were simultaneously preaching. At that time only Madhava Maharaj, Navin Krishna brahmachari stayed with Gurudev. I preached in different countries England, Germany, France, Brazil also. Brazil has so much energy potency. I don't know their language but I give so much love and affection to the devotees. Now there are many devotees there.”

(Devotee: Did he - Srila Narayan Maharaj - send you to Brazil?)

Srila Gurudev: “Yes. Without Gurudev, how is possible to go (anywhere)? Now Gurudev is still giving his inspiration and I am going... Without Guru´s mercy who will come?

At this time he gave me inspiration to come here, to China. Without Guru´s inspiration how is possible to me to come? We are like puppets. Do you know a puppet? A puppet cannot do anything. One person with a string puling and pushing than it goes here and there. Guru's mercy: this is important. Without Guru´s mercy what will we do? Nothing. Do you understand?

The disciple always must think that everything is going on the mercy of Gurudev. Always think this - I don't know the mercy of Srimati Radhika, I don’t know the mercy of Krishna, I don’t know the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. I just know the mercy of Gurudev. Without Guru´s mercy how is possible to know the mercy of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Radha and Krishna? Do you understand?
vairagya-yug bhakti-rasam prayatnair
apayayan mam anabhipsum andham
krpambudhir yah para-duhka-duhkhi
sanatanam tam prabhum asrayami
"I was unwilling to drink the nectar of bhakti-rasa endowed with renounciation, but Srila Sanatan Gosvami, being an ocean of mercy who cannot tolerate the sufferings of others, diligently induced me to drink it. Therefore, I take shelter of Srila Sanatan Gosvami as my siksa-guru.""
(Vilapa-kusumanjalih 6, Srila Raghunath Das Gosvami)

Without mercy of Gurudev nothing.  
When I remember him is very difficult to express.  So much love and affection with us. We gave everything for him. At that time we gave so much energy enthusiastic to service Guru. Now Guru is in our heart.  

(Transcription: Krishnananda Das - Armenia)