First Discourse:
By His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj


I am feeling very fortunate and thankful to you all because you have engaged me in the service of my Divine Master, Srila Guru Maharaj. I am always busy with other services of this Math and therefore I cannot properly serve you all. Also I have a little deficiency in English, and therefore am a little cautious to speak in English; but it is my duty to serve the Western devotees, and I cannot forget that. Just now I was doing other duties but when you engaged me in this service of speaking to you I thought, "Oh, this is also my service but I have not carried it out." In this Why I am very thankful to you all because you want to engage me in my Divine Master's service.

In earlier days my Divine Master was sitting in this chair and distributing His mercy to devotees all over the world. Devotees were coming from so far. Some came 10,000 miles, some 6,000 miles and some 3,000 miles. Sometimes when Guru Maharaj was feeling sick he would say, "I am not feeling well, I cannot speak now." At that time my tendency was to be very affectionate to my Godbrothers and I would request him, "Maharaj, please speak a little, at least for only five or ten minutes. They have come from so far away. Please speak for five minutes, or even without speaking anything, just be seated there for five minutes." In this way I requested him for my Godbrothers. And Guru Maharaj always agreed to my request. Even if he was not feeling well, he still would come to speak something for the devotees' benefit. But when he was sitting in this chair he was like another man—not a sick man. He would speak about Krishna consciousness with full energy and full enthusiasm. I know, and Guru Maharaj knew, that sometimes he wanted to avoid the meeting, but that was not sufficient for me. Once seated in his chair he was the world-wide Mission's Acharya speaking, and I would be surprised that often he would speak for two hours. In this way, with much difficulty Guru Maharaj tried to distribute the Krishna conception, Krishna consciousness, to the devotees.

There are two kinds of devotees we can see in the world: those with a preaching tendency and those with bhajan tendency. One is called gosthyanandi and the other bhajananandi. He who wants to conceal himself and chant for his own benefit, who is doing bhajan, is called bhajananandi. In the time of Prabhupada Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati there were two or three devotees who were like that. One you know very well; his name is Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaj. Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaj was a very close friend of Guru Maharaj. He was a graduate, and learned, but he did not want to preach; he always wanted to do some bhajan for himself. He was in the mood of one who is self-satisfied—atmarama—one who tastes ecstasy himself, but does not distribute it to others. But Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati was not happy with his mood.

At that time Guru Maharaj was preaching in Northern India; Delhi, Kurukshetra, Ambala, etc. In the winter season it is very hard to preach there with snow falling and the well-water freezing. Once I heard from Guru Maharaj that one night he was in Ambala railway station with Bon Maharaj. They had no place to sleep so they tried to sleep under the footbridge, but ice was falling down and it was not possible to sleep. Guru Maharaj had only one blanket and was thinking he may die because it was so cold, but he thought, "If I die it will be for Krishna consciousness, for my Guru Maharaj, then I have no problem." That night two men died. They also had no shelter but they could not tolerate the cold. In this way Guru Maharaj was preaching in Northern India. When he came near Benares, he wrote a letter to Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada telling of Krishna Dasa Babaji Maharaj's affection for him. At that time Krishna Dasa BabajI Maharaj's name was Svadikananda Brahmachari.

He wrote, "Svadikananda Bramachari is staying in Balihati. If you order me I shall try to bring him for preaching." Prabhupada Saraswati Thakur was very happy with that letter and immediately replied saying, "If you can bring him with you and engage him in preaching then I must say that you are his real friend." And there he mentioned: "Seated in the jungle of Balihati chanting on beads is not Krishnanusilana, the real cultivation of Krishna consciousness."

The real practice of Krishna consciousness is to preach to others and to practise oneself by chanting Hare Krishna and doing Guru-Vaishnava seva. It was the mood of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur that if Srila Guru Maharaj could bring that devotee for preaching then he would be the best friend of that brahmachari, and so asked him to try.

When we are meditating we may think, "What are we feeling?" Many thinking matters will come in our mind to disturb us and proper meditation is not possible. But yogis are meditating with much endeavour with their full energy. When there are the activities of pranayama, asana, dhyana, dharana, etc., this yoga is called astanga-yoga, but those who practise this properly are achieving in their samadhi only a little feeling of Paramatma. One who is very expert may see Paramatma at a particular moment, but still, after that he must come back to his previous consciousness. But Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati practised and preached the best method, and that is called bhakti-yoga; and not ordinary bhakti-yoga, but ananya-bhakti-yoga. Ananya-bhakti-yoga, or exclusive devotion, means:

sarvopadhi vinirmuktam, tat-paratvena nirmalam
hrsikena hrsikesa sevana, bhaktir uchyate

(Narada Pancharatra)

Another similar sloka is:

anyabhilasita sunyam, jnana-kamunady anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanusilanam bhaktir uttama


This is very wholesome advice and Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada gave a translation in Bengali poetry form: "With all your energy, all your senses, and all your activities, engage yourself twenty-four hours a day for the service of the Lord. That is real bhakti, and there is no fault that will come to attack you." The conditioned soul has faults, no doubt, but Krishna takes everything in His own account, so the conditioned soul's account is empty. There is no faultcounting, therefore no problem comes to the real devotee. He is not doing anything for himself. He is not eating for himself, he is not sleeping for himself—he is not doing anything for himself. He does everything for his Divine Master, for his Divine Lord, so what fault can he have? Maybe a very qualified person can do many things but they are always plus-minus accountable. Srimad Bhagavatam says:

yasyasti bhaktir bhagavaty akinchana
sarvair gunais tatra samasate surah
harav abhaktasya kuto mahad-guna
mano-rathenasati dhavato bahih

All kinds of qualifications grace a devotee, and the sastra sees no defect in him. If devotion is quite exclusive there can be no fault there. In this way Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada tried to preach Mahaprabhu's conception all over the world. Another name of that preaching conception is paramahamsa dharma.

I heard this following history from Srila Guru Maharaj. You have seen recently on Vyasa Puja day a disciple of Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Prabhupada give a lecture in Bengali very enthusiastically. When he was a child, a young brahmachari, he went by horse and cart to preach with some sannyasis. At that time Prabhupada had two horse-drawn carts and one motor car. Big sannyasis and expert devotees were going by car for preaching. The middle class devotees were going for preaching by horse and cart, and others were going by tram, bus, etc. That brahmachari was going by horse and cart with some sannyasis. Another sannyasi was watching. Although a prominent disciple and qualified man, that sannyasi did not have so much exclusive devotion to Srila Prabhupada. He said, "I am very unfortunate, I cannot understand my Divine Master properly. My Divine Master is preaching and demonstrating practical paramahamsa-dharma, but I cannot understand this." Paramahamsa-dharma is the way of practising Krishna consciousness with all one's energy, activity—everything.

A hamsa takes milk from water. Hamsa means swan. If you give milk mixed with water to a swan, he will extract the milk and leave the water. This is the nature of a hamsa. A paramahamsa is also doing likewise: from every matter, from everything, he takes the service of the Lord. He does everything and uses everything for the service of the Lord, and the unwanted parts he leaves aside, just as the swan leaves aside the water. This is the nature of a paramahamsa.

Why must I live? Because I must do my master's seva, his service, otherwise I do not want to live. What is Vaisnavism ? A Vaishnava is always worshipping his Lord twenty-four hours a day. Worshipping means serving the Lord. That is Vaisnavism. In some ways it is a very easy thing.

We are coming from Vishnu. Our origin is coming from Vishnu-tattva. Every jiva soul has fifty kinds of qualities. According to the scriptures the Supreme Lord possesses sixty-four types of qualities, but each jiva has only fifty. The jiva soul has so many qualities in common because he originates from Vishnu-tattva. Vishnu-brhatvat brmhanatvat. He is very great; the greatest. Yato va imani bhutani jayante. Yena jatani jivanti, yat prayanty abhisamvisanti, tad vijinjasasya tad eva brahma. From where are all the material worlds and the spiritual worlds coming? And who is giving light, and where will everything go? That is the Brahma-tattva. From where everything is coming and to where everything is going is the Brahma-tattva, whereas we are anuchitkan, atoms of particles of consciousness. We have much qualification because our origin is Vishnu. So if we cannot engage those qualifications for the service of the Lord, we cannot get any transcendental benefit. Our fault is in avoiding engaging our capacity in His service. Our soul must be attracted by Param-brahma, Krishna, but Maya is living in the middle portion. We are attached to Maya now. And because of our activity, Maya covers us like a cloud, or like rust. This rust is called ahankar. In the scriptures it is said:

ahankaranivrttanam, kesavo nahi duragah
ahankara-yutanam hi, madhye parvata-rasayah

(Brahma-vaivartta Purina)

Bhagavan, the Lord, is near to us, but we cannot see Him. Why? Because inside is rust, therefore Krishna cannot attract us. But if there is no rust we must immediately become attached to our Lord's service, as iron is attracted to a magnet. One who is practising Krishna consciousness twenty-four hours a day, is a pure devotee. And Srila Prabhupada Bhakti Siddhanta SaraSwati was preaching that conception with all his associates. But that sannyasi said, "I cannot properly understand my Divine Master. This fourteen-year old boy is going for the service of the Lord and he is going by horse-cart. But our ideal is given by Rupa, Sanatana, Jiva Goswami, etc. and they would live underneath a tree, taking only a little buttermilk. But Prabhupada is giving all facilities for practising and preaching Krsna consciousness, and that boy is using those facilities. This I can easily understand but why can I not understand Srila Prabhupada?" In this way he showed himself to be perplexed. Srila Guru Maharaj was there and heard this, and I heard it from Srila Guru Maharaj.

It is very easy to practise Krishna consciousness if we can engage ourselves always in the service of Krishna. Many duties will come to us and all the fruit of all duties must go to Krishna. In this way we will have no liability; all liability will go to Krishna.

After Srila Guru Maharaj made the memorandum of rules and regulations of his Mission, the government had some difficulty in accepting its contents. So I had to give an explanation of the rules and regulations of this memorandum to them. One point that Srila Guru Maharaj gave there is that the Acharya is not liable for the accounts of his society, although he is vested with all powers. The Acharya has veto power. If a resolution is passed by other members in a meeting but the Acharya does not consider it proper, he can cancel it with his veto power. But the government could not understand this. They said, "What is this? If one man can manage everything, then he is liable for everything, but here the Acharya has no liability and yet he can do everything. It is not possible!"

Why did Guru Maharaj form the constitution in this way? The Acharya is the representative of the Lord in this mundane plane. If a devotee will think the Acharya to be like ourselves, a mundane man, it will not be possible for that devotee to get the full benefit of devotion. In the sastra it says:

acharyam mam vijaniyan, navamanyeta karhichit
na martya buddhyasuyeta, sarva deva-mayo guruh

(Srimad-Bhagavatam, 11.17.27)

Who is Guru? He is Krishna Himself appearing in the form of Guru, for our benefit. Therefore we are not to differentiate between the Lord and the Guru. If we do differentiate, we will be offenders. We are not to make such differentiation.

yasya prasadad bhagavat-prasado
yasyaprasadat na gatih kuto 'pi
dhyayam stuvams tasya yasas tri-sandhyam
vande guroh sri-charanaravindam

If the Guru is merciful, Krishna must be merciful, and we can consider that we have passed our examination. But if we fail to satisfy our Guru, then we have failed our examination and Krishna cannot help us.

There is also another very nice example which I have mentioned before, using the analogy of the relationship of the water, the lotus and the sun. If the lotus is in the water the sun nourishes it making it glorious, but if we pull the lotus out of the water then the sun will burn it. In this way Guru is like the water, he is our life. We are like the lotus, and the Lord is like the sun. The mercy of Sri Gurudev can give us everything: unlimited things, things we cannot imagine. But if the Guru is dissatisfied, Krishna does not care for those who displease him.

So in our governing body, all the men and women are disciples, and Guru is Acharya. Then how will they judge the Guru? They cannot judge the Guru, and this is the purport of what Srila Guru Maharaj wrote in his society memorandum. The Acharya is not liable far any account, but he has great power. He is like an autocrat. Krishna is an autocrat and His position is autocratic. Similarly the Acharya's position is like that of an autocrat. The government wanted to modify the wording a little, but when I told them that I did not make the constitution but it was written by a big lawyer, they gave due consideration and recognition.

The only thing necessary for the disciple is to give full obeisances to his Guru, then he will have no problem in his spiritual life. But it is very difficult for the conditioned souls. The illusory environment is always bolstering our ego. That ego is barring our entrance into the transcendental world. If we remove that ego from our heart we must then become able to live in the transcendental world.

The scientists and the scriptures also differentiate between chetan (consciousness) and jada (matter). But matter is coming from where? Matter is also coming from consciousness. This is tangible truth, and this is where the Darwin theory fails. If there is no consciousness, there can be no matter. Then if consciousness is the mother of matter, matter may be fully conscious. I cannot see this pillar moving, but it is moving now. The scientists say there is some internal motion going on all the time. It will be seen that in fifty or a hundred years time this pillar will fall down. It is going, day by day. Imperceptibly, a child is also changing daily, and we can see this if we compare the one-year-old and the six-year-old. In this way everything is moving. So we should try to see everything transcendentally.

Bhaktivinod Thakur said that we see Nabadwip Dham as though it is the mundane world. Many thorn trees used to be at Ishodyan and also on the land in Mayapur where the Mayapur Chandradoya Mandir is now. But Bhaktivinod Thakur said, "You are only seeing many thorn trees. When you see Mayapur proper, you will see here many transcendental things; I am seeing those." Here there are many flower gardens and many nice transcendental buildings. Everything is transcendental here. The dust of Mayapur is transcendental, the grass also. Everything here is eager to serve Mahaprabhu. It is all very nice and continually serving Him. Mahaprabhu is coming here and performing His lila, chanting with His associates and devotees, and every bathing ghat on the Ganges here is built out of mani, manikya, ratna, etc. (invaluable spiritual gems, jewels, etc.). Everything is transcendental. But we are living in Maya so we cannot see in that way at present. Therefore it is necessary for us to open the door to the world of consciousness.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavad-gita:

daivi hy esa gunamayi, mama maya duratyaya
mam eva ye prapadyante, mayam etam taranti te

(Bhagavad-gita 7.14)

Everything here is happening with the combination of Maya and the jiva soul. The soul is getting happiness, sadness, and many things, but with the connection of Maya. When Maya leaves us, then our material ego will also leave and then we shall be able to see the transcendental world; and we will get our position in the service of our Supreme Lord, our Supreme Godhead. We are waiting for that day. Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur has written many things in his songs in this regard, including the following:

kabe gaura-vane suradhuni-tate
'ha radhe ha krsna' ba'le
kandiya bedaba deha-sukha chhadi'

svapacha-grhete magiya khaiba
piba sarasvati jala
puline puline gadagadi diba
kari' krsna-kolahala

dhamavasi jane, pranati kariya
magiba krpara lesa
vaisnava-charana-renu gaya makhi
dhari' avadhuta-vesa

gaura-vraja-vane bheda na heriba
haiba varajavasi
dhamera svarupa sphuribe nayane
haiba radhara dasi.

He says that when we can see that transcendental form of Nabadwip, we will understand where we are. Then we can say confidently, "We are living on Gupta Govardhan now!" Srila Bhaktivinod Thakur said that this place Koladwip—where this Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math is situated—is Gupta Govardhan, and that it is aparadha bhanjan pat in Mahaprabhu's lila. That means that if we live here with full faith for one night all our sins and all our offences will go. Also in the holy book Bhakti Ratnakara it is given that this place, Koladwlp, where we are living, is aparadha bhanjan pat. When that day will come to us—when Maya and our ego leave us—then we will be able to see everything including our Lord's manifestation in the form of the Dham. With our transcendental body we will be able to serve our Lord in many ways: santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and up to the highest, madhura.

Madhura-rasa is very gloriously manifested only in Krishna-lila, and hankering for that rasa is manifested fully in Gaura-lila. Krsna is so beautiful that Krishna Himself cannot imagine how beautiful He is. And when Krishna sees His face in the mirror He wants to embrace and kiss Himself, and He is very disturbed: He cannot tolerate. He needs Himself. But can He succeed? The madhura-rasa is inside Him, and He is as though mad, thinking, "What shall I do?" And Krishna is seeing that Radharani is getting all the ecstasy from His transcendental form and by His service. What Krishna wants. She immediately presents Him with that. She knows what Krishna wants, and She is always preparing for Krishna. Krishna has no chance to serve that mahasakti, Radharani. By the service of Krishna, Radharani gets everything, but Krishna does not get that even though He enthusiastically wants it most. So He thinks, "It is only possible if I Myself assume the position of Srimati Radharani, then I shall be able to taste that ecstasy She is feeling." In this way Krishna took the bhava and kanti—the mood and colour—from Radharani and He became Gaura-Mahaprabhu; and that is the very highest entity that we worship with utmost reverence But now our position is very low, but from below, downstairs, we are expecting that by the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu we must get a lift, an elevator to go there. And by coming in touch with Srila Guru Maharaj already we have a connection to go there. It is only necessary for us to have a little strength to tolerate the speed. Krishna is very merciful to the souls of Kali-yuga because He gives them the opportunity to connect with Himself. "Himself" means nama, Harinama. Krishna and Krishna-nama are non-different. He, in the form of nama, always wants to distribute His mercy to the fallen souls. That connection we have already; now it is only necessary to tolerate the speed of our journey. That is our only duty, and who cannot so tolerate will fall down. Every jiva-soul has freedom, that is he is free not to take hold of a pillar, stick or other handhold and so he falls down by the wind.

We are so fortunate to have taken birth in this age of Kali-yuga, and especially so, having attained this human body. Not only that, but we have connected with this Krishna consciousness through the merciful devotees of Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj; then what fear need we have? We have received everything, but now it is necessary to digest it properly. We have received much instruction and many books from both Srila Swami Maharaj and Srila Guru Maharaj, and we have heard many valuable teachings from them. We are observing their associates now living in this world: they are present in this world and we are hearing from them and are trying to practise Krishna consciousness as much as possible. We are trying to a lesser or greater degree; still, no doubt, our attempt is lacking. It is always necessary to have more and more attachment with consciousness—full Krishna consciousness. Everything is consciousness, but it is necessary to engage ourselves fully with that Krsna consciousness. Many, many births have gone before and maybe many are waiting in the future. But at this moment we have this human body. We do not know how much time we have in this world, but one second is sufficient for us to surrender with that full consciousness. So we must try; we have no other place or direction to go. Only these directives we can follow; what is shown by Srila Guru Maharaj, Srila Swami Maharaj and Mahaprabhu in the scriptures. There is only this one directive. It is not much for us. We have spent before many lives with our own happiness; but if we can spend this life for Krishna, that cannot be negligible. Many thousands and thousands, and crores and crores of lives have passed. Eighty-four lakhs species of bodies are covering the jiva souls in this world, but only four lakhs of those are human. We now have this human body, this body with developed consciousness, so we must use it properly. Therefore, Srimad-Bhagavatam has said: "He who is a suicidal man is he who is looking at everything but not taking anything."

nr-deham adyam su-labham su-durlabham
plavam su-kalpam guru-karnadharam
mayanukulena nabhasvateritam
puman bhavabdhim na taret sa atma-ha

(Srimad-Bhagavatam: 11.20.17)

We have this human body in our hand, and it is very rarely achieved. Many, many births have passed, but suddenly we have attained this human body by our karma, good karma no doubt. It is sulabham sudurlabham, which means it is not easily attainable, but we have attained it. If you want to cross a river or an ocean, you need a boat. This human body is like a boat and we have now attained it. With the help of this human body, our soul can easily cross over the ocean. But who is the guide of the boat? My Gurudeva is he; the navigator. All my good fortune has descended from Krishna-loka in the form of my Gurudeva, and I have connection with him. Krishna is very merciful to show our destination through the Guru, through the sadhu and through the scriptures. In this way he is giving the favourable wind for this boat of ours to go to our destination. So, one who will not take this chance is a suicidal man. We have a very good chance and we must take this chance. We can go this side, that side or in so many ways: we have the right, but it is not good for us. We must go straight and that one-way direction is to the spiritual world. That is our destination. We need to go there. We do not want to look at anything except that single goal, just as Arjuna with single-pointed attention shot the eye of a model bird without seeing anything but that single point of the target. That is, our attempt must also be in this way. Many things have happened in our lives but we do not want to discuss that. Many things may come in our lives in the future but we do not want that. Now we have connection with Krishna, His entourage and also His service, and this is our destiny. We must try with our full energy to reach our destination, and when we get the help of all our environment, what fear can there be for us? Maybe sometimes we will fall down a little, but we must immediately arise, continue, and run again: so that is no problem. To try with our full single-pointed energy is the proper action. We are to take the proper action for this human body and our transcendental soul, jiva-soul.

In this way I am trying to present to you something of the conception of our Srila Guru Maharaj. You are trying very hard and you are so affectionate to me, therefore you want to hear something from me. What I have, I also want to give to others. This is not a 'testable' matter but it is also not a hidden matter. The property I have is also yours.

It is necessary to have proper adjustment with all, and that is congregational chanting. If I can play mridanga, I must play mridanga. If you can play karatals, you must play karatals. If someone can dance he must dance. If someone can chant, he must chant. Everybody can do one thing or another, so by congregational chanting we will go with a big ship to our destiny. This is our goal, and the method is called gosthyanandi bhajan.

Jay Om Vishnupad Paramahamsa-parivrajakacharya-varya Astottara-sata-sri Srimad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay!





— : CONTENTS : —


Chapter One: Glorious Advent of the Pure Devotee
Chapter Two: A Born Preceptor
Chapter Three: The Spiritual Succession of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math

Part Two: DISCOURSES by His Divine Grace Srila B.S. Govinda Maharaj
First Discourse: The Divine Account
Second Discourse: Surrender and Serve
Third Discourse: The Living Life
Fourth Discourse: Sweet Success Assured

Part Three:
Answers through letters