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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

You said work. But is it work? Let’s see the difference between “work” and “service”.

Two words: work and service. Work means doing, toiling, labour, struggle, drudgery. Work means karm, and karm brings bondage, samsara and misery.

Service is not work. The word service means to help, aid, assist. Service with devotion is seva, Krishna’s seva, which means devotional, loving service for the pleasure of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas. This type of service or seva is bhakti, giving service, and bhakti seva brings one freedom, liberation and mukti, joy and satisfaction.

In Gita, 4.34, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says a disciple needs three things to approach a Guru and learn about the Absolute Truth, Sri Krishna.

=1 Pranipat means “unconditional surrender,”

=2 Pariprashna means “a variety of questions related to spiritual life.”

=3 Seva means “a mind and heart having the feeling to serve and please another person.”

If you approach Sri Guru with these three attitudes, you will certainly gain knowledge about Sri Krishna and make your human birth successful.

The Srimad Bhagavatam says the RESULT OF SERVING Sri Hari, Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas, is that by this seva, or service, one’s bhakti will deepen and become steady and strong. This is the difference between “work” and “service” or seva, the loving service of Krishna.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

It’s true that both in quality and quantity, Bhagavan Sri Krishna is infinitely SAT CHIT AND ANANDA, which means Sri Krishna has a beautiful spiritual form made of eternity, all-pervading unlimited consciousness, and infinite transcendental, ecstatic loving bliss.

ishvara parama krishna, sac cid ananda vigraha,
“Bhagavan Sri Krishna is the transcendental form of eternity, unlimited knowledge and bliss.” (Brahma-samhita 5.1)

Although many think and speak, “The jivatmas or jivas (human beings like us) are like Sri Krishna, sac cid ananda, one with Krishna in quality but not in quantity. Thus Krishna is the big sat chit ananda, and we are a small edition, “chota sat chit ananda”.

FYI:

This is completely INCORRECT due to a misunderstanding of the word ANAND, which is often used when describing the jivatama. According to Upanisads, Srimad Bhagavatam, Puranas and the Vrndavana Six Goswamis the eternal constitution, nature, or composition of the jivatma is only SAT and CHIT, eternality and consciousness. In other words, “I am eternal and I am aware of my existence.” [Sri Gita 2.20]

Now we give a brief summary of the sastras and Sri Jiva Goswamipada’s definition of the inherent nature of the jivatma.

To begin with, Sri Jiva Goswamipada says that understanding the true identity and nature of the jiva is the first step in the science of God-realization. (Tattva San. Anu. 53)

In various Sandarbhas, he explains that ananda is only in the svarupa-shakti of Bhagavan Sri Krishna and NOT IN tatastha-shakti i.e. the jivatmas. We jivatmas only have the POTENTIAL TO EXPERIENCE ANANDA, if and when we receive the gift of bhakti by the grace of Bhagavan Sri Krishna or Sri Guru.

Bhakti is a combination of Sri Krishna’s two transcendental potencies, hladini i.e. bliss, real spiritual ananda, and samvit i.e. transcendental knowledge.

The material happiness we jivatmas feel through our senses, bodies or minds has absolutely nothing to do with the transcendental ananda that is part of Sri Krishna’s being.

As said earlier, the confusion about the true identity of the jivatma arises from the misunderstanding and misapplication of the word ANANDA. It is just like the word ATMA, which sastra uses interchangeably to mean either SOUL, MIND OR BODY.

A second example is the word KAMA, which, depending on the context, can mean either base, material desire or physical LUST i.e. intense craving to satisfy one’s selfish carnal instincts.

Or in spiritual matters KAMA refers to the cent per cent, absolutely pure spiritual desire, and intense transcendental amorous passion of the Vraja gopis like Srimati Radharani to please and satisfy Sri Krishna in every possible way, without a pinch, fragrance or even one iota of selfish desires “for me”.

Similarly, the word ANANDA is used to describe the material happiness of the jiva as in “Are you feeling anand?” Such material ananda, which is merely a play of polarity or the removal of a distress or lacking, should never be confused or equated with the totally transcendental eternal ANANDA of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Sri Jiva Goswamipada explains in Paramatma Sandarbha that the chit or knowledge aspect of the jivatma is merely the potential to learn and experience material knowledge, the innate nature of knowing. All the material knowledge that we may collect is stored in the buddhi. This knowledge, chit feature, is not part of the jivatma’s transcendental nature.

It is only if and when the jivatma receives Krishna’s transcendental chit shakti in the form of bhakti by the grace Bhagavan or Sri Guru that spiritual bliss i.e. TRUE AND REAL ANANDA, and transcendental knowledge CHIT are infused and mixed in the inherent nature of the transcendental jivatma.

Thus all Krishna bhaktas should understand, appreciate and be forever grateful to Sri Krishna and Sri Guru for Their giving the matchless gift of pure bhakti. By the mercy of bhakti, all devotees can now know and understand Sri Krishna, reality the beautiful.

And they can NOW TRULY LOVE and experience unending real spiritual joy and fulfillment in the service of Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in the pleasure bowers of Vraja for time eternal!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

(concept, Dr. Sri Satyanarayana Das Babaji Maharaja)

Sri Krishna ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai! Bhakti-devi ki jai!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Years ago, we published two books titled Sweet Notes 1-2 containing many “English Sutras”, mini teachings on Krishna bhakti. Here we offer you the best those sweets for your pleasure, and the nourishment of your beautiful lives.

Each sweet sutra appears under a specific topic related to perfecting one’s bhakti bhajan.

Detachment:

* Feeling separation from Radha-Krishna separates one from Maya.

Happiness:

*Serve Sri Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas and happiness is yours because seva is BLISS!!!

Independence:

*Real independence is dependence on Krishna.

Guru:

Follow your Guru Sri, and with Krishna always be.

Krishna:

*Krishna is just around the corner, don’t hesitate—turn the corner!

*To Krishna—surrender, serve, and love. And from this world you’ll rise above!

Love:

*One who fills His heart with Krishna’s love, sees Krishna’s love in all.

Maya:

*We remember what gave us pain, think of what we’ll never gain, and hanker for what we’ll never attain.

*Careful…lifetimes pass paying the debt of desire.

Mind:

*Believe… Syama’s seva will save you!

New Year:

*Ending one year, death more near. To Krishna be dear then “Happy New Year!”

Old Age:

*When young, pains come and go. When old, pains come, stay, and take you away.

Pain:

*Karma—lots of pain for little gain. Bhakti—little pain for total gain.

*Feeding your pain gives no gain. Chant the Name and win the game.

Preaching Bhakti:

*See every class as an expression of love.

*Preaching means draw life from Harinama, and give living truth to enliven others.

Sadhana:

*Evolution to perfection means revolution and correction of habits and misconceptions.

*Endeavors in Maya end in defeat. Endeavors in bhakti end in sweet.

*Follow the D.I.P. principle: Always depend on Krishna. Be an instrument of Krishna’s will. And please Krishna with all you do.

*Serve Krishna and maintain your body. Don’t maintain Krishna and serve your body.

*Surrender, prayer and endeavor bring you to Krishna forever.

*Will to serve Guru and Krishna will show the way.

Sense Enjoyment:

*Sense enjoyment blocks the path to Guru and Govinda.

Suffering:

*Suffering brings us to the heart of reality—surrender to Syama.

*Going through hell in your karmic cell. Soon you’ll be well that Krishna will tell.

Surrender:

*Surrender—the biggest revolution in one’s life.

*Surrender means jumping off a mountain, believing Krishna will catch you.

*No submission, no permission, no permission, no admission.

Time:

*What was is past, what is won’t last. Be steadfast. Chant Hare Krishna and have a blast!

Tongue:

*Conquer your tongue, conquer death!

Water:

*Water—You are healing, healthy, pure and sweet. You are life and the taste of Krishna. Thank you, O Krishna, for the wonderful wonder called water.

Sri Krishna Bhagavan ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Many years ago, we published two small books titled Sweet Notes 1-2. Inside there are many “English Sutras”, mini teachings on Krishna bhakti. Here we present the best those sweets for your pleasure, and the nourishment of your beautiful lives.

Each sweet sutra appears under a specific topic related to perfecting one’s bhakti bhajan.

Behavior:

*Respect, love and serve all—be they big or small.

*We see many good examples of what not to do. But be the good example of what to do.

Chanting Hare Krishna:

*As we breathe, so we chant.

Death:

*Surrender to Maya—forever die. Surrender to Krishna—never die.

Dependence:

*Learn one thing: Depend on Krishna, don’t worry, chant more and stay pure.

Detachment:

*A life centered on higher consciousness annihilates all unconscious elements.

Determination:

*All power is in the mantras and the siksa given. Chant, follow and pray—and Guru’s strength will show the way.

*You’ve crossed the ocean half. Don’t turn back. Swim on and reach the land of love—Vrndavana!

Devotion:

*In bhakti, we depend not on our own, but on the power of Krishna.

Difficulties:

*Forgetting your guardian causes your difficulties.

Diksa:

*A lifetime promise:

Up at four, chant some more

For Death no more!

Dreams:

*In Vraja—dreams are reality.

Outside Vraja—reality is a dream!

Faith:

*Invest your faith in Krishna alone. And He’ll never let you down.

Family Life:

*To seniors:

Define the distance between, and make the space as friendly as possible.

*To newlyweds:

Acceptance, tolerance and moderation will deliver you to the destination.

Fault finding:

*Don’t be a good fault finder. But be good at finding Your own faults.

Fear:

*Have no fear—Krishna is here!

He’s always near for you my dear.

Hope:

*Yes! There’s difficulty, but Krishna’s on your side. Your journey of misery will soon end. And to Krishna, you’ll forever tend.

*Krishna sweet aspirations, bring a Krishna sweet future!

Humility:

*Remember always—I am nothing!

But with Krishna’s mercy—I’ll be something.

*Eyes have we and see not.

Ears have we and hear not.

Minds have we and think not.

Krishna:

*Krishna, You are…

my guide, guardian, advisor and friend from beginning to the end.

Krishna, You are…

my provider and protector, my wealth and my health, my task master and inspector.

Krishna, You…

turn my bad to good, and my wrong to right.

Krishna, You are…

my day and my night.

Krishna, You…

remove the darkness with the light of inspiration.

And You are in

my every sensation.

Sri Krishna suddha bhakti bhajan ki jai! Jai Jai 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.

CONCLUSION:

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

Because they are the ideal periods for meditation and divine absorption, the three best times to chant Hare Krishna nama japa are:

1) Early Morning: 3 AM to 6 AM

2) Half Hour Before Sunrise: New Delhi today appx. 545 AM—615AM

3) Half Hour Before Sunset: New Delhi today appx. 6PM—630PM

Timings will vary according to your location.

The following answer regarding why these are the best meditation periods comes from the Vedas, Upanisads, Yoga and Mantra sastra, and from the tradition and experience of enlightened souls past and present.

Period one is called the Brahma Muhurta period because these three hours are sattvika, serene, saturated with prana, and blessed with the vibrations of visiting saints, rishis and devas like Rishi Narada and Sri Brahmaji.

During this time, many liberated souls and elevated saints are wandering over the earth (especially in Vrndavana and other divine dhamas) to see and bless anyone performing spiritual sadhana during these three precious hours.

Period two and three are very unique because for everyone, ONLY at these two time junctures i.e. night to day and day to night the air passing through both nostrils is equal and balanced. In yogic terms, this means the heating Sun breath moving through the right nostril (pingala), and the cooling Moon breath moving through the left nostril (ida) are both equal.

When the air flows equally in both nostrils, the Sushumna nadi activates and alters the body chemistry so that meditation becomes EASY. All physical and mental desires are suspended. The mind becomes calm because no mental fluctuations exist at these times.

The synergistic balance of the Moon and Sun breaths at these two times enables one to have mystic experiences, spiritual visions and darsana of one’s beloved ista-devata such as Radha-Govinda. All human beings breathe through both nostrils just before death.

In other words, these are the easiest and most beneficial times to deeply meditate on the meaning of the maha-mantra, and the transcendental forms and pastimes of Radha and Krishna.

To take advantage of these amazingly, auspicious times, temples and devotees daily worship their ista-devatas just before sunrise (mangala aratika), and just before sunset (sandhya aratika).

It is a phenomenon that every day about half hour before sunrise the temperature drops and the wind blows. Why? The sadhus say the wind is caused by the swift departure of the visiting rishis and devas returning to their celestial abodes. As the saints wander the earth before sunrise, at dusk, Mahadeva Siva and his associates roam the planet to bless the devotees doing bhajan then, and harass the impious engaged in sense pleasures.

IN SUMMARY

Pranayama and meditation are vast subjects. We just shared a few points to help devotees get the best from their Hare Krishna nama japa. Basically, the idea is you that should arrange your daily schedules so at one, two or even all of these special three times, you are sitting peacefully chanting japa.

For example, if you are busy family person and can’t get up at 3, 4, or 5AM—then at least make sure you are chanting japa during the 30-40 minutes before sunrise or later before sunset. You can do all other things after this.

Before chanting diksa mantras one must fully bathe, apply tilaka and dress in clean clothes. However, for Hare Krishna nama japa no ritual or physical purity is needed. Just wash your face, feet, hands, do acamana, sit down, chant and meditate.

Absorbed Hare Krishna japa ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

In two tikas, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti describes the essence of Bhagavad Gita.

While describing the first essence, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti gives a beautiful blessing by saying, “These four famous verses (Bhagavad Gita 10.8-11), which are the essence of all topics in the Gita, will remove misery and saturate the jivas with bliss!”

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “I am the source of everything and cause everything to function. Realizing this, an intelligent person will worship Me with love. (8)

“Devotees who have absorbed their minds and hearts in Me attain bliss and satisfaction by enlightening one another with Hari-katha. (9)

“To My constantly devoted worshipers, I give the discriminative intelligence to guide them to Me. (9)

“I favor My devotees by sitting within their minds and hearts to destroy the darkness of ignorance with the light of transcendental knowledge.” (10)

Then at the very end of Bhagavad-gita, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti mentions its second essence, which is truly the quintessence of all Gita’s teachings and the essence of all Upanisads.

In his tika to (18.64), Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti writes, “Here Bhagavan Sri Krishna is saying, ‘O My Priya Bandhu Arjuna! Now I will speak the essence of the entire Gita in eight verses.’” (18.64-71)

We have arranged these eight essence verses by topic to provide clear understanding. Please deeply consider the import of the fourth and fifth essences which reveal some surprising and unknown truths regarding Gita propagation.

Misunderstanding these points often leads to committing nama-aparadha to Sri Krishna’s Divine Names, because one innocently or knowingly, “Preaches to the faithless”, which is the ninth offense to Sri Krishna’s Divine Names.

First Essence: THE SUPREME SPIRITUAL SECRET

With His heart melting like butter due to His mercy, Sri Krishna told Arjuna the deepest meaning of the Bhagavad Gita.

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “Now hear My most elevated words describing the supreme secret of all secrets. Since you are very dear to Me, I will tell you what is best for you. (18.64)

sarva-guhyatamaṁ bhūyaḥ, śṛṇu me paramaṁ vacaḥ
iṣṭo si me dṛḍham iti, tato vakṣyāmi te hitam

Second Essence: ESSENCE OF BHAKTI SADHANA

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “Fix your mind on Me and be My devotee! Worship Me and offer respects to Me. By doing this, you will surely come to Me. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. (18.65)

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto, mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te, pratijāne priyo ’si me

Third Essence: SURRENDER ALL TO ME!

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, Give up all religious injunctions and take full shelter in Me. Don’t worry, I will deliver you from all sinful reactions. (18.66)

sarva-dharmān parityajya, mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo, mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

Fourth Essence: DO NOT PREACH HERE!

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “Arjuna, DO NOT SPEAK THE GITA TO ANYONE WHO IS:

  1. Not austere;
  2. Not My devotee;
  3. Does not want to hear it;
  4. Envious of Me.” (18.67)

idaṁ te nātapaskāya, nābhaktāya kadācana
na cāśuśrūṣave vācyaṁ, na ca māṁ yo ’bhyasūyati

Fifth Essence: YES—PREACH HERE!

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “One who explains this supreme secret to My devotees attains the highest bhakti. And without a doubt, he will come to Me! (18.68)

ya idaṁ paramaṁ guhyaṁ, mad-bhakteṣv abhidhāsyati
bhaktiṁ mayi parāṁ kṛtvā, mām evaiṣyaty asaṁśayaḥ

Sixth Essence: KRISHNA LOVES PREACHERS

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “No one in this world is dearer to Me than one who PREACHES TO DEVOTEES!” (18.69)

na ca tasmān manuṣyeṣu, kaścin me priya-kṛttamaḥ
bhavitā na ca me tasmād, anyaḥ priyataro bhuvi

Seventh Essence: GITA STUDY IS KRISHNA WORSHIP

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “I am firmly convinced that whoever studies this sacred dialogue of ours [Bhagavad-gita] worships Me through the sacrifice of knowledge.” (18.70)

adhyeṣyate ca ya imaṁ, dharmyaṁ saṁvādam āvayoḥ,
jñāna-yajñena tenāham, iṣṭaḥ syām iti me matiḥ

Eighth Essence: BENEFIT OF HEARING GITA

Bhagavan Sri Krishna said, “If a non-envious person just faithfully hears the Bhagavad-gita, he/she will become liberated and attain the higher auspicious planets. (18.71)

śraddhāvān anasūyaś ca, śṛṇuyād api yo naraḥ
so pi muktaḥ śubhāl lokān, prāpnuyāt puṇya-karmaṇām

Sri Gita Upanisad ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The Padma Purana “Gita Mahatmya” describes many amazing stories to illustrate the astonishing spiritual power, benefits and results of reciting each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, the quintessence of all Upanishadic wisdom.

To encourage everyone to daily read a chapter, a few verses or even half a verse of the most perfect and wonderful Bhagavad Gita, we present the shruti phalas i.e. the fruit or benefit received by hearing, reading or chanting each chapter.

1: End material misery; attain eternal service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna

2: Quickly attain full knowledge, devotion and the mercy of Sri Krishna.

3: Frees one’s ancestors from ghostly bodies or bondage in hell, and gives them sarupya mukti to Vaikuntha.

4: Frees one from tree form of life; gives devotee family birth; destroys material desires and awards Krishna bhakti.

5: Attain complete purity, purify anyone contacting you, and go to Vaikuntha.

6: Attain deep detachment, and the service of Bhagavan Vishnu’s lotus feet.

7: Freedom from all sins and Vaikuntha liberation.

8: Gives immense joy and Vaikuntha liberation to you and all your ancestors.

9: Removes fear, destroys sins and aparadhas, and gives constant remembrance of Sri Govinda’s lotus feet.

10: Freedom from the effects of curses, and attain the darshana of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.

11: Gives full sense control, continuous remembrance of Jagat Ishvara Sri Vishnu and Vaikuntha liberation.

12: Attain divine powers and Sri Krishna bhakti.

13: Attain complete freedom from sinful reactions and Vaikuntha sarupya-mukti.

14: Attain Vaikuntha liberation and Sri Vishnu’s nitya seva.

15: Attain Vaikuntha liberation.

16: Attain immense peace, amazing powers and the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

17: Attain Vaikuntha sarupya-mukti.

18: Destroys all material desires, gives unlimited bliss and Vaikuntha liberation.

The author of this article and millions of other fortunate souls worldwide have all received unlimited wisdom, solace, peace, purity and bliss from reading, hearing, studying, teaching and distributing Bhagavad Gita As It Is by Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. The following quote from his wonderful introduction to this most sacred grantha will close this post.

Srila Prabhupada said, “The ways and means for ultimate realization and attainment are stated in the Bhagavad Gita which is open for everyone. If one adopts the principles enunciated in Bhagavad Gita, one can make his life perfect and permanently solve all the problems of life. If one properly follows the instructions of Bhagavad Gita, one can be freed from all miseries and anxieties in this life.”

Sri Bhagavad Gita ki jai! Srila Prabhupada ki jai! Gitya Mahatmya ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

What follows is a brief response given to an E-Mail inquiry regarding the question, “Is Guru God?”

BHAKTA: “I have been hearing you quite regularly state the Guru is Krishna and you quote many scriptural references. In some spiritual missions they teach that Guru is the representative of God and not actually God himself. I have the understanding that the Guru is a Jiva who becomes empowered by God, not that he actually becomes God. And I have also seen that many “Gurus” fall down. So can you please help me get the right understanding of Guru Tattva?

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: “Radhe! Radhe! The highest level of Guru and very, very, very rare indeed is a jiva who has attained sadhana siddhi and is realized in Radha-Krishna prema. Of course, all Gurus are jiva shakti, jiva-tattva, and not the Sarva Shaktimayi Purnatama Svayam Bhagavan Sri Krishna or bhagavat tattva. So difference is there in tattva.

But it’s also true that ALL GOD’S POWER, mercy, love and compassion are present in Sri Guru. In understanding Guru Tattva, and in fact all spiritual reality, one must always apply the principle that eternal truth is inconceivably and simultaneously ONE AND DIFFERENT. Thus Sri Guru and Sri Krishna ARE ONE and also different!

However, shastras everywhere say clearly GURU IS GOD. Why because the Guru gives God thru mantra diksha, shiksha and krpa. So many Indians worship Guru as God and attain perfection by that. They attain God who is attained by God in the form of Guru.

Nevertheless, all Gurus are jivas after all, and some get covered by maya, some don’t. But when acting as Guru they are perfect, and they are God in the sense that Gurus REPRESENT GOD’S WILL MERCY AND COMPASSION AND ARE THE TANGIBLE GOD BEFORE US taking us to Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

Certainly, it requires devotion and sensitive discrimination to understand the position of Guru. Yes, Guru is God, and yes he is also jiva, and yes he is the representative of God. But still there is no harm, nor is it against shastras and acharya vani to see and worship Guru As God as many do today.

A very popular verse in India:

Gurur brahma Gurur vishnur,  Guru devo maheshvarah
Guruh sakshat param brahma, tasmai sri gurave namah

GURU IS DIRECTLY Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Parabrahma. I offer respects to Sri Guru. (Garga Samhita 4.1.13)

In Bhakti-sandarbha (Anuccheda 237), Sri Jiva Goswamipada quotes the Uttara Vamana Kalpa:

yo mantrah sa Guru sakshat yo Guru sa hari svayam

“The mantra given by the Guru is itself the Guru, and the Guru is directly the Supreme Lord Hari.”

We hope these words will clear your doubts regarding Sri Guru. Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Swami

In Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (1.1.11), Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the clearest, most perfect definition of suddha-bhakti or pure devotional, loving expression toward Bhagavan Sri Krishna. This verse is so crucial and important for all devotees to know, feel, realize, live and express that Srila Prabhupada quoted and explained it over 400 times!

Although we don’t know who wrote it, we offer our utmost respect and gratitude to the author of the following article which accurately describes pure bhakti; which we have modified for your pleasure. We humbly beg all devotees to deeply read, study and try your best to embody and practice these essential teachings. If you do then very soon your bhakti will become pure, and Sri Krishna will run toward you to fill your immaculate heart with His love and bliss eternal.

Sri Rupa Goswamipada’s definition of pure bhakti (uttama bhakti):

anya bhilashita shunyam, jnana karmad yanavrtam
anukul yena krishanu, shilanam bhakti uttama

Trans: Uttama-bhakti, or real, true and topmost loving service (bhakti) is devotion favorably offered to Krishna that is free from any type of selfish, personal motives or desires and devoid of jnana (brahma-jnana) and karma (desiring personal benefits and promotions). In other words, with all the actions of one’s body, mind and speech the pure devotee will try to please and satisfy Sri Krishna.

ANUKULYENA KRISHNA ANUSHILANAM

Anukulya means feelingly acting (with devotion) with a clear, selfless favorable mind only to make Krishna happy. Pleasing Shyama automatically pleases ourselves. Do it and taste the blissful difference between selfless and selfish actions.

Krishnanushilanam means continuous activity; bhakti is a lifestyle not just two hours of “chanting my rounds”. Krishnanushilanam means 24/7 pure bhakti flow, mood, feelings and movements all directed toward Sri Krishna.

However, uttama bhakti is not only restricted to the usual limbs of bhakti like hearing, chanting, remembering etc. The great devotional sage Srila Rupa Gosvami’s definition of uttama-bhakti includes everything connected with Krishna through the thread of surrender, devotion and favorability. Bhakti is a complete lifestyle; not something you do for part of the day and then forget about it. It’s not a job—Bhakti is our life, our heart and our entire existence.

The word anushilanam refers to all the activities one can perform either while awake, asleep or in deep sleep. At every moment a devotee should perform only Krishnanushilanam, activities to bring a smile on Shyama’s lotus face. For example, eating Krishna prasada, sleeping, dressing and exercising to maintain our bodies, which are on loan from Krishna for His seva, are all part of uttama-bhakti.

In Krishnanushilanam there are two modes of action: accepting or rejecting something (sankalpa/vikalpa). If you accept something, it must be anukula or favorable and pleasing to Krishna (and maybe not to you) and His devotees. Rejection of something is also based on the principle of being favorable to Sri Krishna. Krishnanushilanam includes Krishna, His associates and objects belonging to Krishna. Your actions should really satisfy the heart of Krishna; not that you force Krishna to say, “Thank you.”ANYA BHILASHITA SHUNYAM

Anyabhilashita-shunyam means acting for Krishna’s happiness without any ulterior motive, free from calculation and personal ambition. Generally a person desires some fruits from his endeavors. And if one does not desire something then at least one thinks ‘let this work be finished and I will feel happy.’

Such thinking is contaminated with the desire (abhilasha) for freedom, peace, mukti or jnana-avrtam, “Soon the job will be done and I will be free.” This means that one is not really interested in the seva, but in finishing it. Of course, the seva must be finished but not for our interest but for His—Sri Krishna. Desiring to finish quickly and be free means one will act passionately without feeling. This is not uttama bhakti.

In uttama-bhakti, one must perform actions favorably for Krishna’s pleasure whether it takes little time, a lot or a lifetime. The backing motive is the key factor. A real pure devotee thinks, acts and feels, “My beloved Sri Krishna, Radharani and all Their wonderful devotees should be happy and pleased with me and that’s all! You first, you second, everything for you—that’s my life, my purpose and my joy. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

ANYA ABHILASHITA means to have no other desire but ONE: the desire to serve and please Priyatama Sri Krishna. When one desires to serve Sri Krishna, then there is no question of “let me finish this seva quickly so I will be free.” Uttama-bhakti means absorption in service, moment to moment favorable activities for the happiness of Sri Krishna and His devotees.

Let’s all examine our hearts and motives. Now once and for all time let’s throw away and kick out all our selfishness, holding back, profit calculating, and benefit trading feelings and mentalities. A life of pure love awaits the pure hearted, and this is what Radha and Krishna want. They want selfless, dedicated loving devotees who just want to be with, serve and please Radha-Govinda Yugala forever in Vraja Dhama.

Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Suddha bhakti ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe! Radhe!