Krishna as Supersoul- our friend within

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

As aspiring devotees, many a times, we feel alone, sometimes even helpless. We, however, forget that Krishna as Supersoul is always with us. Due to our ignorance and dull consciousness we may not be able to see Krishna’s hand in our journey towards Him but He is very much with us. Similarly we may not be able to appreciate and value how Krishna as Supersoul is sitting in our heart and is inspiring us to progress towards Him at every stage in our Krishna consciousness journey. Supersoul plays a very important role in the journey of a devotee. Let us find out how we can connect with Supersoul, hear His voice and take guidance from Him.

Srimad Bhagavatam says

harir deha-bhtām ātmā svaya praktir īśvara
tat-pāda-mūla śaraa yata kemo nṛṇām iha

Śrī Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is the Supersoul and guide of all living entities who have accepted material bodies within this world. He is the supreme controller of all material activities in material nature. He is also our best friend, and everyone should take shelter at His lotus feet. In doing so, one’s life will be auspicious.

(SB 4.29.50)

Krishna is very close!

In Bhagavad-gītā (18.61) it is said, īśvara sarva-bhūtānāṁ hd-deśe ’rjuna tiṣṭhati: “The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna.” The living entity is within the body, and the Supersoul, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is also there. He is called antaryāmī and caitya-guru. As Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad-gītā (15.15), He is controlling everything:

sarvasya cāhaṁ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaṁ ca

“I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.”

(SB 4.29.50p)

Should I take directions from Supersoul?

Everything is being directed by the Supersoul within the body; therefore the better part of valor is to take His direction and be happy. To take His directions, one needs to be a devotee, and this is also confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā (10.10):

teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam
dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ taṁ yena mām upayānti te

“To those who are constantly devoted and worship Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me.”

(SB 4.29.50p)

Paramatma is our ‘old’ friend

In His Paramatma feature, Krishna is the old friend of everyone. According to Vedic injunction, Krishna is sitting with the living entity side by side. According to the sruti-mantra (dvä suparëä sayujä sakhäyäù), the Lord is sitting within the heart of every living entity as suhrt, the best friend. The Lord is always eager to have the living entity come home, back to Godhead. Sitting with the living entity as witness, the Lord gives him all chances to enjoy himself materially, but whenever there is an opportunity, the Lord gives good counsel and advises the living entity to abandon trying to become happy through material adjustment and instead turn his face toward the Supreme Personality of Godhead and surrender unto Him.

(SB 4.28.51p)

Can I start talking with Supersoul right now!

The Lord is the Supersoul seated in everyone’s heart, and He acts as the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within. However, He gives direct instructions only to the advanced, pure devotees.

(SB 4.28.41p)

I knew there would be some catch!

Unless you are a devotee, unless you are constantly engaged in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, He will not speak to you. He speaks, but you cannot hear. You have no ears to hear Him. That is not possible. Krishna is speaking. Just like Krishna is speaking in the Bhagavad-gita, sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja [Bg. 18.66]. It is open speaking, but who is hearing? Nobody is hearing. Nobody is hearing. They have got their own conception of life.

(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, 6th Nov, 1973, Delhi)

So what chance I have?

When a living entity desires to serve the Lord in transcendental loving service, the Lord helps the devotee in so many ways as the caitya-guru, or the spiritual master within, and thus the devotee can perform many wonderful activities beyond material estimation. By the mercy of the Lord even a layman can compose prayers of the highest spiritual perfection. Such spiritual perfection is not limited by material qualifications but is developed by dint of one’s sincere endeavor to render transcendental service. Voluntary endeavor is the only qualification for spiritual perfection.

(SB 3.9.38p)

We begin by taking shelter of a bona fide guru

A person in full Krishna consciousness acts by the dictation of Krishna. In the beginning of Krishna consciousness, dictation is received through the transparent medium of the spiritual master. When one is sufficiently trained and acts in submissive faith and love for Krishna under the direction of the bona fide spiritual master, the dovetailing process becomes more firm and accurate. This stage of devotional service by the devotee in Krishna consciousness is the most perfect stage of the yoga system. At this stage, Krishna, or the Supersoul, dictates from within, while from without the devotee is helped by the spiritual master, who is the bona fide representative of Krishna. From within He helps the devotee as caitya, for He is seated within the heart of everyone. Understanding that God is seated within everyone’s heart is not, however, sufficient. One has to be acquainted with God from both within and without, and one must take dictation from within and without to act in Krishna consciousness.

(SB 3.15.45p)

(We all have experienced when we are sitting with a bona-fide spiritual master or a devotee coming in proper disciplic succession, how the questions within our heart are automatically answered or explained by the such speaker, there is a solid connection via supersoul)

It’s a gradual process, coinciding with our purification level

In the beginning, when a devotee is serious and sincere, the Lord gives him directions from within to approach a bona fide spiritual master. When one is trained by the spiritual master according to the regulative principles of devotional service and is situated on the platform of spontaneous attachment for the Lord (räga-bhakti), the Lord also gives instructions from within. teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam [Bg. 10.10]. This distinct advantage is obtained by a liberated soul.

(SB 4.28.41p)

Supersoul manifests outside to help us!

One who is sincere and pure gets an opportunity to consult with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His Paramatma feature sitting within everyone’s heart. The Paramatma is always the caitya-guru, the spiritual master within, and He comes before one externally as the instructor and initiator spiritual master. The Lord can reside within the heart, and He can also come out before a person and give him instructions. Thus the spiritual master is not different from the Supersoul sitting within the heart.

(SB 4.8.52p)

Why does Supersoul need to manifests outside?

jīve sākṣāt nāhi tāte guru caittya-rūpe
śikṣā-guru haya kṛṣṇa-mahānta-svarūpe

Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krishna Himself.

It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krishna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krishna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.

(CC Adi 1.58+p)

(We should not only see our spiritual master as manifestation of Krishna but also our shiksha guru and senior counselors, from whom we are taking shiksha, as being direct representatives of Krishna. Krishna has personally sent them to help us.)

Wow! can we understand it via some example?

Just like we work in some big establishment, and if we can satisfy our immediate boss, that is the satisfaction of the whole company. You haven’t got to see whether all the members of the company have become satisfied. Simply the immediate boss under which you are working, if he is satisfied, then you know the company is satisfied because he will submit the report of his work.

Similarly, Krishna is very kind. He is helping you in different ways. He is within your heart. Krishna is within your heart. Antaryami, Caitya-guru. And is presenting Himself as spiritual master both ways, externally, internally. He is trying to help you. And when you are actually taking the advantage of that help, and if you are engaged with love and affection in the transcendental service of the Lord, then you can talk with God from within. God is within you. You haven’t got to find out God in so many places. Anywhere you can sit down. But if you are sincere, if you are actually wanting to offer your service to the Lordteñäà satata-yuktänäà bhajatäà préti-pürvakam, dadämi buddhi-yogaà tam [Bg. 10.10]—He will give you intelligence. Simply we have to become sincere servitor.

So it doesn’t matter whether one is householder or a brahmacari or sannyasi. He has to become first of all sincere servitor of the Lord. Then everything is complete. The Lord is within you. He will give you all knowledge, all enlightenment, all dictation, and He will make your life progressive.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture, 14th May 1969, Columbus)

I hope and pray that by reading the above we all can develop more faith to understand how Krishna is sitting within us as Supersoul and more importantly, we can appreciate how He is actively thinking about each one of us. Krishna loves each one of us and for those who are sincere, Krishna directly facilitates all arrangements so that we can go back to Him. For showering such love and personal care, what should be our feelings towards Krishna? And then what should be our feelings and attitude towards those great souls, whom Krishna has made His instrument of compassion and sent them to guide us in our spiritual journey. They are His direct representatives. Krishna Himself is helping every one of us internally as well as externally. Srila Prabhupada explains that there is no difference between internal instructor and external instructor. Can I work on my consciousness to see them non-different from each other?

Simply by accepting and acknowledging our spiritual master, shiksha guru and senior counselor as an external manifestation of Krishna, by valuing their association and contribution in our life, by following their instructions, we can attract further mercy of Krishna and make very rapid progress in Krishna consciousness and one day soon it may be our turn to start receiving direct instructions from someone very special within us, the stealer of hearts, Sri Krishna Chandra.

 

your servant,

Giriraj dasa

 

P.S. – Please use this link to read Lord Kapila describing the specific form of Supersoul residing in our heart and how yogis meditate on that divine form SB 3.28.21

Build an eternal relationship with Srila Prabhupada

Hare Krishna dear devotees,

Few years back, I was preparing for a class by hearing a lecture given by HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji, from ISKCON Punjabi Bagh, repeatedly. Somehow, by Prabhuji’s mercy and potency, few lines from that lecture touched my heart and remain ingrained forever. Here are those lines-

Everyone in ISKCON should try to build a relationship with Srila Prabhupada. Prabhupada is preeminent shiksha guru of everyone in ISKCON and it will be very beneficial for our spiritual life if we build a personal relationship with Srila Prabhupada. And it is possible for everyone in ISKCON to build a personal relationship with him, not just his immediate disciples. We simply need to make efforts in that direction and we will definitely receive his reciprocation ”.

We are well aware that position of an acharya is very unique. An acharya not only teaches us but he also practices everything himself. Hence an acharya teaches us with his own practical example, which is a far easier and practical way to grasp for the conditioned souls.

Let us now see how Srila Prabhupada ‘practiced’ his own relationship with his spiritual master, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, another exalted acharya in our line, and learn from him how we can we develop a permanent relationship with the lotus feet of our acharya- Srila Prabhupada.

An Acharya’s birth is not ordinary

So these äcäryas, they come and they go, that is not like ordinary birth and death. It is called prakaöa, aprakaöa; ävirbhäva, tirobhäva. So even ordinarily nobody takes birth and nobody dies, na jäyate na mréyate vä kadäcit [Bg. 2.20], so what to speak of the äcäryas or Bhagavän.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture — December 22, 1975, Bombay)

Who are these exalted Acharayas?

Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu has given considerable discussion about nitya-siddha and sädhana-siddha devotees. Nitya-siddha devotees come from Vaikuëöha to this material world to teach, by their personal example, how to become a devotee. The living entities in this material world can take lessons from such nitya-siddha devotees and thus become inclined to return home, back to Godhead. A nitya-siddha devotee comes from Vaikuëöha upon the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and shows by his example how to become a pure devotee (anyäbhiläñitä-çünyam [Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu 1.1.11]). In spite of coming to this material world, the nitya-siddha devotee is never attracted by the allurements of material enjoyment.

….When the Lord Himself appears as an incarnation within this material world, He is not allured by the material atmosphere, and He has nothing to do with material activity, yet by His example He teaches the common man how to become a devotee. Similarly, a devotee who comes here in accordance with the order of the Supreme Lord shows by his personal behavior how to become a pure devotee. A pure devotee, therefore, is a practical example for all living entities, including Lord Brahmä.

(SB 7.10.3p)

Without their practical guidance..

The bona fide spiritual master, by his personal activities, teaches the disciple the principles of devotional service. Without personal service, one would go on speculating like the impersonalists and dry speculators life after life and would be unable to reach the final conclusion.

(SB 2.9.37p)

He is not dead and gone!

So now, by the grace of Krishna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu and in the presence of my Guru Maharaja, you are so nice boys and girls. So in front of Caitanya Mahaprabhu you are chanting Hare Krishna mantra, and you are taking part in it very seriously. So my Guru Maharaja will be very, very much pleased upon you and bless you with all benefits. [break]

So he wanted this, and he is not… It is not that he is dead and gone. That is not spiritual understanding. Even ordinary living being, he does not die. Na hanyate hanyamäne çarére [Bg. 2.20]. And what to speak of such exalted, authorized personality like Bhaktisiddhanta. He is seeing. I never feel that I am alone. Of course, when I came to your country without any friend, without any means… Practically, just like a vagabond I came. But I had full faith that “My Guru Mahäräja is with me.” I never lost this faith. And that is fact. There are two words, väëé and vapuù. Väné means words, and vapuù means this physical body. So väëé is more important than the vapuù. Vapuù will be finished. This is material body. It will be finished. That is the nature. But if we keep to the väëé, to the words of spiritual master, then we remain very fixed up. It doesn’t matter.

(Srila Prabhupada lecture – Atlanta, March 2, 1975)

I won’t die!

Kértanänanda: Why can’t you give us your old age?

Prabhupada: When I see that things are going on nicely, I am happy. What is this with this body? Body is body. We are not body.

Kértanänanda: Wasn’t it Purudäsa that gave his father his youth?

Prabhupada: Hmm?

Rämeçvara: Yayäti. King Yayäti traded his old age.

Kértanänanda: With his son. You can do that.

Prabhupada: [laughs] Who did?

Rämeçvara: King Yayäti.

Prabhupada: Ah. Yayäti. No, why? You are my body. So you live on. There is no difference. Just like I am working, so my Guru Mahäräja is there, Bhaktisiddhanta Goswami. Physically he may not be, but in every action he is there. I think actually I have written that.

Tamäla Kåñëa: Yeah, it’s in the Bhägavatam, that “He who lives with him, he lives eternally. He who remembers his words lives eternally.”

Prabhupada: So I am not going to die. Kértir yasya sa jévati: “One who has done something substantial, he lives forever.” He doesn’t die. Even in our practical life… Of course, this is material, karma-phala. One has to accept another body according to his karma. But for devotee there is no such thing. He always accepts a body for serving Krishna. So there is no karma-phala

(Conversation Pieces- May 27, 1977, Vrindavana)

Mercy is forever available to everyone, it is up to us to take advantage of it.

Prabhupada: You have to associate with both. Guru-kåñëa-kåpäya päya bhakti-latä-béja [Cc. Madhya 19.151]. Both guru’s kåpä and Kåñëa’s kåpä, they must be joined. Then you will get.

Jayädvaita: We’re very eager to get that guru-kåpä.

Prabhupada: Who?

Jayädvaita: We are. All of us.

Prabhupada: Yes. Yasya prasädäd bhagavat-prasädaù. If you get guru’s kåpä, then automatically you get Krishna.

Näräyaëa: Guru-kåpä only comes by pleasing the spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: Otherwise how?

Näräyaëa: Excuse me?

Prabhupada: Otherwise how it can come?

Näräyaëa: So those disciples who don’t have opportunity to see you or speak with you…

Prabhupada: That he was speaking, väëé and vapuù. Even if you don’t see his body, you take his word, väëé.

Näräyaëa: But how do they know they’re pleasing you, Srila Prabhupada?

Prabhupada: If you actually follow the words of guru, that means he is pleased. And if you do not follow, how he can be pleased?

Sudämä: Not only that, but your mercy is spread everywhere, and if we take advantage, you told us once, then we will feel the result.

Prabhupada: Yes.

Jayädvaita: And if we have faith in what the guru says, then automatically we’ll do that.

Prabhupada: Yes. My Guru Maharaja passed in 1936, and I started this movement in 1965, thirty years after. Then? I am getting the mercy of guru. This is väëé. Even the guru is not physically present, if you follow the väëé, then you are getting help.

Sudämä: So there’s no question of ever separation as long as the disciple follows the instruction of guru.

Prabhupada: No. Cakhu-dän dilo jei... What is that, next one?

Sudämä: Cakhu-dän dilo jei, janme janme prabhu sei.

Prabhupada: Janme janme prabhu sei. So where there is separation? Who has opened your eyes, he is birth after birth your prabhu.

(Morning Walk—July 21, 1975, San Francisco)

A peek into the heart of Srila Prabhupada

Let us now read a pastime from the book ‘Miracle on Second Avenue’, an amazing account of the early days of ISKCON by of HH Mukunda Goswami. It was mercy of HH Gunagrahi Maharaj, who recommended this book to me and having read it, I would request everyone to read it, specially those who would like to build a stronger relationship with Srila Prabhupada by reading about him, his early days in west and how he preached to the westerners and started this movement.

This particular pastime gives us a peek into the very heart of Srila Prabhupada, his spiritual feelings and firm faith in his spiritual master. The background of the below pastime is that Srila Prabhupada has suffered a massive heart attack in New York. Doctors had told devotees that he may not survive this attack but by Krishna’s mercy, and devotees prayers, ‘he made it through’. Prabhupada was still recovering when he decided to visit San Francisco as local devotees there were preparing for the first ever Rathayatra. Devotees had taken a beach front house on rent for Srila Prabhupada, where it was peaceful and quite for him to to rest and recover.

While reading the below pastime please do keep in my mind that these are very early days of ISKCON, its June 1967, devotees are new to Krishna consciousness, they are young and innocent, but their hearts are sold out to Srila Prabhupada.  Here we go, as HH Mukunda maharaja recalls this particular pastime with his spiritual master –

On his second day there, I knocked on his door and sat down on the floor in front of the bed he was sitting on.

“How are you feeling, Swami?” I asked.

He continued to chant softly, gazing at the somewhat primitive painting of Radha and Krishna on the wall to his right painted by a devotee artist. I thought maybe he hadn’t heard me, but after a few minutes he put down his beads and stood up.

“What is this body?” he said, making a gesture with his palms open and his arms outstretched. He looked almost disgusted to inhabit an ephemeral body and incredulous that I would be concerned to inquire about the state of something so fleeting. I realized that although I had read about the temporary nature of the body and the eternality of the spirit soul, he was actually living that philosophy.

For him the material world was not as important as the spiritual world, and he didn’t really care about his body coming to an end.

I went back into the kitchen and told Hayagriva and Kirtanananda about what the swami had said and my impression of what he meant.

“He’s not concerned about leaving his body for himself, because he’ll go back to be with Krishna,” Hayagriva said. “But what would happen to the movement if he was to die?”

“What?” My mouth hung open.

“All I’m saying is that he’s going to leave his body some time,” Hayagriva said. “Maybe you should ask him if someone should take over when he dies.”

“Maybe you should ask him,” I said. I thought he was being a bit too pragmatic about such a sensitive issue.

“No, it should be you,” Hayagriva insisted. “You’re the one he talked to about it.”

“Well, actually, no, he didn’t,” I clarified. “I was the one who started thinking about this stuff because of his comment about his body.”

“Whatever the case, we need to know how we should continue our Krishna consciousness education if he’s not here, shouldn’t we? And how we’d keep his movement alive, right?”

I thought for a few seconds. As blunt as Hayagriva was being about the issue, I had to admit that deep down I wanted to know the answers to these questions for myself too.

“OK, I’ll ask him,” I said. “I guess somebody has to ask about it eventually, and I guess it may as well be me.”

I knocked on his door again.

“Yes?” the swami said from within.

“Swami, can I ask you a question?” I asked. “Yes.” He sat down on his bed again.

I took a deep breath.

“When you die, what will happen to the movement?” I asked. “Will you have a successor who will continue your work and look after our spiritual education?”

As I heard myself say the words, I realized it had been a mistake to ask this. I saw suddenly that I had been put forward to ask this delicate question on someone else’s behalf. The swami sat silently, looking out the window at the sand dunes and the mountains. It was high tide and I could hear the waves pounding the beach. Gulls shrieked. I could feel two sets of ears straining from the kitchen to hear his answer.

The swami muttered something quietly.

“I couldn’t hear what you said, Swami,” I said carefully. “Can you repeat it?”

“Actually, it is an insult to the spiritual master,” he said a little louder.

He turned away from the window and looked at me pensively, as if he was hurt by my question.

“I’m sorry, Swami,” I said. I felt like shrinking into the carpet. He closed his eyes. Outside a dog barked. A shallow stream of tears appeared below each of his eyes and flowed over his cheeks.

He slowly wiped them away.  “My spiritual master …” he said, and his voice choked to gravel. I was stunned. What had I done?

“My spiritual master,” he said, “he was no ordinary spiritual master.” He paused again, and then whispered falteringly, “He saved me.”

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I’ll go now.” I was too overcome myself to say more.

Hayagriva and Kirtanananda looked furtive when I came back into the kitchen. I pushed past them and went and sat out on the porch by myself. The swami’s answer was crystal clear to me. There was no question of replacing the spiritual master. His potency to teach would not end with his death but would continue even in his physical absence. What struck me the most was the way the swami taught me this. He didn’t just tell me with words; he showed me through his spiritual emotion toward his own spiritual master.

“The swami is no ordinary spiritual master,” I thought to myself. “I must learn to love and serve my spiritual master unconditionally with the fidelity and loyalty with which he serves his.”

I brushed a few grains of imaginary sand from my hands and went back into the house to talk to Kirtanananda and Hayagriva about the swami’s instruction to us all.

( Miracle on Second Avenue, by HH Mukunda Goswami, chapter 21)

Conclusion

Thank you very much for your sincere endeavor and faith in your Spiritual Master. The key to success in spiritual life is to always endeavor to please the Spiritual Master, and follow his instructions. One who is determined in this effort will advance very quickly in Krishna consciousness.

So far personal association with the Guru is concerned, I was only with my Guru Maharaja four or five times, but I have never left his association, not even for a moment. Because I am following his instructions, I have never felt any separation. There are some of my Godbrothers here in India who had constant personal association with Guru Maharaja, but who are neglecting his orders. This is just like the bug who is sitting on the lap of the king. He may be very puffed-up by his position, but all he can succeed in doing is biting the king. Personal association is not so important as association through service.

(Letter to Satadhanya—Calcutta, 20 February, 1972)

I hope and humbly pray that it touches your heart as it touched mine, that we all feel inspired to daily, and carefully, read Srila Prabhupada books and start following his instructions.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

your servant.

Giriraj dasa

Who is a Bonafide Guru?

guru

Reporter: But the bad gurus…
Çréla Prabhupäda: And what is a “bad” guru?
Reporter: A bad guru just wants some money or some fame.
Çréla Prabhupäda: Well, if he is bad, how can he become a guru? [Laughter.] How can iron become gold? Actually, a guru cannot be bad, for if someone is bad, he cannot be a guru. You cannot say “bad guru.” That is a contradiction. What you have to do is simply try to understand what a genuine guru is. The definition of a genuine guru is that he is simply talking about God—that’s all. If he’s talking about some other nonsense, then he is not a guru. A guru cannot be bad. There is no question of a bad guru, any more than a red guru or a white guru. Guru means “genuine guru.” All we have to know is that the genuine guru is simply talking about God and trying to get people to become God’s devotees. If he does this, he is genuine.

Science of Self Realization, Chapter 2 (SSR)

A bonafide guru honestly accepts and faithfully serves the authority of the disciplic succession represented by the Founder-Äcärya of ISKCON, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupäda.

The founder-äcärya of the sampradäya is the principal çikñä-guru for that disciplic succession. Speculations that contradict his teachings are to be immediately rejected. Only a saintly devotee who has understood the teachings of the principal çikñä-guru is eligible to be a dékñä-guru for others. If one thinks that he can be initiated by an unauthorized guru or a Mäyävädé into these teachings, he errs severely. He will never attain Kåñëa consciousness.

HNC 6.2126

All bona fide representatives of Çré Vyäsadeva in the chain of disciplic succession are to be understood to be gosvämés. These gosvämés restrain all their senses, and they stick to the path made by the previous äcäryas. The gosvämés do not deliver lectures on the Bhägavatam capriciously. Rather, they execute their services most carefully, following their predecessors who delivered the spiritual message unbroken to them.

ÇB 1.1.5p

The guru does not manufacture a new process to instruct the disciple. The disciple receives from the guru an authorized process received by the guru from his guru. This is called the system of disciplic succession (evaà paramparä-präptaà imaà räjarñayo viduù [Bg. 4.2]). This is the bona fide Vedic system of receiving the process of devotional service, by which the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased. Therefore, to approach a bona fide guru, or spiritual master, is essential. The bona fide spiritual master is he who has received the mercy of his guru, who in turn is bona fide because he has received the mercy of his guru. This is called the paramparä system.

ÇB 8.16.24p

A bonafide guru is fixed in serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead as servant of the servant.

A Vaiñëava never thinks that he has a direct relationship with Kåñëa. Lord Caitanya says, “I am the servant of the servant of the servant of the servant—a hundred times the servant of the servant—of Kåñëa [Cc. Madhya 13.80].” We have to agree to become the servant of the servant of the servant. This is the process of disciplic succession, and if one wants real, transcendental love of God, then he has to adopt this process.

SSR Ch. 8

A spiritual master’s qualification is that he is brahma-niñöhä, which means that he has given up all other activities and has dedicated his life to working only for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kåñëa.

Kåñëa Book Ch. 87

A bonafide guru hears from the disciplic succession.

Some spiritual teachers say, “In my opinion you should do this,” but this is not a guru. Such so-called gurus are simply rascals. The genuine guru has only one opinion, and that is the opinion expressed by Kåñëa, Vyäsadeva, Närada, Arjuna, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, and the Gosvämés.

SSR Ch. 2

An actual guru is çrotriya, one who has heard or received perfect knowledge through paramparä, the disciplic succession.

ÇB 7.5.31p

Perfect knowledge is called paramparä, or deductive knowledge coming down from the authority to the submissive aural receiver who is bona fide by service and surrender.

ÇB 1.2.21p

A bonafide guru has realized the conclusions of scriptures.

The qualification of a spiritual master is that he must have realized the conclusions of the scriptures by deliberation and arguments and thus be able to convince others of these conclusions. Such great personalities who have taken shelter of the Supreme Godhead, leaving aside all material considerations, are to be understood as bona fide spiritual masters.

NOD Ch. 7

A spiritually advanced person who is authorized to act as the spiritual master speaks as the Supreme Personality of Godhead dictates from within. Thus it is not he that is personally speaking. In other words, when a pure devotee or spiritual master speaks, what he says should be accepted as having been directly spoken by the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the paramparä system.

CC Antya 5.71p

Whatever position one may have, if he is fully conversant with the science of Kåñëa, Kåñëa consciousness, he can become a bona fide spiritual master — an initiator or a teacher of the science.

TLC, Ch. 31

A bonafide guru does not behave whimsically.

One who is in the line of disciplic succession cannot manufacture his own way of behavior. There are many so-called followers of the Vaiñëava cult in the line of Caitanya Mahäprabhu who do not scrupulously follow the conclusions of the çästras, and therefore they are considered to be apa-sampradäya, which means “outside of the sampradäya.”

CC Ädi 7.48p

 

One who is now the disciple is the next spiritual master. And one cannot be a bona fide and authorized spiritual master unless one has been strictly obedient to his spiritual master.

ÇB 2.9.43p

 

If one is seriously interested in Kåñëa conscious activities, he must be ready to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the äcäryas, and he must understand their conclusions. The çästra says, dharmasya tattvaà nihitaà guhäyäà mahäjano yena gataù sa panthäù (Mahäbhärata, Vana-parva 313.117). It is very difficult to understand the secret of Kåñëa consciousness, but one who advances by the instruction of the previous äcäryas and follows in the footsteps of his predecessors in the line of disciplic succession will have success. Others will not.

CC Ädi 8.7p

 

A bonafide guru is selfcontrolled.

One who is not self-controlled, specifically in sex life, can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master. One must have disciplinary training in controlling speaking, anger, the tongue, the mind, the belly and the genitals. One who has controlled the particular senses mentioned above is called a gosvämé. Without becoming a gosvämé one can become neither a disciple nor a spiritual master. The so-called spiritual master without sense control is certainly the cheater, and the disciple of such a so-called spiritual master is the cheated.

ÇB 2.9.43p

 

A person who has full control over the senses and mind is called a gosvämé or gosäïi. One who does not have such control is called a godäsa, or a servant of the senses, and cannot become a spiritual master.

CC Ädi 7.13p

 

A bonafide guru is an uttama-adhikäré.

The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people…… The guru is a qualified brähmaëa; therefore he knows Brahmanand Para-brahman. He thus devotes his life for the service of Para-brahman. The bona fide spiritual master who accepts disciples from all over the world is also worshiped all over the world because of his qualities. Lokänäm asau püjyo yathä hariù: the people of the world worship him just as they worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead. All these honors are offered to him because he strictly follows the brahminical principles and teaches these principles to his disciples. Such a person is called an äcärya because he knows the principles of devotional service, he behaves in that way himself, and he teaches his disciples to follow in his footsteps…… The mahä-bhägavata is one who decorates his body with tilaka and whose name indicates him to be a servant of Kåñëa by the word däsa. He is also initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and is expert in worshiping the Deity, chanting mantras correctly, performing sacrifices, offering prayers to the Lord and performing saìkértana. He knows how to serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead and how to respect a Vaiñëava. When one has attained the topmost position of mahä-bhägavata, he is to be accepted as a guru and worshiped exactly like Hari, the Personality of Godhead. Only such a person is eligible to occupy the post of a guru.

CC Madhya 24.330p

One should not become a spiritual master unless he has attained the platform of uttama-adhikäré. A neophyte Vaiñëava or a Vaiñëava situated on the intermediate platform can also accept disciples, but such disciples must be on the same platform, and it should be understood that they cannot advance very well toward the ultimate goal of life under his insufficient guidance. Therefore a disciple should be careful to accept an uttama-adhikäré as a spiritual master.

The uttama-adhikäré, or highest devotee, is one who is very advanced in devotional service. An uttama-adhikäré is not interested in blaspheming others, his heart is completely clean, and he has attained the realized state of unalloyed Kåñëa consciousness……Out of many such Vaiñëavas, one may be found to be very seriously engaged in the service of the Lord and strictly following all the regulative principles, chanting the prescribed number of rounds on japa beads and always thinking of how to expand the Kåñëa consciousness movement. Such a Vaiñëava should be accepted as an uttama-adhikäré, a highly advanced devotee, and his association should always be sought……When a person realizes himself to be an eternal servitor of Kåñëa, he loses interest in everything but Kåñëa’s service. Always thinking of Kåñëa, devising means by which to spread the Holy Name of Kåñëa, he understands that his only business is in spreading the Kåñëa consciousness movement all over the world. Such a person is to be recognized as an uttama-adhikäré.

NOI Text 5p

 

Note :The above content is copied from An Ocean of Gaura’s premämåta-kåpä – An elaboration on Srila Rupa Goswami’s Sri Upadesamrta by H.G. Srimati Mataji. We can download the book CLICK HERE

In the next blog I will quote a heavy check list on what is meant by a bonafide Guru by Srila Bhaktisdhanta Sarasvati Thakura.

 

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

My Gurus in 2014…

Hare Krishna

5th December, 2014. Gurgaon

If your car is moving, don’t forget whose push started it to get it going. Similarly, always remember the different gurus that got you moving on the path of devotion.  HH Mahanidhi Maharaj

If your car is moving, don’t forget whose push started it to get it going. Similarly, always remember the different gurus that got you moving on the path of devotion. HH Mahanidhi Maharaj

As the year 2014 comes to I feel inspired to share and thank the devotees who helped me and inspired to take baby steps in Krishna consciousness. I, then, remembered how I had written a blog in Jan 2013 ( click here to read the same) and I thought let me take the same format and list down my own 24 gurus.

Let me recount that Shri Dattatreya had twenty-four teachers from nature as he told King Yadu…. The earth, air/breeze, sky, fire, the sun, pigeon, python, sea, moth, elephant, ant, fish, Pingala the courtesan, arrow-maker, infant/playful boy, the moon, honeybee, deer, bird of prey, maiden, serpent, spider, caterpillar and water are my twenty four preceptors.

Here is my list for 2014, this is not in any particular order, I am writing as I remember them.

1. HG Rukmini Krishna Prabhuji, Delhi : He is and would always remain my shiksha guru and guide, whatever little I am today in my spiritual life is all thanks to him. Every time I listen to Prabhuji’s class I can see the quality of preparation behind it. I learn from prabhuji how one must always prepare well for his class, picking a topic and expanding on it and ensuring that devotees take home some learning from each class.

2. ShyamSundar Krishna Prabhuji , Gurgaon : Prabhuji remains a very dear friend cum guide. I feel so inspired by his level of service. Prabhuji serves the local ISKCON centre very well. The amount of effort he pitches in, with the right attitude, and how he helps devotees in time of their need is very inspiring for me. On top of that prabhuji has a unique knack to ask open ended questions to make any class or discussion interactive.

3. ShyamVihari Prabhuji & Shyamangi Radhika Mataji, Surangi Mataji, Parmeshwari Mataji and so many other devotees : What a feeling they have to serve their Guru, small things like who is going with Maharaj, lack of a back pillow in a class, a foot mat, they all have very good bhava to serve guru. I can only pray to them that by their association I too get same bhava to serve senior Vaishanavas.

4. Mukundapriya Prabhuji, Surat : I personally experience how Prabhuji served Guru Maharaj in Gurgaon. Prabhuji will just sit outside Maharaj’s room like a servant, no questions, no comments, just there as a dedicated servant. I felt very inspired and try to copy the same feeling while serving Guru Maharaj.

5. Mukunda Prabhji., Ujjain : Prabhuji is a senior and very humble devotee. He visited us this year and bowled us over with his humility and honesty by sharing his challenges in spiritual life and asking advice from devotees half his age. Prabhuji acted as if to teach us this attitude. He showed me that I should never feel shy about asking help about any challenge I may face. I acted on it and got benefited.

6. HG Vidurpriya Prabhuji, Delhi : Prabhuji is a senior preacher and has such an affable personality and everyone loves him. The quality I learn from him is `no envy’. He is always pleased to hear glorification of everyone and there is never a tinge on envy in him.

7. HH Gopal Krishna Goswami Maharaj : I respect him so much. There was a recent incident where I personally realised how merciful and compassionate Maharaj is towards all. My day is simply made when Maharaj’s merciful eyes fall on my fallen body and soul.

8. Tulasi Maharani : She is my guru in many ways, for the time being I can just say that the reciprocation and the mercy I received from her taught me to inculcate similar feelings for others, which I have yet to even start. I became aware of so many offenses I did while serving her initially, and I am sure I still don’t serve her properly, but she reciprocated just on some tinge of right feeling in my heart.

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9. Rasikakeshava Prabhuji, Gurgaon : Prabhuji is one of the more sincere devotees in our small town. Prabhuji came to our home on way to his office, he works in a MNC co., I was surprised to see him wearing tilak to office. It was light and not as thick and bright we usually wear to temple but it was there and Prabhuji inspired me to follow the same. Now, most of the days I wear a very light tilak to office, no longer water, all thanks to him.

10. Dhama : I wrote about my experience few weeks back on how dhama reciprocates when we try to serve than trying to enjoy its potency for our ownself. Its a big learning for me and I pray that always remember it. I learnt that I can serve dhama by serving devotees in the Dhama and visit as a guide for new people rather than just about me and Dhama.

11. HH Bhakti Vijnana Mahaaraj : I love Maharaj and his style of explaining complex topics. It was only after hearing Maharaj’s lecture on how chanting purifies scientifically that I looked inside my own heart and pushed myself to improve my chanting. It was his seminar where I realised the potency of chanting. My chanting will never be the same, even on the worst of the days. I have written two unfinished blogs sharing what I learned in two seminars but they are turning out to be too long and

12. Kirtana : I am not a very Kirtan person, I sure like them but lecture is always my first love. This year, after a gap of two years, I again attended the Barsana retreat by HH Sacinanadan Maharaj, for two days only. When I reached I found that it was the day of the 12 hour kirtan. At first I felt sad as I thought O! I missed all the lectures/katha and now one day will only be kirtan. Maharaj immediately put everyone in to the right mood to be absorbed in the kirtan and then it was one superlative performance after another. Later, how the kirtan ended for me is a topic for another blog in future. Let me share my chanting improved 200%, atleast for the time being. And what a feeling, it was if my anarthas were falling like huge sheets of glass, I could literally hear them breaking. I will never forget that experience my whole life. I will never undermine the potency of Kirtan, ever. Kirtan is my new guru.

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13. Asit Prabhuji, Gurgaon : Prabhuji is one of the most senior and respected devotee in Gurgaon and teaches Vaishnava etiquette by his own example. So many incidents in the past one year which were eye openers for me. I feel so fortunate that we have a devotee with such high standard of manners which we can copy wholeheartedly.

14. HG Damodar Prabhuji, Vrindavan : Prabhuji is very sweet and does very nice katha and more sweeter Vaishanava bhajans. Prabhuji gave me the taste to hear and learn Vaishanava bhajans, I always look forward to his class and it is because of him only that I fell in love with `Hari haraye namah krishna Yadvaye namah’ and other Vaishnava bhajans.

15. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta : I had so much hankering for knowing more and more and would collect all sort of books. I would read them for few days then jump to a new one. This continued till I read Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta . It was as if this is what my soul was searching from eternity. If I ever learn Bangla language, it will be only to taste its verses.

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16. Guru’s words : What a guru. I learnt the hard way what is the consequence when I ignore instructions of my guru and also learnt in a very pleasant manner what are benefits when I cling to every single word of my guru, the results are many times disproportionate to my service. I have taken the words from a guru or instructions from a senior devotee as a separate personality whom I must server if I want to progress more than what I deserve.

17. Servant of the servant: I went to serve guru maharaj during the recent Kanpur temple opening. After reaching the temple I found that two senior god brothers have already arrived with the same intent. Instead of being happier I at first felt a tinge of sadness in my heart as I thought that I will not get the opportunity to serve Guru Maharaj but then I let it go as I thought that these devotees are more qualified to serve guru maharaj than me and it is better only that they serve Guru Maharaj well rather than my service, which is basic at best. Then it dawned upon me that I can learn from them by serving them instead. I tried my best to serve them and I came back even happier than serving guru maharaj directly. I realised that this is my right position, servant of servant and I also realised that it is more pleasing to my soul. So now whenever I have the opportunity I try to serve those devotees who are serving Guru Maharaj, I feel happy to be a small inconsequential devotee who is assisting the direct servants in their service to guru. I never knew that being servant of the servant could be more satisfying than serving directly.

18. Kartika month : This was the first year where we sang Damodarashtakam almost every evening at home. Result… very nice reciprocation, I got so many realisations and for the first time I learnt to meditate on the form of Lord while singing. I have realised that kartika month too is my guru and when I serve him, the reciprocation and learning are huge.

OfferinglampstoSriSriKrishnaBalaraminISKCONVrindavan20

19. HH Tamal Krishna Goswami Maharaj : I hear maharaj’s seminar on Damodarashtakam since last 2 years and it has left a lasting impression on my heart. It was only after hearing his prodding questions that inspired me to go a bit internal and improve my Sadhna Bhakti.

20. Time : I learned how flexible time is actually. I did hear in a lecture that time can contract and expand but realised it only this year. I found so many times that while chanting, in the kirtan, the time stops, literally. I realised that as we go from gross to subtle and further subtle levels we can easily experience it. Time teaches me to put my heart into everything I do and then time takes a back seat.

21. Association of Guru Maharaj :I love to relish just being near him. I feel that I am already participating in Lords pastimes. Days seem longer, just guru’s association in itself seems to be perfection for me.

22. Srila Prabhupada : I got the service to send one Prabhupada quote to our local temple devotees, Initially I would cut and paste from ISKCONdesiretree and later I pushed myself to pick one from whatever I read that day. This habit continues since many months. It gave me unshakable faith in the writing of Srila Prabhupada as I realised how easily I am able to get quotes from almost every second verse and how they are absolute in themselves and need no explanation nor depends on some time, place or circumstances, unbelievable. I learn from Srila Prabhupada everyday. He is my eternal shiksha guru.

23. Association of devotees : Another guru. I have started considering `association of devotees’ as a personality who cools my soul. Innumerable times I have benefited spiritually by just being in the association of devotees. So many devotees showered their mercy on me this year, HG Madhavananda Prabhuji, Amitab Krishna Prabhu. I had to open my introvert and dry heart and they poured their mercy in it and making it more malleable.

24. Hearing Krishna Katha : Today I consider Krishna Katha as independent person and non different from Krishna Himself in many ways. This guru gives something rare…. greed for Krishna.

TA-127-620x350

sādhu-saṅge kṛṣṇa-nāma-ei-mātra cāi
saṁsāra jinite āra kona vastu nāi

Other than sadhu sanga and the name of Krishna, nothing else is needed to cross over the ocean of birth and death.

As I wrote in my last year blog that apart from these 24 gurus, I have a special half moon in my life, my spiritual master. He is my lord and my master, there is nothing that I have learnt from my own capability or ability, everything has happened due to the sheer causeless mercy of my spiritual master. I have understood that my eternal svarupa is to be his servant’s servant. Goal of my life ? What can I do to please him.


According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is non different from Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.
(CC Ādi 1.45 )

Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is identical with the Vedic hymn known as the Kāma-gāyatrī, which is composed of twenty-four and a half syllables. Those syllables are compared to moons that arise in Kṛṣṇa. Thus all three worlds are filled with desire. (CC Madhya 21.125)

Quotes-by-Srila-Prabhupada-on-Grace-of-The-Spiritual-Master

Difference between devotees & non devotees, and some analogies.

Hare Krishna.

21st September, 2014. Gurgaon.

Quotes-by-Srila-Prabhupada-on-Difference-Between-A-Devotee-and-A-Non-Devotee

I recently heard two wonderful analogies about devotees, I am sharing them below.

As the many waves of the rivers flow into the ocean, so do all these great warriors enter blazing into Your mouths. (BG 11.28)

I see all people rushing full speed into Your mouths, as moths dash to destruction in a blazing fire. (BG 11.29)

The first was when I was listening to a lecture by HG Chaitnaya Charan Prabhuji on NoI and heard this amazing description of the above often repeated analogies of rivers rushing into water and moths dashing into fire, that death will come to everyone present there. Prabhuji quoted Vedanta Desika of Sri sampradaya who compared moths to non devotees and rivers to devotees in the following ways :

1. River enters naturally into sea where as moth forcefully enter the fire. Similarly people like Duryodhana enter death forcefully by doing adharma where as warriors like Bhishama and Drona are forced by the providence to be on the wrong side and they have to fight and also die also, but there is a difference between the two.

2. Rivers don’t lose their primary identity after merging into seas (water remains water) where as moths gets burned and lose their primary identity after getting burnt. Similarly devotee do not lose their identity after death. On the other hand materialists when they die, lose whatever they value. Devotees continue as before and serve the Lord, their essentials doesn’t change either in the material world or in the spiritual world. What they were doing before they do afterwards as well, death doesn’t effect them in a major way.

3. When moths go towards fire the don’t do any good to themselves or to the fire. But rivers irrigate the land and also provide water to everyone on the way to sea. Similarly when devotee lead there lives they are benefiting everyone, when they speak Krishna katha not only they are living a spiritual life but also spreading Krishna consciousness. Non devotees are no good to anyone.

The second one was when I heard a most wonderful seminar by HH Bhakti Vijnana Goswami Maharaj on cleansing our heart. Maharaj first stated how a brahmana has three stages in his devotional life :

1. Dvija : when one is born in a brahmana family
2. Vipra : when one becomes an expert and is inspired
3. brahmana : One who knows Brahman.

Maharaj stated that similarly a devotee too has three stages in his life

1. First stage : When one gets initiated by the mercy of his Guru
2. Vipra : when one feels internally inspired to progress in bhakti
3. Vaishanava : when one understands Brahman

I then searched for analogies written by Srila Prabhupada and I hit a jackpot at this link.

I am sharing some of them below

1. As the river flows on till she reaches the sea, similarly pure devotional service flows by the association of pure devotees till it reaches the ultimate goal, namely, transcendental love of God.

2. His Divine Grace the spiritual master can kindle the spiritual fire from the wood-like living entity by imparting proper spiritual messages injected through the receptive ear.

3. He is slapped by the police. He says, “Oh, I am independent. Go on slapping.” This is insanity. Is it not insanity? The police slaps him, and he says, “I am independent.” Do you think independence? So that sort of independence we are having.

4. Tiger can kill many animals. Does it mean it is very important animal? No. It has no use in the society. Undoubtedly, it is very powerful. It has got the good weapons to fight and it can kill many. These are not qualifications for good men or good society.

I request devotees to kindly share useful analogies you may have heard with all of us.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.
All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

How can we see Krishna ?

Hare Krishna.

22nd January, Gurgaon.

Krishna

Its only recently that I have started reading Srila Prabhupada’s purports a little more carefully than ever before, especially since I started reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta. I realised that there are so many gems scattered in each purport. I am sure that I am just scratching the surface as I am a beginner in the spiritual life.

Since past two weeks I have started taking my notes in a Q&A form. This helps me in two ways, first I now read the purports a little more carefully and secondly I get clear answers to so many questions and can store them on my ipad for future reference. Reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta has turned out to be a goldmine of knowledge for me, quenching my thirst to know more, and opening so many wonderful doors into Gaur Lila.

I am sharing a few Q&As below, all these answers are from Srila Prabhupada’s translations, unless I mention any of my learning from the same or will share the reference. Let me also acknowledge my complete lack of intelligence, experience, realisations and knowledge of shastra. I haven’t yet read Srimad Bhagavatam completely and only with permission from my Shiksha Guru I have started reading Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta on the side. I also do not recollect 100% of what all I have read till date. I am aware that there are multiple answers to many questions with reference to Srila Prabhupda’s purports in different verses and in different books. In this way I am completely ineligible to write on such topics. But I still hope and pray that this endeavour will please Sri Guru and Srila Prabhupada as I am sharing these Q&As without my own interpretation and I pray at their lotus feet that they bless us so that we can use this knowledge to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world. Here it goes

Q: How can we see Krishna ?

A:  “One cannot see the Supreme Lord by making personal efforts. Rather, when the Lord is pleased by the service of a devotee, He reveals Himself.”

Srila Prabhupada writes in the purport of cc m 8.285 “In the Bhagavad-gītā (7.25) Lord Kṛṣṇa states:

nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ mūḍho ‘yaṁ nābhijānāti loko mām ajam avyayam

“I am never manifest to the foolish and unintelligent. For them I am covered by My internal potency [yogamāyā], and so they do not know Me, who am unborn and infallible.”

“The Lord always reserves the right of not being exposed to everyone. The devotees, however, are always engaged in the service of the Lord, serving with the tongue by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and tasting mahā-prasādam. Gradually the sincere devotee pleases the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the Supreme Lord reveals Himself. One cannot see the Supreme Lord by making personal efforts. Rather, when the Lord is pleased by the service of a devotee, He reveals Himself.”

 

Q: What is Vraja river and why is it called Vraja?

A: Causal ocean is called Vraja river.

Srila Prabhupada explain in the purport of cc madhya 19 153 “There is a river, or causal ocean, between the spiritual and material natures, and this river is free from the influence of the three modes of material nature; therefore it is called Virajā. The prefix vi means vigata (“completely eradicated”), and rajas means “the influence of the material world.”

Last Sunday HG Haridas Thakur Prabhuji, Gurgaon, confirmed that MahaVishnu rests in the River Vraja,  also called Causal Ocean, which is the border between transcendental and material realms.

 

Q: What is guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāda?

A:  This is part of one of the most famous verses of CC, cc madhya 19.151,

brahmāṇḍa bhramite kona bhāgyavān jīva

guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāde pāya bhakti-latā-bīja

Translation

“According to their karma, all living entities are wandering throughout the entire universe. Some of them are being elevated to the upper planetary systems, and some are going down into the lower planetary systems. Out of many millions of wandering living entities, one who is very fortunate gets an opportunity to associate with a bona fide spiritual master by the grace of Kṛṣṇa. By the mercy of both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master, such a person receives the seed of the creeper of devotional service.

Srila Prabhupada explains in its purport that  “Kṛṣṇa is situated in everyone’s heart, and if one desires something, Kṛṣṇa fulfills one’s desire. If the living entity by chance or fortune comes in contact with the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and wishes to associate with that movement, Kṛṣṇa, who is situated in everyone’s heart, gives him the chance to meet a bona fide spiritual master. This is called guru-kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Kṛṣṇa is prepared to bestow His mercy upon all living entities, and as soon as a living entity desires the Lord’s mercy, the Lord immediately gives him an opportunity to meet a bona fide spiritual master. Such a fortunate person is fortified by both Kṛṣṇa and the spiritual master. He is helped from within by Kṛṣṇa and from without by the spiritual master. Both are prepared to help the sincere living being become free from material bondage.”

 

I will be very grateful to you if you can give me your feedback on this Q&A format. Did it prove helpful to you and should I continue to post them in future. Pl mail your comments to giriraj.bcs@gmail.com or you can leave a comment below.

All glories to  Sri Caitanaya Caritamrta.

All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

 

 

Dedication

Hare Krishna.

After I started aspiring for HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaja, I would regularly write  him to please let me know how can I please him. The only answer I got till date was to serve the temple where I was attached, during a personal discussion. I took it to my heart and try to serve whatever opportunities come my way. I am greatful to HG Rukmini Krishna prabhuji to engage me in some some small services.

In April this year there was an announcement that we can serve Guru Maharaja by transcribing his lectures. I jumped upon the opportunity thinking I get to serve Guru Maharaja directly and I would also learn so much by transcribing his lectures. The first lecture came for 10 minutes of transcription and I did it in 3 days with a lot of enthusiasm. It took me 2 hours to transcribe it. Then came the next instruction that each lecture is to be transcribed in full, which meant each person will transcribe approx. 1 hour of Audio. I tried a lot but could not finish the first lecture till date. Utter shame, so much for my service attitude. I conveniently forgot about it but read all the transcribed lectures with great curiosity that are were being posted regularly by other sincere devotees.

Against this background let me discuss two devotees and my dear god-brothers, HG Ananda Krishna Prema Das and HG Atmarama Krishna Das, popularly known as Anand prabhu and Atma prabhu. I will not get into their material qualifications, I can share that they passed out from world famous universities and worked in the best of companies. I can proudly say that  I haven’t seen any one else as devoted to Guru Maharaja as both my god- brothers. Humble to the core, they shadow Guru Maharaj, work as his secretaries, are dedicated to each of his project and always ensure that Guru Maharaj gets proper rest, important decisions are taken and they still remain in the background.  I saw at Ujjain, when I stayed with Atma Prabhu for a day, how while taking a nap after a long day he would get up in seconds when some prabhuji will knock to ask that Guru Maharaja was calling him. There is no day or night for them in the service of Guru.

In addition to their professional lives, dedication to Guru Maharaja’s projects, they serve MVT, GBC and other ISKCON projects in various capacities.

Whenever I get some service and feels frustrated by that chore, I think about them and try to push forward in my service. They are a benchmark which I know I can only aspire. I am proud to have such god-brothers.

HG Ananda Krishna Prema Das ki Jaya.

HG Atmarama Krishna Das ki Jaya.

All glories to Guru Maharaja.

All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lasting impressions

Hare Krishna

Quotes-by-Srila-Prabhupada-on-Speech-of-A-Pure-Devotee

I was talking with a close devotee friend, Sumeet Gupta Prabhuji, yesterday evening. While talking to him I realised how so many senior devotees have left their mark on me. I am sharing some of them to show my deep appreciation for them. And there are hundreds of others senior devotees in ISKCON from whom we get inspiration every day.

The first one to leave his imprint, continues to do it, HG Rukmini Krishna Das Prabhuji, he is the temple president of Sri Sri Radha Radhika Raman and Krishna Balram temple, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi. Let me admit that whatever little sadhna bhakti I have in me is all thanks to him. His lectures shaped me each time I listened to him and I was fortunate to be able to get his direct instructions which saved me many a times whenever I felt constrained or disturbed. The only good thing I have done in my spiritual life is to go to him and share whatever I felt inside me openly. Looking back, I can laugh at myself and my silly questions or agitations on small issues. He always heard me patiently and gave instructions which saved me from going astray. He takes class every Saturday and each lecture is a gem to be absorbed in heart and follow. The centre is one of the best in India and dedication to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON runs supreme.

Second is a short description. During my initial years I one day saw lots of hustle and bustle in Punjabi Bagh temple and I found someone special is visiting. I couldn’t get the name initially and listened to his lecture, it was mesmerising. I later told my wife, rather foolishly, that after listening to his lecture I felt like leaving everything and walking behind him. My wife suffered a lot of insecurity due to this foolish statement to her and she many a time would tell me that she dreams that one of the western devotees has taken her husband away with them J . Even today I remember the power and conviction his lecture had and I am sure that if he would stood up and asked who would like to dedicate his life to Krishna, I would have raised my hand. I can only imagine what effect Srila Prabhupada had on these young disciples. That person is HH Giriraj Swami Maharaj. I am most fortunate to be called his servant in my spiritual name.

Third one is very special, he gave me diksha this year in Feb, HH Bhakti Charu Swami Maharaj. I met him two and a half years ago in Gurgaon, another good story for some other time as to how Krishna makes us meet our Guru. I paid my obeisances and my life was never the same again. I had know idea who he was, I just knew that he took my heart away with him. I could not keep him out of my thoughts and within days I pleaded with him to take me under his shelter and he took pity on me and accepted me as his son and disciple. He inspires me everyday and shapes me. Most of all he cemented my relationship with ISKCON as an organisation, my strong love and attachment for ISKCON and Srila Prabhupada today is all his mercy.

And the last on today’s list is HH Radha Govinda swami maharaj. What a speaker, what style of katha and so much rasa in every sentence, in every word. HG Karuna Chandra Das recommended listening to his lectures. He made me lose interest in philosophy and learn to absorb Krishna katha, from Bhishma stuti, Giriraj Dharan lila, Bali Maharaj, Prahalad Stuti….., each katha is dipped in love for Krishna. I hope to take his darshan very soon in Vrindavan Dham.

Today morning, at a Bhakti Vriksha seminar, I was told that we can only give what we have. If we have a grief then we can give grief , if we have anxiety then we can pass on anxiety and only if we have Krishna then we can offer Krishna consciousness to others. All these senior Vaisanavas gave me Krishna Consciousness, it is entirely my lack of receptiveness that I am still a neophyte. I should rather say that despite all my shortcomings and material propensities I still tasted Krishna’s nectar due to their pure consciousness.

I will write about my realisations from other senior Vaisanavas soon.

All Glories to Sri Sri Guru and Gauranga.

 

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on August 8,2013 at 5:26pm

Incense stick

 

 Incense stick

 

I was doing my evening kirtan/puja the other day and I saw the burning incense stick.

And in a flash I saw myself in it.

The incense stand is ISKCON, rising up and shining bright in a dull world.

The incense stick is my Guru Maharaj, holding me, without him I am nothing.

The incense on the stick is myself. brown in color, neither good nor bad, a nobody, was living an animal’s life.

Ash signifies that under the protection of Guru and with the association of devotees I am turning white, satvik.

The small black ring ring signify my visible anarthas.

The little red burning ring is the knowledge I am gaining.

And the black burnt part hanging from within the incense stick is my heart, still full of invisible anarthas.

Only by serving servant’s of servant of Sri Guru and Gauranga I hope to overcome every obstacle and develop unalloyed love for Krishna.

 

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on July 18,2013 at 9:30pm

A wishful thought

I have no love for Krishna in my heart,

I can not see Guru as Krishna,

I judge everyone except, of course, my own self

my eyes are anointed with many material desires,

yet I carry a hope in the heart …

that some day a Vaisanava would bless me …

and I would become a dust particle on the road

from where Krishna returns back home every evening in Vrindavan Dhama !

 

  • Posted by Giriraj Das on April 17, 2013 at 9:00pm