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Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja's Legacy

Boven-Leeuwen, Netherlands
Srila Gurudeva 100%

This audio is included in the following series of lectures:


  • How Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja propagated the order of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada.
  • Why was Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja known as Prabhupada to his followers.
  • Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja was persuaded by Srila Gurudeva (Srila BV Narayana Gosvami Maharaja) to take sannyasa.
  • The significance of being guided by a rasika Vaisnava.
  • Respect all Vaisnavas, but be aware of their position.
  • The significance of reciting the holyname under the supervision of a rasika Vaisnava.


[This is the first lecture Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja gave on his first Western Tour, on May 6, 1996 in Boven-Leeuwen, Holland. Editors’ input: Additional text has been included in square brackets to facilitate the flow of content. If you are inspired to participate in the transcription sevā, please register at https://www.audioseva.com/register.]

At first, I give my heartly expressions and devotion at the lotus feet of my gurudeva, nitya-līlā-praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda aṣṭottara-śata Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja. I am also offering so much of my śraddhā, honour to the lotus feet of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja and to my gurudeva. And also to Prabhupāda Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura. By the causeless mercy of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, we are seeing so many devotees in Holland, which is a very small country, but yet [we see so many devotees here]. I was not expecting to meet so many devotees here. But it is the grace of Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja. He came to fulfill the desire of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and especially of his gurudeva, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda.

The whole world knows Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī as ‘Prabhupāda’. But any devotee can know [call] his gurudeva  ‘Prabhupāda’. There is no harm. But at that time, the disciples of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura were giving a special kind of honour to their gurudeva. They themselves did not like to be called ‘Prabhupāda’, in India. But anyhow, the disciples of Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja call him ‘Prabhupāda’. There is no harm. Anyone can use this word [to address their guru]. So when we sing, “Jaya Prabhupāda!”, we think of our whole guru-paramparā, from top to bottom. So we can use this word, ‘Prabhupāda’, for our gurudeva. But if any guru has a feeling that, “It is used for our gurudeva, so I should not take this title,” then this is another thing. Otherwise, anyone can call his guru ‘Śrīla Gurudeva’, ‘Śrīla Prabhupāda’ or ‘Śrīpāda’. All are used for guru.

When I came here, especially today, I was overjoyed to see that even though when Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja came [to the West] by a ship from the Scindia navigation company, he was penniless, without any money, with some worn and torn cloth, a worn and torn Gītā and three volumes of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. These were his only assets and nothing else. And one pair of karatālas and two mantras- “śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu nityānanda, śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda” and “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.”

Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s order [prediction] was that very soon a day would come, that devotees would preach His name. What name? This is Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s order- “My name Kṛṣṇa, My name Rāma, My Name Harī, My name Gaura. This will go to each village in the whole world.” So Svāmījī has not come, or Caitanya Mahāprabhu has not come in this world or any of Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s followers, especially Svāmījī - none of them have come to gain anything from them [the people of this world], any rupees, wealth, guilders [the former currency of Netherlands], dollars or pounds, or anything. He has come to give Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s real treasure to everyone so that any man can, not only devotees, anyone in whose ear it will go, whether it be trees, grass, animals, men, gods or goddesses, wherever it will go, it goes in the ear and it will take them towards Kṛṣṇa, towards God. For this purpose they have come, not for any worldly gain.

Svāmījī came with not a single coin, he was like penniless. At that time, there was no one to welcome him. He came alone. Only Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa were with him. And his gurudeva and guru-paramparā were with him. But that was not seen externally. All were seeing that he was alone. But actually he was not alone. Sometimes, on the ship, he may have felt like he was alone, but at the same moment, he knew that, ‘Śrīla Prabhupāda Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī and the whole guru-paramparā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, with Their whole family, with aṣṭa-sakhīs Lalitā, Viśākhā and all, Rūpa Mañjarī and all others, with the dhāma, all are here.’ He felt like this.

So I think that he has made a platform in the whole world, in each country, so that so many devotees with so many mṛdaṅgas, karatālas [are doing kīrtana, with upraised arms, saying] “Haribol! Haribol! Hare Kṛṣṇa!”- they are receiving this. So my tears are not [controllable].

[Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja chokes up with emotion].

I think that in these countries, there was not a single devotee. From India so many people used to come but there was no ekāntika Vaiṣṇava. Do you know what ‘ekāntika Vaiṣṇava’ means?

Devotees: Pure Vaiṣṇava.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Not pure… There are so many differences between an ekāntika Vaiṣṇava and a pure Vaiṣṇava.

Devotee: [Ekāntika Vaiṣṇava means being] fixed [one-pointed] to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes. Especially to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. They may be worshipers of Nārāyaṇa, Dvārakādīśa, Rāmacandra or others. They may be pure Vaiṣṇavas. Rāmānuja is a pure Vaiṣṇava. His followers are pure Vaiṣṇavas. The followers of Rukmiṇī-Dvārakādīśa are also pure Vaiṣṇavas. But not ekāntika [worshipers of] Kṛṣṇa of Vraja, Vrajendra-nandana Śyāmasundara. [Such one-pointed devotees were] not there. Now I am seeing so many devotees are waiting for me with kīrtana and mṛdaṅga and so many things. Not just two-three hundred but perhaps lakhs of such devotees everywhere. So I am overwhelmed by this thing. What a miracle he has done! In very few years. If he had more time, he would have done so many more miracles.

One more thing also I think that when he came, there were so many obstacles. All ate not only eggs and flesh but also cows and everything. “Eat, drink and be merry”. They did not know who is Kṛṣṇa, who is the top [Supreme] Personality of Godhead. There were even so many persons who knew God and they were praying only that, “God, give me bread and butter,” and that’s all. Not more than that. But Svāmī Mahārāja played such a good role, that in very little time, devotees like you [started worshiping] especially Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Gaura-Nityānanda Prabhu. He has done these things.

I knew him from the very beginning, when we met in Mathurā. He was a very [thick] friend of our gurudeva from the beginning. He came to Mathurā and one day he told me a story, that, “When I took initiation from Śrīla Bhaktisiddānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura, after initiation he told me that you should preach in the Western countries in the English language.” Then, he would frequently go to meet Śrīla Prabhupāda, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura and he read a śloka in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.88.8)- ‘yasyāham anugṛhṇāmi hariṣye tad-dhanaṁ śanaiḥ’ - [Śrī Kṛṣṇa told Indradeva: If I especially favour someone, I gradually deprive him of his wealth.]

The meaning of this śloka is that for those who take shelter of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa takes away everything and he becomes a street beggar. And yet, if he does not give up Kṛṣṇa at that time, then Kṛṣṇa gives everything to him. So he was telling me, “I was so afraid of this thing. That He will take my everything and then what will I do? I am living with my wife and children and now I am the manager of a medical firm, ‘Bengal Chemical.’” He was the manager at that time. And if he had stayed there for some time more, he could have been the owner of that company.

But anyhow, he gave up that managerial position, and he left and came to Allahabad and there he set up his own business organization to produce medicines. And he built a very good business there. He opened a factory and so many people were engaged there. But in no time, the business failed and the factory was given away to others. Then he opened a medicine shop but gradually this also went away. Then he launched a medicine business, very small scale, managing by himself. He would sell medicines himself. But then, in some time, that also failed. And at that time, penniless, he came to our Gauḍīya Maṭha, Keśāvajī Gauḍīya Maṭha in Mathurā.

I respected him. I had met him before in Calcutta so I knew him, so I gave him so much honour. I myself would prepare capātīs with ghee and so many varieties of vegetables for him and he was so much pleased with me. Then we became bosom friends. But at that time, I was Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja. And he was Abhaya Caraṇāravinda. I told him, “You are such a qualified person! You should take sannyāsa at once, without delay.” At that time he told me that story that, “I was fearing that Kṛṣṇa would take away everything and that I would become a beggar. Now I am seeing that I am [progressively] becoming a beggar and at last, I will become a street beggar [one without any possessions], perhaps, by taking sannyāsa.”

At that time itself, our gurudeva came from Navadvīpa and they embraced each other. I told my gurudeva, “He should take sannyāsa.” Guru Mahārāja also told him to take sannyāsa and to preach everywhere. [In our maṭha, there was also] an old devotee of about 99 years. His name was Sanātana Prabhu. He was a disciple of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī. He came at once and told Svāmī  Mahārāja, “Oh, you are fearing! I am 99 years old. And if you will take sannyāsa, then I will also take sannyāsa.” Then Svāmī  Mahārāja said, “Yes, I will take sannyāsa!”

Then, on his sannyāsa day, there was a good occasion [nice celebration]. It was Pūrṇimā. I made his daṇḍa myself. I wrapped the cloth around the bamboo staffs (daṇḍa) while chanting mantras, [with the daṇḍa representing] Nārāyaṇa. I made his cloth, bahir-vāsa and uttarīya for him. He did not know how to wear these clothes and how to take [the daṇḍa]. Then Guru Mahārāja came, and the fire sacrifice was performed and Kṛṣṇadāsa Bābājī Mahārāja – perhaps none of you have seen him - he began to do kīrtana with so many brahmacārīs and thus, sannyāsa was given to him.

Then he became Bhaktivedānta. I was already Bhaktivedānta. But perhaps he was first [given the title] ‘Bhaktivedānta’. [Disciples of] his gurudeva, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī gave him the title- Abhaya Caraṇāravinda ‘Bhaktivedānta’. [Endnote 1] So he was thus senior to me and junior to me in sannyāsa. But in bhakti, he was senior to me. [Everyone laughs.] In cyclic orders.

When he would meet me, he would request me to sing kīrtanas like ‘jaya rādhe, jaya kṛṣṇa, jaya vṛndāvana’ and ‘hari haraye namaḥ kṛṣṇa yādavāya namaḥ’ and especially, ‘śrī rūpa mañjarī pada, sei mora sampada, sei mora jīvanera jīvana’.

Some people say that, “He did not preach about rāgānuga-bhakti.” What is a greater kīrtana [in relation to rāgānuga-bhakti], than this? ‘śrī rūpa mañjarī pada, sei mora sampada, sei mora jīvanera jīvana’. This is the best kīrtana of the rāgātmikās, what to speak of the rāgānugas! There is far [great] difference between rāgātmikā-bhakti and rāgānuga. Rāgānuga is sādhana-bhakti. Rāgātmikā is not sādhana-bhakti; it [rāgātmikā] is only in Vraja, Goloka Vṛndāvana, not here in this world. But we may [become] qualified for this. [Endnote 2]

Svāmījī has only come for this thing - that from vaidhī-bhakti we will go up, [by entering] sādhana-bhakti and then bhāva-bhakti and from there, we will go to prema-bhakti. He has not come only to clear the jungles and only to preach harināma. But they should realize what is harināma. [One should not just chant] without any rasa. But [chant] with attachment and with so much rasa that in their whole life, they cannot give up “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa” nāma. They will chant more and more and with taste. Now we are chanting and remembering, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa” nāma but there will be very rare devotees who will have taste in this. And if any taste comes, then they cannot leave kṛṣṇa-nāma. Their devotion will go up and up and it will come to bhāva-bhakti and after that, it will come to [prema-bhakti].

So Svāmījī has not come only to clear the jungles and thorns. He has come to give these things. But he had very little time and when he was going to give, Kṛṣṇa called him saying that, “Your work, your task, is finished. So come on, come on! You should serve Me here, with Rādhikā.” So He called him.

When he was taking his last breaths, he called me. And I don’t know why he told me that, “Excuse whatever I have done wrong.” I said, “You have not done anything wrong.” He said, “I have done some wrong, I know. To preach something in the Western countries, I have told that my godbrothers are doing nothing, only taking their meals and sleeping and living in Vṛndāvana. I have told this only to give inspiration to my devotees who don’t know the ABCD of bhakti. So I have told like this. But I know that my godbrothers are so much qualified. If they were not qualified, then why did I take sannyāsa from Śrīla Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja? I respected Śrīdhara Svāmī [Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Gosvāmī Mahārāja]. Why did I respect them, as my gurudeva, if they were not superior to me? They were superior to me! So I respected them. So you should excuse me and tell all my godbrothers that they should also excuse me for that.”

I said, “It is not a fault, not an offense. You have done this for preaching and to teach your disciples. So it is not anything to be excused. You have done marvelous things. The whole Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava community, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, all are pleased with you for this miracle you have done in the Western countries. You turned people who were taking flesh and wine, who were like beasts, into good devotees. So we are so proud and indebted to you for this!”

He ordered me, “You should do the rest of my work and give me samādhi.” Do you know ‘samādhi’? Samādhi is given after leaving the body. “[You should also perform my] viraha-utsava. And I am telling that you should also teach my devotees to grow up in bhakti so they may not be at the same level as I have kept [same level as they are now, when I am leaving the world].”

I told him, “I have to say something to your disciples.”  At once, he called all his senior devotees. Tamāla-kṛṣṇa was perhaps his secretary at that time. Bhāvānanda, Jayapatākā, Bhagavān dāsa, Haṁsadūta, Brahmānanda, so many. There were hundreds of his disciples. When they came, I said, “He will not die. You should not think that he will die. He will become a part of our guru-paramparā, forever. So when he will go, you will see that he is not there in this world, on this planet, then you will quarrel amongst each other. And you will not give any respect to any Vaiṣṇavas.” Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja told [his disciples], “You should patiently hear and have a record for this.”

I told them, “You should not quarrel amongst yourselves. You should come in the line of Svāmījī, to fulfill this task for which he has come to this world. And try to develop in these things. If you quarrel [this will not happen]. Like Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has said, ‘If you want to do bhakti, then respect all the Vaiṣṇavas, gurus, those who live in the dhāma, Vṛndāvana-dhāma, even though they may not be devotees. Respect the brāhmaṇas, as well as people other than brāhmaṇas:

gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhūsura-gaṇesva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇesadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarāṁaye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ

Manaḥ-śikṣā 1

[O my dear brother, my foolish mind, taking hold of your feet, I humbly pray to you with sweet words. Please give up all pride and quickly develop deep, loving attachment for the spiritual master, Śrī Vraja-dhāma, the residents of Vraja, the Vaiṣṇavas, the brāhmaṇas, your dīkṣā-mantras, the holy names of the Supreme Lord, and the shelter of Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, the eternally youthful Divine Couple of Vraja.]

We should obey these principles of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. These are the principles of our guru-paramparā and of Svāmījī. Svāmījī has never told anyone that you should disrespect any Vaiṣṇava. If you want bhakti, you should give respect to the Vaiṣṇavas. Gurudeva is also a Vaiṣṇava. Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī has said, “Rūpa Gosvāmī is also our śikṣā-guru, Kṛṣṇa is our śikṣā-guru, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is our śikṣā-guru, Nityānanda Prabhu is our śikṣā-guru.” So śikṣā-guru is not less than dīkṣā-guru. You should try to understand all these things.

Dīkṣā-guru is not less than śikṣā-guru and śikṣā-guru is not less than dīkṣā-guru. Both are equal, if they are qualified. And if they are not qualified, whether śikṣā-guru or dīkṣā-guru, then they are not [bona fide] gurus. If the dīkṣā-guru does not give any proper honour to Vaiṣṇavas, then he is not even a devotee! His name should be cut from there.

So we should try to give honour to, what to speak of the followers of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, but even to the followers of Rāmānuja, those who are serving Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, Dvārakādīśa, Rāmacandra and so on. But not the same degree of honour as we would give to Kṛṣṇa’s ekāntika bhaktas (one-pointed devotees of Kṛṣṇa).

We should give honour to the devotees of Kṛṣṇa who are chanting and remembering and so on, but we should try to know the gradations. If anyone is serving Kṛṣṇa and if anyone is serving Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa conjugal, who will be given more honour? Did you understand? If someone is serving only Kṛṣṇa and another person is serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa conjugal and anyone is very, very near and dear to Śrīmatī Rādhikā- among these three gradations, who is superior? Can you decide?

Devotees: The last one.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: We should know. So we should try to understand these gradations. Otherwise we will see that Kṛṣṇa, Caitanya Mahāprabhu, ordinary devotees, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Haridāsa Ṭhākura, devotees of Rāmānuja, devotees of Durgā - all are the same. Right? [Laughter] So we should differentiate. A kaniṣṭha-Vaiṣṇava cannot differentiate these things.

Our gurus have not come only to tell us, “You should always be a third-class kaniṣṭha-Vaiṣṇava.” We should hear all these things and try to develop our bhakti, so that we can clearly understand who is a kaniṣṭha-Vaiṣṇava, who is a madhyama-Vaiṣṇava and who is an uttama-Vaiṣṇava. Also we should understand who is a conditioned soul and who is above this. Though Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Gadādhara Paṇḍita and all have come to this world, they are not conditioned souls or sādhana-siddhas. They are the eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa. Who is Brahmā? Who is Prahlāda Mahārāja? In gaura-līlā, Haridāsa Ṭhākura was Prahlāda Mahārāja and also Brahmā, both. But who was Rūpa Gosvāmī?

Devotees: Rūpa Mañjarī.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: But in this līlā, Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda used to take the foot dust of Haridāsa Ṭhākura and Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita also. But Rūpa Gosvāmī is so, so, so far superior than them. We should know all these things.

Who preached more? Who preached the innermost heart’s desire of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in this world? Rūpa Gosvāmī or Haridāsa Ṭhākura? Haridāsa Ṭhākura spread harināma, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa”, and he was Nāmācarya. But the life and soul of Caitanya Mahāprabhu was Rūpa Mañjarī, Rūpa Gosvāmī. You know? He has presented to us, given us Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi and all these books which were the heart of Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

So how can we know all these things without any good association? If anyone is banning this, that “You should not go to any qualified Vaiṣṇavas,” then how can you go up [progress in bhakti]? Only chanting will not do. Chanting in the guidance of any good Vaiṣṇava can take us there. Otherwise, Māyāvādīs also chant- “hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare, hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa...” They also chant. What is the difference between pure devotees and them?

If anyone chants “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare,” without any good association of rasika or tattvajña Vaiṣṇavas, then they will only go to Vaikuṇṭha. They may not go there [to Goloka Vṛndāvana]. If we chant harināma in the guidance of devotees in the line of Rūpa Gosvāmī, then in no time we will realize something and your heart will taste that name [you will develop rūcī for harināma].

They are calling out, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare.” But they say that, “Here, ‘Hare’ means Harī, and ‘Kṛṣṇa’ means Kṛṣṇa who took birth in Mathurā, Vāsudeva-Kṛṣṇa. And ‘Rāma’ is Ayodhyā-Rāma.”

Devotee: Or Balarāma.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: And some are telling that here it is Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma! And there Harī - these are the three names.

Our guru-paramparā has not given this idea. Our guru-paramparā has given the idea that first, they should chant, “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare, Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare” All three are one. Kṛṣṇa is Harī, Kṛṣṇa is Rāma. Any devotee cannot worship two manifestations of Kṛṣṇa, by doing so bhakti will be ruined.

So Kṛṣṇa Himself, when He takes away all our sins, offenses and everything, then He becomes ‘Harī’. After that, He gives a very slight darśana, as He gave to Nārada, like a flash [momentary] darśana. And after giving that darśana, then He disappeared and Nārada began to weep. Then He told Nārada, “By this body, you cannot have My darśana. This body cannot bear the separation or meeting with Kṛṣṇa. So after leaving this body, when you will attain your siddha-deha [perfected spiritual form] sac-cid-ānanda-maya śarīra (a body composed of eternity, knowledge and bliss) in Vaikuṇṭha, and then you can realize Me. Then you will not die again and you will never come back as a conditioned soul again.”

So when all our sins and offenses go away, then Kṛṣṇa gives His sweet darśana and takes away our minds and hearts. So He is ‘Harī’. And He lives everywhere, so He is ‘Rāma’. He lives in everyone’s heart. Without Krsna, we cannot live for a moment.

But our Rūpa Gosvāmī and Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī told that here, ‘Hare’ is not Harī. ‘Hare’ means Harā. Rādhikā is Harā, because She steals the mind and heart of Kṛṣṇa. So, She is Harā. And in the vocative case, while calling someone, ‘Harā’ becomes ‘Hare’. So ‘Hare Kṛṣṇa’ means Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

And what is the meaning of ‘Rāma’? When Kṛṣṇa is playing with Rādhikā, He is ‘Rāma’. In rāsa, He becomes Rāma. So here, ‘Rāma’ is also Kṛṣṇa, Rādhā-Ramaṇa Rāma. Each word, each letter, has so many good words [deep and beautiful interpretations]. In the entire Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, there are thirty-two syllables, sixteen names, eight pairs, and one in a group.

It contains both separation and meeting both. The pairs - “Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa” and “Hare Rāma Hare Rāma” - indicate meeting, the conjugal, and “Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare”, “Rāma Rāma Hare Hare” in separation. They have tasted so many things. So with this taste, if you chant harināma and hear hari-kathā from superiors, then all things will come. And you can never give up harināma and you will go up, up.

Is it one hour already?

Devotee: Yes.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja:  So, there are so many things that Svāmījī wanted to give you all, but he went away. After that, [maybe he saw that] no one can give you. So perhaps he has called me to give some things to you all, so that you may become qualified in this and never give up Kṛṣṇa consciousness and always hear hari-kathā.

In the Bhagavad-gītā, he [Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja] has written so many things in his explanations. But at that time, there were very rare devotees who could understand higher things. So he didn’t write these things in those books. Some things he wrote in another way. Because they would not understand. So you should try to develop your bhakti so that you can take everything from Svāmījī [that he wanted to give]. He has written so many things in his books. But rare are those who can understand and give to all.

So our guru-paramparā, Kṛṣṇa and Śrīmatī Rādhikā, Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu have perhaps called me here. And if I will give you something, if I will help you, then I will consider that I am successful in this tour. I pray to Them all, that They will bestow Their mercy upon me, so that I may be able to express all these things to you.

At first, I was fearing so much that I have no expertise in the English language to give anything. My language is so poor! I am so dīna-hīna, like tṛṇād api sunīcena, I cannot express these things properly to you. But you are so qualified, that even though I speak in worn and torn English language, but yet, you will understand. And you should always help me, as you are helping.

He is singing such good kīrtana! What is your name?

Devotee: Suparṇā dāsa.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Very good. You are the disciple of?

Devotee: Śrīla Gour Govinda Svāmī.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Very good. I like them all. I want to help you all, without any gain, without any gain... You?

Devotee: I am your śikṣā disciple.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: You are doing so much. What is your name?

Devotee: Vijaya.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Vijaya. Very good! I know him. Where is your wife? She has come? Oho!

Devotee: This is my godbrother, Janārdana Prabhu.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: What name?

Devotee: Janārdana.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: From here?

Devotee: From Birmingham. He is a disciple, and his wife.

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Have you also come from Birmingham?

And I know Navadvīpa prabhu, so much. He is my right hand now. Also, Vṛndā and Brajanāth prabhu, what to speak of them, they have dragged me here. I was a penniless person. I never had a dream that I will go to the West and I never wanted that I will give up Vṛndāvana and come here. But I think that I have come to Vṛndāvana. Even Vṛndā is here and Brajanāth is in Vṛndāvana also. [Devotees laugh] Tuṅgavidyā is [also in Vṛndāvana]. [There are] two Tuṅgavidyā’s! Also, the marvelous Vṛndāvana-vilāsinī, Kundalatā and so many. I am so happy to come here. I am thinking that I am still in Vṛndāvana. I am never out of Vṛndāvana.

I pray to all of you, that you should give me your company, so that we may tell [these conceptions] and give energy to them. Give an impression to those who have left ISKCON, but still they are chanting harināma and [practicing]. We should try to call all the devotees- those who are kaniṣṭha-Vaiṣṇavas, those who are madhyama and those who are… Every person should be called and we should embrace them, give them respect. If a man is superior, he has so much mercy for those who are junior. He has no envy at all. You should never think of anyone as an enemy. If someone does something to us, we should try to be like Haridāsa and Prahlāda Mahārāja. Thus we can preach this name everywhere.

Hare Kṛṣṇa Hare Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa Hare Hare,

Hare Rāma Hare Rāma Rāma Rāma Hare Hare

Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!

Devotees: Haribol!

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Gaura-Nityānanda Prabhu kī!

Devotees: Jaya!

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Guru-paramparā kī!

Devotees: Jaya!

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Śacīnandana Gaurahari kī!

Devotees: Jaya!

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa kī!

Devotees: Jaya!

Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Gaura Premānande! Hari Haribol!

Wherever I will go, if there is no obstacle, then you should meet me everywhere, where I will go. With four mṛdaṅgas, we can go and like Svāmījī, we can do nagara-kīrtana. “Haribol! Haribol!” “Hare Kṛṣṇa!” Again, with the same inspiration, the same enthusiasm [that was present at the time of Śrīla Svāmī Mahārāja].

Now it is 12 noon perhaps. You should also offer bhoga, do āratī and take prasādam. In the evening perhaps, where will we go Brajanāth prabhu?

[break in the recording]

He used to hear my kīrtana. Especially, Svāmījī and my gurudeva used to call me to do kīrtana on the streets. But now, I am invalid. But when I am seeing you, I have the inspiration to sing Hare Kṛṣṇa.

Devotees: Haribol!!

This is a humble attempt by the Audio Seva Team to transcribe Śrīla Gurudeva’s words. Although we put in our best effort, there may be some shortcomings in the output. We welcome any suggestions in this regard. Please email us - contact@audioseva.com


Endnote 1:

There are differing reports on when Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Svāmī Mahārāja received the title “Bhaktivedānta” but it was after the disappearance of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Ṭhākura and this title was conferred upon him by his godbrothers because of his erudition and his understanding of the philosophy.

Endnote 2: Ācārya Kesarī Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī – His Life and Teachings – Part 5, 7

Rāgātmikā-bhakti, the bhakti of the residents of Vraja, is sādhya-bhakti. All the inhabitants of Vraja—including the gopas, gopīs, cows, calves, animals and birds—are rāgātmika. The bhakti of these nitya-parīkaras is rāgātmikā-bhakti. When one reads or hears about their devotion, and lobha (greed) arises in the heart to attain such a type of bhakti, one becomes an eligible candidate for rāgānugā-sādhana-bhakti.