Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
PRABHUPADA'S APPEARANCE DAY
Varsana, India, on Oct. 12, 1996
I have known him personally since 1946, and I never saw him like that. I know personally that he has not only come only to give vaidhi-bhakti. He has come to preach rupanuga-bhakti.
One special quality I saw in him was that he was very simple, and always smiling. Before him, other preachers from India had gone to Western countries. They were very intelligent and knew all philosophical truths, but they were not so simple that they could mingle with everyone, including children. I have seen Srila Swami Maharaja; he used to play with little children and he was so funny. He had no false ego.
He always used simple words, and his method of giving Krsna consciousness was like that of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Mahaprabhu was traveling to Vrndavana He chanted "Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna." Or, He chanted:
krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna krsna he.
krsna kesava krsna kesava krsna kesava pahiman
rama raghava rama raghava rama raghava raksaman
He continually wept, and it appeared as though the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers were flowing from His eyes. He was not thinking about where He was going. He was simply weeping and calling out, "Krsna Krsna, Krsna Krsna." And, by His influence, all the elephants, tigers, lions and bears of the forest also began to chant "Hare Krsna." Where was their philosophy? They were without philosophy.
So Srila Swami Maharaja went to the West and began to chant:
sri krsna caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri advaita gadadhara srivasadi gaura bhakta vrinda
At first he did not try to explain many deep philosophical topics. He spoke very simply and told his audiences, "Chant Lord Krsna's name." From there he began. He used to love everyone, whether they were qualified or not; and those who met him became his.
This is one speciality of a qualified guru: all his disciples will think, "My Gurudeva loves me more than anyone." Srila Swami Maharaja was like this. I think that all his disciples used to consider, "My Gurudeva loves me most." He would joke and be jolly with anyone, even his disciples, and even children used to love him – automatically. In big, big assemblies and meetings he very simply taught the truths of Krsna Consciousness.
When I went to the Western countries I followed in his footsteps. I did not discuss very complex Vedanta philosophy. I only gave simple Harikatha, and by his mercy and the mercy of my Gurudeva, so many were charmed.
Previous to his coming to the West, big scholars of the Gaudiya mission went to England and America; but practically speaking they were not able to make any disciples. On the other hand, we see that by his simplicity, by his very simple philosophical presentations, by preaching the holy name and loving all, he was so successful. Of course, the deepest philosophy was in that. Love is the deepest, most supreme philosophy.
Guru Tattva and the Real Disciple
Srila Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day
Varsana – November 11, 1996
Those who follow strongly the life and teachings of their Gurudeva, from their heart, are really disciples. Those who have taken initiation from Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja but are not following his teachings, are not truly disciples. Those who are not following or practicing may have been outwardly initiated by him, but they are not real disciples. On the other hand, those who have not taken initiation from him but are totally following – they deserve the qualities to be true devotees.
There are two kinds of lines of disciplic gurus: bhagavata-parampara and guru-parampara. We should know what is bhagavata-parampara and what is guru-parampara. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura followed bhagavata-parampara. Guru-parampara is included in bhagavata-parampara.
Those disciples who are fully following Gurudeva’s mood and teachings are in the bhagavata-parampara. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was not formally initiated by Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not initiated by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura was not initiated by Sri Narottama dasa Thakura. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was initiated by a mayavadi. Srila Haridasa Thakura was not initiated by anyone – so how did Srila Haridasa Thakura come into our line? He is in our line because he accepted Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as his Guru, and Sri Advaita Acarya as his Guru, and he followed totally. We will have to reconcile this by understanding bhagavata-parampara. All the above-mentioned associates of the Lord are in the bhagavata-parampara.
We are in the line of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, so we should know what is bhagavata-parampara. Srinivasa Acarya had a disciple named Ramacandra Kaviraja, who was always associating with Narottama dasa Thakura. Did he ever say that he was not the disciple of Srinivasa Acarya? Was he not serving him? We cannot say this. Rather, he considered Narottama dasa Thakura to be his siksa-guru. Between Srila Srinivasa Acarya and Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who was superior? Both were the same; this is bhagavata-parampara.
Try to follow the teachings and actions of Srila Svami Maharaja – not following blindly and not imitating. Simply copying will not do. We should try to deeply follow his siddhanta, behavior and moods.
A disciple cannot fall down. If one falls down, he was not a real disciple and he has not actually taken initiation. Initiation is a matter of heart and mood. It is not simply the whispering of a mantra into an ear.
I was so happy to hear the moods of his disciples in their glorifications, and I saw that even those who have not received formal initiation from him have so much honor for him.
Today in Varsana, we are successful in observing the disappearance day of Parama-pujyapada Srila Svami Maharaja. I pray to him to give his mercy. I pray that he will shower his mercy to all bona fide followers, so that they can serve Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Sri Gaura-Nityanada Prabhu.
I know I cannot be compared to Srila Svami Maharaja’s lotus feet dust. My Guru Maharaja can be compared with him, but I have no qualities that can be compared with his. I honor him as my siska-guru. Diksa-guru and siksa-guru are the same. I am so fortunate that my diksa-guru and siksa-guru are bona fide, and you are also fortunate to have Srila Svami Maharaja as your guru. If you are not directly initiated by him, but you are initiated by one of his bona fide disciples, then you are in his line and are so fortunate.