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Questions and Answers

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Kolkata-Worldwide, 17 May 2020, part 6


Question: Can a lady lead Nagar-sankirtan?

OK, they can do it, but if there is any sannyasi there, the sannyasi must lead it. One time, when Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was going to Yameswar Tota in Puri Dham, He heard some lady singing in the Jagannath Temple. Not understanding who was singing, a man or a woman, He ran there overwhelmed by ecstasy. Govinda caught Him on the way. When Mahaprabhu realised what had happened, He said to Govinda, "You have saved Me today!" Therefore, a sannyasi must not hear any lady's singing. The scriptures also say it. When everybody is singing together, that is a different matter, but if a sannyasi sits in some secluded place and listens to a lady's kirtan, that is not good.

[On another occasion, His Divine Grace made also an explicit remark: His Divine Grace had been leading a kirtan in the nat mandir on the Gaura Purnima day—some lady was playing the mridanga, and when the kirtan finished, His Divine Grace went away and on his way to his veranda he said, annoyed, "In Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, ladies must not play the mridanga!"]

[After this question was placed, a further question was asked on the topic, and His Diving Grace added some further clarification:

Yes, actually, ladies can do that in some places. It is not a problem. We do not look who is a lady, who is a man, but in this age of Kali, if ladies do sankirtan, it may not always look good. In some places, there is no sannyasi; in some places, there is a sannyasi, so this actually depends upon the place.

When Mahaprabhu heard Gopi-Gita sung by a lady, He ran towards her to listen to it, but Govinda caught Him on the way and, when Mahaprabhu realised what had happened, He said, "Govinda, you have saved Me!"

At the same time, in some places the situation is now such that ladies are the leaders, and if there is no sannyasi and they do sankirtan, what is the problem? Sometimes there is no sannyasi and a lady is charge of the temple, so if she does sankirtan there, what is the problem? It is not a problem for the Western side, and for the Indian side too—there are many ladies who sing in India.

We do not see who is a lady, who is a gent. It is not the question. We see who does service, who does what. Sometimes, people criticise, "Oh, a lady is doing this service!"—but we will not discriminate between ladies' service and gents' service. In previous time, there were so many things, but now ladies become prime-ministers, ladies become chief ministers, ladies become pilots, ladies become military soldiers, they do everything, so why cannot they lead in Harinam sankirtan?

Devotee: So, they can play the mridanga also?

They can play the mridanga, it is not a problem, but it is necessary to see the time and place.

Devotee: When I was reading the article, it mentioned that you were unhappy when you attended an arati and a lady devotee was playing the mridanga...

Yes, because sometimes it does not look good. If somebody is enthusiastic to do it, they can do it, I do not see any problem with that, but if some lady has material pride thinking, "I am playing the mridanga! I am with the men!"—this is not good.]

Another question has come. If the lady's days come and there is no other way (if there is no one else who can do it), then she can do the Deity service, otherwise who will cook for the Deities? It is better she cooks than making the Deities fast.

Question: Sri Brahma-samhita writes about Gokula and Goloka. What is the difference between them?

Gokula is Gokula, and Goloka is Goloka. Gokula is here, where Krishna's pastimes happened, it is Bhauma-Vrindavan (Vrindavan on earth), and Goloka Vrindavan is the highest plane of existence. You know that there are many planetary systems—Tal, Atal, Vital, Nital, Talatal, Mahatal, Sutal, Rasatal, Patal, etc. Goloka Vrindavan is situated above all planets, it is the highest place. So, Gokul and Goloka are not the same.

Question: We are told that we must see the Guru as Krishna, and if we have a deeper vision, we can see the Guru as Srimati Radharani. On the other hand, we also hear that the Guru is Nityananda Prabhu. Srimati Radharani and Sriman Nityananda Prabhu are different, so should we see the Guru as Srimati Radharani or as Sriman Nityananda Prabhu?

যে যথা মাং প্রপদ্যন্তে তাংস্তথৈব ভজাম্যহম্ ।
মম বর্ত্মানুবর্ত্তন্তে মনুষ্যাঃ পার্থ সর্ব্বশঃ ॥

ye yatha mam prapadyante, tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante, manusyah partha sarvasah

"Howsoever people surrender to Me, I accordingly reward them. Being the ultimate goal of all paths, I am the objective to be attained by all. O Partha, all men follow My various paths."

Srimad Bhagavad-gita, 4.11

You should understand that there is santa-rasa, dasya-rasa, sakhya-rasa, vatsalya-rasa, and madhura-rasa. Krishna-Balaram are sakhya-rasa, Gaura-Nitai are also sakhya-rasa. In another way we can say that Nityananda Prabhu is the master, Nityananda Prabhu is the boss, Nityananda Prabhu is the controller, He controls everything in this world, He is the ashraya-vigraha (the embodiment of shelter)—therefore, the Guru is Nityananda Prabhu because we take shelter in Gurudev. The highest position of Gurudev is that Gurudev is Srimati Radharani. I have told many times that Srimati Radharani is the Guru of prema, paramour love. This is Her position with Krishna. So, within madhura-rasa, Gurudev is Srimati Radharani; within sakhya-rasa, Gurudev is Nityananda Prabhu.

Question: It is told that there is no difference between the diksa-guru (initiating guru) and the siksa-guru (instructing guru), but Srila Sridhar Maharaj says that our sampradaya is a siksa-guru-sampradaya.

Yes, of course. One can have only one diksa-guru, but one can have many siksa-gurus. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu also says the same.

Question: If it is possible to hear some pastimes of Santosh Krishna Prabhu?

Yes, it was his disappearance festival yesterday. He is a very good devotee. Gurudev likes him, and Gurudev gave him to me, but by Krishna's will he was taken away. He always said, "I cannot do so much service because maya is always attacking me. I do not want to stay in this world." So, Krishna has taken him, maybe Gurudev has taken him near him.

Question: Will the situation with the Ratha-yatra this year affect the world?

Only Krishna knows it. It is His arrangement. If Jagannath arranges something in a certain way, it is not in our hands. We are controlled by Him. Ratha-yatra will happen, no one can stop Him—Jagannath, Subhadra, and Baladev will go to Gundicha, but devotees cannot join properly this year. What is happening is arranged by the Lord, by the Supreme Absolute. He does everything. So, whether it is to the better or to the worse, who knows it? Only Krishna knows it, Jagannath knows it.

Question: Can we sing Sri Rupa-manjari-pada in the temple and at home?

Yes, why not? "Sri Rupa-manjari-pada ei mora sampada, ei mora bhajana pujana" is a separation song. You can sing it, what is the problem? This song expresses feelings of very deep separation from Srila Rupa Goswami, Sri Rupa Manjari.

Actually, we must always think, "When will I see my Guru? What can I do to serve my Guru? When can I see the Lord? When can I make my Guru happy?" We must always think in this way.

কবে শ্রীচৈতন্য মোরে করিবেন দয়া ।
কবে আমি পাইব বৈষ্ণব-পদছায়া ॥

kabe sri chaitanya more karibena daya
kabe ami paiba vaisnava-pada-chhaya

"When will Sri Chaitanya be merciful to me? When will I reach the shade of the Vaishnavs' feet?"

কবে আমি ছাড়িব এ বিষয়াভিমান ।
কবে বিষ্ণুজনে আমি করিব সম্মান ॥

kabe ami chhadiba e visayabhimana
kabe visnu-jane ami kariba sammana

"When will I give up this mundane ego? When will I honour the Lord's devotees?"

গলবস্ত্র কৃতাঞ্জলি বৈষ্ণব নিকটে ।
দন্তে তৃণ করি দাঁড়াইব নিষ্কপটে ॥

gala-vastra krtanjali vaisnava-nikate
dante trna kari' dandaiba niskapate

"With a cloth around my neck, joined palms, and straw between my teeth, I will sincerely submit myself at the Vaishnav's feet."

Always think about this. Also, there is Gurudev's favourite song,

এমন দুর্ম্মতি সংসার-ভিতরে
পড়িয়া আছিনু আমি ।
তব নিজ-জন কোন মহাজনে
পাঠাইয়া দিলে তুমি ॥

emana durmati samsara bhitare
padiya achhinu ami
tava nija-jana kona mahajane
pathaiya dile tumi

"O Lord! I am very wicked-minded and have fallen into this material world, but You have sent a great soul, Your associate (to rescue me)."

এক বর দয়া করি' মোরে পতিত দেখিয়া
কহিল আমারে গিয়া ।
ওহে দীনজন শুন ভাল কথা
উল্লসিত হবে হিয়া ॥

(ek bar) daya kari' more patita dekhiya
kahila amare giya
ohe dina-jana suna bhala katha
ullasita ha'be hiya

"Seeing me so fallen and being merciful, he came to me and said, 'O humble soul, listen to this wonderful message and your heart will rejoice.'"

তোমারে তারিতে শ্রীকৃষ্ণচৈতন্য
নবদ্বীপে অবতার ।
তোমা হেন কত দীনহীন জনে
করিলেন ভবপার ॥

tomare tarite sri-krsna-chaitanya
navadvipe avatara
toma hena kata dina-hina jane
karilena bhava-para

"'Sri Krishna Chaitanya has appeared in Nabadwip to deliver you. He has brought many humble souls just like you to the shore of the ocean of material existence.'"

It is a very nice song. There is also,

আমার জীবন সদা পাপে রত
নাহিক পুণ্যের লেশ ।
পরেরে উদ্বেগ দিয়াছি যে কত
দিয়াছি জীবেরে ক্লেশ ॥

amara jivana sada pape rata
nahika punyera lesa
parere udvega diyachhi ye kata
diyachhi jivere klesa

"My life is always engrossed in sin. There is not a trace of piety in it. I have caused others so much anxiety and trouble."

নিজ সুখ লাগি' পাপে নাহি ডরি
দয়াহীন স্বার্থপর ।
পর সুখে দুঃখী সদা মিথ্যাভাষী
পরদুঃখ সুখকর ॥

nija sukha lagi' pape nahi dari
daya-hina svartha-para
para-sukhe duhkhi sada mithya-bhasi
para-duhkha sukha-kara

"I am never afraid to engage in sinful activities for the sake of my own happiness. I am unkind and selfish. I always tell lies. I am unhappy when others are happy, and happy when others are unhappy."

অশেষ কামনা হৃদি মাঝে মোর
ক্রোধী দম্ভপরায়ণ ।
মদমত্ত সদা বিষয়ে মোহিত
হিংসা-গর্ব্ব বিভূষণ ॥

asesa kamana hrdi majhe mora
krodhi, dambha-parayana
mada-matta sada visaye mohita
himsa-garva vibhusana

"There are unlimited sinful desires within the core of my heart. I am angry and arrogant, always maddened with vanity, infatuated with mundanity, and malice and pride are my ornaments."

It is very nice. Always sing it.

তৃণাধিক হীন দীন অকিঞ্চন ছার ।
আপনে মানবি সদা ছাড়ি অহঙ্কার ॥

trnadhika hina, dina, akinchana chhara
apane manabi sada chhadi ahankara

"Give up your false ego, and always consider yourself lower than grass, poor, needy, and mean."

বৃক্ষসম ক্ষমাগুণ করবি সাধন ।
প্রতিহিংসা ত্যজি অন্যে করবি পালন ॥

vrksa-sama ksama-guna karabi sadhana
pratihimsa tyaji anye karabi palana

"Practise tolerance like a tree. Stop ill-treating others, instead nurture them."

জীবন-নির্ব্বাহে আনে উদ্বেগ না দিবে ।
পর-উপকারে নিজ-সুখ পাসরিবে ॥

jivana-nirvahe ane udvega na dibe
para-upakare nija-sukha pasaribe

"Do not trouble others for your own upkeep, and forget your own happiness in the course of helping others."

Always sing it. Always remember it.

(ওহে) বৈষ্ণব ঠাকুর দয়ার সাগর
এ দাসে করুণা করি ।
দিয়া পদছায়া শোধহে আমারে
তোমার চরণ ধরি ॥

(ohe) vaisnava thakura dayara sagara
e dase karuna kari
diya pada-chhaya sodha he amare
tomara charana dhari

"O worshippable Vaisnava, ocean of grace, be merciful to this servant. Give me the shade of your feet and purify me. I clasp your feet."

It is a very nice song, sing it. There is also "Nitai pada kamala koti chandra susitala." I remember when Gurudev was going for an operation, the nurses were taking him in a hospital trolley bed to the operation theatre—Yamuna Priya Didi and myself were there, we were crying, but Gurudev stopped us and said, "Why are you crying?" Then he started singing,

নিতাই-পদকমল কোটীচন্দ্র-সুশীতল
যে ছায়ায় জগত জুড়ায় ।
হেন নিতাই বিনে ভাই রাধাকৃষ্ণ পাইতে নাই
দৃঢ় করি ধর নিতাই পায় ॥

nitai-pada-kamala, koti chandra-susitala,
ye chhayaya jagata judaya
hena nitai vine bhai radha-krsna paite nai
drdha kari' dhara nitaira paya

"Cooling like ten million moons, Nitai's lotus feet soothe the world with their shade. O brother! Without Nitai, you cannot reach Radha-Krishna. Firmly grasp Nitai's feet."

সে সম্বন্ধ নাহি যার বৃথা জন্ম গেল তার
সেই পশু বড় দুরাচার ।
নিতাই না বলিল মুখে মজিল সংসার সুখে,
বিদ্যাকুলে কি করিবে তার ॥

se sambandha nahi yara vrtha janma gela tara
sei pasu bada durachara
nitai na balila mukhe majila samsara-sukhe
vidya-kule ki karibe tara

"The life of one who had no connection with Nitai passed in vain. Such an animal is very wicked. What will learning (aristocratic birth) do for one who was immersed in worldly pleasures and never called aloud, 'Nitai'?"

অহঙ্কারে মত্ত হৈঞা নিতাইপদ পাসরিয়া
অসত্যেরে সত্য করি মানি ।
নিতাইয়ের করুণা হবে ব্রজে রাধা কৃষ্ণ পাবে
ধর নিতাইয়ের চরণ দুঃখানি ॥

ahankare matta haina nitai-pada pasariya
asatyere satya kari' mani
nitaiyer karuna habe vraje radha-krsna pabe
dhara nitaiyer charana duhkhani

"Maddened with pride, forgetting Nitai's feet, I accept untruth as truth. When Nitai bestows His mercy you will reach Radha-Krishna in Vraja. O suffering soul! Grasp Nitai's feet!"

নিতাইয়ের চরণ সত্য তাঁহার সেবক নিত্য,
নিতাই-পদ সদা কর আশ,

nitaiyer charana satya tahara sevaka nitya
nitai-pada sada kara asa

"The lotus feet of Nityananda Prabhu are the truth, and His servitor is eternal. Always pray for His lotus feet."

It is very nice. Sing this song. Practise singing every day, sing kirtans clapping hands. It is very nice if you do it every day.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.

Next Sunday we will explain Sri Raya Ramananda sambad. There are two very exclusive, very important things in Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita—one is Rupa-siksa and Sanatan-siksa, and the other one is Sri Ramananda-sambad. If you read it, it will be good for you.

Sri Rupa-Siksa
Sri Sanatan-Siksa
Sri Ramananda-sambad

'কে আমি', 'কেনে আমায় জারে তাপত্রয়' ।
ইহা নাহি জানি—'কেমনে হিত হয়' ॥
'সাধ্য' 'সাধন' তত্ত্ব পুছিতে না জানি ।
কৃপা করি’ সব তত্ত্ব কহ ত’ আপনি ॥

'ke ami', 'kene amaya jare tapa-traya'
iha nahi jani—'kemane hita haya'
'sadhya'-'sadhana'-tattva puchhite na jani
krpa kari' saba tattva kaha ta' apani

"Who am I? Why do I suffer so much? I do not know it. How can I get relief? Actually, I do not know how to inquire about the goal of life and the process for obtaining it. Being merciful upon me, please explain all these truths."

(Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, 20.102-103)

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay
Harinam sankirtan ki jay
Samagata Gaura bhakta-vrinda ki jay!
Jay Om Vishnupad Jagad-Guru Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj ki jay
All the sannyasi-vrinda ki jay
All the assembled devotees ki jay
All the worldwide devotees ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math worldwide ki jay
Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math Krishna-anusilana Sangha ki jay

I am praying for everybody so that you all may overcome the current situation. As it is, you can join the programme and practise properly. Try to survive with your family—you have a good husband, a good wife, good children. Take proper care and practise Krishna consciousness properly, then more and more devotion will come to your life, you will get more and more energy to practise. I pray for this to my Guru.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay. Nitai Gaura premanande Hari bol.



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Success, Attachment,
'Maya Devi always takes our time to engage us for herself. Success in our spiritual life depends upon the devotee—how many percent can you give to your Guru, to the Lord?'


Parama karuna
'Nityananda and Gaurachandra are the only source of joy.'
পরম করুণ

We are preaching, but preaching for whom? For myself? Preaching what? Our own things? No, we must preach for our Gurudev.