1.1 Always Think of Me — Gita – The foundation of the palace of Srimad-Bhagavatam

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Lalit Kishori dasi 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #2304 Reply

    admin
    Keymaster

    The discussion on this thread is on the first part of Chapter One of Nectar of Govinda-lila, pages 1 to 5 in the fourth edition.

    Click here to read this section online.

    Or click here to download the pdf of the first chapter.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  admin.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    • This topic was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    #2451 Reply

    madhukar das
    Keymaster

    Haribol, all.
    Dandavat pranam.

    To start off the discussion on this first part of the chapter, I am posting a couple of questions for you to contemplate. Please feel free to submit any other questions you may have for discussion.

    From page 1:

    Recently, by the desire of Bhagavan, we had to leave the holy land of Vrndavana for some time, but wherever we go, we always remember Vrndavana. The scriptures describe many spiritual places, but in the entire universe there is no place like Vrndavana. He who knows the glories of Vrndavana will understand this, and especially one who has received the mercy of Vrndavana will understand this. In his Sri Vrndavana-mahimamrta, Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati has written that Vrndavana is our everything, and not just the village of Vrndavana, but the entire Vraja-mandala. Especially Nandagrama, Varsana, Radha-kunda, Syama-kunda, Giriraja-Govardhana: they are all included within Vrndavana. Sri Krsna and His eternal associates have performed pastimes there that are thoroughly unique.
    For understanding these things, the instructions of Bhagavad-gita serve as a foundation. Constructed upon this foundation is the palace of Srimad-Bhagavatam with its twelve floors. There are nine storeys or cantos lower, two storeys or cantos above, and in the middle is the tenth storey, or the Tenth Canto. Inside this there are ninety different kunjas, which are the chapters of the Tenth Canto. And in the centre of this are five special chambers, which are the five chapters describing the rasa dance, where Sri Radha and Krsna are enjoying amorous pastimes. It appears that Radhika is serving Krsna, but really Krsna is serving Her. As long as the foundation of the instructions of Bhagavad-gita is not there, we will take a mundane understanding of these topics and everything will be ruined.

    Question: In the first paragraph Srila Gurudeva is showing us that no matter where we are, we should always remember Vrindavan. Then he says that to understand these things we need the foundation of Bhagavad-gita. Does that mean we shouldn’t hear or read about the pastimes of Vrindavan until we have a strong foundation in Bhagavad-gita?

    Under the verse “sarva-dharman parityaja…” on page 2, Srila Gurudeva writes:

    Although this is the final verse, and Krsna is telling us to abandon our dharma, we may think that some sinful reaction may come to us. But Krsna says, “I am responsible for that. I will excuse you from all sins.” Making our parents cry, making our brothers and relatives cry, a wife making her husband cry, a husband making his wife cry, not doing our duty to society, and not following varnasrama-dharma is all adharma, irreligious, and sinful reaction will come to anyone who does these things. But Krsna says, “I promise that I will at once free you from any sinful reaction.”

    Question: Generally, when a person leaves home and neglects his responsibilities to his family to dedicate himself to Krsna, the family cry. We see this happened in the life of Srila Gurudeva and Srila Prabhupada. Here, Krsna is saying that He will at once free such a person from any sinful reaction. Does that mean that no matter what that person’s situation is, he can run away from all his duties to family and so on? Why did Mahaprabhu instruct Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, “Be patient and return to your home. Don’t be a crazy fellow. By and by you will be able to cross the ocean of material existence.”? Is there some qualification necessary before one can follow this instruction of the Gita?

    From top of page 3:

    The verse that we will describe here, “man-mana bhava…”, is even better than this verse. The verse “sarva-dharman parityajya…” gives instruction for saranagati, devotional surrender, but this verse gives the fruit of that surrender, and is therefore even more exalted.

    Question: If it is true that a person needs the proper qualification before he can begin to follow the instruction on devotional surrender given in the verse “sarva-dharma parityaja…”, then for those of us who have not fully surrendered, how are the instructions in “man-mana bhava mad bhakto…” immediately relevant, when they are of such a higher level?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by  madhukar das.
    #2500 Reply

    Gita dasi

    Besides hearing sabda-brahman from the lips of Mahabhagavata, some tattva siddhanta must be there, whether from Bhagavad-gita or elsewhere, otherwise one will understand rasa from their own base, mundane experience. In books about the pasteimes of Krsna and the gopis which Srila Gurudeva translated like Sri Camatkara-candrika, Krsna is telling tattva siddhanta by His questions. Please esp. note the last sentence!

    “My dear son,” explained Yaçodä, “in this box I am placing sandalwood,
    camphor, lotus-pollen, musk and kumkuma to apply to
    the limbs. I am also packing ornate belts, earrings, bracelets and
    unparalleled jewelled ornaments of lazuli, pearls, emeralds and other
    precious gems; and fine, valuable garments.”

    “Mother, is everything in this box for Me,” asked Çré Kåñëa, “or is
    it for My brother Balaräma?”
    “Listen, my son, and I will tell You. There is another box of even
    more exquisite garments and precious ornaments for You. That box
    is much bigger than this one, and I have prepared a similar box for
    Balaräma as well.”
    “But Mother, if you are not preparing this box for My elder
    brother or for Me, who is it for? Who else is the object of your love
    and affection?”

    In Gurudeva’s translation of Prema samputa, Sri Radha is explaining Krsna tattva and Radha tattva to the disguised Krsna. In the babaji translations of books like Ujjvala Nilamani, I don’t see this.

    #2501 Reply

    ramananda das

    Recently, by the desire of Bhagavan, we had to leave the holy land of Vrndavana for some time, but wherever we go, we always remember Vrndavana.

    Does that mean we have fallen from Golok Vrindavan?

    I want to attempt answering your questions Madhu.

    1. we shouldn’t hear or read about the pastimes of Vrindavan until we have a strong foundation in Bhagavad-gita?

    I think Gurudev answers that by saying

    As long as the foundation of the instructions of Bhagavad-gita is not there, we will take a mundane understanding of these topics and everything will be ruined.

    This may seem to contradict with Gurudev’s strong urge for us to develop greed for those pastimes, right?

    2. Is there some qualification necessary before one can follow this instruction (sarva dharman) of the Gita?

    I dont know… Saranagati?

    2. For those of us who have not fully surrendered, how are the instructions in “man-mana bhava mad bhakto…” immediately relevant, when they are of such a higher level?

    They show us what we should aim for?

    #2502 Reply

    ramananda das

    I cant seem to edit my post. Made a mistake in numbering the questions.

    #2504 Reply

    Gita dasi

    Dandavat pranams to all. Ramananda prabhu, certainly that doesn’t mean that we were in Goloka Vrndavan, and left. I understood it to be Srila Gurudeva and whomever he was travelling with at that time like Krsna das prabhu and Madhava Maharaja, referring to Bauma Vrndavan. If it were Goloka Vrndavan, this happens regularly that the Lord desires a nitya parikara to come here for a particular reason, like with Jaya and Vijay.

    Now, I have a question, supposing my understanding was correct. We generally are very happy when, like in 1966, a mahabhagavata first comes to the west, or 20 years later another one came. But how does that vaisnava feel about leaving Vrndavan? And should we try to empathize with what he feels, giving up our own feelings?

    #2505 Reply

    Gita dasi

    I would also like to know hoe to edit and add profile pic, please.

    #2507 Reply

    Lalit Kishori dasi

    Regarding Madhukara’s first question:

    ‘Question: In the first paragraph Srila Gurudeva is showing us that no matter where we are, we should always remember Vrindavan. Then he says that to understand these things we need the foundation of Bhagavad-gita. Does that mean we shouldn’t hear or read about the pastimes of Vrindavan until we have a strong foundation in Bhagavad-gita?’

    I don’t want to try and answer but I have a further question. I always remember Srila Gurudeva saying that hearing these pastimes will take our material lust. I found this lecture that Gurudeva spoke in Wales in 2000:
    To Hear or Not To Hear
    http://www.purebhakti.com/teachers/bhakti-discourses-mainmenu-61/19-discourses-2000/186-to-hear-or-not-to-hear.html
    I also saw how Srila Gurudeva etherised so much on taking us to the pastime places and wanting us to have these places and pastimes deeply implanted in our hearts and for us to understand what our goal is.
    My Question: Is it that we should hear these topics from one who is qualified and who will naturally have a strong foundation in the Bhagavad Gita and all sastra and at the same time will be giving this foundation to us and that we are also reading the subjects of Bhagavad Gita at the same time. Or that before we hear or read these topics we must have a foundation of Bhagavad gita within us?
    A couple of Excerpts from the lecture:

    Srila Narayana Maharaja: Never imitate. You should hear His pastimes with honor. Then your lust will go. Among all the pastimes of Krishna, rasa-lila is the most powerful medicine. It has been told in

    sastra:nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad
    bhavausadhac chrotra-mano-‘bhiramat
    ka uttamasloka-gunanuvadat
    puman virajyeta vina pasughnat

    What is the meaning? Those who are not hearing this rasa-lila of Tenth Canto Srimad Bhagavatam are ‘pasughna’. What is the meaning of pasughna? Self-killer. If they are not hearing, they are killing others and also themselves. Nivrtta-tarsair upagiyamanad. What is the meaning?

    Srila Narayana Maharaja: Here it has been told that those who are visayis, full of lust, those who are liberated, those who are kanistha, madhyama and uttama bhaktas, those who in the stage of suddha sattva or bhava-bhakti, and even those who have received prema – they should all hear this Srimad Bhagavatam Tenth Canto. If they are not hearing, they are killing

    #2510 Reply

    madhukar das
    Keymaster

    Such a beautiful point, Gita didi! It really shows how merciful the Vaisnavas are. We cannot imagine their attachment to Vrindavan. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami writes in the second verse of the Sva-Niyama-dasakam:

    na canyatra ksetre hari-tanu-sanatho ‘pi sujanad
    rasasvadam premna dadhad api vasami ksanam api
    samam tv etad gramyavalibhir abhitanvann api katham
    vidhasye samvasam vraja-bhuvana eva pratibhavam
    I vow that I shall live in the land of Vraja birth after birth, chatting casually
    with the villagers. I shall not live even for a moment in any other place, even if the
    Lord resides there in His Deity form, and even if the great devotees fill it with the
    sweet nectar of transcendental love.

    I still don’t fully understand this verse, because I thought we should be more attached to being with the great Vaisnavas than externally living in Vrindavan. My guess is that this verse applies more to extremely advanced Vaisnavas, like Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, who are already in Vrindavan in the true sense, associating with the eternal Vrajavasis. Anyways, that’s besides the point.

    We can see from this how attached our guruvarga is to Vrindavan. We cannot understand what a deep sacrifice it is that they make, leaving Vrindavan to help us all. Very nice point.

    #2511 Reply

    madhukar das
    Keymaster

    We’re going to try and set it up so that you can edit profile and posts. We’re totally new to this and are just learning how work this forum. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    #2512 Reply

    madhukar das
    Keymaster

    That is a wonderful point you brought up, Lalit. Here in Nectar of Govinda-lila Gurudeva is saying that we need the foundation of Bhagavad-gita, otherwise we just take a mundane understanding of Radha and Krsna’s pastimes, but at the same time, it is so essential to hear the high topics of the rasa-lila. It is the most powerful medicine to destroy mundane lust.

    To my understanding, we try to hear as much harikatha from advanced devotees as we can, whether they’re talking about rasa-lila or Bhagavad-gita. It’s not like if Gurudeva was giving class on Rasa-pancadhyayi we would walk out and open up a Bg because we’re not qualified to hear such high topics. Many times in class Gurudeva would say “I’m only speaking these things for one or two people in the audience”, but I also remember him saying something like, “for those of you who are not qualified to understand these things, you can take note of the topics that you will enter into once you advance in bhajana”.

    Something I love about this chapter is how Gurudeva gives us the foundation of Bhagavad-gita, in perspective of our ultimate goal. Some people get lost in Bhagavad-gita loosing sight of the goal, and some people get lost in the goal and forget to first understand the basics of realizing who we are, why are we here, etc. In this chapter Srila Gurudeva perfectly harmonizes both.

    #2514 Reply

    Lalit Kishori dasi

    Thanks Madhukar, you brought both points nicely together. For me I see that it shows the importance of taking shelter of a Sad-Guru and hearing from advanced devotees. Yes I also love that about this chapter, and I just love this about Srila Gurudeva, how he will show us both the tattva and lila. (like I think you were mentioning Gita) He shows us this in a way that we can relate it to our lives and the stage that we are at. but Also he will speak on the Gita or similar and bring us right to our goal. Srila Gurudeva is amazing!

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