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Gaudiya Vaisnavism Vs. Sahajiyaism - Srila Narayana Maharaja Gurudeva is so merciful

ranganatha - Fri, 05 Mar 2004 23:53:27 +0530
Gaudiya Vaisnavism vs. Sahajiyaism

Introduction by Devarsirat das, followed by a morning lecture given by His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja in June, 1997, at the ISKCON New Mayapura Farm Community in France.

He requested that this lecture below to be distributed, in order to check the disease of sahajiyaism in the world.

Dear devotees, a few days ago I visited a certain website and was amazed to find so many subtle and open statements to discredit Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja, especially in regard to his teachings and personal life. This is indeed very unfortunate, because the devotees who are propagating this false and untrue picture of this genuine pure devotee of Lord Krishna who is so dear to our Srila Prabhupada, will sooner or later have their appointment with Lord Yamaraja, no matter if they are acting themselves as Gurus or are just simple rank and file devotees .

In the past, devotees such as Giriraja Maharaja, Sivarama Maharaja, Tamal Krishna Maharaja and others like Satsvarupa Maharaja, have all openly declared Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja as a pure devotee. They have visited Him and had the greatest admiration for Him. I find it strange that they where not able to identify Him then, as unwanted association, since they where advertising them selves at the time as pure spiritual masters?

Clearly a pure devotee must be able to immediately realize that He is accepting teachings from a beginner. It means for me only two things, one is that neither of the above Gurus where advanced enough to see that they where associating with a pretender and allowed themselves to be cheated for several years and the other is that because of their advancement they realized that Srila Narayan Maharaja is indeed someone who could help them to advance further and therefore they where seeking His association.

Please also read H.H. Satsvarupa Maharaja Glorifies Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja

I rather think that the above personalities where advanced enough to see the reality of Srila Narayana Maharaja being a real life maha bhagavad devotee of the Lord, otherwise if the other was true it would not look very good for those Gurus and would reduce their spiritual status to the one of Kanistha adhikari, because a kanistha devotee might just fall for a charming personality, because He does not know the symptoms of an advanced devotee.

A advanced devotee can see into the heart of others and know everything about them, even a madhyam devotee would not be cheated by a pretender. So I assume that they where giving in to pressure from above for what ever reason.

Since Sivarama Maharaja and some others recently visited Srila Narayana Maharaja to beg forgiveness for past offenses I assume that at least under cover and in private, some of the leading devotees in Iskcon have different ideas about Srila Narayana Maharaja and are only defeated by a majority of votes, that's all. I think this, because if Narayana Maharaja was really a Sahajiya, what would be the need for these above devotees to go and apologize to Him ? That's surely not Iskcon style.

For me the worst thing is, that the new comer to Krishna Consciousness, immediately upon arrival (Unless he is treated like Lord Buddha in his father's castle) will be confronted with our quarreling, quotes and counter quotes, and offenses, the war of words. From this point of view we are achieving absolutely nothing at present.

Confused souls come and want to surrender and upon arrival get even more confused by a totally disunited vaisnava community, how sad. We do not attract many devotees, because the preaching spirit becomes suffocated in politics. I do not know what the motives are to character assassinate a pure devotee but the underlying motive could be " if anyone surrenders to the Gaudiya Math, we lose potential collectors" paranoia, followed by vaisnava aparadha to prevent sincere seekers from making their own choice in finding a genuine guru. In reality everyone should be happy that someone has found a spiritual master that inspires him or her to chant the holy name and makes progress on Krishna Consciousness.

Since some unfortunate devotees are so eager to confuse other devotees about Srila Narayana Maharajas personality and teachings I thought that the following class by Srila Narayana Maharaja will clear up some of the misconceptions spread systematically by some. Especially because I can personally confirm and so can many other Prabhupada disciples, that Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja is one of the greatest vaisnavas that have walked this planet in this century, His association is as good as having the association of the Lord Himself, since the real guru should be seen as good as God, but then everyone will see Him according to their own realizations, like when Krishna came into the arena to kill Kamsa, Kamsa saw Him as personified death, the devotees saw Him as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cow heard boys saw Him as their best friend and so on. So here are the teachings of Srila Narayana Maharaja on Sahajiyaism and by the way, Srila Narayana Maharaja does practice what He preaches.

Devarsirat das


Gaudiya Vaisnavism vs. Sahajiyaism

Part I - Real & Unreal Siddha Deha

The following is a morning lecture given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja in June, 1997, at the ISKCON New Mayapura Farm Community in France.

He requested that this lecture be distributed, in order to check the disease of sahajiyaism in the world.

Once, a very little boy of three years, sitting naked on the lap of his mother, put his arms around her neck and said with love and affection, "Mother, Mother, I want a very beautiful wife. She should be very golden in complexion, with curly hair and beautiful eyes. She should not be stronger than me, otherwise she will be able to chastise me; and she should also be more lean and thin than me. Also, I want to have two sons and one daughter very soon after our marriage. Quickly Mother, you should arrange for a very beautiful lady." The boy's mother began to laugh. "Yes, I will certainly search everywhere for a good wife for you, but first you must become fatter and stronger. Then, when your sikha becomes long and thick, I will very quickly arrange your marriage." This story indicates a phenomena which is spreading everywhere among so-called devotees nowadays. They don't want to chant many rounds, nor do they make an effort to develop a devotional mood towards Krishna. They don't want to remember Krishna, and they don't want to enter into a deep understanding of siddhanta. They can't chant all day and all night like Haridasa Thakura. In fact, they can't even chant one round of the Hare Krishna mantra with their minds absorbed in Krishna. They have many requirements for the body and for those things which relates to the body-such as name, fame and fortune. Although they are full of lust and other worldly desires, they still expect their siddha-deha to manifest.

Jumping Into Goloka

Although their minds cannot concentrate on Krishna's pastimes, they want siddha-deha-as if it was an Indian rasagulla. If someone has money he can easily purchase two, three or four rasagullas. Similarly, these so-called devotees think that they can attain their siddha-deha just as easily as one buys a rasagulla. This philosophical misconception has very, very dangerous consequences. Neophytes expect to immediately jump into Goloka Vrindavana and serve Krishna better than Srimati Radhika. They proudly say, "Radhika? Who is this Radhika? Who is this Lalita? Who is this Visakha?" However, if a beautiful young lady or man were to come, practicing his or her false, so-called devotional life with similar misconceptions, the two will fall down together in a moment. There are thousands and thousands of such so-called devotees. Although they are not mature in their bhakti, they artificially think, "I have now achieved my siddha-deha; I am Lalita or Visakha, and I am a better sakhi than Rupa Manjari. Rupa Manjari was not as qualified as I am." As a result of this offensive thinking such persons must go to hell in a very short time-in a day or two. These people also think, "Oh, the Gaudiya Math has deviated from the ancient parampara. The previous acaryas used to think and act like us. Rupa Gosvami and all of the other acaryas used to do as we do. From the beginning stage of their devotional lives they remembered their siddha-deha, and in their siddha-deha they served Krishna." Such speculations are quite wrong. Our acaryas, headed by the six Gosvamis, never acted like this. They are not ordinary persons, but associates of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna Themselves, who have descended to this world only to give their mercy and teachings; and they set the example for the conditioned souls by beginning from sraddha in their own lives and devotional activities.

For Advanced Devotees

In his book Jaiva-dharma Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described all the principles and practices of bhakti, up to the attainment of one's siddha-deha. There he explained eleven items of perfection (siddha-deha): siddha-sambandha, siddha-vayasa, siddha-nama, siddha-rupa, siddha-yutha, siddha-vesa, ajna, siddha-vasa, seva, parakashthasvasa and palya-dasi-bhava.

He discussed this, however, in the next to the last chapter-not in the beginning. One of the principle personalities in Jaiva-dharma is Sri Raghunatha dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Vijaya-kumara. Sri Babaji taught these principles to Vijaya-kumara when his disciple was advanced in Krishna consciousness and free from all anarthas and material desires.

Vijaya-kumara had been chanting and remembering Krishna twenty-four hours a day on the shore of the ocean at Jagannatha Puri. In fact the ocean reminded him of Krishna, the ocean of rasa. Vijaya-kumara had understood and realized the meaning of bhava, anubhava, sattvika and vyabhicari. He also realized in what proportion they should be mixed with one's sthayi-bhava (eternal mood of service to Krishna) to become bhakti-rasa. He had become truly humble-trinad api sunicena, taror api sahishnuna, amanina manadena, and he was on the stage of bhavavasta (bhava-bhakti). Even Apsaras, celestial goddesses, like Menaka and others who are more beautiful than any earthly women, can not disturb the Krishna consciousness of a person like Srila Haridasa Thakura. Yet, even Srila Haridasa Thakura himself was not engaged in the advanced practices of devotees in the Gosvami line like Vijaya-kumara. We have never seen or heard in any scriptures that he was engaged like this. Only devotees like Srila Rupa, Srila Sanatana and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvamis were following all of these principles, and, following them, our entire line of disciplic succession has continued in the same way down to the present day.

A devotee must become mature in bhakti before he can fully follow our disciplic acaryas. He must come to the stage of sraddha, then sadhu-sanga, bhajana-kriya, anartha nivritti, nishtha, ruci, and asakti. At the stage of bhava when there is no scent of desire for sense gratification, when he is quite free from all material thoughts and habits, his siddha-deha will automatically manifest.

The Eight Stages of Devotional Service

When will siddha-deha come? Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained this in his book Bhajana-rahasya. There he discusses Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's Sikshashtakam which expresses the eight stages of maturity in devotional service. He writes that first one will have to do bhajana of ceto-darpana-marjanam: ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam sreyah-kairava-candrika-vitaranamvidya-vadhu-jivanam anandambudhi-vardhanamprati-padampurnamritasvadanam sarvatma-snapanamparamvijayate sri-krishna-sankirtanam

"Let there be supreme victory for the chanting of the holy name of Sri Krishna alone, which cleanses the mirror of the heart and completely extinguishes the blazing forest fire of material existence.

Sri-krishna-sankirtana diffuses the soothing moon rays of bhava which causes the white lotus (kumudini) of good fortune for the jivas to bloom. The holy name is the life and soul of transcendental knowledge, which is here compared to a wife (vadhu). It continuously expands the ocean of transcendental bliss, enabling one to taste complete nectar at every step.

The holy name of Sri Krishna thoroughly cleanses and cools the self (atma), one's nature (svabhava), one's determination (dhriti), as well as the body both internal and external." This sloka of Sri Sikshashtakam is actually realized after the stage of asakti.

The next sloka is namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis:

namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrisi tava kripa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrisam ihajani nanuragah

"O Bhagavan! Your holy name bestows all auspiciousness upon the living entities. Therefore, for the benefit of the jivas, You eternally manifest Your innumerable names, such as Rama, Narayana, Krishna, Mukunda, Madhava, Govinda, Damodara, and so on. You have invested those names with all the potencies of Your various personal forms. Out of causeless mercy, You have not imposed any restrictions on the chanting and remembrance of such names in regards to any specified time, such as sandhya-vandana (evening prayer).

In other words, at any time of the day or night, the holy name can be chanted and remembered. This is the regulation which You have established. O Prabhu! This is Your causeless mercy upon the living entities. Nonetheless, on account of committing offenses (nama aparadha), I am so unfortunate that although Your holy name is so easily accessible and bestows all good fortune I have not awoken any attachment toward it." This sloka represents the stages of sadhu-sanga and anartha-nivritti-removal of anarthas by association with devotees. At present our chanting of Krishna's name is not pure. It may sometimes be namabhasa or namaparadha. Pure nama will appear on our tongue when we becomes pure ourselves. At that time the quality of trinad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna manifests automatically:

trinad api sunicena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

"Thinking oneself to be even lower and more worthless than insignificant grass which has been trampled beneath everyone's feet, being more tolerant than a tree, being prideless, and offering respect to all others according to their respective positions, one should continuously chant the holy name of Sri Hari." This sloka represents nishtha-firm faith, when one's chanting will not be just for "show". The next stage is to realize na dhanamna janamna sundarim:

na dhanamna janamna sundarim
kavitamva jagad-isa kamaye
mama janmani janmanisvare
bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi

O Jagadisa! I do not desire wealth, followers such as wife, sons, and relatives; or mundane knowledge described in poetic language. My only desire, O Pranesvara, is that in birth after birth I may have ahaituki-bhakti unto Your lotus feet.

This sloka represents ruci, a taste for bhajana.

When we properly practice in good association, everything will develop automatically. We will then realize the fifth sloka:

ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram
patitammamvishame bhavambudhau
kripaya tava pada-pankaja-

"O Nanda-nandana! Please be merciful upon me, your eternal servant who has fallen in the dreadful ocean of material existence as a result of my fruitive actions. Like a particle of dust affixed to Your louts feet, kindly accept me forever as your purchased servant." It is at this stage that one's siddha-deha begins to manifest. This sloka represents asakti, or attachment to Krishna. After the stage of asakti, when tears flow continuously, one feels purva-raga, the intense mood of separation experienced before meeting Krishna. As the devotee chants he will think, "O Krishna, I cannot live without You; O Srimati Radhika, I cannot live without You. When will you give me your darsana?" Then, when he is weeping twenty four hours daily, rolling on the earth, then nayanamgalad-asru-dharaya:

vadanamgadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitamvapuh kada,
tava nama-grahane bhavishyati

"O Prabhu! When will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears? When will my voice choke up? And when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstasy as I chant Your holy names?" This sloka represents the stage of bhava-at which time the siddha-deha manifests automatically. From where does this siddha-deha come? It is in our svarupa, our original spiritual form. Our siddha-deha does not come from anywhere outside ourselves. In our svarupa everything is perfect. To realize this, we simply require a connection with svarupa-sakti. When that connection is made, siddha-deha automatically manifests and all spiritual sentiments of love appear in our heart.

Krishna Will Manage Everything

Krishna will manage everything; but one should not become mad and imitate this stage artificially, otherwise he will find himself outside this spiritual Gaudiya Vaisnava line; and then he will be ruined. One can only pray, "O Krishna! O Gurudeva! When will I have siddha-deha, siddha-nama? O Srimati Radhika, when will I be your maidservant, Your palya-dasi? When will I reside near Govardhana and Radha-kunda? When will I attain that position?" An aspiring devotee must be patient. In the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, Lord Narayana appeared to Sri Narada Muni for a moment, and then He disappeared. Sri Narada immediately became very upset and lamented, "Oh, Lord Narayana has gone; what shall I do?" When he began to weep loudly, a voice from the sky called to him, "Don't worry. You will have to wait, because no one can see Me in his material body. By My mercy I showed you My svarupa, but now you must wait. Continue chanting My names and remembering Me twenty four hours daily wherever you are, and preach My hari-katha to others. One day death will come. At that time you will put your feet on the head of death and quickly give up your material body."

prayujyamane mayi tam
nyapatat panca-bhautikah
(Bhag. 1.6.28)

"Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Personality of Godhead, I quit the body made of five material elements, and thus all acquired fruitive results of work [karma] stopped." [BBT] At the time of death, when Sri Narada Muni left his pancabhautikah (material body), his siddha-deha appeared and he realized himself as an associate of Bhagavan. When did his siddha-deha come? Not in the beginning. It came at the most advanced stage of his Krishna consciousness.

It is very helpful to long for the day that our siddha-deha appears.

However, we should not imagine that we have our siddha-deha before it has actually manifested. One can pray, "O Krishna, I want to be eternally in Vrindavana, in a transcendental body." We should always have that as our objective, and we should hanker to attain service to Radha and Krishna. But we should not imagine that we are Lalita, Visakha, or any sakhi. Otherwise we will be ruined. We cannot expect to attain our siddha-deha before we understand all siddhantas. If one does not know them, then he will say, "This fire (the activities of artificial siddha-deha) is my mahaprasada;" he will eat it and he will be finished. This misconception is called sahajism, and there is a great difference between sahajiyas and Gaudiya Vaishnavas.

Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami were not sahajiyas. They were practically following the correct process of bhakti. 'Siddha' means that a man must first become a siddha devotee. How will siddha-deha manifest when our body is still material? In our Gosvamis' books, especially in the books of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, the bona fide process for achieving perfection is explicitly given. One must first pray for this perfection. "O Krishna! O Gurudeva! When will that day come when I will realize siddha-deha and siddha-nama?" One must become mature in understanding all kinds of siddhanta. He must first understand Prahlada Maharaja in the Seventh Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, and then Citraketu Maharaja in the Eighth Canto. Then he must understand the first part of Tenth Canto, especially how Krishna manifested His Damodara-lila, and he must remember all these pastimes. His devotion must mature, so that seeing a beautiful young lady or young man will not disturb him or her. Then, when he has no worldly desires at all, and when he is qualified to be always in Vrindavana and Radha-kunda under the guidance of a self realized soul, a tattvajna, rasika bhakta, at that time he can attain his siddha-deha.

Spreading Like A Plague

There are so many sahajiya babajis-men and women-in Radha-kunda, Vrindavana, Kamayavana and many other places in Vraja. They are devotees in name only.

Coming to Govardhana and Mathura to beg money in all the shops and other places, and then spending the entire night counting how much money they collected, how then will they have time to chant and remember Krishna and practice bhakti? They say their guru gave them siddha-deha, but they do not even know how to clean themselves after passing stool. They do not know the ABC of siddhanta, and yet they imagine that they have been given siddha-deha. This is very dangerous. Not only in India, but all over the world there is a lack of understanding and good association, and this has created a very serious disease which is spreading like a plague among neophyte devotees. We must try to save ourselves from this. Nowadays even brand new devotees are reading Krishna-karnamrita and saying, "Oh, very good". They are reading Govinda-lilamrta and thinking, "The Gaudiya Math does not know all these things. They cannot taste rasa. Oh, we are always in rasa." We should not follow them. Instead of following this very dangerous path, we should try to pursue the bona fide process laid down by our acaryas like Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. At our present stage we should not buy or read Govinda-lilamrta and Krishna-bhavanamrita. We must first engage in very good sadhana- bhajana and become mature in bhakti. Until then, we don't require to read these books any more than the three-year-old boy required a young and beautiful wife. If we follow sincerely, Krishna will automatically send a realized soul to help us. He may send Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, or Srila Rupa Gosvami may come himself. We should therefore follow only this bona fide process.

Our aim And Objective

First we must know the aim and objective of our sadhana, and then we should know how to begin from sraddha:

adau sraddha tatah sadhu-
sango 'tha bhajana-kriya
tato 'nartha-nivrittih syat
tato nishtha rucis tatah
athasaktis tato bhavas
tatah premabhyudancati
sadhakanam ayampremnah

pradurbhave bhavet kramah (1) By hearing the sastras, paramarthika (transcendental suddha-sraddha) appears. The word sraddha here implies firm belief in the meaning of the bhakti-sastras such as Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu, and so forth. (2) Upon the appearance of such sraddha, one again obtains sadhu-sanga and, in their company, begins to receive instructions regarding the methods for executing bhajana. (3) Thereafter, one takes up the practices of bhajana (bhajana-kriya) beginning with sri-guru-padasraya, and so on. (4) By constant engagement in bhajana, anarthas gradually disappear (anartha-nivritti). (5) This elimination of anarthas takes place in successive stages. As one becomes progressively freed from anarthas, he attains nishtha and freedom from all distractions (vikshepa). At that stage ekagrata (one-pointedness) and nairantaryamayi (incessant striving) arise in the pursuit of bhajana. (6) Thereafter, ruci (taste) or, in other words, an intense hankering (lalasa) for bhajana develops. (7) When ruci becomes very deep it is called asakti. The difference between nishtha and asakti is that nishtha involves application of the intelligence, whereas asakti is spontaneous. In the stage of nishtha, even if the mind is not attracted, by one's intelligence one remains devoted to the performance of bhajana.

However, when one comes to the stage of asakti, the sadhaka has no more dependence on any kind of reasoning by the faculty of the intelligence. At that stage he is deeply immersed in the performance of bhajana in a spontaneous manner. (8) After the stage of asakti, bhava or rati makes its appearance. (9) At the final stage prema manifests. This is the order of the stages leading to the appearance of prema within the heart of the sadhaka.

(Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu-bindu) We must understand all of these truths, and then adopt the correct process. At the same time we should not think that there are no devotees who are qualified to remember their siddha-deha. There are certainly pure devotees in this world, and we should not try to disturb them by criticizing them. They will not be disturbed, of course, but we will be. It will not profit us to try to drag them down artificially to our level. There may be thousands and thousands of devotees who are qualified for this perfection, and who are acting according to that perfection at the present moment. Our aim and objective should be the same as theirs, but we should not imitate them. We must be patient, and engage sincerely in sadhana and bhajana, then we will gain all spiritual perfections automatically.

Great Relish For Kirtana

Have you heard of nama-gane sada ruci? This is one of the symptoms of those who have achieved bhava-bhakti.

nama-gane sada ruci, laya krishna-nama

"Due to having great relish for the holy name, one is inclined to chant the Hare Krishna mahamantra constantly. "[Madhya-lila 23.32] Do you know who is the best kirtaniya in the entire world-from ancient times to present day? Do you know who sings the most powerful and sweet kirtanas? It is not necessarily the person who is expert at playing violin, harmonium, tabla, and vina. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami is the best kirtaniya; all our acaryas are the best kirtaniyas, and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja are also the best kirtaniyas. Understand this deeply, and try to become kirtaniyas like our acaryas. Do not think that you are unqualified if you do not know how to play the harmonium or if your voice is not very flexible for singing ragas. Even if you have a very raspy voice, this is not an impediment.

Simply chant with feeling, "He Krishna, He Krishna." It is the spiritual qualification to describe the pastimes of Krishna that makes one the most high-class kirtaniya-not a very fine voice. A person with a beautiful voice can fall down at any time, and in fact he may already be fallen. Those who perform kirtana thinking, "Are the people in the audience inspired or not? Are they pleased with my kirtana?", are not actually doing kirtana. Kirtana is that process by which the transcendental sound of Krishna's name and glories enters the ears and purifies the heart. This is the actual meaning of kirtana. If we have to glorify a person, or if we have to give him rupees, dollars or francs before he will sing, then he is not truly a kirtaniya. Money and reputation cannot touch the real kirtaniya. We should try to be like that: melting others hearts, melting our own hearts, and always weeping for Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. The hari-katha of such a kirtaniya touches everyone's hearts, and anyone who is sincere is bound to follow him.

vaco vegammanasah krodha-vegam
jihva-vegam udaropastha-vegam
etan vegan yo vishaheta dhirah
sarvam apimamprithivimsa sishyat

A wise and self-composed person who can subdue the impetus to speak, the agitation of the mind, the onset of anger, the vehemence of the tongue, the urge of the belly and the agitation of the genitals can instruct the entire world. In other words, all persons may become disciples of such a self-controlled person. (Sri Upadesamrita 1) Such a person is guru, and his hari-katha is the most powerful cure for our original disease, which is that we have forgotten Krishna.
ranganatha - Fri, 05 Mar 2004 23:54:34 +0530
Gaudiya Vaisnavism vs. Sahajiyaism (Part 2)

Part II - Sikshashtakam - The Bonafide process of Siddha Pranali'

The following is a lecture given by Srila Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja in Holland, the same year, on the Disappearance Day of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Srila Gadadhara Pandita.'

The glories of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura are so great that even Lord Brahma, with his four mouths, cannot completely describe them. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was a transcendental personality, and we are not transcendental. How then can we even begin to touch his glory? Only a transcendental person can expound the glory of another.'

We have heard from our Gurudeva and other Vaishnavas, and we have also read in authentic books, that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was given the title 'Seventh Gosvami.' From the time of the Six Gosvamis up to his time no one else was ever designated as such. During his life (1838-1914), however, learned persons and devotees saw his remarkable activities and gave him this upana, title. It was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura who once again illuminated the true principles of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. If he had not appeared when he did, perhaps all the teachings of pure Gaudiya Vaishnavism would have been forever drowned in an ocean of oblivion. That time was a dark period for Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The sahajiyas used to give what they called siddha-pranali, so-called siddha-deha, to anyone and everyone, without even knowing whether or not their so-called followers were actually devotees. The followers neither knew any Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, nor did they have any sadacara, yet they would go to their sahajiya-babaji gurus who pretended to give them their siddha-deha and siddha-pranali. They misunderstood Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu teachings, thinking that Gaudiya Vaishnavism means to travel to Vrindavana, live there, and have children with other's wives. They considered that by doing this they had become gopis. This was their conception of siddha-deha. "Come on, come on," their guru would say to them.'

"I'm giving you siddha-deha and siddha-pranali." Of course, he could not have actually given them siddha-deha. To whom did he pretend to give it? Thinking, "I am this body" his disciples did not even know the ABC's of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings. Such persons did not know that they are eternally part and parcel and servants of Krishna. They did not even know how to clean themselves after passing stool and urine, yet they thought they were given siddha-deha and siddha-pranali "you are a goopi." What are 'goopis?' Those who think that they are lovers or beloveds in this world.'

They think that they should find a lady, live with her and enjoy sex life.'

They think this is Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's philosophy. In the name of Gaudiya Vaishnavism sahajiyas called Vaishnava jati would perform Hare Krishna kirtana, following the dead body during funeral processions, and then take a large payment from the deceased's rich relatives. However, in their kirtanas, the word 'Krishna' did not manifest. It was difficult for the audience to actually find the word "Krishna." The chanters sang, "Hare Kr-sna-a-a-a-a-a-a," in a very fancy melody, and the audience applauded, "O, very good, very good," and paid them some rupees. Although those chanters drank wine and ate meat and fish, they still thought that what they were doing was all right, and were still called Vaishnavas by unintelligent people.

Because of such disgraceful displays, learned and educated persons became ashamed and did not want to associate themselves with the words 'Gaudiya Vaishnavism.' Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura was, in his time, the first person to preach the factual philosophy of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to this learned society. By his preaching people came to know about true transcendental love-prema-bhakti, and it is for this reason that he was given the title 'Seventh Gosvami.' Just as King Bhagiratha brought the Ganges River to the earth-to India, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura brought the bhakti Ganga (Ganges) to this world. Because of him, so many people became inspired to follow Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

If he had not appeared, we would not have joined this mission. If Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja had not come to the West-if he had not gone to Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and if Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura had not come from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, then what would have been your fate? Your good fortune, therefore, is coming from Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who preached the pure doctrines of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Some people say that Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did not take diksa initiation from Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, and that he did not take Babaji vesha (the dress of a Babaji from anyone. They say he simply gave Babaji vesha to himself. They also say that because Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura did not take sannyasa from anyone (he gave it to himself), therefore is also not in the bona fide line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. It is due to lack of intelligence-due to ignorance, that they speak like this. They do not know the meaning of Bhagavata parampara or guru-parampara, and this is why Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura clearly explained the entire process for achieving spiritual perfection in his final literary work, Jaiva-dharma. In that book he clearly elucidated the qualifications for receiving siddha-deha, and explained how the bona fide guru reveals siddha-deha to a qualified disciple. Previously, in his book Bhajana-rahasya, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura clarified many deep siddhantas on the same subject. Those who actually want to enter into the realm of bhakti, therefore, should try to follow Bhajana-rahasya, Jaiva-dharma, and all his other books.'

In Bhajana-rahasya Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura wrote that we should begin bhakti by trying to serve and realize the first sloka of Sri Sikshashtakam: ceto-darpana-marjanam bhava-maha-davagni-nirvapanam. Then we should follow and practice the second sloka: namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis. And then the third: trinad api sunicena taror api sahishnuna. If we factually practice these qualities we may enter the fourth sloka: na dhanamna janamna sundarim. We should be detached from all worldly desires and worldly tastes.'

Then, when we become pure, when we are always chanting and remembering Krishna without being disturbed by any obstacle, we can enter the fifth sloka: ayi nanda-tanuja kinkaram.'

Entering this fifth sloka is the beginning of siddha-deha, at which time we will realize ourselves as eternal servants of Krishna in a specific relationship. All aspects of our eternal relationship with Krishna are already in our atma, just as the potency of a fully grown tree is present in the seed of that tree. With water, air and light the seed sprouts, and gradually leaves, branches, flowers, manjaris and finally fruits also manifest. The entire tree or creeper is there in its seed, but only when air, water and sunlight touch it, do all its features sprout-otherwise not.'

Similarly, the full potency of our pure bhakti is present in our atma. In this fifth sloka, the jiva-svarupa is revealed. The sixth sloka of Sri Sikshashtakam states:'

vadanamgadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitamvapuh kada,
tava nama-grahane bhavishyati'

"O Prabhu! When will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears? When will my voice choke up? And when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstasy as I chant Your holy name." When a devotee realizes his atma and he understands that he is an eternal servant of Krishna, at that time he has no worldly attachments. It is then that the svarupa-sakti, as hladini and samvit, mercifully manifests in his heart. He then begins to weep, and, while chanting the holy name of Krishna, he rolls on the earth and sings, "Agha-damana (Krishna, the killer of the Agha demon), Yasodanandana. O, Nanda-sunoh (O, son of Nanda Maharaja), where are you?" The devotee may sometimes get a glimpse of Krishna and immediately run towards Him. And when Krishna disappears from his vision, he rolls on the ground in separation. If a person does not feel this type of separation from Krishna, his siddha-deha will not manifest. When one actually has feelings of separation, his siddha-deha will manifest, not before.

Those who artificially exhibit emotions of separation will go to hell-like the lakhs and lakhs of babajis in Vrindavana and adha-kunda who are simply giving birth to children and engaging in other malpractices. One of the brothers of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura used to think that his father, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, was his physical body. In fact, he thought of himself as the son of Kedarnatha Datta (Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's civil name), not Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. On the other hand, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura never thought in this way. He considered his father an associate of Sri Krishna, Srimati adharani, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. He didn't consider him his material father, a person made of blood and flesh.'

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura actually followed the path of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Whatever his father spoke, he totally accepted and followed. Our goal is siddha-deha, but what is siddha-deha? What is siddha-pranali? Who started it, in what year did it begin, and from where did it originate? Srila Sanatana Gosvami and Srila Rupa Gosvami are called Gosvamis, not Babajis. No one addresses them as Rupa Babaji, Sanatana Babaji, or Srila Raghunatha Babaji. Who gave siddha-pranali to them? What is siddha-pranali? Siddha-pranali is sikshashtakam. One should first of all know that he is an eternal servant of Sri Krishna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and he should therefore follow trinad api sunicena. He should become detached from worldly attractions and chant and remember Krishna twenty-four hours a day under the guidance of any very qualified Vaishnava.'

smrityoh kramena rasana-manasi niyojya
tishthan vraje tad-anuragi jananugami
kalamnayed akhilam ity upadesa-saram'

"The essence of all advice is that one should utilize one's full time-twenty-four hours a day-in nicely chanting and remembering the Lord's divine name, transcendental form, qualities and eternal pastimes, thereby gradually engaging one's tongue and mind. In this way one should reside in Vraja [Goloka Vrindavana dhama] and serve Krishna under the guidance of devotees. One should follow in the footsteps of the Lord's beloved devotees, who are deeply attached to His devotional service." This is real siddha-pranali. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has explained this siddha-pranali in his prayer called Manah-siksha. All the slokas of his prayer are pranali,-not artificially imagining that, "Oh, you are a gopi.'

You are Lalita-gopi. You are Visakha-gopi." From where and from whom has this artificial siddha-deha come? There is no history. It is not in our culture, nor is it the teaching of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Real siddha-deha and siddha-pranali manifest when we follow the correct nine steps-from sraddha to nishtha etc. It comes by purely adopting the process of sravanam, kirtanam, vishnu-smaranam, pada-sevanam, arcanam, vandanam, dasyam, sakyam, atma-nivedanam. It also comes by: sadhu-sanga, nama-kirtana, bhagavata-sravana mathura-vasa, sri-mürtira sraddhaya sevana'

"In the association of devotees one should chant the holy name of the Lord, hear Srimad-Bhagavatam, reside at Mathura and worship the Deity with faith and veneration." (Cc. Madhya 22.128 [BBT]) These are the processes, and we shall have to adopt them. Sri Krishna and Srimati Radhika will then mercifully give us siddha-deha.'

How Sri Narada Muni Received Siddha-Deha'

In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated that Narada Muni received his mantra from Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanat-kumara. Later, when his mother died, he left her and went to the dense forest. There he bathed in a river, sat down silently under the shade of a banyan tree, chanted his mantra and meditated upon the Supersoul within his heart. After practicing this for some time Lord Vishnu momentarily manifested in his heart-and then disappeared. Narada wept bitterly in separation from Lord Vishnu, and then a voice from the sky called to him, "Narada, I will not give you darsana again as long as you are in this material body. You should continue chanting My name, remembering Me, and glorifying My pastimes all over the world. At the appropriate time, when death comes, you'll put your feet on the head of death. Following Lord Vishnu's instruction, Narada thus always chanted and remembered the Lord, and while playing on his vina he sang songs and poems glorifying the pastimes of Krishna. Narada bajaya vina radhika ramana namine. After many years death came. At that same moment siddha-deha also manifested, and in that siddha-deha he did not use an airplane or anything-nothing like Dhruva Maharaja. Upon receiving his transcendental body he became so strong that he could travel anywhere in the universe or beyond-without the help of an airplane. The process is not that one artificially thinks, "Give me some dakshina, at least five rupees, and I will be the Gurudeva of so many sishyas." With this temptation such false gurus make many disciples, give so-called siddha-deha, and all go to hell together. We should try to know all of the processes taught by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura: sravana dasa, varana dasa, smarana dasa (smaranavastha), bhavapana dasa (at the stage of bhava or svarupa-siddha), anusmriti and finally prema-sampatti dasa. It is in sampatti dasa that siddha-deha (vasthu-siddha) will manifest. In sravana dasa, one hears from his bona-fide guru about Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrita and the entire philosophy of Srila Rupa Gosvami. In sravana dasa there are many things to learn, such as who you are and what your name is-not the name of this material body, but of your transcendental body. The guru knows this.'

One who claims to be guru but who does not know all this, and by kalpana, by imagination, gives this type of information, is actually pretentious. The bona fide guru knows everything-your name, your relationship with Sri Krsna and Srimati adhika and the gopis, your place of residence-whether it is at adha-kunda or Jawat or Nandagaon or Varshana-the name of your father and mother, your service, and the nature of your beautiful form. The guru then reveals his sishya's particular service to adha-Krishna conjugal (agya), and his palya-dasi-bhava. There are eleven items in all. In sravana dasa, therefore, you will have to hear and understand about the process for perfection from Jaiva-dharma, ­ Srimad-Bhagavatam, Sri Caitanya-caritamrita and all the books of Srila Rupa Gosvami. The process is not that one in the beginning stage goes to his guru and is told, "Oh, you are a very beautiful gopi, and your name is Lalita."

Although this is called siddha-pranali, we do not know who began this type of siddha-pranali. At the time of Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura no one addressed him as Visvanatha Cakravarti Babaji. During his time the process of giving someone this bogus version of gopi-bhava was not practiced. To teach the actual process was the main objective of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura's teachings can be summarized in two lines. Jiva doya krishna nama sarva dharma sara. This is also the sum and substance of all the teachings of all the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanishads, Bhagavata-gita, the Puranas, Srutis, Smritis, Pancaratra, etc. In essence there are two principles-jiva-doya and krishna-nama. The meaning of jiva-doya is 'mercy to conditioned souls,' and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has elaborately explained this. Successfully helping conditioned souls to turn their worldly mentality towards Krishna's service is the best doya, mercy. It is worth more than opening hundreds of thousands of hospitals and universities, or donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in charity. Jiva-doya is the most special gift, and only a realized soul can give it.'

harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha'

"In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way." Jiva-doya is attained only by chanting Krishna's holy name. Krishna's name is Krishna Himself, but we can chant suddha (pure) nama only in the association of the bona-fide guru and bona-fide Vaishnavas. Without this association we can neither chant the pure name nor engage in pure suddha-bhakti. What is suddha-bhakti? aganuga-bhakti is suddha-bhakti. We may think that vaidhi-bhakti is suddha-bhakti, but it is not, nor will it ever become so. Spontaneous devotion to Krishna is raganuga-bhakti, and when the practice of raganuga-bhakti fully matures, it is then called ragatmika-prema. When we have no ragatmika-prema, cultivation of that pure bhakti with all of our senses is called raganuga. When our hearts accept the same mood Srila Rupa Gosvami possesses in his heart-the mood of a palya-dasi (unpaid maidservant) of Srimati Radhika, it is called rupanuga-bhakti. We conditioned souls are eligible to become palya-dasi. We cannot become like Lalita or Visakha.'

Their position is beyond our limit of attainment. We can follow only Srila Rupa Gosvami or Rupa-manjari, Rati-manjari, Lavanga-manjari, and all the other manjaris. The sahajiya-babajis say, "Oh, you are Lalita. I am Lalita," but this is Mayavada philosophy, or monism. We should not be artificial nor should we imitate. Rather we must follow in the process taught by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, as further elaborately explained by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and his followers. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura foretold that in the near future many hundreds and thousands of Western devotees with sikha and tulasi-mala will meet with Indian devotees, and they will all chant, "Hari bol, hari bol. Gaura premanande, hari hari bol, and Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare." Thus, all over the world, this pure mission of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu will spread. This idea was started by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura. He is the root of all our preaching, and therefore we are truly indebted to him. '
Rasaraja dasa - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 00:43:15 +0530
Dandavats. All glories to the Vaisnavas.

Jai Radha. I am not even going to touch this one. However I do have one quick statement:

If it is deemed acceptable for Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Swami Maharaja, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Maharaja and Srila Narayana Maharaja to condemn all Vaisnavas outside of BSST's Bhagavat Siksa parampara for being neophytes or sahajiya because BSST viewed some Babaji’s doing things which were not acceptable then doesn’t that open up a can of worms that the GM/ISKCON should never want to touch? For example BSST claimed all Babaji’s of his time to be sahajiya due to the fallen nature of some which took the Babaji name. His point that you judge a tree by its fruit and that if some of the fruits are spoiled then it is a sign that the tree was faulty is a dangerous one and it doesn’t serve the GM or ISKCON well.

How many that have taken Sanyassa through BSST’s line have fallen or taken advantage of their status as Swami? I would argue that within the last 40 years we have seen more of this within the GM/ISKCON than at any time in history. Does this mean that all within ISKCON/GM are fallen? That their Guardians are to be deemed inadequate due to the number of those that fell under their guidance? Even if a vast majority fall that shouldn’t reflect on every individual. If so than what does that say about all within ISKCON? The Gaudiya Matha?

This is such a damning attitude and it opens up the floodgates of sadhu-ninda which will ruin anyone that accepts such an attitude within their heart.

I personally meet with Srila Narayana Maharaja on a few different occasions. He was always very sweet to me and seemed to be of good character and intentions. I have found some of his actions to be questionable but who am I? I simply keep those to myself and choose to focus on those I have faith in.

Personally I have always been disturbed when reading sweeping statements which condemn all for the actions of a few. This is especially touchy for me when speaking of those that are Vaisnavas. Perceive faults as we may, we can never be certain of an individuals qualifications and level of advancement so it is best to not condemn anyone; what to speak of an entire group of people.

I simply wish Maharaja would push his beliefs through showing the righteousness and reasoning why one should practice within the scope of BSST’s teachings on the merits of those teachings as opposed to simply trying to find fault with others. In my mind this goes for ISKCON and any individual for that matter. For Srila Narayana Maharaja or anyone else to speak on the qualifications, or perceived lack thereof, of any individual they do not know is very dangerous.

If anyone has a specific and indisputable point on why one should not follow an individual then it is their choice to make that point known. They should simply understand how damaging it is for others as well as themselves if their assessment of point is incorrect. They should also be sensitive of the medium in which they express these thoughts and the mindset they express these points in.

In my humble opinion to make statements like “Boycott The Sahajiya-babajis” seems to not be befitting of such a senior Vaisnava and seems to put all of his followers in danger of committing sadhu-ninda.

Aspiring to be a servant of the Vaisnavas,
Rasaraja dasa
Jagat - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 01:39:44 +0530
Dear Ranganath,

I suggest that you may find more to your liking, for there you may happily knock Sahajiyas to your heart's content. Of course, you should be forewarned that there your affection for Narayan Maharaj might be subjected to an unfriendly response.

The protocol on Gaudiya Discussions is to place cut-and-paste documents in the forum expressly set aside for that purpose. You may initiate a discussion of that document in the "Miscellaneous Discussions" or elsewhere, using a link to refer back to your cut and paste thread. Impersonal cut-and-paste threads are considered to be flaming.

We endeavor to follow the code of Vaishnava dealings taught by Rupa Goswami.

dadAti pratigRhNati
guhyam AkhyAti pRcchati
bhuGkte bhojayate caiva
SaDvidhaM prIti-lakSaNam

You may give, but you must also accept what is given. Publishing essays that are meant to show the error of another's ways is a purely one-way transaction. There is a great deal on this site that will bring joy to a devotee seeking service to Radha and Krishna, even one whose concepts may differ. PratigRhNAti means that you show some appreciation for what others have done or given. Unilateral giving is just arrogance. It is impersonal and serves not the receiver, but the self-righteous ego of the giver himself.

"guhyam AkhyAti" This means that you are ready to confide. Not that you make a pretense of possessing some kind of perfection, placing yourself in the position of infallible guru or hiding behind the petticoat of some perfect guru. A Vaishnava is painfully aware of his own imperfections and therefore hesitant to take the pulpit or the high horse.

"pRcchati" Similarly, the Vaishnava knows that other humans, including Vaishnavas, are complex beings who arrive at their decisions through a tortuous process that is not always easily reduced to black and white logic. The Vaishnava is kind, and recognizes that even a wrong decision may be the result of good intentions, and so he is ready to forgive. At least, he gives the benefit of the doubt, and so he makes inquiries in a spirit of openness.

"bhuGkte bhojayate" A Vaishnava wants to share the relish of devotional service. He does not enjoy confrontation for its own sake. He knows that other devotees are reservoirs of nectar, and so he seeks that nectar rather than churning the ocean of milk to produce poison. There are plenty of places where conflict is available, so why come to the Vaishnavas to seek it?

So until you indicate that you are willing to accept these principles of devotional exchange, I am afraid I must put you on a preliminary level of warning.

Your servant,

Jagadananda Das.
RasaMrita - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 02:01:38 +0530

I hate all this misconceptions back and forth! In closely monitoring the mayority of the members on this forum, they rarely not to say never, go around to others lines, GM or Iskcon forums blaspheming Srila Prabhupada or Sri Narayana Maharaja.

Please if you respond to the sahajiya thing, do it with siddhanta and keep yourselves (heart) above of any aparadha.


Madhava - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 02:13:35 +0530
If I am not entirely mistaken, the person posting here as Ranganatha, in reality known as Shrirang aka. Ranganatha das, has previously graced various vaiSNava-forums with the nicks Gauranga das and Prabhupada das, while engaging in massive copy/paste campaigns with no consideration at all, and has on account of the same received the blame of numerous vaiSNavas, including those whose causes he desired to promote, ie. the followers of Gauragovinda Maharaja, Narayana Maharaja and so forth.

I certainly hope that, if this individual is the same person, he does not err again, and if he is another person, that he does not make the same mistakes as his predecessors.
Gaurasundara - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 05:51:59 +0530
And may I join Madhavaji in asking for such topics to please be kept aside at least until after tomorrow.

This reckless behaviour is not exactly what I would expect from Vaisnavas in the run-up to Gaura Purnima. sad.gif
Madhava - Sat, 06 Mar 2004 05:56:29 +0530
This thread is hereby closed. I noted that one of our moderators has made Ranganatha a moderated member for the next 72 hours to come. That should give us the peace of worship we need on the upcoming sacred day.