Sarasvati Thakura AppearanceThe Appearance Day of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura
The Vrndavana Express and the Navadvipa SpecialThe 'Vṛndāvana Express' and the ‘Navadvīpa Special’
By Published On: March 22, 2013Tags: 5.9 min read

In this talk given in 1985, Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī discusses the specialty of the avatāṛa of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu and that approaching Him is safer than trying to approach Vṛndāvana and Rādhārāṇī directly.

vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jñānam advayam
brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate

“Those who are seers of the truth speak of the undivided Absolute Truth in three phases – Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān.” (Bhāg.1.2.11)

All-permeating, all-comprehensive and all-controlling – the three phases of the Absolute. Then Mahāprabhu gave the fourth phase– that is the Kṛṣṇa conception. Sundaram – that loveliness of the Absolute, to attract everyone for His service towards Him. Neither the controller, nor the accommodator nor the innermost substance is the highest conception of the Absolute, but the capacity of attracting everyone, to concentrate the centre of interest of everyone by beauty and natural love – not by forceful control; to attract every atom towards Him for the fulfilment of our existence. That is the highest aspect of the Absolute and was given by Mahāprabhu – the natural attractor of all, giving them all possible fulfilment. Who can give fulfilment of the inner aspiration of everyone? That aspect is the highest aspect of the Absolute and that fulfilment is possible by ānandam, rasam – beauty, love and affection. That aspect is the highest aspect of the Absolute. Neither the controlling, nor accommodating, nor permeating aspects of Paramātmā, Brahman and Bhagavān, but Svayam-Bhagavān – the God of God, the God of all gods. His abode is Vṛndāvana, and He never leaves Vṛndāvana. Then it is found that there is another similar aspect.

There is an aspect that is drawn to His own beauty and also distributes that beauty. Just as in the heart we find that blood is circulated to every corner and from there, the blood is again drawn towards heart for purification. Giving and taking, all-attracting and distributing to all – that is Śrī Caitanyadeva. There the combined effort of the Positive-Negative is together. In Vṛndāvana, the Positive and Negative are separate with Their own paraphernalia and They are continuing Their pastimes. In Svarūpa-Dāmodara’s sloka we find:

rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam

(Cc. Ādi 1.5)

Svarūpa-Dāmodara refutes the idea that first there is Kṛṣṇa, and then Mahāprabhu. Both are eternal. When they are combined – Rādhā-kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir. Who is Rādhā? She is not separate from Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-praṇaya – the beauty or the love that is in Kṛṣṇa – that is Rādhā and so that cannot exist separately. They are both one but they are separated for a particular practice in Vṛndāvana. They are one divided into two halves – positive and negative with Their own paraphernalia. They showed Their very beautiful pastimes there. And again, They become one in Śrī Caitanya – rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-suvalita – the colour and the mood of Rādhārāṇī within Kṛṣṇa. I have mentioned in my Prema-dhāma-deva Stotram:

prema-dhāma-devam-eva naumi gaura-sundaram

“This is the all-conquering conclusion: the highest conception of the Ultimate Reality must also be the highest form of ananda, ecstasy. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is Kṛṣṇa, ecstasy Himself, tasting His own sweetness and dancing in ecstatic joy. His own Holy Name is the cause of His ecstasy, expressed as dancing, and the Holy Name is the effect of His ecstasy, expressed as chanting. The cause is the effect. The dynamo is creating ecstatic energy which makes Him dance, and His chanting distributes that ecstasy to others. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gaurāṅga-sundara, the divine form of kṛṣṇa-prema.” (Prema-dhāma-deva Stotram 66)

Matta-nṛtya – just as a madman, without any object, dances. This example is given by the philosophers – matta-nṛtya. A madman is dancing. What is the cause? He has got no idea, but he is dancing. So the Absolute, in ecstasy of His joyfulness, is dancing. And when He is chanting He distributes Himself to the public. I have pointed out in this verse that dancing is the symptom of the fullness of ecstatic joy and kīrtana means to distribute Himself to the outside, to the environment. When these two signs are found in full then He cannot but be the Absolute. The Absolute Truth has got His own fulfilment and He is also dynamic in character, distributing that fulfilment to others. That is found in Śrī Caitanyadeva – the highest type of Absolute.

Mādhurya in Vṛndāvana and audārya in Navadvipa – two compartments on the same level. On the highest level of ontological conception there are two compartments – one confined within Himself, and another distributing that to other quarters; attracting everyone towards Them and distributing everything towards all. Two phases of līlā are generally found there. To us, gaura-līlā is more useful because our prospect is there. Through Mahāprabhu only can we have entrance into the other aspect of His līlā – when it is given by Him, by His given method. If we approach Him, we are sure to have entrance into that līlā.

yathā yathā gaura-padāravinde
vindeta bhaktiṁ kṛta puṇya-rāśiḥ
tathā tathot-sarpati hṛdya-kasmād
rādhā-padāmbhoja-sudhāṁbu rāśiḥ

“As devotion unto the lotus feet of Śrī Gaurasundara is attained by a greatly pious person, inevitably the ocean of nectar which is the service of the lotus feet of Śrī Rādhā is accordingly born within his heart.” (Caitanya-candrāmṛta 88)

As much as we are able to connect ourselves with gaura-līlā, automatically we find that without any trouble we are already presented there in kṛṣṇa-līlā. We are carried to the camp of Rādhārāṇī in Vṛndāvana. We have to cover this ontological aspect.

Percolated by the mercy of Śrī Gaurāṅga, try to approach Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Then there will be no possibility of any contamination entering our heart and disturbing us in that plane. Śrī Gaurāṅga will impede that contamination. If we have the shelter of Gaurāṅga we can be sure that we will very safely, smoothly, and intimately attain the service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Otherwise it is very dangerous, and sometimes suicidal. If we do not approach through Gaurāṅga, the attempt will be reactionary.

It is very dangerous to approach Vṛndāvana and Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī directly. We must approach as commanded by Gaurāṅga. In other words, if we can appreciate the life of Gaurāṅga, the ideal of Gaurāṅga, then kāma will be exhaustively eliminated. We will be purified so that we can be accepted in that domain of the highest līlā. We shall not approach intellectually, for that will fill us with misconceptions. We will have to expend much energy to do away with that layer of misunderstanding. Therefore, our Śrīla Prabhupāda did not allow these things.

Sarasvati Thakura AppearanceThe Appearance Day of Śrīla Sarasvatī Ṭhākura
The Vrndavana Express and the Navadvipa SpecialThe 'Vṛndāvana Express' and the ‘Navadvīpa Special’
Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī appeared in this world in the village of Hapaniya, West Bengal, in 1895 within a high class Bhaṭṭācārya brāhmaṇa family. After studying philosophy at Krishnanath College in Berhampore, he met his guru, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, and accepted initiation from him in 1926 and sannyāsa in 1930. In 1942 he founded the Śrī Caitanya Sārasvata Maṭha and remained there till his departure in 1988. He was recognised by his godbrothers for his dispassionate nature and common sense, as well as for his superlative Sanskrit compositions and profound philosophical insights.
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Śrī Kusumañjalī (An Offering of Flowers)

By |September 16, 2022|Tags: |

The following Bengali poem, in glorification of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda, was composed by Śrīla Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī Mahārāja prior to his acceptance of sannyāsa, and first published in the Dainika Nadīya Prakaśa on Sunday, 11th June, 1927. This poem was translated into English by Sanātana Dāsa and edited by Swami B.V. Giri.

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By |September 9, 2022|Tags: |

In 'Śrīla Prabhupāda – A Second Generation Devotee's Perspective', Gaura Gopāla Dāsa Brahmacārī shares his realisations about Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda as a second generation devotee in the Kṛṣṇa Consciousness movement. He discusses how, due to institutionalization, the perception of His Divine Grace can become two-dimensional, especially when there is no substantial connection through a living representative of Śrīla Prabhupāda.