All Glories to çr^ Guru and Gauråíga

'Divine Guidance' -- Chapter Two

On the Way to çr^ Pur^-Dhåm

A lecture by

His Divine Grace çr^la Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswåm^ Mahåråj

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Tomorrow you are going to a special place of pilgrimage. There you will see that the servitors of the Jagannåth temple, known as Påòàås, hold a very special position. There is a saying, ‘if you love me, love my dog.’ It means, if you love me, you will also show your love to my dog; then I will know that you really love me. Lord Jagannåth has given the Påòàås the position of controllers there, so whatever they do, we have no say in that.

Mahåprasåda is available all over the world, but in Jagannåth-kŁetra it is different. There the Påòàås don’t let just anyone go inside the temple. They especially do not let anyone enter the temple whom they consider to be low-class or mlecchas. But when Mahåprasåda comes out of that very same temple, then they will eat it out of the hands of the most low-class people, the mlecchas. This means that they follow some customs. They follow a custom that was introduced by Lord Jagannåth.

Råmånujåchåryya wanted to break that custom, but what was the result of that? Råmånujåchåryya wanted the worship of Lord Jagannåth to be done in the vidhi-mårga. There are some rules and regulations in the Vedas, and especially in the Manu-saìhitå, and he wanted the worship to be done in a bona fide way following these rules and regulations. He thought the way the Påòàås were doing the worship was not the customary way, the mantras they were using were not the right ones, and he wanted that the worship be done in the right way. All the scholars there were defeated by him. The next day, the final meeting was supposed to take place, and the King would have been forced to introduce the Vedic way of worship. While Råmånujåchåryya was sleeping that night, his bed was thrown three hundred miles away to K¨rmmakŁetra. In the morning he wondered where he was, and found that it was K¨rmmakŁetra. In those days there were no aeroplanes. It was not possible that someone chloroformed him at night and carried him away by aeroplane. But Råmånujåchåryya really saw that he was in K¨rmmakŁetra, with his whole entourage; Lord Jagannåth had transported them Himself. Lord Jagannåth also gave him a dream in which He told him, "The way I am being served here will continue. Please do not interfere. Go from here."

It is hard to find accommodation in a special place like this. But by the influence of çr^la Guru Mahåråj and the mercy of Lord Jagannåth we found some accommodation there, and now we have been able to acquire a bit more space. Now çr^la Guru Mahåråj’s desires are fulfilled, so we can see that Lord Jagannåth has some special goodwill towards us. Before, I could not go there in spite of a lot of effort, but now Lord Jagannåth is dragging me there every now and then.

I do not know if tomorrow I will be able to go with you. I am praying to Lord Jagannåth, because I know I will only be able to go if He takes me there, not otherwise. But He has attracted all of you. That is why you have all come here, and joining with the sådhus and the devotees of this Äßrama, you have found the opportunity to go there. You see, money is needed in every situation in life. To survive and go through our daily lives, money is always spent. Yet money is not everything. There is no guarantee that if I have money I will be able to go. This is a truth that has been proved many times in my life. You all pray to Lord Jagannåth that He will take us safely there, and then bring us all back safely to where we are doing our respective sevå. This is our only prayer today. We have nothing else for which to pray.

We are not going sightseeing but we are going to a place of pilgrimage, a holy place. Going there will purify us–body, mind, and soul. We are going to the shore of the sea. Mahåprabhu has said, "From today this ocean has become a mahå-t^rtha." As it is, the ocean is a great place of pilgrimage, because the waters of all the holy rivers merge there. In addition to that, at the disappearance of çr^la Haridås ëhåkur, Mahåprabhu danced with his body in His arms, and when He bathed his body in the ocean, Mahåprabhu said, "From today the ocean has really become a great place of pilgrimage." Why?

It is said in the çr^mad-Bhågavatam (1.13.10),

bhavad-vidhå bhågavatås
t^rth^-bh¨tåè svayaì vibho
t^rth^-kurvvanti t^rthåni
svåntaè-sthena gadåbhùtå

Those who always carry Gadådhara, the Supreme Lord, in their heart–if they cannot purify the places of pilgrimage then who can? They are places of pilgrimage personified, and they have no need to go on pilgrimage.

Then why do they go to places of pilgrimage? The really sinful people contaminate the places of pilgrimage. Everyone and everything has a particular capacity. We also have a particular capacity, that is, the burden of our sin is so great that even a place of pilgrimage cannot digest it. This is how a place of pilgrimage automatically becomes contaminated. At that time the great personalities who carry the Supreme Lord in their heart, appear there. As soon as they bathe in the holy water, the water becomes clean, as if a purifying agent has cleansed it. That is their natural capacity. Mahåprabhu has demonstrated the supreme example of this. Mahåprabhu said that the ocean at Pur^ became the greatest place of pilgrimage when He bathed the body of Haridås ëhåkur there. Haridås ëhåkur used to chant three hundred thousand names of the Lord every day. He even purified the animate and inanimate environment around him when he chanted aloud. His purity was beyond question.

The Western devotees who have come to India will not be allowed to enter the Jagannåth Temple, but still they go there again and again, because they are attracted by Mahåprabhu’s Pastimes in Jagannåth-Dhåm.

Of all the places, Mahåprabhu chose Jagannåth-Dhåm, which is non-different from KurukŁetra. Bhaktivinoda ëhåkur has said that KurukŁetra is the highest place of worship for us. Why? Where the hankering is greatest, that is the highest place of fulfilment. If you do not have hunger, you will not be able to enjoy even a sumptuous feast. If on the other hand you are starving, even rice with salt or spinach will taste like ambrosia. In my childhood I had malaria, and my doctor recommended something called, ‘poàer bhåt.’ Do you know how poàer bhåt is made? A little bit of rice is boiled over a fire that is fuelled with a few cow dung patties, and it takes a very long time to boil. So the rice was boiling for hours and I was looking at it, thinking when I will be able to eat it.

This demand that comes from inside is the highest thing for us. This is called hankering, and this is rågånugå-bhakti.

kùŁòa-bhakti-rasa-bhåvitå matiè
kriyatåì yadi kuto ’pi labhyate
tatra laulyam api m¨lyam ekalaì
janma-koéi-sukùtair na labhyate

The kind of devotion which is, kùŁòa-bhakti-rasa-bhåvitå matiè– in which one’s entire consciousness is soaked in the nectar of loving devotion for KùŁòa–is not ordinary devotion. The demand of such love is also not a small demand.

The Lord Himself says (çr^mad-Bhågavatam, 9.4.68),

sådhavo hùdayaì mahyaì
sådh¨nåì hùdayaì tv aham
mad-anyat te na jånanti
nåhaì tebhyo manåg api

The Lord is telling Durvåså Muni, "There is nothing I can do. My pure devotees have bound Me with their love, and I have also bound them with My love. Thus we are indebted to each other. I cannot be impartial."

In more recent times çr^påd Keßava Mahåråj said this: "I cannot be impartial because I have taken sannyåsa from çr^la çr^dhar Mahåråj." çr^påd Keßava Mahåråj was a Godbrother to our most worshipable çr^la Guru Mahåråj. Before he took sannyåsa he was a very famous and influential brahmacår^ called Vinoda Brahmachår^. When some brahmacår^s wanted to take over our çr^la Guru Mahåråj’s Maéh, there was need for a mediator. So they decided to request çr^påd Keßava Mahåråj to become a mediator. When they went to çr^påd Keßava Mahåråj with that request, he told them, "You are all my Godbrothers, and so is çr^la çr^dhar Mahåråj. But I have done something, I have taken sannyåsa from him. I have offered my head at his lotus feet, therefore I cannot be impartial. So how can I be a mediator?"

Then they said, "Then you should know there will be bloodshed there. We are ready to give our lives."

Hearing this, çr^påd Keßava Mahåråj said, "If you are ready to give your lives, then someone there will also be ready to take your lives, because I won’t be able to be impartial, as I have already sold myself to çr^la çr^dhar Mahåråj."

Then they went to çr^påd Goswåm^ Mahåråj, but still their purpose was not served. çr^påd Goswåm^ Mahåråj told them directly, "If you bring two Nepalis, I will bring fifty Sikhs. I have taken sannyåsa from çr^la çr^dhar Mahåråj, therefore I am indebted to him."

The Supreme Lord is indebted to His devotees in the same way. He cannot be impartial. (çr^mad-Bhågavatam, 9.4.66:)

mayi nirbaddha-hùdayåè
sådhavaè sama-darßanåè
vaße kurvanti måì bhaktyå
sat-striyaè sat-patiì yathå

KùŁòa says, "My devotees charm Me with their sevå. Their only demand is to serve Me. They don’t want anything else." If in the process of sevå they feel some joy or happiness, then they think they have committed some offence; they feel they are probably in the mood of enjoyment. Just to see that, KùŁòa gives them a lot of sevå. He gives them so much sevå that they become intoxicated with it. KùŁòa thinks, "What is this? Rådhåråò^ becomes so ecstatic by seeing Me? What is the depth of that ecstasy? How can I measure it? I cannot measure it, because I cannot become Rådhåråò^." Then (çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Ädi-l^lå, 1.6):

ßri-rådhåyåè praòaya-mahimå k^dùßo vånayaivå-
svådyo yenådbhuta-madhurimå k^dùßo vå mad^yaè
saukhyaì cåsyå mad-anubhavataè k^dùßaì veti lobhåt
tad-bhåvåàhyaè samajani ßac^garbha-sindhau har^nduè

("‘What is that great glory of çr^ Rådhå’s Love? What is My extraordinary loving sweetness and charm that çr^ Rådhå enjoys? And what is the joy çr^ Rådhå feels by experiencing My sweet- ness ande charm?’ Yearning to taste these three sentiments, the moon–KùŁòachandra–was born from the ocean of the womb of mother çac^.")

In order to taste çr^mat^ Rådhåråò^’s highest Rasa of Vipralambha, Mahåprabhu went to Jagannåth-Dhåm, which is KurukŁetra. Why? Because there çr^mat^ Rådhåråò^ is thinking, "My Lord is tearing My heart apart." çr^mat^ Rådhåråò^ knows that KùŁòa is Her life and soul. But there She sees that He is surrounded by His children, friends, relatives, and queens, and they are all swarming over the whole place. She is just a simple milkmaid who would generally not be given any attention in such a royal gathering. But they gave Her attention, and in a very special way. They requested Her to show them the Råsa Dance, which is performed only in Vùndåvan. When they saw that, they were amazed. They said, "We have never experienced anything so wonderful." Then Rådhåråò^ smiled. She said, "What have you seen? You have seen a headless body, a dead thing. You have not seen the real thing: that you can see only in Vùndåvan. Where is that Yamunå? Where are the groves of kadamba trees? Where is the chirping of the peacocks and parrots? And where is the Lord of our hearts, KùŁòa, who plays the flute and herds the cows? None of those things are here, so how can you see the Råsa dance here? What you have seen is the shadow. If you want to see the real thing, you have to go to Vùndåvan."

On another occasion KùŁòa told Uddhava what the highest fulfilment of bhakti is.

na tathå me priyatama åtmayonir na ßaíkaraè
na ca saíkarŁaòo na ßr^r-naivåtmå ca yathå bhavån


(çr^mad-Bhågavatam, 11.14.15) ("My dear Uddhava, even Lord Brahmå, Lord çiva, Lord SaíkarŁaòa, the goddess of fortune LakŁm^dev^ and indeed My own self are not as dear to Me as you are.") But Uddhava himself was thinking (çr^mad-Bhågavatam, 10.48.61),

åsåm aho caraòa-reòu-juŁåm ahaì syåt,
vùndåvane kim api gulma-latauŁadh^nåm
yå dustyajaì svajanam åryya-pathañ ca hitvå
bhejur mukunda-padav^ì ßrutibhir vimùgyåm

When Uddhava went to Vùndåvan he was so charmed by seeing the Gop^s’ love, their devotion, their attraction, and their affection for KùŁòa, that he said, "For life after life, I only desire one thing: I want to become a speck of dust in Vùndåvan. Not only that, I want to be one of those who are worthy of receiving that dust, the plants and creepers of Vùndåvan, and live here for all eternity. Here in the land of Vùndåvan, KùŁòa has performed His Pastimes, and His companions, the Gop^s, also roam around here. If I can be born as a small creeper so that I may get the dust of their lotus feet on my head, that will be my highest fortune."

Such are the glories of KùŁòa, and the intense feeling of separation from Him–Vipralambha. Mahåprabhu has shown us the highest limit of that Vipralambha in çr^ N^låcala-Dhåm.

çr^ Gadådhara Paòàit, who kept Mahåprabhu in the depths of his heart, and performed the supreme sevå, also lived there. Mahåprabhu took sannyåsa and went to Jagannåth Pur^, and by His desire Lord Gop^nåth became manifest. When you go to Pur^ you will all see Lord Gop^nåth there. Both the feelings of Mahåprabhu and the feelings of Gadådhara Paòàit were described in a beautiful ßloka by our çr^la Guru Mahåråj.

nilåmbhodhitaée sadå svavirahåkŁepånvitaì båndhavaì
ßr^mad-bhågavat^ kathå madirayå sañj^vayan bhåti yaè
ßr^mad-bhågavataì sadå svanayanåßr¨påyanaiè p¨jayan
gosvåmi-pravaro gadådhara-vibhur bh¨yåd mad ekå gatiè

The lotus feet of Gadådhara Paòàit are our sole treasure. He resided by the ocean of Vipralambha which was manifest by his life and soul, Lord Gauråíga, who took everything from him. Mahåprabhu was suffering separation from KùŁòa, and His feelings of separation were so intense, that sometimes His body became elongated, sometimes He retracted His limbs like a tortoise, and sometimes His joints became separated.

So Mahåprabhu, çr^ KùŁòa Himself, suffered intense separation from KùŁòa, and He was enlivened by hearing topics about Lord KùŁòa from Gadådhara Paòàit: When a person is in intense grief, what does he do? He becomes blinded by his grief, and he cannot decide how he will find some peace, so he drinks alcohol. çr^ Gadådhara Paòàit provided such intoxication for Mahåprabhu by enlivening Him with the intoxicating topics of çr^mad-Bhågavatam. This is how he served the Lord of his heart.

And how were Gadådhara Paòàit’s own feelings of separation? He is seeing that his beloved Lord is in front of him, and his Lord is suffering so intensely that He is becoming unconscious now and then. All the eight symptoms of separation can be seen in His body, such as perspiring, trembling, tears, becoming stunned, changing of bodily colour, etc., but there is nothing he can do about it. Lamenting this, continuous floods of tears flowed from his eyes.

Whenever Gadådhara Paòàit read the Bhågavatam, he became so mad with feelings of separation from KùŁòa that his tears would wash away the letters on the page. The proof of this is, when çr^nivåsa Ächåryya came to him to study çr^mad-Bhågavatam, Gadådhara Paòàit told him, "My dear son, when I was reading Bhågavatam to Mahåprabhu, all the letters in my book were washed away, therefore I cannot now read to you from this book. Please find a book somewhere. Mahåprabhu instructed me in my dream, saying you were coming. But you need to have a book. I have memorised everything, but you need a book also." Gadådhara Paòàit thus worshipped the Bhågavatam with his tears. Is it necessary to have any ingredients to worship? One’s own tears are the best ingredients.

The lotus feet of this Gadådhara Paòàit are our ultimate destination. Our worshipable Deities are Gaura-Gadådhara, and the supreme demonstration of their Vipralambha was seen in N^låcala-Dhåm.

In çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta KùŁòa Dåsa Kaviråj has given such deep meanings of the ßlokas of çr^mad-Bhågavatam, and he has exposed such great inner wealth from them that it is beyond our imagination. When Mahåprabhu sees Lord Jagannåth in Rathayåtrå, He prays like this:

åhuß ca te nalina-nåbha padåravindaì
yogeßvarair hùdi vicintyam agådha-bodhaiè
gehaì juŁåm api manasy udiyåt sadå naè

("O lotus-navelled one, Your lotus feet, eternally held as the object of meditation within the hearts of the greatest yog^s of profound intellect, are the only resort for delivering those souls fallen into the well of material life. May those holy lotus feet graciously appear within the hearts of we ordinary household ladies." çr^mad-Bhågavatam, 10.82.49)

And in Chaitanya-caritåmùta we find these ßlokas:

anyera hùdaya–mana, mora mana-vùndåvana,
‘mane’ ‘vane’ eka kari’ jåni
tåhåí tomåra pada-dvaya, karåha yadi udaya,
tabe tomåra p¨ròa kùpå måni

("Speaking in the mood of çr^mat^ Rådhåråò^, Chaitanya Mahåprabhu said, ‘For most people, the mind and heart are one, but because My mind is never separated from Vùndåvan, I consider My mind and Vùndåvan to be one. My mind is already Vùndåvan, and since You like Vùndåvan, will You please place Your lotus feet there? I would deem that Your full mercy.’" çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 13.137 )

pråòa-nåtha, ßuna mora satya nivedana
vraja–åmåra sadana, tåhåí tomåra saígama,
nå påile nå rahe j^vana

("My dear Lord, kindly hear My true submission. My home is Vùndåvan, and I wish Your association there. But if I do not get it, then it will be very difficult for Me to keep My life." çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 13.138)

p¨rve uddhava-dvåre, ebe såkŁåt åmåre,
yoga-jñåne kahilå upåya
tumi–vidagdha, kùpåmaya, jånaha åmåra hùdaya,
more aiche kahite nå yuyåya

("My dear KùŁòa, formerly, when You were staying in Mathurå, You sent Uddhava to teach Me knowledge and meditation. Now You Yourself are speaking the same thing, but my mind doesn’t accept it. There is no place in My mind for all these superficial things. You are artful and gracious, and You know well my heart–it does not befit You to speak to me in this way." çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 13.139)

nahe gop^ yogeßvara, pada-kamala tomåra,
dhyåna kari’ påibe santoŁa
tomåra våkya-paripåé^, tåra madhye kuéinåé^,
ßuni’ gop^ra åro båàhe roŁa

("‘The Gop^s are not like the mystic yog^s. They will never be satisfied simply by meditating on Your lotus feet and imitating the so-called yog^s. Teaching the Gop^s about so called meditation is another kind of duplicity. When they are instructed to undergo mystic yoga practices, they are not at all satisfied. On the contrary, they become more angry with You.’" çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 13.141) What intense feelings of separation the Gop^s had! "What are You saying to whom?"

deha-smùti nåhi yåra, saìsåra-k¨pa kåhåí tåra,
tåhå haite nå cåhe uddhåra   (çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 13.142)

The Gop^s are saying, "People worship You to be delivered from material existence, but that is not our kind of worship. We do not want to be delivered. We do not even remember our bodies. What do we care about material existence? And You are saying we will be delivered from material existence!"

Ähuß ca te nalina-nåbha padåravindaì yogeßvarair hùdi vicintyam agådha-bodhaiè: "Those processes are only for people who want to be delivered. Your lotus feet are our only goal." Tåhåí tomåra pada-dvaya, karåha yadi udaya, tabe tomåra p¨ròa kùpå måni.

In N^låcala-Dhåm, there has been the utmost cultivation of such intense feelings of Vipralambha.

caòà^dåsa, vidyåpati, råyera nåéaka-g^ti,
karòåmùta, ßr^ g^ta-govinda
svar¨pa-råmånanda-sane, mahåprabhu råtri-dine,
gåya, ßune–parama ånanda

("He also passed His time reading the books and singing the songs of Chaòà^dås and Vidyåpati, and listening to quotations from the Jagannåth-vallabha-nåéaka, KùŁòa-karòåmùta and G^ta-govinda. Thus in the association of Svar¨pa Dåmodara and Råya Råmånanda, çr^ Chaitanya Mahåprabhu passed His days and nights chanting and hearing with supreme ecstasy." çr^ Chaitanya-caritåmùta, Madhya-l^lå, 2.77)

So tomorrow you are going to that place. Lord Jagannåth has attracted you by His mercy. We will all feel our goals fulfilled there, and if we can humbly offer ourselves, then we will become complete.

oì p¨ròam adaè p¨ròam idaì
p¨ròåt p¨ròam udacyate
p¨ròasya p¨ròam ådåya
p¨ròam evåvaßiŁyate  
 (çr^ îßopaniŁad, Invocation)

We may be very small, but He is infinite. If we can establish a relationship with the infinite, then just as when you subtract zero from zero, zero remains, similarly when you subtract infinity from infinity, infinity will remain. So we can become complete. So please go to Jagannåth-Dhåm with such feelings in your heart.

There is happiness and misery everywhere–at home and outside. I definitely know that you do not care too much about such things. But still, at times such feelings come to us because we have material bodies. This body is like a spoiled brat that does not like to tolerate any inconvenience. The more comfort it gets, the more comfort it wants. But comfort is our enemy. There is no need for such comforts in our life.

As elephants, we have eaten so many jungles, and our hunger was not satisfied. As pigs, we have eaten mountains of stool, and our hunger was not satisfied. For life after life we have searched for comfort, but we have not found it. So now we must separate ourselves from such comforts and search for Lord KùŁòa, the Ocean of Pleasure, the Personification of all Mellows. We can have Him in our vision by initiating ourselves in bhakti-yoga. This will fulfil our highest mission, and this should be the object of our greatest desire.

Please, you all go there with such desires in your heart. I am sure there will be some inconveniences. Our brahmacår^ Prabhus are all very respectable and affectionate, and they will try their best to give you all facility, but still you may face some austerity.

Please go with such desires to Lord Jagannåth, that by His mercy He will appear in our vision, and He will give us the dust of His Holy Dhåm, so that we can travel there. This is our only desire and prayer.

våñchå-kalpatarubhyaß ca kùpå-sindhubhya eva ca
patitånåì påvanebhyo vaiŁòavebhyo namo namaè

End of chapter

Published by Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip.