Gaudiya Math vs. Sahajiyas

by . Average Reading Time: about 22 minutes.

Our Prabhupada Did Not Allow These Things

Srila Saraswati Thakur did not allow his disciples “to study or discuss [Ujjvala Nilamani, Govinda Lilamrta, Gita Govinda] Rather he would have been disturbed if he heard that someone is interfering with the higher lila in those books.” — Srila Sridhar Maharaja

I am sorry but we are not to enter into the discussion of such higher and subtle position of the lila of Radha Krishna. That is not to be brought into public. And that is the distinction between Gaudiya Math and the Sahajiya section. They are trying to imitate all these things but we have no faith in imitation. It will come in individual case and it will awaken in an irresistible way. When the program of the sadhana stage is finished, it will come automatically, spontaneously. We are believers in that. Not to know the form already and then we will reach there; that is not the policy accepted by Guru Maharaja, Prabhupada [Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur] pujala raga patha gaurava bhange [raga marga, higher rasa, should always be kept over our head as worshipful; we are to serve the higher plane, not to try and enter there or to bring it down to this plane; we should always stay one step lower; if we try to look direct, it will vanish]. Bhaktivinode Thakur also said, stick to the rulings of the class you are fit for, then you will see automatically:

yatha yatha gaura-padaravinde
vindeta bhaktim krta-punya-rasih
tatha tathotsarpati hrdy akasmad

Strictly stick to gaura-lila, Mahaprabhu, and you will find automatically within your heart that radha rasa sudha nidhi is flowing. Don’t attempt to have it direct: ihan mali sece nitya sravanadi jala; it will come automatically, spontaneously; it should not be approached intellectually. That will create a bad prejudice. Not only that but, such a harmful prejudice, you will have to spend more energy to do away with that layer of misunderstanding.

So our Prabhupada did not allow these things. Do your duty in your plane what you deserve will come naturally. That is his instruction, all through, not only temporarily, but throughout, don’t be a disbeliever, very eager to see the final result. Don’t do like that. You will get maya instead of yogamaya. He knows it fully well. She knows it fully well; when you are to be taken in to confidence, taken in to the confidential area and that cannot be acquired by any thing other than His sweet will or the flow of Her sweet will. Try to have the natural thing, not any thing of imitation or any reflection.

Reflection and shadow, these two kinds of misconceptions may appear. Reflection is more dangerous. In harinam also it has been stated like that, reflection and shadow, both are misguiding. And we are to cross that. On our way that sort of temptation may come. We must not think that everything will come within the fist of our intellect: acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet: don’t try to take that which is inconceivable under the jurisdiction of reason. When it will be extended to you, you will be astounded to find even a peep into that: na tams tarkena yojayet, don’t try to drag that into the zone of reason. It is autocratic in its nature. It may come in one shape to you; it may go in another shape to another. So expansive and so free in its nature; it is infinite. Rather, the infinite is the base of such pastimes. And always prepare yourself — hanker — but don’t make it an object of experience.

When Mahaprabhu talked about that higher plane, it was as if he was in a trance. As if in a trance he is giving description of his wonderful experience of Krishna lila. Several times we have found that sort of deep lila, the higher lila of Krishna to be related by Mahaprabhu himself. Govardhan lila, jala keli, when he jumped unconsciously into the ocean and for a few hours, carried by the waves of the sea, he was carried to Cakra Tirtha from Chakra Dhara. The jala keli of Krishna [amorous water play] he has described how it is. And also in Cataka Parvat, his lila when his body was transformed like that of a pumpkin (kusmanda) then also he described the lila but the nature of that description is not any book-produced thing. It is such a thing that it cannot be taken into black and white.

So we received caution often: don’t try to force, it will come automatically. Go on with the program that is given by sastra and guru. If you have such possibility of fortune, then it will come to you. It is not a matter of experience, that it can be given to this one and that one, not to be tackled in such way: yatha yatha gaura-padaravinde; engage your full attention in gaura-lila and that will come automatically within you. From indirect way it will come to you. From the higher domain, when it will be pleased, it will come down for some time to give you experience and you will simply be astonished, “What is this!” And then, when gone, withdrawn, you will have only to lament. A living thing, try to come to get, to hope. We cannot make such higher thing the object of our experience. Even an ordinary man’s conduct with his intimate friends is very hard to access, what to speak of the secret lila of the Supreme Lord. How can we dare to enter! Especially publicly, that is not possible. Externally we can try to give some description of the outer possibilities but not the actual thing. We won’t venture to enter.

Even we are not allowed, by our master, to read the books where they are described: Govinda-lilamrtam,Stava-Mala, Vilapa-kusumañjali, Ujjvala-nilamani, he did not allow to study and discuss. Rather he would have been very much disturbed if he heard that someone is interfering with the higher lila in those books. He did not like it. Dusta phala koribe arjan, Bhaktivinode Thakur is giving warning that we will get only bad results, if we venture to cross the line, a bad effect will come to you — aparadha. From the lower position, anartha, the steps are shown: sraddha, sadhu sangha, sravan, kirtan, then anartha nivrttih, undesirable things will vanish altogether, then nistha, then ruci, then asakti, then bhava bhakti, the sprout of real devotion, then prema bhakti, and sneha, mana, pranaya raga, anuraga, bhava,mahabhava. By such steps are we to approach there.

Once Prabhupada remarked, how you will take it I don’t know. One gentleman, of course he was senior, he wanted to discuss these things with Prabhupada and he laid much stress to that. And ultimately he left the association of Prabhupada and lived a secluded life. But previously he did much service to the mission. About that gentleman Prabhupada remarked, “Oh! In his true life he is married with Krishna and he has got a child!” Such a remark Prabhupada made. That he was a man, but taking himself as a gopi, he wanted to culture about the life of the gopis and the intimate connection of Krishna and the gopi. He wanted to culture very intensely and Prabhupada remarked in that way: “Oh! He has turned into a lady, a gopi, and after coming in contact with Krishna, she produced a child!”

Another time the guru maharaja of Prabhupada, Gaura Kishore Babaji, he was in a hut near the Ganges. A disciple of Prabhupada, leaving Prabhupada, imitated Prabhupada’s gurudeva, Gaura Kishore Babaji. He constructed a tiny hut nearby and imitated his bhajan, harinam, discussion of the works of Narottam Thakur, all these things and observed strict vairagyam in his physical life. Gaura Kishore Babaji remarked one day, “Only by entering the labor room if a lady makes a show, imitates some pain of giving birth to a child, the child won’t come by imitation of the sound. Many important previous events must be there before a child will come. Only imitation won’t give birth to a child.” That was his remark to that gentleman.

Suddha sattva we must come in connection with what is known as suddha sattva [no tinge of the mundane]. First visuddha sattva, nirguna world, suddha sattva means nirguna. Sattva guna and visuddha sattva, come in connection with nirguna, only then may one try to approach the subtle happenings or events there. Not to satisfy curiosity: “fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” So with this spirit we must approach the whole thing. At the same time we may not be, by God’s grace, a disbeliever: “Give me, I shall judge the whole thing in detail, then I shall accept what you say.” There are many things below, the charm and reasonableness of which is enough to convince a person to come this side. And the higher things should be left high above our head. So very cautiously we are to handle all this lila, especially madhura-lila. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna.

The other day I was thinking, when I joined the mission, after about a year, Prabhupada arranged for full one month Kartika mas to preach in Vrindavan. He asked his disciple Bharati Maharaja, to explain the seventh canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, the story of Prahlada, not of Krishna, Radha Krishna, Yashoda, or anything of Vrindavan. Preach the suddha bhakti of Prahlada first. People are rife with sahajiyaism, just try to make them understand, try to enter into the domain of bhakti, what to speak of Krishna lila, that is far, far above. So in Vrindavan the people rather wondered, “What is this? In Vrindavan they are explaining Bhagwat leaving tenth canto, only seventh canto, Prahlad lila, the lower portion of bhakti!” That was wonderful, strange.

Again I found, later on, when Prabhupada himself gave lecture between Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda. There is a boundary line where Prabhupada used to explain, for a few days Upadesamrta of Rupa Goswami. That was read by him and explained.  Not about Radharani, not about Krishna, thatUpadesamrta, the basis, his attention was always towards the basis; the fruit will come of itself. Pour water into the root! Poor water into the root — fruit will come of itself. He himself explained sitting in the middle of both Radha-kunda and Syama-kunda, and he explained not Bhagavatam butUpadesamrtam. Upadesamrta you know, the substance of Mahaprabhu in the language of Rupa Goswami. What is that? vaco vegam manasah krodha-vegam jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam; all these things;krsneti yasya giri tam manasadriyeta diksasti cet pranatibhis ca bhajantam isam, susrusaya all these, and last:

krsnasyoccaih pranaya-vasatih preyasibhyo ‘pi radha
kundam casya munibhir abhitas tadrg eva vyadhayi
yat presthair apy alam asulabham kim punar bhakti-bhajam
tat premedam sakrd api sarah snatur aviskaroti

This is the last sloka in Upadesamrta and that was explained by Prabhupada, not even anything of Govinda-lilamrta or Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur’s Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta; these things were left. So our training is in that line. Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange: it is always on our head, the prospect, our life’s future, life after life it cannot be finished, we shall rather foster the hope, the pure hope, that maybe we will be taken in one day, in that camp — with this idea. Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Gaura Haribol, Nitai Chaitanya…

Audience: Sometimes in Caitanya-caritamrta Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is making reference to Govinda-lilamrta, Ujjvala-nilamani, and other confidential, selected works. How are we to take that?

Three chapters, generally, we were not allowed to enter into of Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila Chapter 4, Ramananda Samvada, Madhya-lila Chapter 8, to a certain extent, where the lila portion of Radha Govinda is mentioned and Antya-lila Chapter 18, jala-keli; we had no entrance into that lila. Of course when parayan is going on, we may read, we go on reading, for making parayan, but not to enter into the details of discussion about that thing.

Audience: What do you mean by parayan?

Parayan means from the beginning, to chant the whole book, finish the whole book; that is parayana.

We went on reading without giving any particular attention to the lila of the highest order of Radha Krishna; that was barred. Don’t try to come into details there. That will come automatically at the right time. Don’t make it a public discussion. Don’t take it into the public eye. So much so that once in Vrindavan, a childhood friend of Prabhupada, an attorney, came to see him, so Prabhupada wanted to give a return visit to his boyhood friend. He was told that he is upstairs and he went there and saw that Prana Gopal Goswami is explaining Bhagavatam, rasa-lila adhyay. Prabhupada just bowed down his head and left immediately. Then his friend came, leaving that rasa-lila adhyay there going on, the explanation, the friend also came down, “The rasa-lila explanation is going on and you did not take your seat? You just bowed down your head. What is the matter?” And Prabhupada said, “Our guru’s order is such that if we attend rasa-lila explanation we will commit offense (aparadha) so I can’t stand there even for a second. I have to leave. It is my guru’s order.” So for us such a strict behavior he has shown, and we also do that, especially myself.

In so many other places, the jhulan lila, the rasa-lila, they show by dolls — I never do that. Due to my understanding of my gurudeva’s will or his words, I don’t make any show of jhulana, or rasa-lila, or anything of that type. I find in my heart that this was not desirable by Prabhupada. But in so many maths [temples] I see at present, I hear also, that they are doing that. But I strictly abstain from that sort of showing, jhulana-lila, rasa-lila — I consider that is too high for us. I must be true to my hearing of the words of my gurudeva, if I want realization and not position or some sort of popularity, to attract people by such show. Or to make money, or a “favorable field for preaching,” they may do like that, but I don’t do. I don’t want popularity or any position of a higher Acharya. I am a student still I consider myself to be a student, a faithful student to what I have heard from my gurudeva. I try my best to stick there, to keep my position there as I have heard from him. I don’t want to mutilate that in any way to suit my purpose. I try not to do that. Of course for “big propaganda” they may adopt different ways as they think, they are now free, but I am not a member to do so, to go on in such way.

When Prabhupada offered me to go to the west and I told simply that I don’t consider myself fit to go because I won’t be able to show success there. Two defects I showed; unable to catch their intonation and not inclined to mix. Then some of the sannyasins showed much reverence to me, “What is this? What so many persons are eager to take; you lose this chance? You neglect to take advantage of such a position. That you will be a world preacher; you have no hankering for that?” I told, “Yes Maharaja, I have no hankering for such position. My only humble ambition is that I may be reckoned as a sincere devotee of Mahaprabhu, Sri Chaitanyadev. No other ambition I have in my mind to become a world preacher and so on. So in my nature I am such and such. I want truth and I hope, I crave for the mercy of the Vaishnavas and you all, that I may not have any ambition but to be the humblest, most humble servant of the Lord and that I may not be misguided.

I may engage myself in the lower form of service: tad dasa dasa dasanam dasatvam dehi me prabho: my faith may be so firm, may be of such quality that the least offer of his divine service may satisfy me. I should not be ambitious to run high, to get the chance there in the higher officer class. With my lowest connection with divinity I may go on satisfied with my ideal. Gaura Haribol: pada dhuli, Mahaprabhu says, “Just consider me as dust at the feet of you — Krishna.”

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram patitam mam visame bhavambudhau
krpaya tava pada-pankaja-sthita-dhuli-sadrsam vicintaya

Consider me to be a particle of the dust of your feet. That should be our guidance. Even that is too much. Our faith should come to such a grade in quality that we may be satisfied becoming a particle of dust at his feet. Then by his sweet will anything may happen, but our humble aim should be to have the least connection with divinity — real — not a concoction, not a concocted Krishna.

Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange — very sweet… The raga patha is overhead. We are servants of theraga patha. We are in vidhi-marga, under sastric rule. We must live and move under sastric rule and always keep the raga patha on our head.

Once Prabhupada, while in Radha-kunda, one panda in his talk made a side remark that we are Brahmins in Braja and we can bless Das Goswami. Prabhupada was perturbed by such haughty remark. “Das Goswami is the highest acharya in our Gaudiya camp and that fellow says that he is able to bless Das Goswami and I am to hear that!” He wouldn’t take food. And he remarked. “If I was an ordinary babaji, I wouldn’t care, I would leave the place. But I am running with a motorcar here, as an acharya. I have got the responsibility, moving here in the pose of an acharya that I shall protect the sampradaya. I shall brush the dust, the undesirability from the sampradaya. In a motorcar I am running around Vrindavan, how can I tolerate such a remark against my guru? He left food, “No — I won’t take food, I can’t take anything, until the situation is rectified.”

Prabhupada began fasting; we were all fasting. Then one influential person, when he heard the news, came and briefed that Brahmin who begged pardon, “Excuse me. I am an ordinary man, a fallen fellow I do not know the greatness of Das Goswami. He came in the caste of a sudra family and I am in a Brahmin family; with general information I made such remark. But now I find that I committed mistake, please forgive me.” Then of course it was minimized and Prabhupada took food and we all took food. Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange—gaurava bhange: always his posing was like that of a protector, not only protector—a servant protector of the sampradaya.  He himself remarked, Bhaktivinode Thakur has taken a pose that, “I am a jhadudar,” which means who clears away the dirt, a sweeper. Bhaktivinode Thakur told that I am the sweeper in the Nama Hatta of Nityananda Prabhu and Prabhupada told that “I am one of the straws in the broom in the hands of Bhaktivinode Thakur. Bhaktivinode Thakur is the sweeper, with a broom in his hand, and I am one of the straws in his broom.” And if this remark is sincere, and not imitation or any false assumption, but his sincere liking is for that, then this is the unit of measurement with which we must construct our body and then we shall venture to hope to enter into Vaikuntha, in Goloka, the camp of the Brijabasis.

So trnad api sunicena is not figurative or ornamental but real, substantial. If we think like that, in what level should I come, should we take ourselves to be qualified to enter into the domain of the Lord? In Goloka there is not the least ambition, only cent percent dedicated agents. Meanest of the mean: with this idea, this is the qualification to enter into that domain. What is required of us: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna. Because in cent percent humility there cannot be any trace of enjoying spirit. No aggression is possible. The meanest of the mean, that is, they eliminate fully the aggressive nature. Aggressive nature cannot be present there. An enjoyer must be an aggressor. Aggression is a property of this world of exploitation. Dedication of this quality is necessary for entrance into that domain. This is reality, otherwise all concoction, all imagination. If this is imagination, then that is also imagination. If this is concrete reality, then to them Goloka is reality. In that plane they will come in contact with Goloka. In such a subtle and fundamental plane they will come in contact with that thing, really. Otherwise this is all a fool’s paradise: to live in a fool’s paradise. If we have faith in this, then that is real to us. Otherwise we will be given the ambition to live in a fool’s paradise.

Jaya Chaitanya Dayal, Nitai Chaitanya, Gaura Haribol!

I think I did something to give vent to the feeling of my gurudeva today: his position, to make clear his position. I did something today — Gaura Haribol!

Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange — this is enough! Tad dasa dasa dasanam dasatvam dehi me prabho, this is not a figurative thing. It is not mere poetry. Mahaprabhu says:

naham vipro na ca nara-patir napi vaisyo na sudro
naham varni na ca grha-patir no vanastho yatir va
kintu prodyan-nikhila-paramananda-purnamrtabdher
gopi-bhartuh pada-kamalayor dasa-dasanudasah

This is not an ornamental thing only; it is reality. It is reality! We must become ostentatiously mean, really, to become eligible for the higher service. Such selflessness, such abnegation is necessary for a unit of the lowest order to enter into that domain. Such self-abnegation is necessary. Then we can come into that plane. That is an undercurrent plane and if we really want to contact with that we shall have to be finest of the fine, no demand; through negativity, we will be transformed. Then we can have a touch of that plane. The least exploiting tendency or a speck of ambitious life won’t take us there. It is another thing — pratistha. Pratistha means self-establishment: hard, stability, to be stable, to be immortal, to be invincible. Not self-giving but self-establishing tendency — pratistha.  I must stay; I must live. On the contrary, if necessary, I must die for the interest of Krishna: marobi rakhobi jo iccha tohara, a suicidal soldier, for the cause of the country, if necessary, I must die. I must efface myself. I must be effaced if it is necessary, my very existence may be effaced, if it is necessary for the satisfaction of Krishna. Hare Krishna, Gaura Haribol, Gaura Haribol! Nitai Chaitanya. My very existence may be effaced if it is necessary. Such temperament, such selflessness of such degree is necessary. Find out that plane, such subtleness.

Gaura Haribol, Gaura Haribol, Gaura Haribol, Gaura Haribol! Nitai Chaitanya Dayal. Mahaprabhu, Krishna, Krishna.

Let us be blessed by Prabhupada, Saraswati Thakur, Gaura Haribol, Jaya Chaitanya!

Audience: Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Dev Goswami Maharaja ki jaya!

Audience: Jaya!

Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Gandhi told one gentleman who was yelling, “Gandhi ki jaya! Mahatma Gandhi ki jaya!” “Here they are giving, singing glory to a particular form, but if I go away from that position? Then they will chant, “Down with Gandhi! Down with Gandhi!” So he says, it does not concern me. Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! So the “jaya!” goes to somewhere else. All Glory to Guru and Gauranga! All Glory to Guru and Gauranga! Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja ki jaya! Seva Vrnda ki jaya! Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol!

You are helping me to take out from my inner heart so many beautiful and valuable things. It is through your heart that these old memories are becoming again fresh to me. I am forced to take out those things from the inner nature of my previous life: the wealth that I got from my Gurudeva. Again I got the chance of seeing that treasury; given the opportunity by this recapitulation, what I heard from the divine feet of my master. Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol!

Are you dissatisfied?

Audience: No! No! We are completely satisfied!

Such a valuable thing and this is what is our education, what I got from the divine feet of Srila Saraswati Thakur. I just sincerely put it to you all. It is such. Gaurasundar. Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange. He told, we must not go and live in Radha-kunda.  One day, near Lalita-kunda, the Svananda Sukhada Kuñja is there, the first story of a building was being constructed and our Guru Maharaja told a second story is necessary “but I won’t be able to live there.” I told, “If you don’t live on the second story then who will live there? What is the necessity of further construction?” He replied, “No, you don’t know, better persons will live there: Bhaktivinode Thakur, Gaura Kishore Babaji Maharaja, they will live there. And we will live on the ground floor and serve them.”

Again, another time he told, “I shall live in Govardhan. Radha-kunda is the highest place, the place of our guru maharaja, our gurudeva. They will live here in closer connection with lila and we are not fit to live there. We shall live in Govardhan, a little far away, because we shall have to come and serve our gurudeva, so we must live nearby but we must not live in closer connection with them. We are not fit.”Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange. The whole tenor of his life was such: pujala raga patha gaurava bhange. That is high, high; from below we are to honor that. To establish in the whole world this sort of posing: that that is too high.

One day in Allahbahad, perhaps that very year Swami Maharaja was initiated. In Malakha, in a park our Guru Maharaja issued a challenge, “I issue a challenge.” As wrestlers challenge anyone to wrestle, in a meadow, two fighters face-off; just as the one who became Mohammedan from Christian — Mohammed Ali — challenged the world. “I am ready to fight with any person to show that the highest position is occupied by my gurudeva, Bhaktivinode Thakur, Gaura Kishore Babaji, Mahaprabhu. Let anyone come to fight with me to decide—I’m ready!”  That he told, “I am ready to challenge anybody and everybody. Let them come and fight with me. I want to establish my gurudeva on the throne, in the highest place.

Gaura Haribol! Gaura Haribol! Pujala raga patha gaurava bhange. Nitai Chaitanya…