The Wonderful Nature of the Vaisnava
(A lecture published online at the Sri Gaudiya Darshan website on 3 January 2016.)
Every day for our benefit we must sing some particular songs. First humility is necessary for us, and humility will come to us through songs like Gurudev! Krpa bindu diya kara ei dase and Ohe Vaisnava Thakura dayara sagara. There is no doubt that our Guru is supreme in our life, but the Vaisnava is also not less than that. The Vaisnava can give us Krsna.
krsna se tomara krsna dite para
["Krsna is yours. You can give Him. You have that power."]
Generally, we see that the Guru's position is on an elevated and exclusive level in Indian society, but the character of the Vaisnava is very broad and very merciful. The goswamis showed this. Neither Srila Rupa Goswami nor Srila Sanatan Goswami was the Diksa-guru of Raghunath Das Goswami. His Diksa-guru was Yadu Nandan Acharya. But in his literature, Raghunath Das Gowami named Yadu Nandan Acharya only one or twice and always praised Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. They are Vaisnavas. The Siksa-guru and the Vaisnava are the same. Sometimes juniority and seniority are effective, but Srila Guru Maharaj gave the example that the football always comes to the foot of someone who can play football, and someone who cannot play well may run up and down the field but not get the ball. Everything depends upon the person. All jiva-souls are independent, and jiva-souls have their own personality. Through that, they proceed. So, everybody's prescription will not be the same. The disease may be the same, but the prescription will be different for everyone. Like this, many things are considerable. Everything is to be considered.
When a wave comes, then everyone, be they small, big, or medium-sized, are carried by that wave. In the time of Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur, one wave came. In the time of Srila Narottam Thakur, another wave came, and in the time of Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad, another type of wave came.
Listener: Now your wave is coming.
Srila Govinda Maharaj: No no [laughter]. I am only trying to serve them. I have no other duty. Guru Maharaj took everything from me, and now I am living with the remnants of the Vaisnava, the devotees. That is my life. I am trying as possible by me, and I do not know how many days I have, but if I can spend all my time for the satisfaction of the Vaisnavas and the satisfaction of Guru Maharaj, then I must be benefitted and also benefit others. Krsna consciousness always produces good and nothing bad.
bhumau skhalita-padanam bhumir evavalambanam
We may fall down, but again we will get up and try to walk ahead. We may fall down again, but we must go on.
ksurasya dhara nisita duratyaya
The path is slippery, and there is always the possibility of falling. We are very tiny jiva-souls; we do not have much power, but we can gain power from others, the Vaisnavas. When kama, krodha, lobha, mada, moha, and matsarya attack us, what should we do? What is the advice given by Raghunath Das Goswami? He said we should loudly call out the names of the Vaisnavas and ask them for help.*
We are always praising the Vaisnavas. We sing,
kabe sri-chaitanya more karibena daya
["When will Sri Chaitanya bless me? When will I reach the shade of the feet of the Vaisnavas?"]
Guru always lives on a higher level of honour, but the Vaisnava is the general helper for the conditioned soul. The Vaisnava's position is very merciful for the conditioned soul. The Vaisnavas also very affectionately try to help each other.
Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur wrote,
apurva vaisnava-tattva! atmara ananda-
["Wonderful is the nature of the Vaisnava! It is the wellspring of joy for the soul! It has no comparison within material existence and is known in this world as the dharma of the self. Please hear a description of this nature."]
This is not actually a song but a poem written in the style known as amrtaksar chhanda [blank verse]. It is found in Kalyana-kalpa-taru; it is very nice.
We are so fortunate that we are trying to glorify Guru and Vaisnava today, especially Prabhupad Srila Saraswati Thakur, whose mercy has now been spread all over the world by his dearmost associates. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave Krsna consciousness, but that was given in a very wide and exclusive way by Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. Following that line, Srila Saraswati Thakur spread Krsna consciousness, and after that by divine will, Srila Swami Maharaj Prabhupad and Srila Guru Maharaj are now present here as only our hope. Through that, we are also so fortunate no doubt.
When we hear once the Name of Krsna, that is sufficient for us when it comes to us from a living source.
Srimad Bhagavatam gave us this verse about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
krsna-varnam tvisakrsnam sangopangastra-parsadam
(Srimad Bhagavatam: 11.5.32)
["The wise worship Sriman Mahaprabhu, who chants the Name of Krsna, has a golden complexion, and is accompanied by His expansions, sub-expansions, weapons, and associates, through the sacrifice primarily of sankirtan."]
Yajna means sacrifice. The Upanisads say Atmanam viddhi. Nijeke jante habe. Know yourself. But more than that: sacrifice yourself. That is the meaning of the mantras in the sacrifices. Svaha means sacrifice. Sva-aha: the word is divided in this way, and for the meaning we always use nimittartha chaturthi, meaning, "Krsna is the enjoyer, and you are to be enjoyed. Satisfy yourself with this." This is the meaning of the gayatri-mantra and the goal of our life. But when can we do that? When will we offer ourself in that way? Whether we can or not depends upon us as a person.
17 October 1993.
"'I am being bound tightly around the neck by the fearsome highwaymen of lust, anger, and so forth with the painful, fearsome ropes of my wicked deeds; I am being killed!" Cry out in this way to the Vaisnavas, the guardians on the path to Krsna, the slayer of Baka, so that they save you from these foes, O mind!"
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