All Glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga
All Glories to Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga

Sri Bhakti Sundar Divya-vani
Śrī Bhakti Sundar Divya–vāṇī

Śrīla Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj’s
Divine Message of Devotional Love and Beauty

Sri Bhakti Sundar Govinda Maharaj, 1996.05.19., Soquel

Issue Number I

The Highest Development of Love and Affection

Compiled from the lecture given on the evening of the installation day of Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅga Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī on the final day of Śrīla Govinda Mahārāj’s visit to the Soquel Sevā Āśram, May 19th, 1996.

Honorable devotees, ladies and gentleman, beloved children, I have spent a few days here in that presence of you all by the grace of Śrīla Guru Mahārāj and the Vaiṣṇavas. My health may not be well but I am feeling the merciful glance of you all so much. You have given me the chance to practice my spiritual life. By your association I have received much encouragement and mercy from my Guru Mahārāj. This is my feeling. Śrīpād Bhakti Ānanda Sāgar Mahārāj and Śrīpād Janārdan Mahārāj are saying many things about me and I am digesting that very happily. Actually, I cannot disrespect their vision. But I also have some feelings,

ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur
ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 6.5)

And I feel I must say, "I want to do good for myself, I do not want to cheat myself. No doubt they are not cheating me but I also do not want to cheat myself." This is my feeling.

Kṛṣṇa is so merciful. In His Sweet Absolute play everything within the transcendental and the mundane environment is playing. Sometimes He is playing with liberated souls and sometimes with conditioned souls. Also, those souls cannot feel that they are playing by the sweet will of Kṛṣṇa. In a very simple way we have been taught since our childhood by our guardians that if we consider ourselves to be benefitted by the Lord’s will, then we are actually benefitted by it. Before we wrote something in school we always wrote on our letterhead, "God is good." Or we would learn simple phrases like, "Its all the for the best." We learned many short phrases like these in our childhood.

Now the days have come to us in which we are considering that the Lord’s will is not only good for us, but that it is great for us. Our guardians have given us the consciousness that everything is actually playing by the sweet will of Kṛṣṇa and that play benefits us in many ways. And today we have received the feeling that a supremely beneficial day has come to us. Reality the Beautiful, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Kṛṣṇa, has manifested in this Soquel Āśram in His own non-different form, with His paraphernalia and with His power, through the devotional mood of the all the devotees here. All the devotees are very happy. We are seeing their mood and we can understand just how happy they are.

The forms of the Deities have become manifest but in no way are They dolls. We know the truthful history of the Pastimes of several Deities, like the Deity who bore witness, Sākṣi-Gopāl, or the Deity who lived in a cave, Śrī Gopāl, or the Deity who stole kṣīr, the sweetened condensed milk preparation, for His devotee Śrīpād Mādhavendra Purī, or the Deity who personally accepted food from the very young devotee-child Raghunandan. We know many histories like these of Deities’ Pastimes. The Deity can walk, the Deity can eat, the Deity can do everything in His Pastimes. This is recognized by many devotees, even devotees who are not in the line of Kṛṣṇa consciousness but may be Nārāyaṇ’s devotees, or Rāmachandra’s devotees, or Nṛsiṁhadev’s devotee. There are many evidences such as these of a Deity personally taking food from His devotees and bestowing His mercy upon the conditioned souls by giving them a chance to worship Him. You know that I am very poor in English but you can correct my words in your heart and continue hearing my lecture.

Anyhow, the manifestation of the Deity is a great chance for everyone, not only for us. Everyone will feel that. Many times the feeling that, "I have good fortune," came to me in Nabadwīp Chaitanya Sāraswat Maṭh when I was with Śrīla Guru Mahārāj. There is also another cause for this,

durdaive sevaka yadi yāya anya sthāne
sei ṭhākura dhanya tāre chule dhari’ āne
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Antya-līlā, 4.47)

"If by chance a servant falls down and goes elsewhere, His glorious master will not leave him but will certainly rescue him from the illusory environment." When a Deity wants to take your sevā you cannot avoid it. This is also a cause for our feelings of good fortune.

But when you will get more and more spiritual wealth, your attention will go to the service of the Deity’s servitors. When you are highly qualified you will always want to satisfy the servitors of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. That is a more natural mood of service. In this mundane world we know one phrase, "If you love me, love my dog." It is a very general phrase but Kṛṣṇa wants to see, "How much attraction does he have to Me? How much attachment does he have to Me?"

This mood of deep attachment is expressed by Śrīla Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī in his high expression to his worshippable Mistress, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, who is the Supreme Servitor as the Supreme Power of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. You cannot detach the Power and the Powerful in any way. But the transcendental Power and Powerful Themselves can play and that is called the play of the Sweet Absolute. If you will get some part in that play, then how fortunate are you? You can think that when They are dancing, jumping, eating, embracing, and doing many things in Their Pastimes, you are also getting the chance to experience Their infinite and full play. You will get a chance to fully serve that Sweet Absolute with His Sweetest Power when the desire to serve His servitors come to you. Śrīla Dās Goswāmī prayed to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī,

āśā-bharair amṛta-sindhu-mayaiḥ kathañchit
kālo mayāti-gamitaḥ kila sāmprataṁ hi
tvaṁ chet kṛpāṁ mayi vidhāsyasi naiva kiṁ me
prāṇair vrajena cha varoru bakāriṇāpi
(Vilapa Kusumāñali 102)

"You are my Mistress and I have been waiting on the bank of Rādhā-kuṇḍa for such a long time hoping that You will bestow Your mercy upon me. I have spent so long waiting that I am now going to die. He Rādhārāṇī! When will You bestow Your mercy upon me? I do not want anything except Your mercy, I do not even want Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Your mercy is my only hope. Without You, without Your mercy, Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is useless to me. I do not want Kṛṣṇa to bestow His mercy upon me in an independent way. What will I do with Him? I do not want anything directly from Kṛṣṇa. Your lotus feet are my only shelter, I only want Your service. I want that only through You my service will be offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is my desire. If You do not accept me, if You are not merciful to me, then what will Kṛṣṇa be for me? His position will then be like Bakāri, the killer of Pūtanā and other asuras. What will I do with Kṛṣṇa in His form of as a demon-killer?"

Here also is another type of divine feeling found in the advanced devotees. They are not counting how much mercy they are getting, they are only hankering to get more and more. In that mood Śrīla Dās Goswāmī prayed to Rādhārāṇī, "Without Your mercy I do not want Kṛṣṇa." This type of fanatic mentality to serve the Lord’s servant comes to a servitor when their devotional mood has advanced to a very high position.

Indra, Chandra, Vāyu, Vāruṇ, everyone’s power comes from that All-Powerful. But when that Powerful is playing with His eternal Power, how sweet must that be? We cannot believe it. The Sweet Absolute’s play is described in Śrīmad Bhāgavatam and because of that the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam holds the highest position among the Vedic Scriptures. Anywhere you go within the whole of India you will see that the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is worshipped as Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Why? Because the Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa-līlā, are described very authentically there.

So the Pastimes of the Deities are expressed everywhere in the Scriptures. It is only necessary to have the vision to see them, to open our transcendental eyes. Then everything will be clear in front of us. Kṛṣṇa mercifully gives us that transcendental vision in the His form of Śrī Gurudev. One śloka from Śrīmad Bhāgavatam states,

bhayaṁ dvitīyābhiniveśataḥ syād
īśād apetasya viparyayo ‘smṛtiḥ
tan-māyayāto budha ābhajet taṁ
bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37, Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 20.119, Madhya-līlā, 24.137, Madhya-līlā, 25.138)

Here it is expressed, "We are living in the plane of exploitation under the control of Māyā and because of that we are always fearful. At any time death can come to us. We can lose everything at any moment: our health, our wealth, our property, our relatives, our son, our father or our mother. We are thinking, "Everything is mine," but we know none of it is really ours and because of that we are always fearful here in this mundane world. This is because of our attachment. Īśād apetasya viparyayo ‘smṛtiḥ, our attachment is what produces that fear. But our attachment is also the illusion of Lord Kṛṣṇa. Actually, everything exists within consciousness but when consciousness is āvṛta, covered by illusion, we cannot see anything properly. It is necessary to remove that illusory covering and for that it is necessary to do some bhajan. Bhajan means bhaj dhātu sevāya, "Do some sevā (service)." And who’s sevā? Kṛṣṇa’s sevā. How can we do that? Bhaktyaikayeśaṁ guru-devatātmā.

gurudeva, devatā, ātmā, īśvara-preṣṭhaś cha
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.2.37 Sārārtha-darśinī Commentary)

"We can serve Kṛṣṇa by serving Śrī Gurudev, the Deity, the Supersoul and those who are most dear to the Lord." This is the commentary of Śrīla Viśvanāth Chakravartī Ṭhākur who is the highest commentator on Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. Gurudeva, devatā, ātmā, īśvara-preṣṭhaś cha, serve them with hankering, love and your full mood of devotion. When devotion joins together with love and charm it gives more benefit to us in our practicing life.

The manifestation of the Deity gives us love for the Lord because the Deity’s manifestation is very near and very close to our mental position. Within this mundane environment we are habituated to be with our relatives. Now the Lord, in His manifestation as the Deity, is present here among us in the form of our relative. The Lord is so attractive and so sweet and so beautiful and so ecstatic and He is very near and very dear to human society, human beings and human experience.

It is not only within the human species that we see love and affection among relatives. We see this amongst all species. For example, cats have so much affection for their children. Because the cat cannot carry her children on her lap she carries them with her teeth. Her kitten is very happy to be carried in this way. The kitten thinks, "Here is my swing." And those are the same teeth that the cat uses to catch a rat. So we can feel that love, affection and beauty are present within every species. But within the human society and within the human form they are more developed. Why is the highest development of love and affection found only in the human form? Because the human form is the original form of the divine Sweet Absolute.

kṛṣṇera yateka khelā,sarvottama nara-līlā,
nara-vapu tāhāra svarūpa
gopa-veśa, veṇu-kara,nava-kiśora, naṭa-vara,
nara-līlāra haya anurūpa
kṛṣṇera madhura rūpa, śuna, sanātana
ye rūpera eka kaṇa,ḍubāya saba tribhuvana,
sarva prāṇī kare ākarṣaṇa
(Śrī Chaitanya-charitāmṛta: Madhya-līlā, 21.101-102)

"Of all the Pastimes of the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa, His Pastimes in His original human-like form are the best and most attractive of all. As an ever-youthful cowherd boy of Vṛndāvan, the best of dancers, He enjoys His Pastimes, always playing His flute. His human-like Pastimes are most befitting to His all-attractive nature. His beauty is so charming and sweet that the whole universe is flooded by even the tiniest atom of it, and all beings are attracted irresistibly to Him." This is an expression of Śrīla Kṛṣṇa Dās Kavirāj Goswāmī. Kṛṣṇa’s original form is like that of a human and He has appeared here in this world many times.

Anyone who has read Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā knows this.

yadā yadā hi dharmasya
glānir bhavati bhārata
abhyutthānam adharmasya
tadātmānaṁ sṛjāmy aham
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 4.7)

"Whenever there is a decline in religious principles and a predominance of irreligion, the Lord Himself personally descends." Why does the Lord descend?

paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ
vināśāya cha duṣkṛtām
sambhavāmi yuge yuge
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 4.8)

Paritrāṇāya sādhūnāṁ, the first cause for the Lord’s descent is that the Lord cannot tolerate seeing His devotees suffer in the mundane environment. Secondly, vināśāya cha duṣkṛtām, He appears to destroy the sinful. ‘Vināśāya’ means, ‘destroying,’ but that vināśa also gives super benefit to those souls. When anyone dies at the hand of their Lord that cannot actually be death. Really, it is a spiritual promotion for them. Dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya, and finally, the Lord appears to reestablish religion, to distribute Kṛṣṇa consciousness. He gives this consciousness,

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 18.65)

"Your religion is to give your mind to Me, become My devotee, worship Me and give all your respects to Me."

ahaṁ hi sarva-yajñānāṁ
bhoktā cha prabhur eva cha
na tu mām abhijānanti
tattvenātaś chyavanti te
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 9.24)

"I am the only enjoyer and rewarder of all sacrifices. Those who are ignorant of My position fall to take birth again."

yaṁ yaṁ vāpi smaran bhāvaṁ
tyajaty ante kalevaram
taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya
sadā tad-bhāva-bhāvitaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 8.6)

"Whatever one has always thought of and absorbed himself in during his life he will remember and attain to after leaving his body."

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 4.11)

"As you surrender to Me, I will reward you accordingly. I am the ultimate goal of all paths and the objective to be attained by all. Everyone follows My various paths."

mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat
kiñchid asti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvam idaṁ protaṁ
sūtre maṇi-gaṇā iva
(Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā: 7.7)

"There is nothing superior to Me. All existence depends on Me, like gems strung on a thread." Kṛṣṇa gives this real consciousness to the conditioned souls when He manifests in this world. And He does not come only once. Kṛṣṇa manifests Himself in His human-like form age after age. This is called dharma-saṁsthāpanārthāya sambhavāmi yuge yuge.

We can see that where there is fertile earth farmers are very much interested to cultivate. They are not cultivating the jungle. The Indian earth is very fertile earth for Kṛṣṇa consciousness and for that reason we are seeing in India the manifestations of the Lord in many varieties of ways. Other countries are also getting the Lord’s mercy no doubt but it is especially present in India. In India the earth is very auspicious, that is, the Lord Himself has chosen to appear there.

I heard from Śrīla Guru Mahārāj that one of our religious leaders, Netajī Subās Bose, wrote, "I like India because Bhagavān Himself appears in this country. And even more than India, I like Bengal because the Lord appeared in the form of Chaitanya Mahāprabhu here." To hear this we were stunned! He was a barrister, famous freedom fighter and a very great political personality but later in his life he took to Vaiṣṇavism.

Anyhow, Kṛṣṇa has many times mercifully bestowed His glance upon His devotees and we can see this especially in India. Maybe you have heard the name of Mīrabāi, or the name of Tulasī Dās, or the name of Rāma Dās. Many devotees were born in India. But our line is special. It is a very exclusive line leading us towards satisfying Their Lordships Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. That is Reality the Beautiful. Kṛṣṇa’s divine form is worshipped everywhere in India but His supreme manifestation with full exclusive devotion can be see in Vṛndāvan and Gupta-Vṛndāvan, Śrī Nabadwīp Dhām. Therefore, we are so much attracted to Vṛndāvan Dhām. Kṛṣṇa has different Pastimes, Dwārakā-līlā, Mathurā-līlā and Vṛndāvan-līlā, but the sweetest Pastimes are in Vṛndāvan. Because of this Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī said,

vaikuṇṭhāj janito varā madhu-purī tatrāpi rāsotsavād
vṛndāraṇyam udāra-pāṇi-ramaṇāt tatrāpi govardhanaḥ
rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt
kuryād asya virājato giri-taṭe sevāṁ vivekī na kaḥ
(Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī—Upadeśāmṛta 9)

"Superior to the spiritual realm of Vaikuṇṭha is Mathurā, where Śrī Kṛṣṇa first appears. Superior to Mathurā is the Vṛndāvan forest where Kṛṣṇa enjoyed the rāsa dance. Better still is Govarddhan hill, which was the site of even more confidential Pastimes of love. But best of all is Rādhā-kuṇḍa, which is situated at the foot of Govarddhan hill, and holds the supreme position because it is overflooded with the nectar of the highest kind of divine love. Who is acquainted with the science of devotion who will not aspire for the divine service of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī at Rādhā-kuṇḍa?"

We are so fortunate that Girirāj Govarddhan has very mercifully given us shelter at His lotus feet. And we are even more fortunate that Girirāj Govarddhan has given us shelter beneath His divine hidden-form in Koladwīp, Nabadwīp. And we feel that Girirāj has also manifested here in this Soquel Āśram. For this reason the divine Name of Their Lordships has come down from the divine abode, Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī. Gāndharvikā is always satisfying Kṛṣṇa with Her dancing and singing. Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī’s Pastimes of singing and dancing take place in the rāsa-līlā. Beyond that, Gāndharvikā is satisfying Kṛṣṇa in Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The Pastimes in Rādhā-kuṇḍa are even more beautiful and satisfying to Kṛṣṇa. All the hidden Pastimes of Kṛṣṇa are happening around Girirāj Govarddhan, especially in Rādhā-kuṇḍa, rādhā-kuṇḍam ihāpi gokula-pateḥ premāmṛtāplāvanāt. There the Divine Couple are always tasting the supreme taste of Their Pastimes in a variety of ways.

We are so fortunate that our grand-guru, Śrīla Bhakti Siddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākur, showed Śrī Śrī Guru Gaurāṅga Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī to be his worshippable Deities in the Pastimes of his bhajan life. Today those Deities have manifested here. We are feeling so fortunate and very comfortable that this is our home. That is our feeling.

Jaya Oṁ Viṣṇupad Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj ki jaya!
Jaya Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī-jīu kī jaya!

Tomorrow I am going to Mexico for my sevā. As possible by me I will try to continue my sevā of satisfying the devotees of Kṛṣṇa. I do not know English and I also do not know Spanish. But I have hundreds of Spanish speaking friends who are very much attracted to the Pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the devotees of Kṛṣṇa. They came here in an eager mood and they are proceeding with us on to the Spanish speaking world. I feel this is a very great miracle. We cannot fully understand the will of Kṛṣṇa but still all this has happened. Śrīla Prabhupād Swāmī Mahārāj did not know other languages but thousands and thousands of his devotees followed him. The mercy of Kṛṣṇa can enter into any country in any way. Mahāprabhu has bestowed His mercy upon the whole universe and no one can check it. The various laws of this world and laws of different countries have tried to check the flow of Mahāprabhu’s mercy. But His mercy is like fame. If someone runs fearfully away from fame without stopping then his fame only increases. It will not decrease in any way. And like that, Mahāprabhu’s mercy flares, blooms, and explodes like a nārāyaṇāstra before any obstacle in its way. This is Mahāprabhu’s divine gift. Śrīla Guru Mahārāj said, "The golden Lord’s golden gift."

And if I am not the Lord’s instrument to distribute this mercy then someone else will be the Lord’s instrument. That is up to the will of Kṛṣṇa. I am fortunate that I have had even a small chance. So I do not want to consider whether my health is good or bad. I will only try to continue my sevā. Please all of you bless me so that I can continue until my death. This is my prayer to the Vaiṣṇavas and to Śrī Śrī Guru-Gaurāṅga Gāndharvikā-Giridhārī and Their associates.

vāñchhā-kalpatarubhyas’ cha
kṛpā-sindhubhya eva cha
patitānāṁ pāvanebhyo
vaiṣṇavebhyo namo namaḥ

Hare Krishna  Hare Krishna  Krishna Krishna  Hare Hare  Hare Rama  Hare Rama  Rama Rama  Hare Hare