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Notes from a Tripurari Maharaja Lecture -
Anand - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 07:56:22 +0530
I seem to have misplaced my notes so I will try to repeat whatever I can recall from memory. I apologize also for the late reply.
Tripurari Swami spoke on how Srila Sridhara Maharaja used to emphasized the magnanimity of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Sridhara Maharaja used to say that we must honor first the giver than the gift. Mahaprabhu’s lila is about giving, which involves sacrifice and renunciation. In Srimad Bhagavatam it is described how Krsna advents as different avatars, and with each advent He brings along with Him His entourage and weapons. In His advent as Gauranga Mahaprabhu His weapons are His arms, decorated by sandalwood bracelets and raised high accompanying His shouts of Haribol! Haribol! By freely distributing Krsna Prema through the chanting of Krsna’s names, Gauranga Mahaprabhu inaugurated the sankirtana movement becoming thus the most magnanimous incarnation of the Lord. Krisna’s names were invested with all His energies. And what are these names? They are unlimited, and each of Them is accompanied by or invested with a particular sakti. Thus the name Yasodanandana, for example, is invested with one of his saktis, Yasoda, and the corresponding rasa is invoked in such Name. Thus His unlimited names are available to awake that one constitutional rasa which is our desire to relate to Him. At first Lord Caitanya would congregationally relish His lila with His very intimate associates at Srivasaangan. There, He revealed that He is Krsna and His close associates began to realize one by one that they were consequently Krsna’s entourage, His associates in Vraja. Each one began to realize their own relationship with the Lord in Vraja, and relish such relationship. Then the Lord saw that there were those who were not qualified to come into His intimate circles of associates, but who were nevertheless humbly desiring to become intimate with Him. They would seat by the Ganges, discuss Gauranga’s encounters with His associates, and desire to enter there. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu wished to make them and to the world a gift. He then began His lila of renounciation. His most intimate consort, the most submissive Vishnupriya then approached the Lord to confront Him. The confrontation was by body language: She stood in front of Him with eyes lowered and bent head, in silence. The Lord then inquired, “Is there something You wish to tell me? Is there something disturbing Your heart?” At this Vishnupryia began to shed silent, profuse tears. And then very painfully inquired, “Is it true that You are taking to renunciation?” The Lord then confirmed, “Yes my dear, as You are Lakshmi and I am Narayana, in this incarnation We are meant to take separate ways and cry…”
As a renunciate the Lord was able to extend His mercy, His gift of prema to one and all.
(There is more but I’ll stop here. Please let me know if you like me to continue.)
Vishnupriya - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 11:28:40 +0530
Openmind - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 11:30:47 +0530
I like you to continue. Thanks for taking notes and sharing them with us.
Vishnupriya - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 11:47:16 +0530
When is Kalki Avatar coming?
Anand - Wed, 15 Sep 2004 23:05:46 +0530
Telling Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra to abandon all religion, Krsna utters the word Vraja, at which time He suddenly becomes stunned and then silent. He realizes that He needs to experience the love of the Gopis, and of Srimati Radharani specifically, to be complete. So He advents as Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Not merely the scheduled yuga Vishnu avatara, but also Prem avatara.
Vishnu is the purusha, and His energy, maya, is female. So when there is combination of male and female there is trouble (sic). When Vishnu glances over His maya the material world is created. And it is a troublesome world. There is drama and tragedy in human existence because of the perpetual principle of attraction between male and female. Krsna exhibits His naralila in this world to try and fix the trouble He caused with that glance. (This is not very clear to me so I am asking T Swami for further clarification possibly today).
Lord Caitanya sankirtana movement is about unity and distribution. Sankirtana means congregational chanting of the Lord’s special names by which one’s sadhaka deha will be achieved. The dynamics of sankirtana is not separated from the distribution of these names. Thus, one cannot achieve one’s utmost interest without making one’s heart available to others. In sankirtana, sadhu sanga is implied. So there is no question of achieving one’s goal without congregating and seeking each other’s benefit. Thus, Swami recommended that there should be unity among all Vaisnavas, specially Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
(My apologies, that’s all I have time to write for now. Thank you for reading.)
ramapriya - Thu, 16 Sep 2004 22:16:02 +0530
Thank You so much for sharing this nectar. It is so wonderful. I am always open for hearing. You always can share if You want and I am sure that everyone will be happy reading them and take inspiration for spiritual life.
Anand - Fri, 17 Sep 2004 02:10:10 +0530
We want to give pleasure to Bhagavan, so how do we know Bhagavan is pleased? yasad prasadam Bhagavat prasadam. We know He is pleased when Guru is pleased. According to Tripurari Maharaja, his embracing of this concept kept him firmly focused in book distribution in Iskcon for many years. When he met Srila Bhaktiraksaka Sridhara maharaja he was captured once again by Sri Guru. His godbrothers in Iskcon did not accept this and he had to leave his guru's mission. Srila Sridhara Maharaja said to him not to take anything from Iskcon, not even his personal copies of books so not to disturb the institution. Thus all by himself Tripurari Swami struggled for sometime to serve his gurus. Gradually some help came. He sees that Iskon has been steadily preaching to the mainstream West and so he is targeting a possible alternative audience. The time for vigorous book distribution is his good memories. Presently he sees great need for careful study of the books and also for writing. Thus he has set up a monastery for the cultivation of bhava. We must practice also through elements such as wearing Tulasi beads, putting on tilak, all such things. They are important because they carry the meaning that we are about the heart. Ours is a culture of the heart, of bhava. We will advertise, by our very presence, that we are expecting full fledged Love to come into our hearts. “The Greatest Show On Earth, Coming soon to a Heart Near You.” And so we invite others too to come, don’t miss the show.
Once Tripurari Swami took a trip along with Srila Prabhupada to Gita Nagari farm. This was Prabhupada Bhaktivedanta Swami’s first visit there. On arriving, Srila Prabhupada saw families, women, men, children, animals, a country aggregation to greet him as a big barn served for a backdrop. On inspecting this barn, Srila Prabhupada watched as a dog lay somewhere near while a cat walked by followed by a briskly little mouse on the run. As everyone looked on, Srila Prabhupada asked, “Did you see it?” No one answered, no one really though that the question called for an specific answer.
The next morning on being greeted by his gurudeva, Tripurari Maharaja again heard the question, “Did you see it? Did you see how everyone here is living together, peacefully and satisfied, even the animals. This is Vrindavana. Harmony in a simple setting, yet fully satisfying to the heart. This harmony is only possible in Vrindavana due to the presence of pure love. Vrindavana is the land of possibilities. That is where we should go.”
Saraswati Thakura also said this, that ours is a religion of adjustment.
So we all want that. We all follow the raganuga path because we all want to go to Vrindavana. It is our goal. Krsna has attracted us by talking about Vrindavana, aham sarvasya prabhavo. It all begins with the tattva of Vrindavana, of the nature of that place. Then it culminates with Rasaraja Krisna. Everything being possible in Vraja, there we can give not only our very self, but give to the pitch of self forgetfulness, such as the gopis actually do. We will give to the point of self forgetfulness, not because He is God, but because of love. All our acaryas have pointed this out. This is raganuga.
When I was a young man in Dvaraka, Los Angeles, a brahmana said to me, “After everything is said and done, most people go to Vaikuntha. Bas.” I was disappointed. Fortunately that kali yuga brahmana was wrong. If people wish to go somewhere other than Vraja, let them, Gaura is merciful and will let them go, but the gift that Gaura came to give is Vraja.
So there is a system to this. There are tatastha, peripheral characteristics in ruci. We don’t want any other thing but raga. Therefore our acarys recommend vaidhi before raga. Ajata ruci raga. Na dhanam, na janan, na sundarin. Therefore we cultivate vaidhi before raga. But what of Vaikuntha then, where the cultivation of vaidhi leads one to. Our acaryas give the meaning that now our bhakti is dominated by fear and calculation. We want out of fear and bewilderment but must want only out of love, taste, bhava. So it will be raga proper. If not by fear of some sort, raga that is not mature can be also motivated by reason.
(This seems to be getting too long, so I am stopping here. More may be posted upon request and with approval from the moderation. I wrapped up my notes at the point where I had to ask whether I had indeed heard clear that, “qualification for bhakti is sradha, saranagati.” I then asked why then sastrically it is said that qualification for bhakti is rather lobha? Swami replied well into the meaning of the adau sradha based argument but I must confess I got distracted by the large piece of pineapple upside down with whipped cream cake that was served to me at that time. So I actually missed most of his answer, for which I apologize.)