Guru Mukha Padma Vaikya (V)

Monday, 9 January 2012

Tulsidas has said a very nice verse “Ek mamata Ram sau samata sangsar, rag na, dwesh na, lobh na Tulsi bhaye bhava par. So bhakti is such thing, such an extreme position of prema that it can attract the whole universe. Its entrance is huge.
Q. Maharaj words like kalpavriksha (wish fulfilling tree), Surabhi cows etc., are these used to attract people towards bhakti.
Ans.  Various Veda stuti (glorification) these pleasant words, these great promises, so many explanations of stories all are said so that people pay attention towards bhakti. But the prime issue is, as explained earlier all these are present inside me, I don’t have to go outside to search, and Lord is also within me.
Q. But so many leelas are said, so many leelas with Srimati Radharani, what does these things indicate.
Ans. These are all bhava tattva (mood/mental state). Radha is such an extreme position of prema (love), the word Radha means, opposite of dhara (flow/stream). The stream of this material world is flowing in one direction towards jivas, towards samsara and Radha is just the opposite, Radha is flowing towards Iswara. Bhakti murtimay (personified) is Srimati Radharani.
Q.  I have never heard about the Bhagavad Gita written by Yogacharya Shyama Charan Lahiri, it must be very famous.
Ans. Very famous! In my life I have never seen such a critical analysis of Bhagavad Gita. Though I have read Bhagavad Gita of many authors but did not ever find such a clear explanation.
Q. But Maharaj is there any necessity to know all these hidden meaning?
Ans. No, not required. If somebody attains complete perfection, than that is enough. But as regards to direct perception, actually that is not the only concept. Vedavyas has not written only for this purpose. Creating such a huge plot a massive plan to fight and suddenly a great warrior like Arjuna becoming distressed, these things cannot happen so simply. A person like Arjuna, coming with malice, all of a sudden becomes upset, it is not possible. In case of any other common man these things might happen but for a person like Arjuna; so these things are to be justified.
Q. But if I happen to follow what other says then where is my anugatya (faithfulness) towards my guru.
Ans. Do not follow, but not giving any attention is also not proper. Mahaprabhu set aside others’ philosophy by his scholarship but I have not reached upto that point. Do I have that kind of wisdom? Nor do I have that kind of power. Mahaprabhu did not write a single book but created great devotees like Sri Rup-Sanatan who conquered the whole world by their writings. Then again if you think that Rup-Sanatan has only done bhajan and kirtan the whole day, than, where did they find time to write so many books? These things we don’t see. How did the Goswamis find time to write about 1 lakh books, though it said that they used to beg, lived under a tree etc.etc.
So you can see that though they have established temples, I feel, fundamentally the Goswamis were all worshipper/admirer of knowledge. Knowledge about the Absolute Truth. Vyasdev, Sukdev they are also same. But we cut off ourselves from that knowledge.
Q. Than do you think that gyana (knowledge) is supreme.
Ans. Knowledge is not supreme, bhakti is supreme, but first we have to obtain perfect knowledge and then offer that knowledge at the lotus feet of the Lord. But we are not doing that, we do not adore that knowledge, we do not study, we do not attend patha nor do we learn Sanskrit etc.
Q. Than those who do not study will they not be able to attain bhakti?
Ans. Not attaining bhakti is not the point but why don’t I study.  I am doing everything, except studying. Then why I am not studying, why I am not learning Sanskrit.
Q. "Maharaj you say that we should learn Sanskrit or otherwise we taste through other's tongue, but Maharaj if we try to become independent then, again where is my anugatya.
Ans.  Anugatya is ok, you are following your guru, your guru is following his guru this is alright, but what is your own upalabdhi (experience/feelings)? You should also have atleast some realization. If you keep on saying what your guru says will it beautify your speech? Have you reached upto that level. What your guru is saying, he has attained that position, but have you? So nowadays the intention is just to be a follower of guru (gurupantha) which is very much prevalent in the present society. What happens, we set up a package like following such and such rules and regulations without knowing the utility, without realizing the actual reason behind it. So there are no personal realizations.  After the Goswamis nobody has written about their own feelings. The Goswamis have written what they have visualized in their meditation what they have felt, in books like Vilapa Kusumanjali, Vidagdha Madhav, Ujjala Nilamani, Krishna Bhavnamrita etc. They have expressed their own feelings. The inspirations which we received from them are later on not maintained. Nowadays nobody writes about their own personal experience and realization as the Goswamis used to do. So, you must write down what is own understanding. The realization of the Guru is most important for the disciple and it creates more faith, more than the shastras. Once I asked my father (he was a great pandit) that “if you had written about your experiences, atleast if you had maintained a diary than that would have been more practical for me, rather than books of Sri Vyasdev and others. The reason is, you are my father, I have seen you, I have noticed how you have solved the problems of your day to day life. These things if you had written that would have been more effective for me”.
Q. But some of their experiences were written.
Ans. Some thing very little might have been written, but what I am saying is at a time leela anubhav (feeling the pastimes) which the Goswamis have experienced and have written. What the Goswamis have left for us if this trend has been maintained than I can say that some improvement has been made. But nowadays bhakti has been shifted to another platform. Building big big temples, huge monetary transaction, lots of followers etc. etc. but where are that Tyaga, bairagya, sadhana, tapasya (sacrifice, renunciation, devotion, austerities)? These things are totally missing.
Q. But the general people nowadays will not understand and accept these things.
Ans. People may not understand but the endeavor is also not there. My only interest is to build a temple, to make disciples and enjoy material opulence in the name of bhakti.
Q. Maharaj would you kindly explain about the Nama (holy name).
Ans. There are 16 names and 32 alphabets in the Nama. Sriman Mahaprabhu has established this Nama Brahma as Nama Avatar. In this Kaliyuga there is only one avatar and that is Nama Avatar as there is no other avataras in Kaliyuga. In this nama the word Hare is used 8 times Krishna 4 times and Rama 4 times. Now the word Hare depicts the eight avatars of satya yuga such as Matsya, Kurma, Varaha,  Nrishimha, Vamana etc. Then in Treta there are 4 avatars namely Rama, Lakshman, Bharat and Satrughna and some considers Ram Lakshman as one avatar and Parusuram as another. In Dvapara the 4 avatars are Krishna, Balaram and Nara-Narayana rishi. Nara-Narayan is also Krishna-Arjuna. So it makes a total of 18 avatars. Lord Krishna is said to be the avatari as all other avatars are His expansion. So Mahaprabhu has established them in the form of Nama and instructed everyone to take shelter of this holy name. He said that everybody should chant and perform sankirtan and there is no other worship other than this. Mahaprabhu has said that Lord Krishna is the only Bhagavan and all others are his parts and parcels. Ete ca amsa kala pumsa Krishnastu Bhagavan Swayam because only Krishna has satisfied all the needs of His devotees which other avatars could not. So Krishna is called avatari. From His early life you can see that Krishna has delivered so many asuras (demons) cursed by the rishis for various reasons in their previous lives. So who will rescue them? Krishna will descend in the Dvapara and deliver them.
Q. But  Srila Raghunatha Dasa Goswami has said that we chant the mahamantra for the pleasure of Srimati Radharani in manjari bhava (mood of a manjari).
Ans. Yes that is also an explanation. Srimati Radharani, when Krishna left Vrindavan at the age of 11 and never me back, Srimati Radharani took shelter of this mahamantra and through this mantra she recollected the pastimes Astakaliya leela (pastimes of eight periods of a day) with the Lord. Here the word Rama means, Ramananda complete pleasure of union between a male and a female. This pleasure is tasted only for a little while in this world. But in the spiritual world this pleasure is absolute and permanent. Here Srimati Radharani was totally absorbed in the thoughts of her first courtship, her journey to meet her beloved the pleasure before union and during union.  So in this way Srimati Radharani never felt separated from Krishna. This has been stated in the Bhagavatam also, the gopis saying to the Lord that as because we have heard of You our life breath is still there otherwise there would have been no life in this body. During Raas leela this was described. So this explanation is for the traditional Vaishnavas and is according to the internal feelings of Mahaprabhu. But in general, Mahaprabhu instructed everyone to remember the avatars and their leelas through this Nama. The leelas are described right from the beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam which we all should study.
There is another explanation of this Holy name which you should also know. In this mahamantra there is Sri Krishna and Shri Ram Chandra. Sri Krishna was born in Chandra Vamsa and Shri Ram was born in Surya Vamsa. So these are the two Vamsas (dynasty). Chandra is termed as mother, and it is said that if somebody is suffering from Chandra Dosa (fault) than by worshiping his mother he will be relieved. Surya is Rabi and is termed as father. So in this name come Chandra and Surya; than comes all the demigods including our father, mother and guru, all are remembered through this name. One thing we should always remember that our pita-mata (father and mother) is our adi guru (first guru). Guru mata guru pita guru hon pati (mother is guru father is guru and husband becomes guru) and in the Vedas also it is written that we should love our pita, mata,  brahmana, gavi (cow). As the cow, even if it does not give milk should you not take care of her? So is our parents, even if they do not do their duties properly still we should love them. As they have given me birth and nourishment so whether they become purified or not still they are my guru. In the Bhagavatam it is further said that our body is also our guru as through this body we feel heat and cold, sufferings and happiness etc. Someone from whom we get some knowledge is our guru. Among the avatars mentioned in Bhagavatam, Prithivi is termed as the first avatar. The Lord first took the form of Prithivi than He took other forms.
Q. Why do we have to remember so many avatars as it is said that if we worship Krishna than all others are automatically served as pouring water in the root nourishes the whole tree.
Ans. Yes only Krishna, but these are written in Bhagavatam because to understand Krishna tattva and to establish the supremacy of Lord Krishna the position of the other avatars are first to be explained. In Krishna tattva too Mahaprabhu says, Krishna is most perfect in Gokul, more perfect in Mathura and perfect in Dwarka. So here also most, more and perfect is used.  If we go a little further into the details than we will realize that though we have created a structure of our own, as regards to our Dharma we are not basically following what the Lord himself had done or what He had said. Just we engage ourselves with some rules and regulations ignoring the actual message of the Lord. Some years ago, you may have heard I don’t know, there is a book written by Sri Mahanambrata Brahmachari. There he described that once he was invited to America to attend a Dharma Sanmellan (Religious Conference). The main agenda for the entire discussion was, “that there are many kinds of religion being followed, but are they competent for the human society? You speak about that Dharma, its basics, its fundamentals and its utility and being old fashioned does it fit the present scientific world.  The religious rites being followed by various religions are they useful for the present generation”? So various spokesman spoke about their own religion for seven days and on the last day Sri Mahanambrata was invited to give his speech. The speakers and other experts who were present expressed their views one by one and at last came to the conclusion that the religion being followed does not fit the present modern society. Then which religion is adequate in the present world? Then Sri Mahanambrata came up with his speech. There he explained very nicely and clearly about Sanatan Dharma (eternal religion). First he says that Sanatan Dharma does not have any rigidity. It has been rectified and corrected many times and there are lots of addition and alteration in it. In the past also it is seen that so many rishi-munis came and presented their views. So many Samhitas, so many sutras, so many tattvas were written, and everyone was given a chance to comment. “What you have commented that I will accept, if I am convinced after examining it a number of times” that was the idea. Though you may say Nana muni nana math (different scholars’ different opinion) but whether these theories support one principal opinion or not, is the main point. For example fire, we can produce fire from many sources but the natural tendency of fire is to give heat, to reveal, and that is present in all kinds of fire. So this is the principal property of fire then you can explain fire in various other ways.  Then Sri Mahanambrata says “religion of a gentleman” and that was the main highlight of his discussion. So what is that religion, he says it is Sanatana Dharma. Then asked why, because it is Manav Dharma (humanity). My first introduction is that I am a human, than Hindu, Brahman or Ksatriya than Vaishnava etc. etc. Sri Manu Maharaj who wrote Manu Samhita from where all our religious codes and conducts are followed has also stated the same thing. In the first sutra (law) of Dharma he describes Manav Dharma; dhriti, ksama, damah, asteyam, saucham, indriya nigraham, sri, vidya, satya ba akrodham dasakam dharma lakhshnam (self restraint, mercy, control of mind, not to steal, purity, control of senses, beauty, education, truthful and not to get angry are the ten symptoms of religion of an human being). It proves that I am not an animal. You see, by nature there are no changes in animal life, but a human being gradually develops after birth to be called a human. In early days we saw parents used to request saints and sadhus to bless their child so that the child grows to be a human being. So the child is not a human and gradually he or she has to attain this humanity. In case of every religion also it comes first. If I could not attain humanity than in place of religion something else will crop up. So look at Krishna, look at Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu had created such a great movement. During His time the rulers possessed demonic power and He not only created a great campaign but searched ever nook and corner of India and brought all the virtuous and educated men under one umbrella. If Mahaprabhu would not have found Goswamis like Sri Rupa-Sanatana, 64 Mahantas etc. and brought them under the shelter of Vaishnavism will there be any one today to chant the name of Hari? Nobody, and some other terminology some other language would have developed.  So this major contribution of Mahaprabhu is rarely mentioned. Here the name of Adwaita Acharya also needs to be mentioned. Sri Adwaita Prabhu invited such a Person (Mahaprabhu) and took care of Him in such way, as for example He used to instruct Sri Ganga Das Pandit, Sri Vishnu Das Pandit etc. what they will teach Mahaprabhu. Teach Gaur such and such things today he used to tell them. In this way He prepared Mahaprabhu.
Q. Maharaj now you have told many explanations of the Nama but what is you own personal opinion, which explanation we should follow.
Ans. My opinion is, you see, everything is said with one aim and that is Krishna. But in this Krishna tattva, Radha tattva is also there, which is madhur rasa (sweetness) upasana (worship), but till the time I reach that developed stage I have to keep myself engaged in hearing and chanting about the other pastimes of Lord and His expansions. For example let me tell you an important and a powerful sloka of Bhagavad Gita which I used to explain in my own way. “ paritranaya sadhunam vinasya duskritam dharma sangsthapanarthaya samvabami yuge yuge” Here Lord Krishna says He descends for three reasons, three fundamental reasons. To deliver the pious, to annihilate the miscreants and to establish religion. Now what the Lord said is true, it is true that He will come and establish religion. But if we sit down idly thinking that let anything happen, God will descend one day and establish religion and will save the pious and punish the corrupt, than we will fail to understand what God really meant. God actually meant “you establish dharma in your own self and not only establish, you go and find out other religious people around you, find out what is their problem, what is their suffering and try to help them out. And thirdly those who are miscreants you annihilate them or annihilate their sins. You acquire strength against the sinful and I will descend in you. The same thing has happened in Bhagavad Gita. If you look at the character of Arjuna you can see that Lord Krishna could have killed the entire Kaurav Sena all by himself without any difficulty at all as He has done with the great demons like Kamsha, at the minor age of eleven. But He did not do that, instead He used Arjuna. But we are not going to that explanation of Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna means one who attains (Arjan) something. Here Arjuna is a symbol, he represents a common man. Now this common man has to attain. What he has to attain? He has to attain Krishna. Krishna is Sarba Sakti (all powerful energy). All powers are inserted in Lord Krishna. So as Arjuna achieved the Lord as the charioteer of his life similarly you also obtain Him as the pioneer of your life and thus the theological truths will be revealed. So the significance of Bhagavad Gita is, whether I am established in humanity or not. After that, all other dharmas come and at the end come Vaishnava dharma. Vaishnava dharma  is the topmost religion of human society. To become a Vaishnava is not an easy subject. As it is very difficult to understand and follow Bhagavad Dharma so it is very difficult to follow Vaishnavism. There is no other philosophy compared to Vaishnava philosophy. And philosophy means, to have that vision, the vision of that Absolute Truth, that Absolute Reality that Ultimate Conclusion that Puran Purush (Ancient Person). So where to have that vision?  I have to view Him inside myself. If I don’t find Him inside me than, outside where will I find?
Now you will find various streams flowing in the name of religion, some are saffron, some are white, some have long hair some shaved some saying this some saying that, etc. etc. but these are all external. Maintaining all these external features, it will be difficult for you to reach to that position, that ultimate position because you will be surrounded in such a way by rules and regulations that you will presume that these rules and regulations are all in all. Niyamagraha, you will be eager to only perform rules and regulations without realizing the actual purpose behind it. Being unable to realize the actual intention you will be indeed going far away from Reality, far away from God. These things are often happening nowadays. Chanting 4 rounds or 10 rounds or 64 rounds I am thinking that bas (enough) I have done my job. But we never think that why should I chant. Chanting one lakh is ok, but if I say that ek lakhya  means ek (one) lakhya (aim), one destination which I have to reach. Teen lakhya means you decide three objects which you have to achieve through the medium of this nama. That is, I adopt three objects which I have to attain to reach to that ultimate destination. Otherwise by any means if you chant three lakhs, which is first of all impossible if you chant properly, but still if you can than what will you gain? Fundamentally what will happen? Has the Lord opened a counter there to count how many rounds you have chanted. So I personally feel that I should chant as much as possible from my inner heart with utmost faith and devotion. My attitude is, that this harinaam will purify me, the kama gayatri will drive away the desires in my mind (gayatri means gan-song and tri means tran-relief, so the song which relieves) and then by chanting the mool mantra (principal mantra) I will remember my ista devata (tutelary God) who is always merciful upon me but I am unable to feel it. I cannot feel Him because of my desires, though he is always expressing his presence but still I am thinking that if I do not work, if I not cook, if I do not build my house, if I  do not maintain my family, etc. etc. but these things are already there and all our needs will be fulfilled. But I have become dependent upon them upon my bodily necessities. I am not dependent on my real self upon the Supreme self without whom I cannot survive even for a second. So the Person who is always providing me energy who is always with me I cannot feel him and being unable to understand Him I am thinking that my family, by sons and daughters if they are with me than that is enough. So this harinam is best for kaliyuga.
(The above conversation is translated from Bengali as I have heard from the lotus mouth of my Gurudeb Sri Kandarpa Gopal Goswami).