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Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

The eighteen syllable Gopal (Krishna) mantra, highlighted in the Gopal Tapani Upanisad, is the actual diksha mantra for all Gaudiya Vaisnavas. In Brhad Bhagavatamrita, Sri Sanatana Goswami reveals the inconceivably amazing power and effect of the Gopal mantra.

In his narrative of an archetypal, young Vrajavasi cowherd named Gopa-kumar, Sri Sanatana Goswami explains that this simple, uneducated boy attained the topmost spiritual perfection just by chanting the Gopal-mantra received from his Guru.

Sitting on the same asana in the same place, his Govardhan home, and in the same body, Gopa-kumar, by his diksha mantra-purified mind and consciousness, attained and experienced many positions and realms or regions of both material and spiritual reality, wherein one lives for thousands or even millions of years!

Commenting on his own verse (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.9), Sri Sanatana Goswami says, “Gopa-kumar did not die, or give up his present body to accept another body. Rather, his young cowherd body became so refined and pure that he was able to “travel” to all these different regions or planes of reality, and finally enter the supreme spiritual abode.”

During his galactic spiritual odyssey, Gopa-kumar encountered the lokas of Svarga, Tapa, Satya, Shiva, Visnuloka and sakshad darshan of Sri Lakshmi Narayan.

At last, by the mercy of Sri Guru and the power of chanting his diksha Gopal-mantra, Gopa-kumar attained his cherished spiritual perfection. He received an eternal, blissful spiritual body (siddha svarupa/deha) of a cowherd boy, and entered Goloka Vrndavana.

Bhagavan Govinda Gopal greeted Gopa-kumar and locked him in a loving embrace of eternal fraternity. Now, Gopal, Gopa-kumar and all the boys will play and sport together for time eternal in the forests, rivers, lakes and pasture lands of the happy realm of Nanda Vraj!

The most significant point is that Gopa-kumar achieved all these phenomenal experiences, realizations and realities of consciousness even though he received practically no association or personal instructions from his diksha Guru.

Gopa-kumar himself explains, “I received diksha in the Gopal-mantra, but then my Guru, overwhelmed in bliss, immediately went away. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to chant the mantra, mantra –katham –sadhaniya, gyatam –na –kinchana.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.1.122-24)

Sri Sanatana Goswami comments: “Just by the power of Guru and chanting his diksha Gopal-mantra, Gopa-kumar’s mind became pure and free from lust, envy and greed, and he developed deep faith, japena –chitta –shuddha, sraddha –ajayata.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.1.126)

In these days of world-class Gurus, most disciples get practically no association or personal teachings from their Gurus. The example of Gopa-kumar’s full faith in Guru, and his daily diksha mantra chanting is most encouraging for all Krishna bhaktas.

Sri Sanatana Goswami says, “Even without association of one’s diksha Guru, just by a few words directly heard from Guru, and also by the inspirations and indications received indirectly from Guru, a disciple will learn all the necessary spiritual truths needed for perfection, kinchin –mukhena –sanketan –abhyavedayat.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.5)

Ah, what astonishing power Sri Guru possesses! Like the diksha mantra, which has unlimited power because it is non-different from Bhagavan Sri Krishna, Sri Guru also has unlimited power because the Guru is being directly blessed and fully empowered by Sri Krishna, Sri Guru and one’s own Guru parampara.

Thus Sri Sanatana Goswami establishes the astonishingly inconceivable and unlimited power of the Gopal diksha mantra so kindly bestowed upon a disciple by one’s most merciful and loving eternal master, Sri Guru.

At their last meeting, Gopa-kumar’s Guru blessed him saying, “You are dear to me so I have given you everything I have. By the power of the Gopal diksha mantra you will understand and attain everything on your own, svayam –gyasyasi –lapsyase.” (Brihad Bhagavatamrita II.3.6)

Sri Guru ki jai! Gopal-mantra ki jai! Sri Guru diksha ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

Diksha mantras are given for the purpose of worshiping, attaining, and seeing one’s desired istadevata, Radha-Krishna. The diksha mantras received from Sri Guru are so powerful that by chanting them a sadhaka can achieve a post of unlimited wealth, power and influence; travel to any planet in the universe; enjoy eternal bliss; attain Krishna prema; and see Radha and Krishna face to face, sakshad darshana!

Gaudiya Vaisnava mahajana acharya Sri Sanatana Goswami proves this point in his magnum opus titled “Brhad Bhagavatamritam” by narrating the spiritual odyssey of a cowherd named Gopa-kumara who lived in Vrindavana five hundred years ago.

One day when Gopa-kumara was playing by the Yamuna, a vairagi sadhu noticed the boy and called him to his side. Being inspired by the Paramatma to give diksha, the sadhu whispered the Gopala mantra three times in Gopa-kumara’s right ear. After giving diksha, the sadhu experienced divine ecstasy, started crying and ran away.

Feeling amazed and grateful by the transforming experience, Gopa-kumara began sincerely chanting his diksha mantra while praying to Thakuraji Sri Sri Madan Gopal for His divine mercy. Just by chanting his diksha mantra (Gopala mantra), Gopa-kumara got the power to travel through India and beyond the earth. Gopa-kumara’s diksha mantra chanting carried him to Indraloka, Brahmaloka, Shivaloka, Vaikuntha, Ayodhya, Dvaraka and finally to Goloka Vrindavana.

During his travels, Gopa-kumara spoke a very important verse regarding how to properly chant diksha mantras.

Gopa-kumara said, “I eagerly chanted my diksha mantra (i.e. Gopala mantra) with the specific intention to see Bhagavan Sri Krishna.” (Brhad Bhagavatamrita 2.2.12)

tad darshane jata mano rathakulah
sankalpa purvam sva japam samacaran

Here, Gopa-kumara reveals three mental attributes necessary for perfection in chanting diksha mantras:

1) Eagerness, enthusiasm;

Gopa-kumara chanted with fervor, an intense eagerness to achieve mixed with anxiousness (akulah).

2) Desire;

Like all of us riding on the uncontrolled chariot of material desires, Gopa-kumara had desires. But Gopa-kumara had only one all-consuming enthusiastic desire driving his mind and life forward (manah ratha): To see God, Sri Sri Madan Gopalji.

3) Specific intention, fixed purpose, mental resolve and fixity;

Every day before (purvam) chanting his diksha mantra, Gopa-kumara would focus, concentrate and fix his mind on his desired goal (sankalpa) by enthusiastically and eagerly addressing his mind: “By chanting this Gopala Mantra I must see my most worshipable Prananatha—Sri Sri Madan Gopalaji!”

In this way, the great devotee Sri Gopa-kumaraji is instructing us how to properly chant our diksha mantras. First, you should make a sankalpa, which means to mentally see and state the purpose or goal you want to achieve by chanting this mantra. “O Krishna, I really want to see You so please help me. O Gurudeva, O Sri Gopala Mantra, please bless me with the sweet darshana of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala!”

This is called sankalpa purvam and jata manah ratha, to mentally, before chanting, fix one’s attention on one’s cherished desire. Then EACH AND EVERY TIME you chant your diksha mantras, you should, like Gopa-Kumara, pray and meditate upon your sankalpa and the meaning of the mantra while fervently chanting it with an “an intense eagerness to achieve your goal mixed with anxiousness (akulah).

If one chants in this way as taught by the humble Vrajavasi cowherd, Gopa-kumara, then by the unlimited power of the Gopala Mantra and Kama Gayatri, the primary Gaudiya Vaisnava diksha mantras, a sadhaka will surely obtain darshana of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.

Diksha mantras ki jai! Mantra Guru gana ki jai! Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!