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Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Maharaja Appearance




Today is very super excellent and auspicious because it is the appearance day of a great acharya in our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, nitya-lila-pravishta om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja. Our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti was originally established by Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja, and in the Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, there are three pillars: Nitya-lila-pravishta om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Srila Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, nitya-lila-pravishta om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and nitya-lila-pravishta om vishnupada ashtottara-shata Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja.


As one of the three pillars, Srila Bhaktivedanta Srila Trivikrama Maharaja is very prominent. In our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti there are three devatas: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Vyasadeva has written one shloka


gururbrahmā gururviṣṇuḥ gururdevo maheśvaraḥ 

guruḥ sākṣāt parabrahma tasmai śrī gurave namaḥ


Guptasadhana Tantra


[The guru is Brahma, the guru is Vishnu, the guru is Maheshvara (Shiva), the guru is the self-revealing limitless Brahman. Salutations to that revered guru.]


Gurudeva is like Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is also like Parabrahma. Actually, mayavadis are thinking, “Everything is Brahma, because Brahma has no form. Brahma only appeared in this material world for the special reason of establishing varnashrama-dharma and killing demons. And for this reason, at that time He manifested His human form. Then, when He completes His activities, He enters into Brahma.” 


So, impersonalists say that Brahma has no form. But our shastras say He does have a form. Who is Bhagavan? His vigraha, His form, is eternal and transcendental. 


īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ 

sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ 

anādir ādir govindaḥ 

sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam


Brahma-samhita (5.1)


[Krishna who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes.]

 


His vigraha is sac-cid-ananda-mayi. He appears in His transcendental vigraha, and He also appears with His transcendental abode or dhama.


Try to understand this philosophy. And Guru, his form is also transcendental. For this regard, shastra states: 


guru ke ‘manuṣya-jñāna’ nā karô kakhôna

guru-nindā kabhu karṇe nā karô śravaṇa


Ashraya Koriya Vando 

by Sri Sanatana dasa


[Never consider sri guru to be an ordinary human being and never hear any criticism of him.]


Never think that Gurudeva is an ordinary human being.  


ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān

navamanyeta karhicit

na martya-buddhyāsūyeta

sarva-deva-mayo guruḥ


Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.17.27)


[One should know the acharya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods.]


Ācāryaṁ māṁ vijānīyān’. Krishna said, “Hey Uddhava, always think that acharya, Gurudeva is always nondifferent than Me. ‘Na martya-buddhyāsūyeta’ – Never think he is an ordinary, mundane person.” Also, all the qualities of demigods and demigoddesses are manifested in the heart of guru. Thus, mayavadi philosophy and Vaishnava philosophy are completely different and contradictory to each other. 


māyāvāda-doṣa yāra hṛdaye paśila

kutarke hṛdaya tāra vajra-sama bhela


Sharanagati

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


[Once the contamination of illusionism has entered one’s heart, however, one’s heart becomes as hard as a thunderbolt by the influence of fallacious logic.]


If your heart is contaminated with mayavadi philosophy, it will become like a thunderbolt, and krishna-bhakti will never manifest in your heart.” ‘Māyāvāda nā śunibe’. Never listen to impersonalists, those who say the Lord has no transcendental form. Never listen to mayavadi philosophy. 


So actually, gurudeva is like Brahma, because guru is Brahma. Why? Because guru creates shuddha-bhakti in the hearts of his disciples through mantras and hari-katha. Brahmaji creates this material world. In the same way, guru creates shuddha-bhakti, pure devotional service, in the hearts of his disciples through nama and mantra. For this reason, gurudeva is like Brahma.


Gururbrahmā gururviṣṇuḥ...’ Vishnu’s duty is to nourish all living entities. In the same way, guru nourishes his disciples’ shuddha-bhakti. Guru is also known as Mahadeva, Shiva. And what is Shiva’s duty? To destroy. In the same way, guru, he destroys all the anarthas, unwanted things, from the hearts of his disciples through his hari-katha. And gurudeva is Parabrahma. The meaning is, Brahma is everywhere, even here, Brahma is Paramatma. And Paramatma is the Supersoul who resides in the hearts of all living entities. In the same way, guru also resides in the hearts of all of his disciples.


As I explained earlier, in our Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti,  there are three pillars, and these personalities are Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja and Srila Gurudeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. According to the rules of Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti, after the departure of Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja, (Srila Bhaktivedanta Vamana Gosvami Maharaja) became the acharya-guru of Gaudiya Vedanta Samiti. Now, he began giving diksha-mantras, and creating shuddha-bhakti in the hearts of his disciples. For this reason, everybody referred to him as being like Brahma. 


And Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, like Vishnu, nourished all of his disciples through his hari-katha. Gurudeva, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja especially, spoke about vraja-katha always. Because this is our main objective: how to enter in Vraja-dhama. Srila Gurudeva, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja’s katha is mostly madhurya-rasa vraja-katha.


Thirdly, Shivaji destroys. In the same way, our Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s hari-katha is very powerful, like a thunderbolt. And if you listen to his hari-katha, all of your anarthas will be automatically destroyed from your heart. He would directly say “Give up asat-sanga, bad association.” Mainly, he quoted one verse from Chaitanya-charitamrita:


asat-saṅga-tyāga, — ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra

‘strī-saṅgī’ — eka asādhu, ‘kṛṣṇābhakta’ āra


Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 22.87)


[A Vaishnava should always avoid the association of ordinary people. Common people are very much materially attached, especially to women. Vaishnavas should also avoid the company of those who are not devotees of Lord Krishna.]


You have to give up the association of the following people. Those who illicitly associate with ladies— you have to give up their association. ‘Strī-saṅgī’ - that means those who illicitly associate with ladies, you must give up that association. And second, is to give up the association of mayavadis. That association is actually very, very dangerous. If you associate with mayavadis or impersonalists, your mind will be completely contaminated.


Accidentally, if you associate illicitly with a lady or gent, perhaps your heart can be purified by chanting the holy names along with repenting.  Do you understand? However, if your heart is contaminated with mayavadi philosophy, it will be difficult to purify your heart. Thinking, “I am Brahma,” these types of conceptions are called mayavada. You are not Brahma. You are the servant of Brahma. You belong to Brahma. According to some Vedic mantras, it is stated: 


ahaṃ brahmāsmi, prajñānaṃ brahma, sarvaṃ khalu idaṃ brahma, tat tvam asi


Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 

Aitareya Upanishad, 

Chandogya Upanishad



What does ‘tat tvam asi’ mean? Impersonalists believe the verse is saying, “You are that Brahma.” But this is not the perfect meaning. You belong to Brahma. The perfect meaning is that you belong to Brahma. However, impersonalists still think, “Oh, you are that Brahma.” You have to remove all impersonalist philosophy from your heart. Rather, always think, “I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna.” Who are you? First you have to know:


jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya

kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’


Chaitanya-charitamrita (Madhya-lila 20.108)


[It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krishna.]


Sometimes, devotees ask, “Who am I?” ‘Arre. You are the eternal servant of Lord Krishna. It is very simple. Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave this response to Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada when he asked Him, “Who am I?” Who are you? You must understand, “I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna. This is my simple identification.” ‘Jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’ kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’. First you have to understand, “I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna.” There is no need to merge into the imaginary. Some incorrectly believe, “I am a manjari, this manjari….” Rasagulla Manjari, Gulaba Jamuna Manjari, Pakora Manjari! ‘Arre, just chant the holy names in this mood, “I am the eternal servant of Lord Krishna.”


Except, you will think, “No, no, first, I want to know my own svarupa. What is my svarupa? What kind of manjari am I?” This is true. And when will you know these things? First, you must chant the holy names. Actually, take shelter of a bona fide guru.


First is, ‘guru-padashraya, diksha, shiksha and vishrambhena-guru-seva’. Then comes shraddha, sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha-nivritti, nishtha, ruchi, asakti and bhava-dasha. Then finally, you will realise which manjari you are.


What is first? Adau shraddha. ‘Arre, at least in one life come to the stage of shraddha. However, if only just a little problem comes, you will give up guru, then you will give up Thakuraji, and finally, give up everything. So, how can I tell you, “You are this manjari, that manjari, Rasagulla Manjari, Pakora Manjari, Gulaba Jamuna Manjari”? First, you must fix your mind on guru. Do you understand? In one life, fix your mind on guru. Fix your mind with guru, because without the mercy of gurupada-padma, bhakti will never manifest in your heart. 


Some people accept harinama, diksha and then go to another guru, and then another guru— their whole life, they are changing gurus. By doing this, how is it possible that Bhakti-devi will manifest in their hearts? For this reason, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada wrote one article where he mentions guru-tyagi and guru-bhogi. Guru-tyagi means one who gives up guru. And the second, guru-bhogi, means those who have enjoyed gurudeva’s property or money, etc. These types of disciples will never develop their spiritual lives— no one can help them. For thousands and thousands of lives, they will have to go to hell, naraka. This is why our shastras say that one must never give up guru and never give up harinama. One can still take shiksha from any bona fide Vaishnava. Why not? 


Just like Narottama, Shyamananda  and Srinivasa, who took diksha from a different, bona fide acharya-guru, Sri Jiva Gosvamipada. Their gurus are also bona fide. Who was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura’s guru? Srila Lokanatha dasa Gosvami. Still, Narottama dasa Thakura took shiksha from Jiva Gosvamipada. This is the process. For this reason, never give up guru and never give up harinama. Because in this Kali-yuga, many people will attempt to disturb your mind, and also, you are very soft minded— this is not your fault. Yet, some people are always playing  politics and try to disturb your mind by saying things like, “Oh, this guru is not good. This guru is good, he is a maha-bhagavata.” 


Okay, if he is a maha-bhagavata, you can take shiksha from that maha-bhagavata. Why not? Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took diksha from Yadunandana Acharya. But he took shiksha from Sri Svarupa Damodara, Sri Raya Ramananda, Sri Rupa Gosvamipada and Sri Sanatana Gosvamipada. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami did not give up his guru and accept diksha from Rupa Gosvami or Sanatana Gosvami. Rather, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami took shiksha from Jiva Gosvami, and he also gave respect to their diksha-gurus


Raghunatha dasa Gosvami also glorified his own diksha-guru, Yadunandana Acharya. If you recall, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami’s diksha-guru is Yadunandana Acharya. However, as mentioned, he took shiksha from Svarupa Damodara, Raya Ramananda, Rupa Gosvamipada and Sanatana Gosvamipada. But, he always glorified his diksha-guru:


nāma-śreṣṭhaṃ manum api śacīputram atra svarūpaṃ

śrī-rūpaṃ tasyāgrajam uru-purīṃ māthurīṃ goṣṭhavāṭīm

rādhā-kuṇḍaṃ girivaram aho rādhikā-mādhavāśāṃ

prāpto yasya prathita-kṛpayā śrī-guruṃ taṃ nato'smi


Sri Mukta-charita


[I am fully indebted to Sri Gurudeva, because he is giving me so many things. He is giving me the holy name containing the highest form of thought, aspiration, and ideal, and he is giving me the service of that great saviour, the son of Mother Saci, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who is like the golden mountain indicating the way to krishna-lila. And Sri Gurudeva has brought me to Svarupa Damodara, who is Lalita-devi, Srimati Radhika's closest friend. Then he brought me to Sri Rupa, who was ordered to distribute rasa-tattva, and then to Sri Sanatana Gosvami, who adjusts our position in relation to raganuga-bhakti. Gurudeva has brought me to Mathura Mandala, where Radha and Govinda have their pastimes, where the forest, hills and every creeper, shrub and grain of sand are uddipana (stimuli) to help me remember Radha and Govinda. He has given me Radha-kunda and Giriraja Govardhana, and aho! He has given me assurance of all these, so I bow my head with deep respect unto his lotus feet.]


When you read this you may think how nicely he glorified his diksha-guru, “By the causeless mercy of my diksha-guru, I took shiksha from all these acharyas.” So very carefully follow and understand this, otherwise, your spiritual life, what to speak of your material life, will be spoiled. Because you have committed a grave offence at the lotus feet of guru. You have to remember these things. Never give up guru and never give up harinama. Very carefully understand these things. 


As I explained earlier, Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s hari-katha, his lectures, are very powerful and very direct. Srila Gurudeva, Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, sometimes said, “We are speaking something politely, but Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja is not speaking politely, he is direct.” Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja said pointedly, “You are asat-sangi, you want bad association. How will bhakti possibly enter in your hearts?” All who came in front of him were afraid, you would not be able to tolerate me speaking this type of katha to you. He would directly tell you, “You are grihastha! Asat sangi!” He would directly say these things, it was very difficult. Because of this, sometimes, some were very afraid to come in front of him. And for this reason, very few people attended his katha


You may have also heard the glories of Srila Trivikrama Maharaja from the mouth of Srimati Uma Didi. She associated with Srila Trivikrama Maharaja many times, as she stayed in his Chunchura temple. And Uma Didi would listen to hari-katha from Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja everyday– she knows his glories.


Externally, Trivikrama Maharaja seemed very hard, but internally, his heart was very soft. 


vajrādapi kaṭhorāṇi mṛdūni kusumādapi


Uttara-rama-carita (2.7)

[.Harder than the diamond, softer than a flower]



Vaishnavas, shuddha Vaishnavas, externally, their hearts may seem like a thunderbolt, but inside, their hearts are actually very soft, like a flower. Their hearts are just like a coconut. A coconut’s exterior is very hard. You cannot bite a coconut with your teeth. First, you have to break the coconut, then inside you will find the soft malai.


In the same way, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s activities seem very hard. But internally, his heart is very soft. If you associated with him, you would understand. Except first, you had to have  tolerance as sometimes he may have used many harsh words with you. For this reason, it was also very difficult to become his servant. He used many harsh words and gave chastisement, heavy chastisement. In the beginning, I experienced how it was not so easy to stay with Srila Gurudeva, Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. It was not so easy to stay with him, he was also sometimes externally, very hard and strong, but internally his heart was very soft. I even saw how sometimes Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja would slap or beat you with his hard hands.


However, Vamana Gosvami Maharaja never chastised any of his disciples. Different acharyas or  different Vaishnavas, have their own particular nature, svabhava. But, try to understand that if you witness, externally, a Vaishnava being very hard, do not criticise him. 


dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair

na prākṛtatvam iha bhakta-janasya paśyet

gaṅgāmbhasāṁ na khalu budbuda-phena-paṅkair

brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ


Upadeshamrita (6)


[Being situated in his original Krishna conscious position, a pure devotee does not identify with the body. Such a devotee should not be seen from a materialistic point of view. Indeed, one should overlook a devotee’s having a body born in a low family, a body with a bad complexion, a deformed body, or a diseased or infirm body. According to ordinary vision, such imperfections may seem prominent in the body of a pure devotee, but despite such seeming defects, the body of a pure devotee cannot be polluted. It is exactly like the waters of the Ganges, which sometimes during the rainy season are full of bubbles, foam and mud. The Ganges waters do not become polluted. Those who are advanced in spiritual understanding will bathe in the Ganges without considering the condition of the water.]


Srila Rupa Gosvamipada composed this verse in his Nectar of Instruction, Upadeshamrita. If you see a shuddha Vaishnava’s external activities as hard, do not criticise them. 


‘Dṛṣṭaiḥ svabhāva-janitair vapuṣaś ca doṣair’ - If you witness a Vaishnava’s external activities or his nature, as sometimes being a little harsh, very carefully, always give respect to him— associate with him and give respect to him. Water from the Ganges is always pure.


‘Gaṅgāmbhasāṁ na khalu budbuda-phena-paṅkair brahma-dravatvam apagacchati nīra-dharmaiḥ’. Normally, when foam is found in the water, it is impure. Srimad-Bhagavatam describes how Indra divided his papa-karma among four personalities. Who are they? Women, earth, water and trees. 


Thus, when water is contaminated and foam appears, you cannot use it for the service of Thakuraji. However, if you see foam of the water from the Ganges, you cannot say this is contaminated as waters from the Ganges are always pure and never contaminated— even when foam appears. This is the difference between ordinary water and Ganga-devi’s water. Any other river, except Ganga, if there is foam in that river’s water, then it is contaminated. And you cannot worship Thakuraji with that contaminated water. But, the water of the Ganges, ganga-jala, if there is foam, it is not contaminated, and you utilise that water to worship Thakuraji.


In the same way: 


vaiṣṇava caritra sarvadā pavitra 

jei ninde hiṁsā kari 

bhakativinoda nā sambhāṣe tāre 

thāke sadā mauna dhari


Kabe-mui-vaishnava-chinibo

By Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


[The character of a Vaishnava is always spotless. Bhaktivinoda will not talk to anyone who criticises a Vaishnava out of envy, but always remains silent.]


Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura commented on the character of Vaishnava. Here, Vaishnava means shuddha or pure Vaishnava. 


‘Vaiṣṇava caritra sarvadā pavitra’ - The character of a shuddha Vaishnava is always pure. Never criticise any shuddha Vaishnava. Also, never associate with one who criticises a shuddha Vaishnava. Understand? Always keep far from him. Sometimes, we cannot understand the external activities of Vaishnava. As like the activities of Srila Gaurakishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, who is an uttama-uttama maha-bhagavata. On the day of Ekadashi, he would take rice, and on days which were not Ekadashi he would say, “Oh, today is Ekadashi, I will completely fast.” After seeing or hearing this, some may now criticise, “Oh, how is he possibly a Vaishnava? He is eating rice on the day of Ekadashi.” 


He would sometimes do a full fast for three or even four days. If you would say, “Babaji Maharaja, please take prasada.” He would answer, “Today is Ekadashi.” “Take prasada,” some would insist. Still, he would respond, “Today is Ekadashi.” For three or four days he would repeat this. And sometimes, on the day of Ekadashi, he would eat rice. One who is uttama-uttama maha-bhagavata, their external activities are very difficult to understand. 


Our shastras state that a Vaishnava should not be angry with anyone. However, Narada Rishi became angry with Nalakuvara and Manigriva. That said,  it is possible for one to still think, “How can he be a Vaishnava? A Vaishnava should be calm and quiet. But he gave a curse in anger, so Narada is not a Vaishnava.” Thinking this is an offence at the lotus feet of Narada, who is an uttama-bhagavata


Always remember that an uttama-bhagavata’s external activities cannot always be easily understood. So for this reason, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada explained that if guru is angry with you and chastises you, this actually means you have received his mercy. 


In one pastime, Srivasa Thakura slapped King Prataparudra’s bodyguard Harichandana. During Ratha-yatra, Srivasa Thakura was always dancing while absorbed in transcendental ecstasy. And King Prataparudra was staying near his bodyguard Harichandana— who had a very big body. So Srivasa Thakura was dancing while absorbed in ecstatic moods. As he danced, he began coming very close to King Prataparudra. When we do kirtana, sometimes we are jumping up and down. In this way, Srivasa Thakura, who is the direct incarnation of Narada Rishi, came very close to the king while dancing. Then Harichandana, the military officer with a very big body, pushed Srivasa Thakura and said, “Don’t come near, the king is here!” 


Harichandana did this twice more until finally, Srivasa Thakura externally became very angry, and he bitterly slapped the general in front of everyone. Bam! Then, Harichandana became very angry and even tried to beat Srivasa Thakura. But King Prataparudra told him, “No, don’t do this, he is very merciful, and you are kripa-patra as you have received the mercy of Srivasa Thakura.” Why am I saying this? Because if a Vaishnava, or shuddha Vaishnava hits or beats you, actually, you are really receiving mercy. 


In the same way, we see Srila Gurudeva, Narayana Gosvami Maharaja and also, Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, were sometimes very angry and gave heavy chastisements. Especially Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, as mentioned, his hari-katha could be difficult for some to tolerate. I saw when he gave hari-katha, most of the devotees would run away. Only a few were left sitting, because they knew his hari-katha was very heavy. He mostly explained, ‘jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’ kṛṣṇera ‘taṭasthā-śakti’ ‘bhedābheda-prakāśa’. Every day, he would give the same class. I did not have much direct association with him, but I still remember when Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja used to stay in our Mathura Matha for 2-3 months. And every day, when he opened Chaitanya-charitamrita, he would recite one shloka— which shloka was that? ‘Jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’.


He would also recite another shloka from Chaitanya-charitamrita, ‘strī-saṅgī’ — eka asādhu, ‘kṛṣṇābhakta’ āra’. He explained these two shlokas every day. Sometimes, he gave classes three times a day.  When Gurudeva was sick, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja gave morning class, then a mid-evening class at 4 o’clock, also a night time class. Three times a day, and he spoke the same shloka. One day, a devotee noted, “Maharaja, you are speaking the same class…” Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja answered, “Hey! Same? You want to listen to gopi-katha, heh!”


Sometimes he said, “Aww … Gopi, gopi… ‘Arre, not gopi, first you must understand, ‘jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’ - you are the eternal servant of Krishna, and chant holy names.” He was very direct. He would ask, “How many rounds are you chanting? Everyday you need to chant 64 rounds. You are not chanting 64 rounds of the holy names and saying, ‘Gopi, gopi, gopi rasa-katha?” His katha was very direct. Some would ask, “Maharaja, please speak a little bit more on…” “Eh! More? No! ‘Jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa', take it!”‘Jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa'. First, you must understand that you are the eternal servant of Krishna, you are not the servant of maya, you are not the servant of your wife,” would be Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s response. He would directly tell you, if he saw a householder especially, he would say, “Are you a servant of your wife or not?” I remember once, he gave hari-katha on Bhramara-gita. During this time, Gurudeva was recovering from a heart condition, and for around two to three weeks, Gurudeva did not speak any hari-katha. And at that time, it was very close to Kartika parikrama, perhaps  one month away. And, Trivikrama Maharaja, every year, around one or two months before Kartika, would come to stay in our Matha. So this one time Trivikrama Maharaja asked, “Hey, what did Srila Narayana Maharaja give class on?” At the time, Srila Gurudeva, Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, was giving katha on Bhramara-gita. After hearing this, Trivikrama Maharaja said, “Okay, I will also give a class on Bhramara-gita.” We are always very happy to hear this sort of katha— the song of the bumblebee. But after Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja read the first shloka of Bhramara-gita, he started to speak, “Jīvera 'svarūpa' haya-kṛṣṇera 'nitya-dāsa.” He read the shloka from Bhramara-gita, then when he spoke on the meaning he began his explanation by saying, “Jīvera ‘svarūpa’ haya kṛṣṇera ‘nitya-dāsa’…”


For one and a half hours, he spoke. And mostly, he quoted one verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam from prahlada-katha, the verse that spoke of kandu-rasa. Because in this material world, people are suffering the threefold miseries of maya, and struggling with lust, anger, and many other things.

 

Kandu-rasa means ‘skin disease’. When suffering from a skin disease, small, itchy welts may appear. At that time, you find comfort and pleasure while you are scratching them. But, after a few minutes of scratching, so much pain begins to develop. In the same way, in this material world, conditioned souls are suffering. You cannot conquer maya, all you can do is scratch the itch of desire until it causes you pain. You can never conquer lust if you are still enjoying sense gratification. So, it is said: 


na jātu kāmaḥ kāmānām

upabhogena śāṁyati

haviṣā kṛṣṇa-vartmeva

bhūya evābhivardhate


Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.19.14)


[As supplying butter to a fire does not diminish the fire but instead increases it more and more, the endeavour to stop lusty desires by continual enjoyment can never be successful. In fact, one must voluntarily cease from material desires.] 


When enjoying sense gratifications, you cannot fully satisfy yourself. When ghee is thrown in the fire, the fire only increases more. So, most of Srila Bhaktivedanta Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s kathas were like this— very direct. However sometimes, he would give very nice sweet hari-kathas and he would be weeping as he spoke. I remember he cried as he spoke on the pastimes of Uddhava, of his coming to Vrindavana, paying obeisances to the lotus feet of Srimati Radhika, and after, speaking with the gopis. As I mentioned, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s katha was like Lord Shiva— Shiva destroys, and similarly, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s katha would destroy your anarthas or unwanted things. He said, “In this life, you chant holy names.” He gave emphasis on this point, “Chant the holy names and stop all bad association, asat-sanga”. Sahajiyas (imitationists) are what? They have asat-sanga, bad association and chant holy names at the same time. So, give up bad association and chant the holy names. Otherwise, shuddha-harinama will not manifest in your heart. If you take cough medicine and simultaneously consume yoghurt, how will your cough possibly go away?


You have to chant the holy names, this is true. Then, slowly your anarthas will be removed. But, how will chant the holy names? That requires a process in order for these results to come. A doctor will say, “You take this medicine, then you will be free from disease.” Except, how will you take the medicine? There are some rules. You cannot simply take the medicine [however you wish] and then say, “Doctor, my disease is not leaving.” For this reason, in Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja’s katha he would say, “Yes, you chant the holy names, this is true. But, how will you chant holy names?” 


ye-rūpe la-ile nāma prema upajaya

tāhāra lakṣaṇa śuna, svarūpa-rāma-rāya


Chaitanya-charitamrita (Antya-lila 20.20)


[Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu continued, “O Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and Ramananda Raya, hear from Me the symptoms of how one should chant the Hare Krishna maha-mantra to awaken very easily one’s dormant love for Krishna.] 


Mahaprabhu Himself said, “O Svarupa Damodara, O Raya Ramananda, this is how you will chant the holy names, then prema will manifest.”


And, how will you chant holy names?


tṛṇād api sunīcena

taror iva sahiṣṇunā

amāninā māna-dena

kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ


Shikshashtaka (3)


[One who thinks himself lower than the grass, who is more tolerant than a tree, and who does not expect personal honour yet is always prepared to give all respect to others can very easily always chant the holy name of the Lord.]


Mahaprabhu said, “If you chant the holy names, you must always remain humble and tolerant.” For example, both wife and husband, who have taken diksha from guru, and still quarrel everyday. No, ‘tṛṇād api sunīcena…’. Otherwise, how will the holy names possibly manifest? And how will the guru give mercy to you? Try to understand this. 


Give true love and affection to each other. ‘Arre, in your house there are only two people, wife and husband, and still, wife and husband are always quarrelling. How will shuddha-nama possibly manifest? And then you are asking, “Gurudeva give mercy, give mercy…” He has already given mercy by saying, “Chant the holy names.” Gurudeva gave you mercy, when he gave you harinama. Understand? Or, perhaps your house is a re-enactment of Mahabharata— which means much quarrelling at home.  So, how will you possibly enter shuddha-bhakti? Charity begins at home, then, you can preach to others. If in your household there is only a wife and husband, only two people and still, no tolerance—how will you possibly preach to others?


For this reason, Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu clearly said:


tṛṇād api sunīcena

taror iva sahiṣṇunā

amāninā māna-dena

kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ


Some still ask every day, “Gurudeva, tell me, what is my svarupa? Who am I?” Arre, you are the eternal servant of Krishna. Every day, the same question, “Who am I?” You are the eternal servant of Krishna, krishna-sevaka. You are the servant of guru, you are the servant of Vaishnavas, vaishnava-seva, guru-seva. First, you must serve and become a Vaishnava. Your husband should be a Vaishnava, your wife also a Vaishnavi— so, serve each other. Understand? Your husband took diksha from guru, so your husband is Vaishnava. And you took diksha from guru, so you are also Vaishnava. Just serve each other and always give respect to each other. Some say, “My husband is not Vaishnava,” or, “My wife is not Vaishnava, others are Vaishnava.” First, you must always offer respect to your wife or husband. Always remember, charity begins at home. The correct mood is, “I am not a Vaishnava, but my wife is.” In this way, give respect to each others - ‘tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā’ - and always be tolerant like trees. ‘Amani’ – never desire for your own name, fame and reputation, and always give respect to others. One should always think:


'āmi to vaiṣṇava', e buddhi hoile, amānī nā ho'bo āmi

pratiṣthāśā āsi', hṛdoya dūṣibe, hoibo niraya-gāmī


Kripa-koro-vaishnava-thakura (2)

by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura


[If I think "I am a Vaisnava," then I will never become humble. My heart will become contaminated with the hope of receiving honour from others, and I will surely go to hell.]


Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, most of the time sang this song, ‘Āmi to vaiṣṇava’ – if I think I am a Vaishnava, I cannot give respect to others. Every person should realise, “I am not a Vaishnava, everyone else is a Vaishnava.” Understand this. If you think, “I am a Vaishnava,” you cannot properly respect others. Guru never thinks, “I am guru.” Guru thinks, “I am the servant of Nityananda Prabhu, I am just  helping Nityananda Prabhu.” Guru never makes disciples. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Prabhupada said, “Guru makes the gurus.” This is the truth. A teacher makes a teacher, a teacher never makes a student. You are not my student, I will make you a teacher. Thus, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja was always very humble and he always gave respect to all Vaishnavas. Externally, sometimes he used harsh words with Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, but always spoke with so much love and affection. Sometimes Gurudeva, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja would say, “Hey, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja used many harsh words to me, but none of you criticise him as he is an uttama-uttama maha-bhagavata. Don’t criticise Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja, you give respect to him as you do to me.” 


So, always give respect to Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja as you would your own guru. He is our shiksha-guru. Diksha-guru and shiksha-guru, they are non-different.


śikṣā-guruke ta’ jāni kṛṣṇera svarūpa

antaryāmī, bhakta-śreṣṭha, — ei dui rūpa


Chaitanya-charitamrita (Adi-lila 1.47)


[One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Kṛṣṇa. Lord Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord.]


Therefore, what is the difference between rupa and svarupa? None.


This is why Srila Gurudeva would say, “Always give the same respect to Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja as you would to me.” Actually, Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja never criticised anyone. Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja would tell Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, “Hey, why are you always saying gopi, gopi, gopi-katha? Do you have any realisation of the gopis?” Then, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja would cleverly reply, “You are always saying, ‘Chant the holy names.’ Do you have any realisation from your chanting of the holy names?” Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja humbly answered, “No. No. I have no realisations when chanting the holy names.” Srila Gurudeva would then humorously respond,“So, why are you chanting the holy names?”


These interactions between them were full of all  kinds of love and affection— sometimes called loving quarrels, prema-kalaha. 


Thus, we pray to Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja for this blessing, that one day he will remove all the anarthas from our hearts, so we may be able to chant pure holy names.


Gaura Premanande! Hari Haribol!


Srila Trivikrama Gosvami Maharaja ki jaya!


Jaya Jaya Sri Radhe!

Date: 24 January 2017 Location: Bolivia

 

Transcriber: Sanatana dasa (USA) Editor: Sanatana dasa (USA) Proofreading: Chandrika dasi (UK) Integrity check: Divya-premamayi dasi (Slovakia) Image: Navina-krishna dasa (Holland)



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