Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Why give charity, money, articles and seva to great Krishna bhaktas? In many places, the Veda Shastras describe the wonderful benefits of serving devotees and giving charity for the seva of Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas. Here are a few verses to illustrate this point.

  1. Skanda Purana says

vishnum -uddishya -yatkincid, vishnu -bhaktaya -diyate
danam -tadvimalarh -proktam, kevalam -moksha -sadhanam

Anything given to devotees of Krishna/Vishnu with the aim of satisfying Bhagavan definitely gives one liberation. Hari Bhakti Vilasa 11.64

  1. Visnu-dharmottara says, Bhagavan accepts whatever is offered to Him with devotion, even if it is mixed with material desire. Even an insignificant thing offered to Bhagavan without any personal desire awards one unlimited benefit. Hari Bhakti Vilasa 11.69-71
  2. However, the following Srimad Bhagavatam verse describes the best and greatest of all possible benefits to be attained from giving seva and charity to great devotees:

Srimad Bhagavatam (1.2.16) says,

shushrushoh -shraddadhanasya, vasudeva-katha-rucih
syan -mahat-sevaya -viprah, punya-tirtha-nisevanat

Sri Suta Goswami said, “O Vipras, just listen! By serving great devotees one will attain four things:

1) Get attraction to hear Krishna katha;

2) Attain deep faith in Krishna and Vaisnavas;

3) Attain the real and lasting sweet taste for hearing and reading Krishna katha (katha-ruchi);

4) Attain the desire to surrender to Sri Guru.”

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika: “How can one attain genuine and real attraction to hear and read about Bhagavan Sri Krishna? This verse answers by saying that attraction arises simply by serving great devotees. By that seva one will also increase one’s faith in Krishna and Vaisnavas (shraddadhanasya). Then when faith increases, one will ultimately surrender and take shelter of the feet of pure guru.”

Without any doubt, these are the best possible results to be gained from giving charity to and serving great devotees. In return for your few rupees daan, a box of sweets, a chaddar or a bag of rice, you get the most coveted and rare gem of a real heart felt interest in and taste for, ruchi, hearing Radha-Krishna katha.

Then you will receive the benefit of a tremendous booster increase in your faith in Bhagavan Sri Krishna and devotees. Finally, for your Vaisnava charity and seva, Sri Krishna will mercifully give you the best reward and His topmost blessings by arranging for to meet and to attain Vaisnava diksha from a pure Guru.

Proper Vaisnava diksha and faithful surrendered Krishna bhakti bhajan will then give one mukti, liberation and Krishna prema, along with unending love, peace and happiness in the eternal service of Sri Sri Radha Govinda Yugala in the groves of Vrndavana.

And what greater benefits or returns for your charitable offerings could one ever even dream of than this?

Sri Vaisnava seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Srimad Bhagavatam is called the “king of all spiritual books” (Grantha Raja) for good reason. Within this triguna-free, immaculate and divine spiritual shastra, the amala-purana, one will find all the sweet, majestic and beautiful truths about the sadhana and sadhya (daily practice and perfection) of Gaudiya Vaisnavism.

In his most compassionate and wonderful shastra, Sri Chaitanya Caritamrita, Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja summarizes all the teachings of the six Goswamis of Vrindavana by quoting the key Bhagavatam verses which the Goswamis themselves used to prove and substantiate these beautiful truths.

To highlight its importance for all devotees of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Radha-GovindaYugala, the same Bhagavatam verse is often quoted three or more times in Caitanya Caritamrita.

With the grace of Sri Advaita Prabhu, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, this series will focus on these super important Bhagavatam verses and commentaries in order to present the beautiful truths or tattvas of Gaudiya Vaisnavism i.e. Sri Krishna, Sri Radha, Bhakti Sadhana, Sri Harinama, Krishna Prema, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas.

Beautiful Truths


* Devotees Are Superior to Brahmins
viprād -dvi-ṣaḍ-guṇa-yutād,-aravinda-nābha,
pādāravinda-vimukhāt-śva, pacaṁ-variṣṭham
manye -tad-arpita-mano,-vacane-hitārtha-
prāṇaṁ-punāti-sa-kulaṁ,- natu-bhūrimānaḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.9.10)
Sri Prahlada said, I consider a dog-eater who has dedicated everything—his mind, words, activities, wealth and life—to Bhagavan Sri Krishna superior to a brāhmaṇa having all the twelve qualities of brahmin averse to Bhagavan. The dog-eater purifies his whole family, whereas the so-called respectable person does not.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: One should consider the absence or presence of bhakti. The dog-eater who has offered his mind, actions (īhitam), wealth (artha), words and life to Sri Krishna is far superior to a born brahmin endowed with the good qualities of knowledge, mind and sense control, shyness, tolerance, lack of envy, determination and peace.
How is the dog-eater devotee superior? He purifies his whole family whereas a venerable Brahmin without Krishna bhakti cannot purify himself, what to speak of his family.

* Devotee Helps Others
etāvaj-janma-sāphalyaṁ, dehinām-iha-dehiṣu,
prāṇair-arthair-dhiyā-vācā, śreya-ācaraṇaṁ-sadā (Srimad Bhagavatam 10.22.35)
It is the duty of every living being to perform welfare activities for the benefit of others with one’s life, wealth, intelligence and words.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: Words means giving good instructions to free one from samsara.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti tika: One should use one’s life to serve others.

* A Nama Sadhaka Is Topmost
aho-bata-śva-paco, ’to garīyān,
yaj-jihvāgre- vartate,- nāma-tubhyam
tepus -tapas –te,- juhuvuḥ -sasnurāryā,
brahmānūcur-nāma, gṛṇanti -ye -te   (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.33.7)
How astonishing! The outcaste who chants Your name with even the tip of his tongue becomes a guru (gariyan)! All those who chant your name are most respectable, and they have already performed all types of austerities, yagyas, sacrifices, bathing (tirtha-snanas) and Vedic study (brahma-anucuh.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: This is most astonishing (aho-bata)! The outcaste who chants just one name of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the best guru (gariyān). He becomes a qualified diksha guru empowered to teach and give mantra to others.

Srila Prabhupada tika: If one has the pure mentality of only chanting the holy name to please Bhagavan Sri Krishna, then even a low born person is purified and quite competent to deliver others (as Guru), even though he or she was born in a family not following Vedic rules and regulations.

* The Perfect Devotee King
sa –vai- manaḥ- kṛṣṇa, -padāravindayor,
karau- harer- mandira,-mārjanādiṣu,
śrutiṁ- cakārācyuta, -sat-kathodaye

tad-bhṛtya-gātra, -sparśe -’ṅga-saṅgamam
ghrāṇaṁ -ca -tat-pāda,-saroja-saurabhe,
śrīmat-tulasyā,- rasanāṁ -tad-arpite

pādau–hareḥ-kṣetra, -padānu-sarpaṇe,
kāmaṁ -ca- dāsyen,-atukāma-kāmyayā,
yathottama-śloka, -janāśray-āratiḥ (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.18-20)

King Ambarisha attained bhava or love for Bhagavan by using his mind, senses and whole body in favorably serving Bhagavan Sri Krishna by meditating upon Krishna’s lotus feet, glorifying Bhagavan Sri Krishna, cleaning Hari’s mandira, hearing Sri Acyuta -katha, taking Thakuraji -Mukunda’s- darshana, visiting Sri Hari’s lila-sthalis like Mathurā and Vṛndāvana.

Touching and embracing Vaisnavas, smelling Thakuraji’s maha oil perfumes and flowers, tasting Sri Krishna’s maha-tulasi, bowing down to Sri Hrshikesh and His bhaktas, and by engaging all his desires in selflessly serving Bhagavan Sri Krishna under the shelter of loving devotees fully attached glorifying Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Srila Visvanatha Cakravartitika: These verses describe the kings’ sādhana for attaining Krishna prema. King Ambarish performed all these wonderful devotional acts with the sole desire to attain love divine devoid of material desire as seen in Prahlāda and other pure Vaisnavas.

Srila Prabhupada: This verse shows that IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO TRAIN ONESELF without guidance from the spiritual master. The first business of a devotee is to accept a bona fide spiritual master who can train him to engage his various senses in rendering transcendental service to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Vaisnava Tattva ki jai! Srimad Bhagavatam ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The perfection of human life is to serve, love and please Bhagavan Sri Krishna with all of one’s thoughts, words and deeds. This is the ultimate Sanatana Dharma, eternal religious practice. Bhagavan Sri Krishna tosana is human perfection.

Today many devotees are taking up the way of Veganism which shuns all products from mother cow, Sri Gaumata. However, for Gaudiya Vaisnavas and all Krishna bhaktas, cows and their wonderful products are essential in the worship of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. Bhagavan Sri Krishna aka Gopal and Govinda very much loves cows and their milk, butter, yogurt etc. Krishna is eternally famous as “Makhan Chor” and “Damodara-the Mischievous Butter Thief”.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and all His associates regularly offered and ate Sri Jagannatha maha-prasadam prepared from cow’s milk. Mahaprabhu and His followers propagated the Yuga Dharma of Sri Harinama Sankirtana while using karatals, and mrdangas made from clay and cow hides.

It’s a fact that the demon milk industry wallas are mistreating cows and just ripping off their milk for profit. This is the sorry state of Kali-yuga.

Becoming a Vegan is one way to sympathize with and serve these cows and protest against the Godless demons. But another way is to be a Krishna bhakta, and offer their milk in the seva of Bhagavan Sri Krishna. By engaging these poor cows in Krishna’s pleasure, they will receive great spiritual benefit and elevation.

The Puranas predict that in the future of Kali-yuga, there won’t be any cows, goats, buffalo, camels or any kind of milk whatsoever available. Then at that time, Krishna’s bhaktas will have to resort to soya milk and soya cheese to make offerings for Krishna’s pleasure. Until that unfortunate time arrives, however, we should offer Krishna what He loves, and depend on Krishna to protect us and deliver us. In this way, Krishna bhaktas stay pure in mind, acts and reactions because all is done to please Krishna.

Krishna dharma is sanatana, and beyond all modern standards of morality and mundane sentiments. Veganism and other such compassionate movements are very good on one level, especially for those who are not Krishna bhaktas. However, Veganism, in and of itself, is not transcendental and pleasing to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.


The objective of human life is not just morality or sentiments, but the pleasure of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Hari tosana. So as Krishna bhaktas, we should keep offering Krishna varieties of cow’s milk products, honor Krishna’s sacred remnants, and also help and serve cows in whatever way we can.

In addition, if all the Vegans and Krishna bhaktas unite in the global performance of intensive public Harinama Sankirtana, then the entire polluted atmosphere of Kali-yuga will be purified, the collective consciousness of the world will be cleaned, and a new age of universal peace, harmony and happiness for the cows and all living entities will prevail.

Sri Gaumata seva ki jai! Gopala Makhan Cora ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Whether a Vaisnava is in the category of a mukta purusa, siddha, uttama, madhyama, or kanishta, all Vaisnavas do the following:

* Accepts Gopala mantra diksa from a qualified Guru

*Daily worship Sri Krishna

*Daily chant a fixed number of Sri Krishna’s names on mala

*Eat only Krishna prasadam

*Cultivate the four religious principles of truth, mercy, purity and penance

*By following four daily regulative principles:

  1. eat only pure vegetarian foods & NO onions, garlic, eggs, vinegar etc.;
  2. avoid wine, liquor, drugs, cigarettes and all intoxicants;
  3. don’t play lotteries, cards, bridge, slot machines, gambling, etc;
  4. don’t intimately mix with men and women outside marriage;

*Daily serve Sri Hari, Sri Guru and Vaisnavas

*Never offend sadhus or devotees with thoughts, words, actions

*Always behave like a pure Vaisnava

*Display humility, respect and compassion towards all living entities.

If one does not exhibit these qualities and activities, he or she is not a Vaisnava. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed Sri Sanatana Goswami and all of us about correct Vaisnava behavior.

asat-sanga-tyaga- ei- vaisnava –acara,
stri- sanga- eka asadhu, krishna- abhakta- ara

“A Vaisnava should always give up and reject the association of materialists; women exploiting men; the unsaintly and the non-devotees.” (Caitanya Caritamrita 2.22.87)

Pure Vaisnava sadhu sanga ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Sri Ramanuja Acarya appeared in 1017 A.D. near Madras, South India in a family of Vedic scholars. Sri Vaisnavas say he was an incarnation of Laksmana. The word Ramanuja means “a follower of Rama.” He received this name because Laksmana always follows and serves His elder brother Bhagavan Sri Ramacandra.

A boy of amazing wit, Ramanuja quickly learned Sanskrit, logic, and the Vedas. He took diksa and married at age sixteen. Ramanuja studied with a mayavadi guru, Yadava Prakash, to master mayavadi philosophy and defeat it.

When the brilliant Ramanuja kept refuting his mayavadi arguments, Yadava Prakash tried to murder him. Unsuccessful, Yadava Prakash expelled Ramanuja from the asrama. Before leaving, Ramanuja completely defeated his guru’s theory of oneness and no distinction.

Ramanuja explained, “While a certain unity can be seen in the inter relatedness of all things, still everything within the universe has its own distinct reality. Pearls strung on a thread share unity; collectively they form an organic whole a necklace. Still, each individual pearl has its own unique qualities.”

“While spirit, matter, and God may be seen as one organic whole, each has its unique qualities. Therefore, Sankara’s principle of absolute oneness can’t stand. Rather, the principle of unity characterized by different qualities must be accepted.”

Sometime later, Yadava Prakash met Kuresh, Ramanuja’s student with a photographic memory. Quoting Srutis, the best of Vedic proof, Kuresh convinced him that Brahman has transcendental form and qualities coming from the ultimate reality the supreme Absolute Truth known as Lord Narayana.

Ramanuja initiated anyone regardless of caste. Using the panca samskara purification method, he turned sudras into pure Vaisnavas. He established that the position of a Vaisnava surpasses all social limitations and considerations. Identifying himself as a servant, Ramanuja taught the worship of the Vaisnavas. Several times envious brahmanas tried to poison Ramanuja.

To teach detachment to one disciple Ramanuja staged the following demonstration. He told the disciple to create confusion among the sannyasis by switching their clothes at the bathing ghat.

When the sannyasis, who were big scholars and renunciates, started wearing each other’s clothes a big argument began. The disciple could plainly see that the “renunciates” were attached to some cloth.

Then Ramanuja sent the disciple to the home of his grhastha disciple, Dhanurdasa. Ramanuja engaged Dhanurdasa in the temple to ensure he wouldn’t be home. Following Ramanuja’s order, the disciple began stealing jewellery from Dhanurdasa’s chaste wife, who was sleeping.

After the disciple took the ornaments from one side of her body, she suddenly turned over. The startled disciple fled through the window. But he waited outside to witness the reaction of Dhanurdasa. Upon returning home Dhanurdasa talked with his wife.

“I’m worried that the temple needs money,” said his wife.

“What makes you think that?” asked Dhanurdasa.

“Because while I slept one of the temple devotees came through the window and began stealing the jewellery from my body. To go that far, I think those poor saints must desperately need money.”

“What did you do while he was stealing your jewellery?”

“I turned over, but he fled through the window.”

“Why did you do that?” said Dhanurdasa.

“I didn’t mean to scare him. I only turned over so that he could take the jewelry from the other side of my body as well.”

Dhanurdasa rebuked his wife, “If you were not so affected by false ego, you would have given him all your jewels. Now what shall we do? We have failed miserably.”

His wife lamented, “You’re right. It is only my pride that kept me from surrendering everything. How will we ever make any advancement?”

Watching all this, Ramanuja’s disciple was astonished at the humility and surrender of these grhastha devotees. Ramanuja explained the meaning of these two events: the sannyasis’ clothes and the wife’s jewels.

The sannyasis were so attached to some ragged bits of cloth that they fought over it. But the grhasthas were detached, even from costly jewels if they were needed for Krishna’s service.

Ramanujacarya founded the Sri Sampradaya, one of the four major Vaisnava sampradayas (Brahma, Sri, Kumara, Rudra). This sampradaya propounds the Vedanta philosophy of visistadvaita vada, qualified monism.

Gaudiya and Sri Vaisnavas share many teachings and practices. The Gaudiyas took Ramanuja’s explanation of God and the jiva verbatim: “The principle of God is like a blazing fire, while the living soul or the jiva is like a spark a small part of God.”

Both accept three classes of jivas: eternally liberated, forever bound, freed by devotion and sadhana. Ramanuja taught serving God in Vaikuntha with awe and reverence in dasya rasa(mood of master and servant). Gaudiya Vaisnavas teach confidental service in madhurya rasa to Radha Madhava within the groves of Vrndavana.

Ramanujacarya wrote many famous commentaries on the Upanisads, Puranas, Bhagavad gita. Sri Bhasya, his commentary on Vedanta, presents a formidable challenge to Sankaracarya’s impersonal commentary.

To this day, the Sri Vaisnava disciplic succession from Ramanuja continues to uphold the traditions of deity worship and philosophy systemized by the founder. His samadhi is in Sri Rangam.

(An excerpt from the book Gaudiya Vaisnavas Biographies and Samadhis in Vrndavana by Mahanidhi Swami)

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Serving Vaisnavas with love and humility destroys the disease of lust and envy. Giving to Vaisnavas destroys the disease of greed. Praising Vaisnavas destroys the disease of pride. And most importantly, pleasing the Vaisnavas brings the mercy, love and grace of Govinda Sri Krishna.

Although sastras proclaim that serving Vaisnavas is the essential element for success in bhakti bhajan, this most blissful limb of devotion is often overlooked or not even done. Of course, every devotee hears about, chants and serves Bhagavan Sri Krishna on a regular basis. But how many seriously try to serve and please other devotees?

For hundreds of years, Gaudiya Vaisnava saints have said, jiva doya, vaisnava seva, nama ruci, “To experience the sweet taste of Krishna nama, you must serve Krishna’s devotees and show compassion to all.”

This article will now quote various sastra to prove the power and efficacy of Vaisnava seva.

Taittiriya Upanisad (1.10): “You should serve Krishna’s devotees in the same way you serve Bhagavan Sri Krishna Himself.”

Mundaka Upanisad (3.1.10): “If you worship Krishna’s devotees, then all your desires will be fulfilled! “

Posayana Sruti: “Worship, hear from and serve Krishna’s devotees, and you will always be protected.”

Adi Purana:

ye me bhakta janah partha, na me bhaktas ca te janah
mad bhaktanam ca ye bhaktas, te me bhaktatamah matah,

Sri Krishna says to Arjuna, “If you say you are My devotee, you are not. But if you love and serve My devotees then you are My real devotee.” (also: Caitanya-caritamrta 2.11.28; Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu. 1.2.218; Laghu-Bhagavatamrta 2.6)

Srimad Bhagavatam (5.5.2.): mahat sevam dvaram ahur vimuktes, “Service to great devotees of Krishna opens the door to liberation to Goloka Vrndavana.”

Srimad Bhagavatam (11.19.21): To Uddhava, Sri Krishna said, mat bhakta puja abhy adhika, “First-class worship and seva of My devotees is more pleasing to me than My own seva. Therefore, you should serve the devotees.”

Sri Jiva Goswami tika: “Knowing this fact, you should serve the devotees with special care.” (Krama Sandarbha)

Padma Purana (6.253.176):

aradhanam sarvesam, visnor aradhanam param, “Mahajana Siva said to Parvati, ‘Of all types of worship, Visnu worship is supreme. Tasmat parataram devi, tadiyanam sam arcanam: “However, worship of Visnu’s devotees, is even superior to that.’”

Srimad Bhagavatam (3.17.19):

yat-sevaya bhagavatah, rati-raso bhavet tivrah, padayor vyasan ardanah, “Serving the feet of great devotees will give you intense transcendental ecstasy, attachment for Sri Krishna, and vanquish all your miseries.”

Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada tika: “By serving Krishna’s devotees, one can experience the ecstatic bliss of bhava bhakti arising from blending the five elements of rasa i.e. vibhava, anubhava, sthayi bhava, sattvika bhava and sancari bhava.

Srimad Bhagavatam (11.26.28-31): Sri Krishna said, “Just as cold, fear and darkness disappear in the presence of fire, dullness, fear and ignorance are destroyed when you serve Krishna’s devotees.”

Sri Jiva Goswamipada tika: “You get free from fear and ignorance, and the material dullness caused by karma and other things. (Bhakti San. 247.33)

Caitanya Bhagavata (1.1.8):

amara bhaktera puja, ama haite bada
sei prabhu vede bhag-avate kaila dadha

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “The Veda and Bhagavata proclaim: ‘Worship of My devotees is superior to worship of Me.’”

Bhakti Sandarbha (247):

tasmad visnu prasadaya, vaisnavan paritosayet, prasada sumukho visnu, tenaiva syan na samsayah,

“If you want to attain the mercy of Krishna, you must first please the Vaisnavas. If the Vaisnavas are pleased, you will definitely attain the complete mercy of Krishna. (also: Itihasa-samuccaya; Hari Bhakti Vilasa (10.120); Raga Vartma Candrika (1.14);

The Final Teaching

A few days before his departure in December 1936, Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati spoke his last words on Vaisnava tattva which are very important and most relevant to all of us.

“If the Vaisnavas do not understand that serving other Vaisnavas is the most beneficial thing, then they will not advance in devotion. One has to cultivate Krishna consciousness by sincerely serving the Vaisnavas, and by endeavouring to please them with your body, mind, and soul.

“If the Vaisnavas are pleased, then the all-merciful Sri Krishna will give His grace. You must always remember this.”

(folio: PST Life & Precepts)

Bliss from Vaisnava seva ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This simple post is a wonderful reminder of all the beautiful, loving qualities that arise in a heart purified by Krishna bhakti bhajan. May we all cultivate, develop and express these divine qualities to all around us. And thus elevate the world with positive vibrations of mutual love, harmony, respect, care and cooperation.

The source of this information is the following: (Srimad Bhagavatam 2.13.26; 2.22.78-80;4.20.16;5.18.12; Bhagavad-gita (chapter 13)

  1. BALANCED-EATER – Only eat what’s needed (Mita-bhuk). “Eat to live—Don’t live to eat.”
  2. CHARITABLE – Give to others, do good to all (Sarvopakaraka)
  3. CLEAN (Suci)
  5. EQUAL TO ALL (Sama)
  6. EXPERT (Daksa)
  7. FRIENDLY (Maitra)
  8. FAULTLESS (Nidosa)
  9. GRAVE (Gambhira)
  11. MAGNANIMOUS (Vadanya)
  12. MERCIFUL (Krpalu)
  13. MILD (Mrdu)
  14. NO MATERIAL HANKERING Be satisfied with Krishna’s presence in your heart, and don’t collect more than you need. (Aniha, Akincana)
  15. NON- DEFIANT –Never quarrel with anyone (Akrta–droha)
  16. PEACEFUL (Santa)
  17. POETIC (Kavi)
  18. PRIDELESS – Meek and humble (Amani)
  19. RESPECTFUL – Well-behaved; respect, love, serve all big and      small (Manada)
  20. SANE (Apramatta)
  21. SELF-CONTROLLED (Vijita Sadguna)
  22. SILENT- No nonsense speech, gossip, prajalpa. Speaks of Krishna (Mauni)
  23. SIMPLE—Always be sincere, straightforward in heart (Sarala)
  24. STEADY – Remain fixed in Truth, Sri Krishna (Sthira)
  26. TRUTHFUL (Satyasara)

Vaisnava sadacara ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!