Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
11 May 1996

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Gurudeva ausome

Srila Gurudeva: I explained before, that we should not try to always remember Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. What is the harm in remembering Him as so? If we think of Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, having innumerable attributes, and opulence, then what is the harm?  It has been told in Sri Caitanya Caritamrita: yaha hoite Krishnera lage sudhrda mana, siddhanta boliya cite na koro alasa. We should know the different kinds of tattvas: Krishna tattva, bhakti tattva, jiva tattva, maya tattva, sadhana tattva, prema tattva, Caitanya Mahaprabhu tattva-Gaura tattva, Nityananda tattva, and Guru tattva. We should know all these tattvas, or else we cannot enter the realm of devotion. By knowing all these tattvas, your faith in Krishna will be greatly strengthened. Otherwise your faith will be weakened.

Practice sadhana acknowledging Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. But why has it been told in Caitanya Caritamrita and the Srimad Bhagavatham to forget Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead and to just listen to His pastimes? Don’t try separately to know all these tattvas. All tattvas will be known by listening to and glorifying the pastimes of Krishna. But what harm is there if you are inquiring, preaching, and discussing of Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, possessing many opulence’s? Krishna especially has six opulences. What are those?

Devotee: I am trying to understand your question, what is the harm of preaching about Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead?

Srila Gurudeva: Not preaching. Firstly, what are the six opulences of Krishna?

Devotee: Beauty, wealth, fame, renunciation, strength, and knowledge.

Srila Gurudeva: Do you know the sloka?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Aisvaryasya samagrasya..

Srila Gurudeva: What is aisvarya? It is opulence. What is Virya?

Devotees: Strength.

Srila Gurudeva:  What is Yasha?

Devotees: Fame.

Srila Gurudeva: What is Sri?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Beauty.

Srila Gurudeva: What is Jnana and Vairagya?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Knowledge and renunciation.

Srila Gurudeva: What is vijnana?

Sripada Madhava Maharaja: Renunciation.

Srila Gurudeva: There are six opulence’s. And they are fully embodied in Krishna. But what form of Krishna? Vrajendra-nandana Krishna, Radhakantha Krishna. Dvarakadisha Krishna is also not being referred to here. Fuller than Dvarakadisha is Mathuresh Krishna and the fullest form of Krishna is Vrajendra-nandana Shyamsundara. He is full in Dvaraka, fuller in Mathura, and fullest in Vrindavana. So, like I asked before, what harm is there in referring to Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and as the embodiment of the six kinds of opulence?

Devotee: I am trying to find the right words.

Srila Gurudeva: Oh yes, I will hear from you.

Devotee: We want to develop a relationship with Krishna not knowing His aisvarya.

Srila Gurudeva: Does anyone else want to add anything more?

Devotee: My Guru Maharaja would say, “If you want to see the pole star, you can only see the darkness. The sun is an obstacle, similarly jnana is an obstacle.

Srila Gurudeva: It is right. But I want you to explain more. What is the harm and gain in considering Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead? If you can’t understand, then ask again. You should try to know all these tattvas.

Devotee: In the fourth chapter of Adi lila, Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Gosvami explains the purpose of Mahaprabhu’s advent. There, he reveals Krishna’s inner thoughts, and Krishna says that the world worships Him in the mood of awe and reverence, according to vidhi. So Krishna says, “Love that is weakened by vidhi cannot control Me.” So if one is excessively cultivating knowledge of Krishna’s opulence and supremacy, then he will not be able to control Krishna through that process.

Srila Gurudeva: Pundarika, stand up and explain.

Pundarika Prabhu: Can Navina Prabhu explain?

Srila Gurudeva: I don’t know Navina, you should explain yourself.

Pundarika Prabhu: We cannot control Krishna if we know about Krishna’s opulence, because He is infinite and we are infinitesimal. We are always worshipping Him with a mood of awe and reverence. If we want to control Him like the Gopis and the Vrajavasis, then one should not have the understanding that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Srila Gurudeva: Then what is the use of knowing all the tattvas? How has this been said?

Vrinda, you should speak.

Vrinda dasi: [Indistinct.]

Srila Gurudeva: Firstly, we should know all these principles. We cannot enter the realm of Krishna bhakti, if we don’t know these principles. We should listen to a bona fide guru. Dasa mula tattva, the ten fundamental truths, is a very powerful medicine for all diseases. This dasa mula tattva is a very powerful panacea for the person trying to uplift himself from this world to the world of the Absolute. We should take this medicine and consequently all kinds of diseases will go away. The diseases will not go if we don’t take this medication. All kinds of pramana (evidences) are embodied in this dasa mula tattva. What is the root of all evidences, or the principal, primary evidence?

They are the Vedas. But the Vedas are tri-gunatmakam—having sattva guna (the mode of goodness), rajo guna (the mood of passion), and tamo guna (the mood of ignorance). You will have to churn the Vedas and then nirguna (the mood of transcendence) will come. Gopala tapani Upanishad is one such agama. Krishna is Hari, this is the root of all truths. Srimad Bhagavatham is the most prominent prameya for paramarthic pramana (spiritual evidences). If all the Vedas propound one truth and the Srimad Bhagavatham propounds another—we will have to choose Srimad Bhagavatham. It is amala purana.

It is written somewhere that Sridhama cursed Srimati Radhika and Srimati Radhika cursed him back. But this has not been written in Srimad Bhagavatham, so you will refuse this point. You will not consider it as paramarthic evidence. Srimad Bhagavatham and all pramanas tell us that Krishna is Hari. Krishna is the possessor of all potencies and He is the ocean of rasa. All jivas have come from Krishna. Acintya bhed-abheda tattva, there is simultaneous difference and non-difference between Krishna and His power. The jivas are His power. Everything is a manifestation of His power. In some cases, there is difference between Krishna and the jivas, and in some cases there is no difference. This oneness and difference is called acintya—inconceivable. We cannot realize this truth by the aid of our mundane intelligence. This tattva can be known by the Vedas, Puranas, and Srimad Bhagavatham.

Jivas are of two kinds—conditioned souls and liberated souls. The liberated souls have never come to this world. They have been always liberated and never been conditioned. Some of these jivas are in Goloka- Vrindavana, some are in Dvaraka. Some of the conditioned souls are in Vaikunta serving Rama, Vaikuntanatha, Narsingha, Vamana, and the other expansions of Krishna. Some of the liberated souls are the kaya-vyuha of Baladeva Prabhu, they are not jiva tattva. The sakhas like Sridhama, Sudhama, Subala, Lavanga, Madhumangala, Arjuna, and Krishna’s father—Nanda Maharaja are not jiva tattva. They have come from Baladeva Prabhu and Baladeva Prabhu has manifested Himself as these associates of Krishna. Some of the souls serving Srimati Radhika and Krishna in Vraja are jivas, some souls are the kaya-vyuha of Baladeva Prabhu, and some souls are Srimati Radhika Herself. The gopis are not jiva tattva, they are the kaya- vyuha (manifestations) of Srimati Radhika, while some associates like Sridhama, and Subala are the kaya- vyuha of Baladeva Prabhu. The jivas belonging to jiva tattva serve Krishna in many forms under the guidance of these eternal associates of Krishna. These jivas are not sadhana- siddhas, they have not achieved perfection through devotional practices. Though they are in the category of jiva- tattva, they don’t know what the material world is, what maya is, and what sense gratification is. They have always been serving Krishna. They have never been to this world, nor will they ever come. Even if they do come to this world, they come under the guidance of Krishna. They can come following Krishna’s order, and they will play a part in Krishna’s pastimes. They will not come to this world as conditioned souls, never and never.

Baladeva Prabhu is Mula- Sankarsana, and His expansion is Maha- Sankarsana, who is the predominating deity of Vaikunta. Many jivas have their origin in Him. These jivas have never been to this world, they are all liberated. There may be some sadhana- siddha jivas, but they will never return to this world from the eternal realm of Vaikuntaloka. They will never become covered by maya and become conditioned souls. They will come to this world with Yogamaya and serve Krishna. There are some conditioned souls that have manifested from Karanabdhasayi Visnu. These souls are of two kinds—conditioned souls and liberated souls. The liberated soul goes to the eternal realm, while the conditioned soul enters the mortal realm. Out of these innumerable conditioned souls, a soul who is most fortunate will accept a bonafide guru and Vaisnava sanga (association). By the strength of this association, a conditioned soul will gradually develop his bhakti and may become a liberated soul. They will never come to the material world again. They will never come. If they come, there are chances of the eternally liberated souls who reside there to also become covered by maya and enter the material world.

yad gatvā na nivartante
tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
Bhagavad Gita 15.6

[Those who reach this Supreme abode of Mine never return to this material world.]

The relationship between Krishna and the jivas is based on acintya bheda-abheda tattva (inconceivable oneness and difference). Those souls who have fallen to this material world, should accept bhakti. Without this, they cannot be liberated and they cannot serve Krishna in Goloka- Vrindavana. Our abhideya (practice), sadhana is bhakti. By gradual engagement in bhakti, bhava bhakti will be attained. Soon after, prayojana, the fruit of bhakti will manifest. The fruit of sadhana bhakti is bhava bhakti. And the fruit of bhava bhakti is prema bhakti. So prema is our prayojana (ultimate goal). What should be our goal when we practice bhakti?

Devotee: Bhava.

Srila Gurudeva: Prema. But you will attain prema by crossing the stage of bhava bhakti. Prema should be our ultimate goal.

Not only prema—Vraja prema.

Not only Vraja prema—Gopi prema.

Not only Gopi prema—Kamatmika-tad-tad bhava icchamayi, the mood of the manjaris. If a devotee is not engaged in cultivating these moods then he is not really a devotee. So we should try to know all these gradations of devotion. But when we reach bhava bhakti, by especially following raganuga bhakti, we should forget all these things. We practice, “Sa-re-ga-ma-pa-di-ni-sa.” And then we sing the same meter with a weakened tone. We practice singing this way. Without singing, we cannot practice. We can sing any song, when being matured in our practices, we have learned everything. We can sing many meters and songs without looking at the song book. During the time we sing, we forget all our movements of the fingers and just sing.

[Srila Gurudeva leads the devotees in singing the Hare Krishna maha-mantra]

When we sing, we will forget the harmonium and the positioning of our fingers. Not knowing the movements of our fingers, we will sing melodiously. Likewise, Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but when we reach the stage of bhava bhakti, then…

Devotee: Forget.

Srila Gurudeva: Don’t forget, the bhava will make you forget. Do you understand what I am saying?

Devotee: You speak perfectly Maharaja.

Srila Gurudeva: There is no contradiction here. We should know all the tattvas and forget them in the stage of bhava bhakti. During the budding stages of devotion, consider Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but during the blossomed stage of devotion, you should forget Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is the first class and the post graduate class.

These are not separate lines. Svamiji told you, “You should know who Krishna is. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” But I am telling you to forget this.


Some devotees are of the opinion, “We are the monarchs of all. Maharaja should not speak like this. This is not the line of Svamiji.”

To them, I reply, “But this is the actual line of what Svamiji spoke. He wanted to bring everyone to the shelter of this line. There is not the slightest difference between his words and mine.”

I wanted to speak on Sri Raya Ramananda Samvad. You should know all tattvas (philosophical conclusions). I will question everyone on the ten principles of Bhakti—Dasa mula tattva. You should note these words down. Dasa mula tattva has been written and explained in Jaiva Dharma. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura especially, has manifested these priceless devotional conclusions for the upliftment of the conditioned souls of this world. We should honor and serve this devotional masterpiece of a book—Jaiva dharma. I will ask everyone the ten principles Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has stated and enunciated on in Jaiva dharma. These principles are in an unmanifested form in Sri Caitanya Caritamrita, the books of Srila Rupa Gosvami, Srila Jiva Gosvami, and in the teachings of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura manifested them for our benefit. These ten principles have also been stated in the Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatham, and the Vedas. They have been stated in all scriptures. We should know all these principles. I will question everyone on these ten principles tomorrow.

If the devotee remembers and realizes these ten principles, then jnane prayasam udapasya will manifest at the stage of bhava. This will not manifest in the stage of sadhana bhakti. In sadhana bhakti, we must know all these principles.

Visrambena gurau seva (to engage in intimate service to guru) applies to whom? It applies to those who are advanced and to those who have been initiated. Perhaps, I have not taken diksa (initiation). Externally, I have been initiated, but I don’t know if I am established in diksha. I don’t know if the all the members of the assembly have taken diksa or not. I think most of you have taken diksa. Who have taken diksa?

[Devotees raise their hands]

When we will be established in diksa.. What is diksa? Di—stands for divya jnana, sambhanda jnana, Krishna tattva jnana, bhakti tattva jnana, and maya tattva jnana. The second part of the word- diksha i.e., ksa—stands for the removal of all unwanted, repulsive elements that obstruct our sadhana- bhajana like offenses, and anarthas. The heart is washed clean of all undesirable tendencies. Then the real fruit of diksa is borne. You have written your name down as a student in the preliminary class of diksa, when you have been initiated. Real, internal diksa hasn’t yet taken place. Diksa has taken place in the truest sense of the term, when you have realized all tattvas and as a result, all evil subtleties like offenses have been eliminated. During that realized stage, you will know the answers to questions like—who is Krishna? What is bhakti? Who is Srimati Radhika? What is mahabhava? You will know the answers to these questions, but you will be unrealized. If you are realized, you will be situated in the stage of prema bhakti and not being bound to a material body anymore, you will have realized your original spiritual body. In the stage of sadhana, you should at least have a nut shell of an idea of these tattvas.

He says:

jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.3

[Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.]

If we know Krishna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, the possessor of innumerable opulences, and the source of all spiritual and material creation, if you are rooted to this conception—you cannot have prema. You can only get santa prema (to love Krishna from a neutral position) or dasya prema (to love Krishna as His servant). You will not be qualified to enter Vraja and serve Krishna. Entering the stage of bhava avastha, you will have to gradually forget that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If you still have a mood of Krishna’s Godhood, you will be unable to keep your heart in Krishna’s. There will be a wall of maryada (awe and respect) separating Krishna from you. In the stage of sadhana, you must obey the etiquette of maryada. Your seva will be visrambha (intimate), as you reach the stage of full-fledged love and devotion.

Otherwise premature visramba may lead to an instance where a guru will tell his disciple, “You should bring me some water.”

The erring disciple will say, “Oh you should bring water for me instead, because we are friends.”

Don’t do like this. In sadhana, maryada plays a pivotal role. When you will have realization of all these gradations of pure devotion, maryada will go and you will serve Krishna like a bosom friend. What is visramba seva (service infused with intimacy)?  When a guru returned to the temple from preaching and other activities, the ideal disciple was quick to attend to the needs of his gurudeva. The disciple saw that guruji’s lips were dry, and he needed water. The disciple got water for his gurudeva at once. An instance should not arise where guru will order his disciple, “You should bring water.” You should know the heart and requirements of gurudeva. Without waiting for his order, you should manage everything.

An instance of misjudging guru’s needs and requirements is: The disciple will tell his guru during the winter season, “Oh gurudeva, I want to wash your feet. So bring your feet forward.”


Being the season of winter, the chilly weather is making the guru tremble. He is also very thirsty and repeatedly tells his disciple, “Just bring me water and after that, you can perform the puja.”

But his disciple is overbearingly insistent and repeatedly tells him, “Gurudeva, please bring your feet forward.”

“I am thirsty!”

“Please bring your feet forward. I will wash them, because it is written is sastra.”


This way, the disciple quarreled with his gurudeva. You should not behave like this. You should know what your gurudeva wants, his needs and requirements need to be fulfilled. Guru doesn’t need someone to fan him during the winter season.

A situation should also not arise where you will fan Krishna with a peacock- feathered fan for one hour.

Being disturbed, Krishna will say, “Are, stop it! Stop it!”

The overbearing devotee will reply, “How can I stop? I will have to fan You for one more hour.”


Then Krishna will tell, “Don’t come.”


“I don’t want to be fanned.”

So, you should know the appropriate measures you have to adopt for every kind of service. We should know the needs and requirements of gurudeva and see to his needs before receiving an order from him. Then you will be an ideal disciple. A disciple who doesn’t know what his guru wants—is a kanista sisya.

And a disciple who performs services on being ordered by his gurudeva, is anyhow a more advanced disciple.

The disciple who performs services without being ordered to and brings the same things his guru wants—is an uttama (topmost) disciple.

On being told to perform a service, a disciple who tells his gurudeva, “Wait a little, I am coming,” is not a sebaka (servant), rather, he is a baka (crane) without the letter, “se”. This disciple is like a crane, which has a foot in water and stands in a meditative pose. But what is it meditating on? It is meditating for fish while standing on one leg.

So, vishrambena guru seva, means performing the appropriate services without being ordered to. The disciple will take all the orders of his guru on his head. And then, jnane prayasa udapasya namanta eva.

We should try to forget Krishna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By thinking of yourself as infinitesimal and Krishna as infinite, a wall of maryada (awe and reverence) will stand between Krishna and you, and you will not be able to serve Krishna according to His needs and wants.


jñāne prayāsam udapāsya namanta eva
jīvanti san-mukharitāṁ bhavadīya-vārtām
sthāne sthitāḥ śruti-gatāṁ tanu-vāṅ-manobhir
ye prāyaśo 'jita jito 'py asi tais tri-lokyām
Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.3

[Those who, even while remaining situated in their established social positions, throw away the process of speculative knowledge and with their body, words and mind offer all respects to descriptions of Your personality and activities, dedicating their lives to these narrations, which are vibrated by You personally and by Your pure devotees, certainly conquer Your Lordship, although You are otherwise unconquerable by anyone within the three worlds.]

After this, a sloka comes. On hearing Raya Ramananda speak, Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, yes. This is something but go on. It is not external neither is it internal. I accept what you have to say, but you should go further.”

Sri Raya Ramananda Prabhu then spoke a sloka. The sloka states how a person will only be hungry if he has an appetite and thirst. At that time, any preparation will be tasty. The taste of the preparation is directly proportional to the appetite. Lack of appetite will make even a delicious preparation taste bland and tasteless. On having a lakh of appetite, you will say, “Oh what preparation have you made? What kinds of sabjis’ are there? What sort of dahl is there? These preparations are not very good.” Lack of appetite will make you pass comments on the preparation. But if you have a blazing appetite inside you, you will not ask, “What has been prepared?” You will take capattis without ghee and butter with sheer delight.

Without asakti (attachment) and mamata (a sense of possessiveness—myness), prema to Krishna will not be awakened. Prema will follow asakti. The thicker the asakti is, the thicker the prema will be. And Krishna will be controlled.

I will explain on these condensed stages of devotion during the evening classes. You should know all these facets of the realm of devotion; they are very helpful in enhancing your service to Krishna. There are many deep explanations behind them. If you have no prema to Krishna, despite offering lakhs of tasteful preparations, and sixteen types of worship to Him; Krishna will not be happy. And accordingly, we will not be happy, because it has been stated in Srimad Bhagavatham:

sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo
yato bhaktir adhokṣaje
ahaituky apratihatā
yayātmā suprasīdati
--Srimad Bhagavatam 1.2.6

[The supreme occupation [dharma] for all humanity is that by which men can attain to loving devotional service unto the transcendent Lord. Such devotional service must be unmotivated and uninterrupted to completely satisfy the self.]

What is the meaning of Atma sam-prusadati?  Will we be content if the soul is satisfied? No. Here atma means Krishna. If Krishna is happy, pleased, and satisfied, our atma (soul) will also be happy, pleased, and satisfied. If Krishna is not pleased, we cannot be pleased. Krishna is always thinking of ways to make us happy. Offering of many kinds of worship to Krishna without asakti, mamata, and prema…Will you offer like Duryodhana? If you do so, Krishna will tell, “I have no appetite.”

I will explain more in the following days.

Devotee: You were saying that there is no way for the jiva to fall down once he has been liberated. My Guru Maharaja said, “When it is said that one falls down it refers to… May you elaborate on this?

Srila Gurudeva: I will tell the answer during the class. You should try to know all these facts.

Gaura Premanande! Haribol!

[Class ends with maha-mantra being sung]

Srila Gurudeva: All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

All glories to the assembled devotees.

Devotees: All glories to Srila Gurudeva.

Srila Gurudeva: We will all meet again.

*Transcribed and edited by the Govardhana dasa.