São Paulo/SP

I am very happy, all you are so much enthusiastic about the mission of our Srila Gurudeva, and time is very short, going very quickly. About three months now. How it passed I cannot understand, it looks like it took only three days. I entered in Brazil, I remember, in December. Then December, January, and February, three months almost. Because time is very quick, time doesn’t wait for anything. And especially I’m staying with you, all you are devotees of Gurudeva, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nityananda Prabhu, for this regard I cannot feel anything about how time is going fast. So today is my last day here, I am going to Holland, then after five days, I have to go back to India. So you are very kind for giving me association, sanga. Bhaktisiddantha Prabhupada, very humble, he told, “I have no bhakti, nothing, but the devotees are very merciful, they always engage me in listening to krishna-nama and krishna-katha”. Without bhakta-sanga, life is useless.
‘sādhu-saṅga’ ‘sādhu-saṅga’— sarva-śāstre kaya
lava-mātra sādhu-saṅge sarva-siddhi haya
(CC Madhya 22.54)
[“The verdict of all revealed scriptures is that by even a moment’s association with a pure devotee, one can attain all success.”]

All the revealed scriptures: Vedas, Puranas, Upanisad, glorify the association with sadhu, sadhu-sanga. Because when we associate with sadhu, then we also forget what day is today. Actually, I cannot remember if today is Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. I forgot, because no need to think about the days. We have harikatha, harinama, bhakta-sanga… I am staying with you and you all speak very nice harikatha, so I am thinking how you are gems and jewels of Gurudeva. Actually, these are the glories of Srila Gurudeva.
‘Mahat-saṅgama-māhātmyam’ - Srila Sanatana Goswamipada very clearly explains in Brhad Bhagavatamrta the influence of that association with sadhu, sadhu-sanga. One moment or even half a moment in the association of sadhu, then your life will be successful. Srila Gurudeva, again and again, reminded us: In this material world, all material things, we will only get according to our previous fruit of action, that’s karma. Because that is called ‘predicted’ and ‘predestined’. You cannot get less and you cannot get more because everything is already fixed for you. Wealth, money, wife, children, bank balance, credit card, many things in this material world that you want, everything is reserved for you, it’s predicted and predestined. You just don’t know yourself, but this is true, everything is predicted and predestined. Today, will you take prasada or not? This is also fixed for you. If today you don’t have prasada in your fate, then you cannot take it; maybe one message will come telling you will have to go away. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu told, many kinds of delicious food will come, but without the desire of Lord, bhagavad-iccha, you cannot eat and you cannot accept anything. But sadhu-sanga and harikatha, this is very very rare. This is not dependent on your karma, this is only dependent on your sukriti (spiritual past activities).
bhaktis tu bhagavad-bhakta-
sangena parijayate
sat-sangah prapyate pumbhih
sukrtaih purva-sancitaih
(Hari-bhakti-vilasa 10.279)
[“Bhakti is awakened when one associates with pure devotees of Sri Bhagavan. Association with suddha-bhaktas is attained only by the accumulation of transcendental pious activities performed over many lifetimes”]

When your sukriti gets mature and accumulated, then you’ll get the association with sadhu, not by your karma or fruit of any actions of karma. So for this regard, in Chaitanya Bhagavata, Vrindavana Dasa Thakura explains that according to our previous fruit of action, every life we will get parents and all these material things, but guru and Krsna, this is very very rare, we cannot get this every life. And in this regard we have to perform bhajana and sadhana under the guidance of gurudeva, then your life will be successful. So sadhu-sanga, harikatha, this is the essence of life. ‘Mahat-saṅgama- māhātmyam’ – about the influence of such association with sadhu, Gopa Kumara told his own life story in front of his disciple, Mathura Brahmana. “Hey Mathura Brahmana, listen, now I’m meeting with you, but this is not by my desires, I have come here only by the instruction of Srimati Radhika”. Then Gopa Kumara told his own story and about his transcendental form, his siddha-deha, which is called ‘svarupa’. Gopa Kumara told, “In Vrindavana, early in the morning, I am prepared to go herding the cows with Krishna and all my friends, Subal, Sridhama, Madhumangala, Lavanga, etc”. 

Srila Sanatana Goswami very nicely explained that when Krishna go herding the cows, that time all His sakhas are very close to Him. In front of them, all the cows are running and behind, all the small baby calves are running too. Subal, Sridhama, Madhumangala, they are also chasing behind them. Then Baladeva Prabhu is coming, and behind him, Krishna. Although all the cows and calves cannot run without Krishna, Krishna is still saying, “Go forward, go, go, chalo, chalo!” Then all the cows are making many sounds and then they just turn their faces for looking the beautiful form of Krishna. When Krishna uses this word ‘Chalo, chalo!’ that means ‘Go ahead, go forwards’, that time those sweet words just enter in the ears of the cows and their hearts melt just by turning their faces and looking that beautiful form of Govinda. Their minds and their hearts are completely stolen by Krishna. In this regard, they are not going or moving, but then Krishna keep saying, “Chalo, chalo!”, but these cows and calves just want to turn and look at the beautiful form of Govinda, and their hearts melt and tears begin falling down from their eyes. But again and again, Krishna uses this word ‘Chalo, chalo!’ and then the cows and calves raise their tails and run forward. 

When vrajavasis are herding the cows, they use this Vraja language, screaming, “Niri niri! Tiri tiri!” for controlling the cows. ‘Niri niri’ means ‘Drink the water from the lake’, and ‘Tiri tiri’ means ‘Come out from the lake, let’s go away’ because the cows know their language. That is called the Vraja language, very sweet language. So when the cows were being herded and they were running fast, so much dust was coming from their hoofs and the sky got completely covered with the dust of Vraja. In the meantime, Gopa Kumara told, 

“Hey Mathura Brahmana, very quickly I got dressed and went running for herding the cows with Krishna, but in the meantime, Srimati Radhika came very close to me. She is the embodiment of compassion. So just when She saw me, She said, ‘Come’ and then She got very close to me, ‘Hey Svarupa, today you are not going herding the cows with Krishna’, but that time I was so enthusiastic about going herding the cows with Krishna, but Srimati Radhika told me, ‘Hey Svarupa, Gopa Kumara, today you should not go herding the cows, you have to go to the material Vrindavana, in the material world. Your disciple Mathura Brahmana, his name is ‘Janaśarma’, you have to bring him here.’ Srimati Radhika gave me this order, but I did not wait for the instruction of Krishna. Even though Krishna is my pleasant friend, I did not wait for his order. But why I did this? Because I know that Srimati Radhika controls to Krishna, so Srimati Radhika’s order means Krishna’s order. And in that time I felt the pain of separation from Krishna. He was going with His friends running behind the cows and calves, and just when I was looking His beautiful form, He was very merciful and turned His face towards me, and tears were rolling down from His face because He was also feeling separation from me. But that was the order of Srimati Radhika, so Krishna didn’t say anything to me. If anyone silences, then this is the symptom that this person agrees. But Krishna was feeling separation from me. That time I just chanted: Govinda Damodara Madhaveti/ Govinda Damodara Madhaveti/ He Krishna, Hey Yadava, He Sakheti/ Govinda Damodara Madhaveti.”

Gopa Kumara continued, “Hey Mathura Brahmana, then I turned my face to Srimati Radhika’s lotus face, and Srimati Radhika was also feeling separation from me. But She is karuna-mayi, She is the embodiment of compassion. Then Srimati Radhika just told me with a very very soft voice, ‘Hey Svarupa, hey Gopa Kumara, this is your duty and responsibility. Love is not looking for your own happiness. Love means sacrificing everything for the other.’”

In this material world even for the material love, we have to sacrifice ourselves. What do you sacrifice for your friends? About transcendental love, you cannot understand, but about the material love, you have some realization. If you love someone, first you have to sacrifice your time. You are busy, you have so many things to do, maybe you are a doctor or a lawyer, but your love for someone makes you sacrifice by giving that person your time and your love. Because love is not looking for your own happiness. Love is looking for the happiness of your ista-deva.

Once, a person has lost his donkey. So this person was searching everywhere, but he was not finding it. Then he climbed on the top of a top of thinking, “Maybe my donkey has gone very far, so from here I can see it.” So he just climbed on the top of the tree and kept thinking, “Where is my donkey? Where?” In the meantime, one couple were sitting under that tree. You know better than me, when lover and beloved meet together, what are they speaking? They just glorify about their own limbs and bodies. “Oh, how beautiful are your eyes, your nose, your curly hair.” In this way, both of them were glorifying each other. Then the boyfriend told his girlfriend, “Hey, your eyes are very beautiful and attractive. I’ve never seen this type of eyes, they are so beautiful, just like blossoming lotus.  What is your name? Your name should be ‘Kamala Nayani’, whose eyes are like blossoming lotus.” He kept glorifying and glorifying about her, then he just said, “I can see everything through your eyes.” And in that time the person who was on the top of the tree just screamed, “Hey! You are looking everything through her eyes?! Then you must be seeing my donkey! Please tell me, where is my donkey?!” In this material world, these are called only frivolous words, not perfectly true. Here in this material world, people are very expert in speaking these frivolous words. But in the transcendental world where there is the divine love, there is no any kind of these words. 

So Srimati Radhika told, “Hey Svarupa, hey Gopa Kumara, this is your duty. I know you are feeling separation from Krishna. And your friend Krishna is also feeling separation from you. But I love Krishna, so in the same way, I’m feeling separation from you also. But oh, Gopa Kumara, you have to go to this material Vrindavana in the material world, and you have to bring your disciple Janaśarma, this Mathura Brahmana. Now he’s qualified, but without your association, he cannot return back here. Because you have a relationship with him. Even Krishna will not bring him if you don’t go, how will he come back here? Though Krishna has one inconceivable potency, called acintya-sakti, with this potency He can bring him here because Krishna is Bhagavan, He can make the impossible possible, and the possible impossible, but Krishna is not always using this potency.”

When Gopa Kumara arrived in Vaikuntha-dhama, Lord Narayana Himself told him, “Hey Gopa Kumara, do you know how have you come here in this Vaikuntha-dhama? Actually, you have no sukriti, you don’t have any pious activities. I have brought you here by my inconceivable potency. Hey Gopa Kumara, listen! For so long I am looking to you and thinking about bringing you to My cit-dhama, Vaikuntha-dhama. But you did not perform any sat-karma, good karma, nor any karma, tapasya, yoga; you did not perform any kind of pious activities. You did not even turn your face towards Me. You were completely influenced by maya. But I was thinking, ‘I have to deliver him from this material world’. I made this vow of delivering you, but you did not turn your face towards Me. Then finally I used this acintya-sakti, My inconceivable potency, and then I gave you a birth on Govardhana, in the lap of Giriraj Govardhana. And also in the gopas’ dynasty, in the cowherds’ dynasty. But even so, you did not turn your face towards Me. Because when you take birth in Vraja, it is not necessary to do bhajana and sadhana.” 

Lord Narayana continued, “Hey Gopa Kumara, then I was thinking about how could I deliver you. I gave everything to you: taking birth in the lap of Giriraja Govardhana, in the dynasty of the cowherds, you were herding the cows, but even so, you did not turn your face towards Me. You were born in Vrindavana, you were born in Giriraja Govardhana, but still, so you did not make any bhajana and sadhana and did not even perform any pious activities.”

If you go Vrindavana, Vraja, you will see that many people never made any bhajana and sadhana, and also they never made any Govardhana Parikrama, nothing. For thirty-five years I was living in Vraja, and every morning I used to go to many vrajavasis’ houses asking, “Hey, have you circulated Giriraja Govardhana in your life?” and they said, “No, never.” People are taking birth in Vraja but they are not doing bhajana and sadhana, they are not having any relationship with Krishna. Maybe you are going Vraja and thinking, “All these people are doing bhajana and sadhana” but no, this is not true. Many Vrajavasis don’t have any relationship with Krishna and are not even doing any bhajana and sadhana. Some are even slaughtering the cows, eating meat, drinking alcohol. So in the same way, Sanatana Goswami told that Lord Narayana was speaking to Gopa Kumara, “I gave you birth in Vraja, in the cowherd dynasty, herding the cows, but still, you never performed any pious activities. If at least one day you had circulated Giriraja Govardhana, then I could deliver you, but you never did it.”

So maybe your question is. “Why Lord was giving so much attention to him?” So Lord Narayana told Gopa Kumara, “I don’t know, it’s just that I have spontaneous love and affection for you.” But there are so many living entities, why only with him? Sanatana Goswami explains that you cannot use any logical arguments for explaining this. Because sometimes Lord has spontaneous mercy after one jiva. But this you cannot conceive. Because this is coming from this called inconceivable potency of Lord, acintya-sakti. If you read Sanatana Goswami’s Brhad Bhagavatamrta then you will understand this. Lord Himself told, “Hey Gopa Kumara! I have spontaneous love and affection to you because I took a vow that I would deliver to you. For this regard, I came down from Vaikuntha-dhama in the form of your guru, Jayantha. And I was chanting this mantra on the bank of Yamuna:

Sri-Krishna Gopala Hare Mukunda
Govinda He Nanda-Kishora Krishna
Ha Sri-Yasoda-Tanaya Prasida
Sri-Ballavi-Jivana Radhikesa

Lord Narayana told, “Hey Gopa Kumara, I also manifested as your guru Jayantha, and still I was thinking you should come to the bank of Yamuna, but still, you were not coming. You were herding the cows, then maybe you were thirsty and I was hoping you would come. Maybe you would drink only one drop of the water from Yamuna, then this would be a pious activity, and I could deliver you, but you did not come.” 

If you go Vrindavana, Vraja, and ask many Vrajavasis, still they are not taking bath in the bank of Yamuna. Why? That is lack of sukriti. You are thinking, “Oh, they are very lucky”, but no, you are very lucky! I am saying to you, if you go to Vraja and you do some searching asking people, “How many days you are going to Govardhana Parikrama?” or “How many days you are taking bath in Yamuna?”, many people will say, “Not one day”, “I never did it”. Lord mercifully gave to them this birth in Vraja, but they are not taking the opportunity. So Sanatana Goswamipada explains in this way that Lord Narayana told, “I appeared in the form of your guru, just I was waiting, any day you could come in the bank of Yamuna and drink some drop of water from it. Then I would take you. But you did not come. Then I was thinking, “What to do now?” I gave you birth in the lap of Giriraja Govardhana, in the dynasty of gopas, you were always herding the cows, but still, you were not coming in front of Me. Then again I have used My inconceivable potency, this acintya-sakti and attracted you. That time you got completely absorbed in the chanting of these holy names of Mine:

Sri-Krishna Gopala Hare Mukunda
Govinda He Nanda-Kishora Krishna
Ha Sri-Yasoda- Tanaya Prasida
Sri-Ballavi- Jivana Radhikesa

Then this transcendental sound, by My inconceivable potency, entered in your ears and brought you to Me; one day you came very close to Me. I know everything, because I am Bhagavan, as you must know I have these two qualifications.”

What are these two qualifications of Bhagavan? Sarvajnata and mugdata, He is omniscient and omnipresent. “By all My power, I know who is coming in front of Me.” You cannot cheat to guru and Krishna because sarvajnata is there inside them and simultaneously there’s this mugdata, ignorance.

So he was chanting this mantra, Sri-Krishna Gopala Hare Mukunda... Then Lord Narayana told, “Hey Gopa Kumara, I completely got absorbed in this ecstatic mood chanting My own holy names. So by this acintya-sakti I have brought you to Me. And then you were sitting in front of Me.” Sometimes conditioned soul comes very close to sadhu and thinks, “This sadhu is not good.” But this guru Jayantha, he told, “I do not allow you to get out from in front of me, because I used my inconceivable potency, this rama-bana.”

What is rama-bana? The arrows of Bhagavan Rama. In the quiver of Rama, there is only one arrow. But when he takes one arrow, then again automatically another arrow appears on it. There is always only one. It means that every time Ramacandra throws His arrow, it must be in the target, it never goes wrong. For this regard, it’s said that this rama-bana is just like a missile, it never goes wrong, it is infallible.

And Lord Narayana kept saying, “So by this acintya-sakti of Mine, you stayed in front of Me and started noting all My activities. Then I cleaned all your heart, all the dust from your heart. How? Doing nama-sankirtana.”

This is nama-sankirtana:

Sri-Krishna Gopala Hare Mukunda
Govinda He Nanda-Kishora Krishna
Ha Sri-Yasoda- Tanaya Prasida
Sri-Ballavi- Jivana Radhikesa

“So by this nama-sankirtana, I completely cleaned your heart, then you became completely attached to Me.”

Sanatana Goswamipada says, “How to attend to Lord? What is the process to do bhajana and sadhana? Conditioned souls have no taste to chant the holy names, they have no taste to chant gayatri-mantra, nothing. They don’t want to follow any rules and regulations, nothing. In Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that in this Kali Yuga, the conditioned souls have thousand and thousand faults. If one fault is solved, then another fault is coming. It is very difficult to follow the rules and regulations. But that does not mean I am saying, “Don’t follow any rules and regulations”, please don’t misunderstand me.

But on Srimad Bhagavatam it is said that in Kali Yuga, the conditioned soul has innumerable faults. They have no taste to chant the holy names, they don’t want to follow any rules and regulations, they don’t want to do any of these things, so what to do? How will they be delivered from this material world? Then Sanatana Goswamipada gave the conclusion, “If you make friendship with one pure devotee of Lord, then your life will be successful.”

But this means making friendship with the pure devotee as if he was from your family, then it is very easy to attend to Lord. So what is that? How will we do that? If he is feeling any pain, you feel also pain. If he is feeling any happiness, you feel also happy. As if you were puppets.

So Sanatana Goswamipada finally gave this example: the Vraja-gopis never think that Krishna is Bhagavan. All those ones who are eternal associates of Krishna, nitya-sidha parikaras, those ones I am not talking about. But those who are sadhana-sidhas, they always think that Krishna is a family member to them.

Pariksit Maharaja also became very surprised, “How possible will they be delivered from this material world? They don’t have any Brahma-jnana?” Then Sukadeva Goswami became very angry and said, “I already told you in the previous chapter what is that. For attending to Lord you have to be absorbed on the pure devotee of Lord. Bhakti doesn’t depend on anything else, it only depends on aveśa, deep absorption. Look, the Vraja-gopis never think that Krishna is Bhagavan, they think Krishna is their family member, only a stupid non-sense boy.”

But you may be thinking, if they say Krishna is only a stupid non-sense boy, why they are always absorbed in Him? Actually, they are never thinking he is a stupid non-sense. This is just externally. Inside them, they are just thinking about Him with love and affection. I don’t know if here you are using these words, but in India sometimes mother chastises her baby saying, “Hey, you donkey boy!” If her son is donkey, she must be donkey also! But actually she is using this word with love and affection. If you tell your son, “Hey, you donkey!” and your boy is very clever, then he will tell  you, “Mom, if I am donkey, then you are also donkey, so how possible can you call me this?” 

Once Krishna was playing His ball, that time Krishna was only 3 and a half years old, and He was playing alone in front of one well. But accidentally Krishna’s ball fell down on this well. Then Krishna went to look in the water of the well and one ghost was there. Krishna thought, “Maybe there is a ghost here inside this well.” He called His mother, “Hey mom, mom, come, one thief stole My ball!” Mother Yasoda came and Krishna said, “Look, look, mom! This is the thief inside the well!” Actually it was just Krishna’s shadow in the water, but then He kept saying, “Look, look, mom! This is the thief!” Then Mother Yasoda looked for her own reflection there also, and she said, “Oh, Krishna, not only the thief is inside the well, the thief’s mother is there also!” 

Bhakti does not depend on anything else, bhakti only depends on this aveśa; absorption. So for this regard, Sukadeva Goswamipada told Pariksit Maharaja, “Though vrajavasis, especially the vraja-gopis, have no brahma-jnana, no knowledge about the tattva-siddantha, they are still always absorbed in Krishna, who is Bhagavan.”

The conclusion is that our life will be successful when we become completely absorbed in suddha-bhakta, thinking of him as our family member. But Gopa Kumara told, “Hey Mathura Brahmana, in this way, Lord Narayana Himself manifested as my guru Jayantha, and now Srimati Radhika sent me here for delivering you”. Then Gopa Kumara told all his life story and harikatha, but still Mathura Brahmana, Janaśarma, did not realize anything. Sometimes guru speaks harikatha, but the disciple has no realization, he is not understanding. In the same way, Gopa Kumara told all his life story and harikatha, and Janaśarma still didn’t have any realization about that. Then Gopa Kumara just put his hand on the head of Janaśarma, Mathura Brahmana. He gave him a blessing and immediately he had the same realization as his guru, and had realization about his siddha-deha as ‘Svarupa’. Then both returned back to Goloka Vrindavana and met with Srimati Radhika. And so She stayed very pleased and gave blessings to both of them.

Bolo Vrindavana Bihari Lala ki Jay!
Nitai Gaura Premanande Hari Haribol!

Transcriber: Vrndavana Candra Dasa
Editor: Acyuta Priya Devi Dasi