Question: In the description with Srimati Radharani you mentioned that Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami says that the first shower is the compassion. I thought you might comment on that…(inaudible)
Maharaja: So, thus Lord Caitanya, when He was meditating on this amazing, amazing state of consciousness of Srimati Radharani and as He was getting more and more into this mood, He too developed this mood of compassion. It’s said that in His meditation on Srimati Radharani, Lord Caitanya took that golden color of Srimati Radharani. There also is a reference that Lord Caitanya, when Radharani heard that Krsna wanted to experience Her consciousness, then She said, “You will crash to the ground in ecstasy so many times and You will hurt Your body. So I will cover Your body with Mine so that You will not become injured.” That’s the only story how He got a golden body…but anyway, so Lord Caitanya took that same spirit of compassion and that is why in that particular incarnation of Krsna, He is the most magnanimous, because He took that compassionate nature combined with His all-pervading nature you see. And in this way He is a unique personality because He is Radha and Krsna combined. If we see how Radha kunda came about then we know that Krsna first made Syama kunda after Aristasura had been killed. Srimati Radharani complained and said that, “You are the killer of a bull! You are contaminated! You must take bath in all the holy rivers!” Krsna said, “No problem, I’ll arrange it.” Made a hole on the ground with His heel, called for all the holy waters and they all appeared, offered obeisances, entered into the kunda, Krsna jumped in the water- job done! And said, “So, and now that I’ve fulfilled all Your demands, now I must say that actually Aristasura was not a bull at all- he was a demon disguised as a bull and You are protecting a demon and thus You have become contaminated and now You will have to bath in all the holy waters otherwise I cannot associate with You anymore! Go ahead and have a dip in My kunda!” She said, “Oh no no; I could not do that. I think You are completely right; I am contaminated so I will make a kunda- I make My own kunda and I will bring My own water!” Okay, She broke the bangles and She told all Her gopi friends to break bangles and they started digging in the ground. So Krsna is standing there and saying, “This is taking a long time!” anyway, they made a hole and then they formed a human chain (we know human chains in Bengal!) and they were going to bring water from all holy places by buckets! So Krsna was thinking, “This is going to take forever! For how long again will I associate with Srimati Radharani?” so Krsna interfered; He inspired all the Deities of the waters to come before Srimati Radharani and to pray, “Please, allow us to enter into Your kunda,” which She then could not refuse. Then She took bath there.
So Radharani, She had that mood of compassion. But from the Radha kunda story we can see that when Radharani does it, She must do it with just surrender in service. She is not like Krsna- omnipotent- Krsna can do anything; He’s the Supreme Lord, so easily. And She has to do a lot of work and service in comparison to Krsna. Thus the compassion of Srimati Radharani combined with the omnipotence of Krsna is what we see in Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and thus we see now the magnanimity of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu- this mahavadanya avatara- we see this now! It’s just absolutely amazing! Nothing, no such compassion has ever been seen before! And thus this is just amazing! We call it Kali yuga but actually to tell you the truth…it’s Caitanya Yuga!!! It’s touched by Him! The whole yuga has been touched by Him and everything is just changed! He smiles upon us and suddenly we all feel like, ‘Uh yes, interested in spiritual life…’ and we thought that it was us, ‘ever since I was small, I was praying…’ but it’s because of Lord Caitanya’s smile! And we walk around like great bhakti yogis; ‘what will Maya do to me! Ha! Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna..’ and Lord Caitanya is around us and is knocking Maya out of the way- left and right- and protecting us every step, and we are walking, ‘Hare Krsna…great yogis!’ the mercy of Lord Caitanya is so great.
And there is a great caravan that went through the desert from the oasis of sense gratification on the way to the green land and in front of that caravan, the Panca-tattva is dancing! And yes, amazing enough, Advaita Acarya- one of the main dancers- Advaita Acarya is fifty years older than Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu! So at that time you can imagine! He must have been in His eighties or whatever, but that didn’t stop Him at all! Advaita Acarya- main dancer. Srivasa was senior as well! Srivasa also a main dancer- all the old guys were the main dancers! And they were just going on because they were dancing on their ecstasy! They were so deep in their ecstasy that they were just being pulled up by their ecstasy! In this way the kirtana party is going along the caravan, and They are dancing in front. And then behind come the great acarayas, who are all dancing! The six Gosvamis are dancing! Baladeva Vidyabhusana is dancing! Visvanatha Cakravati Thakura is dancing! Narottama das Thakura is dancing! Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura is dancing! Srila Prabhupada is dancing! And then behind…well then it’s us! And we’re sort of shuffling along in the back of the caravan and we got lots of backpacks, because it’s a long walk! Boy, how are we going to survive this? Oh, I don’t know if we can keep on walking. It’s too much; such a long walk! And in the front they’re dancing! They’re flying! But we are in the same caravan, same destination although we are so much less qualified. But the destination is exactly the same, that’s the amazing thing. If somehow or other we stay in the caravan, no problem- back to Godhead we’ll go! We’ll go there to the green land! And then love of God, if we don’t get it now then we’ll get it just before we enter the spiritual world. Somehow or other, Lord Caitanya will arrange that also- no problem. Prabhupada said, if you follow 16 rounds and 4 regulative principles you can go back to Godhead this lifetime! He said it on a few occasions. The proof that I’m presenting for that is that Prabhupada was giving a lecture on Hiranyakasipu and how he was killed, and he said that when Hiranyakasipu performed his austerities then Nrsimhadeva, the Lord, appeared in a special way because Lord Brahma had granted Hiranyakasipu his boon. And the boon was like, not to be killed by a man, not to be killed by an animal, not to be killed inside, not to be killed outside, not to be killed in the day, not to be killed in the night, not to be killed on earth, not to be killed in the air and so on. Not to be killed by any weapon, not by a demigod…so he had it all arranged! All the possible causes of death, Hiranyakasipu had eliminated and he got that benediction from Lord Brahma. So because Brahma had given his word, Krsna upheld that and He took the form- half man, half lion; he killed him at twilight- it was not the day it was not the night; he killed him on the door step- it wasn’t inside the house, it wasn’t outside the house; he killed him on His lap- it wasn’t on the ground, it wasn’t in the air; and He killed him with his nails- it wasn’t with any weapon! And like this He fulfilled all the conditions because Brahma said it. So Prabhupada is saying, yes, when a great personality says then the Lord will uphold. He said, therefore if I will say if you chant 16 rounds and follow four regulative principles then you will go back to Godhead, then you will go. So that’s my evidence that really, 16 rounds and 4 regulative principles is enough to be a part of the caravan! But you cannot walk out of the caravan; that’s another thing. And that is the difficulty- how do we stay in the caravan all the way in the back? It’s a loooooong, long walk! And boy, the path is narrow and slippery at the same time! And many a man has gone astray in a weak moment in the darkness of night, and thought that he was following his predecessor but then just took a little turn and…what to do! We hope for the best. It’s a razors edge! Sometimes there are dangerous bridges and deep gaps and what not! And sometimes we come to cemeteries and the old graves open up! All the skeletons from our closet are dancing around in our mind and we are just thinking about the old material desires!
Like that, so many positive experiences we have in our spiritual life! How to remain fixed on the path? Durgame pathi me ‘andhasya skhalat-pada-gater muhuh sva-krpa-yasti-danena santa santv avalambanam, Krsnadas Kaviraja Goswami says, “My path is very difficult; my feet are slipping again and again but by holding on closely to the association of the vaisnavas, in that way I can do it.” So how to do it with the association of the vaisnavas? Well there is a very nice story in the Caitanya Caritamrta, and that is when Sanatana Goswami escaped from jail and all that and finally he met Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Mahaprabhu instructed him. And after some time they separated; Mahaprabhu went to Puri and later Sanatana Goswami joins Mahaprabhu in Puri. It was there that he for the first time met all the devotees; before that he had only heard from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu but he had not yet met all the devotees. So he was introduced by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself to all the devotees and he offered his obeisances to all the different devotees and all the devotees were offering him respect, friendship and mercy. And that’s very nice- respect, friendship and mercy. And that is sadhu sanga. If we have a community, which is based on respect, if we are very careful…respect is not just a matter of lip service; respect means that we are dealing with whatever is important to someone, we also give it importance. That is respect. And then everything is important to us and we treat people with care and that we are considerate. Respect means that we are not going to publicly advertise their faults; respect means that even if such things need to be discussed we do it privately and keep that respect. We will not publicly diminish their respect- no, we give respect. And respect also means that we will appreciate all the good things they’re doing; we give appreciation. Then we can friendship because then we can start to trust.
A nice French philosopher is called Pascal and he wrote the famous treatise called (French word)- “the thoughts” and there Pascal writes, he said, “If friends would know what friends say behind their back, there wouldn’t be friends in the world.” So when I read that then I was thinking, if our movement doesn’t prove that wrong then we have failed! Then we have failed; then we have really failed! Because that is what our movement is for, for true friendship. So see what it means- sadhu sanga! So if we invest in this things- respect, friendship and mercy…yes mercy; every Vaisnava has mercy sometimes- you do! You get some mercy from somewhere- pass it on, pass it on to the other vaisnavas, share it with the other vaisnavas; and in this way it happens. Even in the spiritual world it’s going on like that. It is said that Madhumangal and Krsna somehow or other met some brahmanas and they got lots of blessings and they got a lot of prasadam and then Madhumangal hid it in his chadar! But Balarama saw it! And Balarama said that, “You should share it; why don’t you share it with the vaisnavas?” but he didn’t do it, so then Balarama arranged that one devotee sneaked up from behind, snatched the prasadam and one was opening the knot of his dhoti and another was taking everything away. So Madhumangal couldn’t do anything because his dhoti was falling off and then the others quickly divided the prasadam! So even in the spiritual world, this is the point of the culture- to share the mercy. And if we do that then we get such nice…we should have such nice relationships as vaisnavas, that everyone can see that, “This is amazing, this people! Just in that we want to be here!” people will join automatically; they come for one program and they’re never want to leave.
I have one story – a Christian story- which illustrates a similar point. There’s a story that there was a monastery and as many Catholic monasteries nowadays, they are sort of…all the old people are there and every year one or two dies and gradually they’re getting less and less and less…and they have all these big buildings but they’re completely empty, just old people but they’re dying out and they know that just after then there will be no one. So one day there was a Jewish rabbai who visited the monastery and one of the elder monks was saying that, “yes it doesn’t look bright because in the future it looks that there won’t be anyone left. Would you offer a solution of what we could do to attract new people?” the rabbai said, “We have the same problem in our tradition! Our synagogues are emptying out; it’s getting more and more empty everyday. So I don’t know about that. But one thing I do know is that you are a group of very special people because I know that amongst you, that actually one of you is the messiah! The one of whom we are waiting to return, I know actually that one of you is the messiah!” that was the news of the day! You can imagine! It was like wow! That was something else! All the monks were talking about it, “One of us is the messiah!” and they went back to the quarters and were asking, “Who is it?” and all of them said, “Well, one thing is for sure- it’s not me! It’s not me so it’s got to be one of the other ones.” So from that day they started thinking, “well, I mistreated everyone and then when he reveals himself, he might hold a grudge against me, so I better be very careful!” so from that day on everybody started treating everybody with very special care and attention and suddenly the whole mood in the monastery changed. Then one day there was a bus with students that came and visited from schools just to see the monastery, and the young students were so impressed by the loving relationships between the old monks that some of them became monks and joined on their own!
Therefore this sadhu sanga is the one thing that can keep us on the track, in the back of the caravan. But then we have to stop being Mayavadi’s! Oh my God! Yes, we have to start getting personal; we have to just get personal with everyone. We can no longer live with our own privacy and lock ourselves up and think, ‘I don’t want anything to do anything with anybody! People- I don’t want to see people! People, no! No relationships- no talking!’ We have to invest in a relationship with everyone and all these principles of friendship, respect and mercy, these three in sadhu sanga, will save us, because that’s how it will work. Ecstasy like Advaita Acarya, who’s fifty years older than Lord Caitanya, for one day! Like yesterday we were jumping around and at the end of the kirtana my legs went (cracking noise) ah! And today it’s limping but it’s getting better. But still, I don’t know how Advaita Acarya did it! in his eighties- dancing like that- inconceivable! So we cannot imitate these personalities but somehow or other we get to stay in the caravan- that’s for sure. And sadhu sanga; if we do it together, in good relationships, we’ll make it, and that’s something that begins with Pascal’s principle that if friends would know what friends would say behind their back, there wouldn’t be any friends in the world. So let us try and go straightforward so that we get real trust.
I was reading something in a management book about love and trust and it was saying if there’s a group of people and there’s no trust amongst these people, then what they’ll will do is they will just spend their time with notebooks and policing each other. The notebooks means that they need to write down many rules and many policies etc to govern the activities and the rest, everyone is just looking at each other to see if somebody is breaking the law. And when I read that, it reminded me sometimes I’ve seen that, I’ve seen those dynamics; I’ve seen devotees watching each other to see if somebody’s not stepping over the line- policing each other- I’ve seen that. But we need love and trust. So if there’s trust, real trust, then real relationships. And if they don’t exist, well, dadati prati grhnanti bauntye…Once we were taking prasadam with Giriraja Maharaja and he said, “Well, it’s proven scientifically that when cows eat together that they give more milk!” in other words, okay, let’s learn to associate- it’s not easy; you have to put your claws back into your hands, take out those fangs and do not attack! Especially when someone turns his back to you, do not take a knife and put it in there- no! Don’t! No! Don’t attack! Leave those backs alone; put a friendly hand on the back and just sort of come next to the person and actually start an hones conversation, based on these principles: friendship and mercy.
Maharaja: Narada Muni himself had a problem when Daksa cursed him. He was himself an outcaste; Daksa cast him out when he was trying to preach to his sons and didn’t understand. So I guess some have to be very tolerant and have to be ready to go alone, to go ahead alone and then try from their experience along the path if they go alone, to turn back and bring others along as much as they can. As much as they don’t come along…what can we do? We cannot be surprised. Sometimes we think about our previous life and we think where have been? Were we with devotees in our past life? It could have been; it could have well have been! Who were we? Sometimes we think. Where were we? Well, okay if we were devotees in our last life then most likely in India somewhere because in the West, it after all came with Prabhupada. So then where were we? Who were we? Sometimes some go to India and get readings done from certain Brghu readers and what not! And usually you were some prince or princess! Very co-incidentally so! So I don’t know what to think about that. but in our last life, may be we were devotees- lets say we were- then what does it mean? Then if we were royalty and devotees, then what does it mean? It means we failed! It means we didn’t make it, it means we are the end of chapter 6 in Bhagavad Gita! That’s us, you know! That’s what it is, those verses: if you don’t make it in Krsna consciousness then you come back to such family and so on and you have to do it again! All right, we had to do it again and how many times did it already happen? How many times did we already blow it? And how many lifetimes have we already been connected and yet not enough to tip the balance so to speak, to bring us to the point to take it seriously? Bahunam janmanam ante. After so many lives, finally, vasudeva sarvam iti. And some people are working on their next life and everyday there are activities for the building stones for the next lives and they doing a good job! And they’re building a jail with some good bars for them! And you know, and then a gate and they put it all in, and then they put a good lock in it! And then they will take another birth and go in there and at the time of birth- throw the key out of the window and be locked up again! Good luck!
Prabhupada speaks about birds; a bird that has lived in a cage for a long time, you take it to a field, you open the gate, you let him out, you let him fly out and then he flies back into the cage! He flies back into the cage! Prabhupada said, “What can I do? He flies back into the cage! We let him out and he flies back! What can you do?” So we cannot be surprised when many birds fly back in the cage; it’s inevitable. So it can be a lonely path and we may even be condemned as Narada was condemned; Narada was condemned- “too fanatic!” Okay, too fanatic about going back to Godhead, too fanatic about getting Krsna prema- can you be? I think it should be our own desire; that’s what I desire, that one day it would be my own desire. But if we don’t get that prema, which will melt our heart now, if at least we’re faithful to Srila Prabhupada and his teachings, then at the end of our life…see, I’m seeing it like that; that it’s something like a school, and you’ve done your exam and it’s being judged by the authorities and they look at your case and they go, ‘Shoo! This one is a real problem case! Oh no…look at this! It’s really not…’ some are saying, ‘Maybe it will be really better if he does it another time- just another life.’ And then there’s someone who suddenly says, ‘But wait a minute, this is one of Prabhupada’s!’
‘All right; Prabhupada’s? Let him go.’ That’s on our side, that’s on our side. And then Lord Caitanya says, “Oh, one of Prabhupada’s devotees? Then I have to give him love of Godhead! What can I do; how can I not give it to him? So if they’re absolutely not qualified but they’re approaching the spiritual world.” He’ll give us something- just slip it to us at the gates of Vaikuntha!
Comment: Srila Prabhupada quotes a nice example that if you study medicine in India, the one who qualifies becomes a doctor and one who fails becomes a licensee of medicine. And Prabhupada makes the point that both benefit but on a certain level.
Maharaja: Yes, but Lord Caitanya’s mercy is just amazing! Thank God! Because otherwise we will be licensees forever! Okay, thank you very much. Srila Prabhupada ki, Jaya!