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Srila Narottama dasa Thakura Appearance




This morning we offered pushpanjali, an offering of flowers, at the lotus feet of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura.

 

Once, a devotee asked Srila Gaura-kishora dasa Babaji Maharaja, “How will I attain krishna-prema, pure love for Krishna?” If you want to receive krishna-prema you have to spend six paisas. How many paisas


Devotees: six paisas


Six paisas, which is around one cent. Who wants krishna-prema? And how much money are you required to spend? One cent. Will you spend it or not? Good. Who will spend one cent? However, that one cent is not meant for just anyone. When you go to the market, what will you do there? You will buy something. What will you buy? What do you want? Krishna-prema— yet, this cannot simply be purchased at the supermarket. Do you understand? 


You can only buy krishna-prema from the heart of the sadhu, Krishna's highly advanced devotee. And it also does not require any monetary payment, just you give your ears to a sadhu. Try to understand this. Then, you will attain krishna-prema automatically. But, how will you give your ears to sadhu? Actually, giving your ears to sadhu means listening to hari-katha (narrations of the Lord) from the lotus lips of sadhu. As I mentioned, if you want krishna-prema— how much money will you spend? Only one penny. With one cent what will you be able to purchase in a market? Perhaps, just one small book. Which book can you buy from the market that will give you krishna-prema? Prema-bhakti-chandrika composed by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura. Do you understand? 


Just buy one book from the market, and what is that book’s name? Prema-bhakti-chandrika composed by Narottama dasa Thakura. This is a very important book. You should all read Prema-bhakti-chandrika, then krishna-prema will automatically manifest in your heart. As Narottama dasa Thakura explains, all the essence of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, Ujjvala-nilamani and all tattva-siddhanta, philosophical conclusions, are in Prema-bhakti-chandrika. All of our Gosvamis’ granthas, books, are actually contained within Prema-bhakti-chandrika. If you do not contain a vast knowledge of Sanskrit, you will be unable to properly understand Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu or Ujjvala-nilamani granthas. However, Narottama dasa Thakura mercifully explained the  essence of Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu and Ujjvala-nilamani in this book. He also shows how, step by step, you will attain your perfected goal. 


It is such a beautiful grantha, everyone has to read it. How you completely, absolutely become dedicated to the lotus feet of Gurupada. Prema-bhakti-candrika first explains how to surrender to Guru, then how to serve Guru and Vaishnava; how to serve Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and finally, how to serve the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. Because, without reading shastra, Bhakti-devi cannot possibly manifest in your heart. Thus, everyone has to read this very small book, Prema-bhakti-chandrika composed by Narottama dasa Thakura. What is shown there? How one can properly surrender to Guru.


śrī-guru-caraṇa-padma, kevala-bhakati-sadma,

bando muñi sāvadhāna mate

jāhāra prasāde bhāi, e bhava toriyā jāi,

kṛṣṇa-prāpti hoy jāhā ha'te


Sri Guru Charana Padma (verse 1, 

by Narottama dasa Thakura)


[The lotus feet of our spiritual master are the only way by which we can attain pure devotional service. I bow to his lotus feet with great awe and reverence. By his grace one can cross the ocean of material suffering and obtain the mercy of Krishna.]


Srila Narottama dasa Thakura composed this verse— how will you maintain a tight hold on the lotus feet of gurupada-padma (the lotus feet of Sri Guru )? Do not commit aparadha, offences, to the lotus feet of gurupada-padma. If you have committed offences to the lotus feet of Guru, all of your bhakti (loving devotional service to Sri Krishna) will disappear. For this regard, in this verse the Sanskrit word savadhane is used, meaning, very carefully. If you are walking and do not notice water dripping on the floor, without proper attention, you may slip and fall. For this reason, people place written signs stating, “Walk carefully, slippery surface.” In the same way, in Prema-bhakti-chandrika, Narottama dasa Thakura glorified Guru by explaining, ‘Bando mui savadhana mate’—hold the lotus feet of Guru very carefully, worship Guru and never commit offences unto the lotus feet of Guru. Srila Narottama dasa Thakura has explained, step-by-step, how we attain krishna-bhakti by the causeless mercy of gurupada-padma. Earlier this morning, I also mentioned how Narottama dasa Thakura took shelter on the lotus feet of his Guru, Lokanatha Gosvami.


śuniyāchi sādhu mukhe bole sarva jana

śrī rūpa kṛpāya mile yugala caraṇa


(Shuniyachi sadhu mukhe, verse 1, 

by Narottama dasa Thakura)


[I have heard from the mouths of the saintly devotees that everyone says that by the mercy of Srila Rupa Gosvami one may approach the lotus feet of the Divine Couple.]


Narottama dasa Thakura composed this song, “I heard the glories of Rupa Gosvami – ‘śuniyāchi sādhu mukhe bole sarva jana śrī rūpa kṛpāya mile’ - by the causeless mercy of Rupa Gosvami they will attain the lotus feet of the Divine Couple Radha and Krishna.”


Today, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sannyasa-lila (the pastimes of the renounced order) also took place. Perhaps tomorrow we shall glorify Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's sannyasa-lila— it is very moving, if you hear Mahaprabhu's sannyasa-lila, you have to cry. Similarly, all of the residents of Nadiya— when Mahaprabhu received sannyasa, everyone was also crying. Tomorrow, we will glorify how Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Nimai, accepted sannyasa. Like when Srila Gurudeva, Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja told Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja, “You have to take sannyasa,” and Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja replied, “No, no, no, I don't want to take sannyasa.” Eventually, he accepted the renounced order from Srila Bhakti Prajnana Keshava Gosvami Maharaja. Srila Gurudeva himself arranged all of his sannyasa paraphernalia— this is the duty of a shiksha-guru,instructing guru, how to increase the faith in the heart of a disciple. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja was a bona-fide shiksha-guru and diksha-guru, initiating guru, there are no doubts about this. 


Similarly, Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa all accepted shiksha from Srila Jiva Gosvamipada. And Srila Jiva Gosvamipada increased their hearts with shuddha-bhakti (pure devotion). What comes first? Faith. Faith unto the lotus feet of Guru. You will never develop your bhajana and sadhana, spiritual life, if you have no faith with the lotus feet of Guru. For this reason, Srila Jiva Gosvamipada increased shuddha-bhakti in their hearts more and more by giving hari-katha. Jiva Gosvamipada would instruct, “You have to preach all of this katha to others and spread the teachings in our Gosvami’s granthas.” 


Subsequently, Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa took all the granthas from our Gosvamis, learned all tattva-siddhanta and then began preaching. In order to properly preach, first, one must learn shastra, scriptures, and enter into tattva-siddhanta


Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa placed all of their books in a bullock cart, covered them and labelled them as, ‘Very precious and valuable things’. If mundane persons see this notice, they would possibly think, “Oh, perhaps inside there are very valuable jewels, oil or even money,” and then begin to contemplate how to steal it. Mundane people cannot understand the language of Vaishnavas— it was clearly written, ‘Very precious and valuable things’. Actually, what they wrote was true! Spiritually, it is true. However, mundane people would likely think the valuable things refer to jewels or silver. 


One day they arrived in a village where one dacoit, Vīra Haṃvīra, resided, and that night, believing there were very valuable items inside the cart, he stole everything. Yet, when the dacoit opened his stolen cargo, he saw that it only contained books which, during this time, were handwritten— there were no printing presses; everything was written by hand. To his dismay, Vīra Haṃvīra realised there were no jewels, no silver, nothing, merely a bundle of handwritten papers. Early in the morning, when Narottama, Shyamananda and Shrinivasa woke, they saw their books had been stolen and became very upset. They wondered how they would ever recover these priceless granthas


Shrinivasa Acharya decided he would stay in the village, while Narottama dasa Thakura continued his preaching mission, travelling to Manipura, and Shyamananda Prabhu went to Orissa to preach. Shrinivasa Acharya was a very nice and beautiful Bhagavat-bhakta, meaning, he is a very nice speaker of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. And while residing in that village, Shrinivasa Acharya one day gave Bhagavat-katha, class on Shrimad-Bhagavatam. He especially spoke on Gopi-gita, which caused the entire audience to become intoxicated by his hari-katha. The dacoit Vīra Haṃvīra actually attended the hari-katha, and when Shrinivasa Acarya sang this Gopi-gita katha, he, along with everyone else, became intoxicated.


This is because Gopi-gita is called the heart of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. If you read Gopi-gita, your heart will automatically melt. Gopi-gita is a very powerful katha. With different melodies, Shrinivasa Acharya very nicely held a class on Gopi-gita.


tava kathāmṛtaṁ tapta-jīvanaṁ

kavibhir īḍitaṁ kalmaṣāpaham

śravaṇa-maṅgalaṁ śrīmad ātataṁ

bhuvi gṛṇanti ye bhūri-dā janāḥ


Shrimad-Bhagavatam (10.31.9)


[“The nectar of Your words and the descriptions of Your activities are the life and soul of those suffering in this material world. These narrations, transmitted by learned sages, eradicate one’s sinful reactions and bestow good fortune upon whoever hears them. These narrations are broadcast all over the world and are filled with spiritual power. Certainly those who spread the message of Godhead are most munificent.”]


Gopi-gita should be sung in different melodies, not just one. Why am I saying this? Because, when Shrinivasa Acharya sang this Gopi-gita hari-katha, Vīra Haṃvīra’s heart melted. Following this, he took shelter at the lotus feet of Shrinivasa Acharya and returned all of the treasures— meaning, Vīra Haṃvīra returned all of the stolen books to him. 


If one listens to Bhagavat-katha, especially Gopi-gita— what will automatically happen? You will become a great devotee of the Lord, one hundred percent.


vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ

śraddhānvito ’nuśṛṇuyād atha varṇayed yaḥ

bhaktiṁ parāṁ bhagavati pratilabhya kāmaṁ

hṛd-rogam āśv apahinoty acireṇa dhīraḥ


Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.39)


[Anyone who faithfully hears or describes the Lord’s playful affairs with the young gopis of Vrindavana will attain the Lord’s pure devotional service. Thus he will quickly become sober and conquer lust, the disease of the heart.]


If you listen to this katha, Bhagavat-katha, rasa-lila katha, narrations of Krishna’s intimate pastimes with the gopis, all of the unwanted things will automatically leave your heart as this katha is a very powerful medicine. 


Srila Narottama dasa Thakura also composed many beautiful songs. In our Gaudiya Sampradaya, you have to read all the songs by Srila Narottama dasa Thakura and also the songs by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura granthas are in the same mood of Narottama dasa Thakura. 


Narottama dasa Thakura wrote many songs glorifying Srimati Radhika which all assist in leading a sadhaka, practitioner, to realise their own constitutional, transcendental form. For this reason I asked— how much money do you have to spend? One cent. And which book will you purchase? Prema-bhakti-chandrika. Ramachandra sanga maje narottama dasa: Narottama dasa Thakura very humbly sang, “What did I want to do? To associate with Shrinivasa Acarya’s disciple, Ramachandra. Why did he state this? Actually, there is a very nice and beautiful story behind this, which was told by my Gurudeva as to why Narottama dasa Thakura is hankering for this association. 


Ramachandra sanga maje narottama dasa. Ramachandra Kaviraja is completely and absolutely surrendered unto the lotus feet of his Guru, Shrinivasa Acharya. I will very briefly mention the pastime of Shrinivasa Acharya. Once, Shrinivasa Acharya was utterly absorbed in a trance and for seven days his body did not move,  he was just sitting with his eyes closed. Everyone began to wonder, “Oh, perhaps he has left his body or maybe he is in samadhi, deep trance.” Thus, seven days passed and Shrinivasa Acharya’s body was completely motionless. Then, Srila Narottama dasa Thakura arrived and told Ramachandra Kaviraja, “Your Gurudeva did not leave his body. Rather, your Gurudeva is completely absorbed in samadhi.” On hearing this, Ramachandra Kaviraja sat in front of his Gurudeva and also absorbed himself in samadhi. He then appeared in transcendental Vrindavana with his transcendental form, and there, on the bank of Yamuna, he saw his Gurudeva along with all the sakhis, intimate  friends of Srimati Radhika. And he also saw his Parama-Gurudeva. Who is his Parama-Gurudeva? Srila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. At that time, he saw his Gurudeva in the form of which Manjari? Guna Manjari. He asked his Gurudeva, “Gurudeva, everyone is crying for you. What are you doing here? What has happened?” His Gurudeva replied, “Oh, today when Srimati Radhika was taking Her bath in the Yamuna, She lost Her nose ring.” All of the sakhis of Srimati Radhika were searching, trying to find Srimati Radhika’s lost nose ring. Then, Ramachandra Kaviraja jumped in the water of Yamuna and he found Her nose ring, which he gave to his Gurudeva, Shrinivasa Acharya. Shrinivasa Acharya then gave the nose ring to his Gurudeva, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Gopala Bhatta Gosvami, in the transcendental, constitutional form of Guna Manjari, offered the nose ring to Rupa Manjari. Finally, Rupa Manjari gave it to Lalita-devi and Lalita placed the nose ring on Srimati Radhika. Ramachandra Kaviraja then returned to his body, along with Shrinivasa Acharya. 


For this regard, in this song, Narottama dasa Thakura nicely sings how Ramachandra Kaviraja was completely surrendered to the lotus feet of his Guru, Shrinivasa Acharya.


doyā koro śrī-ācārya prabhu śrīnivāsa

rāmacandra-sańga māge narottama-dāsa


[Be merciful. O Prabhu Srinivasa Acharya! Narottama dasa begs for the association of Ramachandra Kaviraja.]


Try to understand why Narottama dasa Thakura very humbly sang, “How will I get the association of Ramachandra Kaviraja?”

 

Bolo Ramachandra Kaviraja ki jaya

Narottama dasa Thakura ki jaya

Jaya jaya Sri Radhe!


Date: 11 February 2017 Location: Brazil




 

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


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