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His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Rama-Navami day, Kolkata-Worldwide
2 April 2020, part 1


Today is a very good day—today is the appearance day of Rama-avatar, Lord Ramachandra. Every year we make some festival, some programme on this day, but it is very difficult to make a programme this year because of the problematic situation all over the world. Still, we can make some small programme, we think that is good for us.

Every year we make some programme on this day because this is the appearance day of one of the ten avatars of the Lord. You know there are ten avatars (incarnations) of the Lord—Matsya-avatar, Kurma-avatar, Varaha-avatar, Nrisingha-avatar, Vaman-avatar, Parasurama-avatara, Rama-avatar, Baladev, or Krishna, avatar, Buddha-avatar, and Kalki-avatar. Rama is one of them.

Lord Narayan came as Ramachandra in the age of Treta. There are four ages—Satya, Treta, Dvapar, and Kali. You all know that Ramachandra was born in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh as a son of Kausalya and Dasarath. I read Valmiki Muni's Ramayana about Lord Ramachandra's pastimes. Most of Indian people, most of Hindus worship Ramachandra, but Gaudiya Vaishnavs, followers of Gaudiya-dhara, do not show particular interest in Ramachandra. Ramachandra is righteous (maryada-purush). As in perfect Hinduism, Ramachandra did not get married second time, He kept only one woman, He lived a perfect householder life, followed all rules and regulations, etc.

We read in Srimad Bhagavad-gita,

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)

Not all devotees have the same mood. There are different kinds of moods—santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya, madhura-rasa (neutrality, servitude, friendship, and consorthood). In Rama-lila, we do not see so many moods, we cannot even see full vatsalya-rasa (parenthood) here. There is a little bit something, but it is manifest in a hidden way. When Ramachandra went to the forest with Sita and Laksman, Dasarath was very sad—he became sick and died. So, here, vatsalya-rasa is hidden, it is not shown openly. Moreover, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the Lord are also different. There is bhagavan, svayam-bhagavan, and svayam-sampurna-bhagavan. You can easily understand it from the difference between Rama-lila and Krishna-lila.

King Dasarath had three wives—Kausalya, Kaikeyi, and Sumitra. Among them, Kausalya got Ramachandra as her son, and Kaikeyi son was Bharath. When Dasarath got sick, Kaikeyi gave much nourishment to Dasarath. Dasarath was very happy, so he asked Kaikeyi, "Do you want to get some boon? I will give you anything you want." There was a family maidservant, her name is Manthara. Manthara was very clever—she told Kaikeyi, "Do not ask for this boon now. Ask for it when the proper time comes." When Dasarath decided that his elder son (Ramachandra) will be his main heir and the next king, Manthara told Kaikeyi, "Now is the proper time. Ask for the boon now!" What boon did she ask for? She wanted her son (Bharath) to be the king and she wanted Ramachandra to go to the forest for fourteen years. Dasarath was very sad, but he thought, "What can I do? I have promised her that I will give her anything she asks for." That is why we say that Dasarath is righteous (maryada-purush)—he follows niti (moral code). For him, justice, and not vatsalya-rasa, is first. He could not even consider breaking his promise—he promised to give her a boon, so he had to do it. Ramachandra also could not reject His father's word. Do you understand what kind of things are going on here? I wrote about all this in Guidance 4. Dasarath did not think that his son would have to go to live in the forest for fourteen years—he is righteous and has high morals, so he has to keep his promise. Ramachandra also thought, "I will do whatever My father orders Me to do. I cannot allow it that My father breaks the moral rules. He gave his word to mother Kaikeyi, so he has to keep his word." Here, the word must be kept, but you will not see this in Krishna-lila.

In Treta-yuga, Dasarath sent his son to the forest, and in Dvapar-yuga Vasudev took his son away and hid Him. Vasudev had also promised to his wife's brother, "When a baby comes, I will give them all to you one by one." Is it correct or not? He said, "Do not kill your sister, she is a lady. It is not right to kill ladies, you are not a coward. I promise to you. Put me in jail and when a child comes in a year, I will give the child to your hand." And he did that, but when his eighth son came (when Krishna appeared), Vasudev first worshipped Him (aisvarya-rasa) because Krishna appeared in His chatur-bhuja (four-armed) form as a Narayan-murti, but after that he took his son, crossed the Yamuna and went to Yasoda's house. That is the difference between Rama-lila and Krishna-lila. I write many more things about it in Guidance 4.

So, here, Sita and Ramachandra, this is supposed to be madhura-rasa, but Ramachandra went to the forest. Kaikeyi asked Dasarath one day to send only Ramachandra away, but Sita Devi is His wife, so she also went to the forest; and Laksman loves Ramachandra so much, He also accompanied Him. That is also the difference from other lilas.

I also sometimes think that Gaura-lila is actually so much more interesting. We say, "Oh, Mother Yasoda tied Krishna!" What did she tie Him for? Why did she punish Him? Oh, because He broke some clay pots with paneer—Mother Yasoda kep something tied high up, and Krishna could not reach it, He got angry and broke the pot. That is why mother tied Him. But in Gaura-lila, how many times did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nimai, break clay pots? How many times did He disturb His mother? How may times did He make so much mischief? He threw away all Ganga-puja, He disturbed all ladies, and ladies would come and complain against Him, but His mother never told Him anything. So, I am thinking that Gaura-lila is actually more interesting, it is actually more than Krishna-lila. Mother Yasoda tied Krishna, but Sachi Mata did not say anything to Gaura. But that is another thing.

There is one other thing. When Ravan died and Lanka was won over (Lanka-vijay), when all those events happened, Sita also came back, and all the citizens of Ayodhya started talking some things about her, saying, "Oh, Ravan kidnapped Sita. Sita may be perfect or imperfect, we cannot say it for sure." To remove their doubts, Ramachandra arranged an agni-pariksa, it means He made a big fire and threw Sita in it. Sita passed that exam (she emerged from the fire unharmed). Still, everybody continued talking, talking, talking and saying that Sita may be perfect or imperfect. Then, Ramachandra sent her to the forest to Valmiki Muni's ashram. In exile, Sita Devi's golden face became ugly, etc., but she did not become crazy. But! All the Vraja-gopis, all the friends of Krishna—Sridam, Sudam, Vasudam, Balaram and others—became crazy in separation from Krishna, but Sita Devi did not become crazy. That is also the difference.



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Parikrama of Sri Govardhan
'How do we do parikrama? Govardhan is like a peacock, our temple is near Manasa Ganga, at the mouth of Govardhan, and we start the parikrama from the tail and do half portion one day, and the second half the next day.'


Durlabha manava-janma
'Alas! I never considered that all of these things are temporary. When my soul departs, where will all these opulences remain?'
দুর্লভ মানব জন্ম

Whatever capacity we have—with body, mind, and speech—we must serve
his appearance day.