PLEASE NOTE, *THIS DOCUMENT IS AT DRAFT (NOT PERFECT) STAGE. IT IS RECOMMENDED TO READ WITH GM’S VIDEO IN BACKGROUND. *
Nama Om Vishnu paadaaya..
Hari Haraya Naama Krishna …
Yesterday we heard the synopsis at the end of the class when HG Ashraya Gauranga das prabhu gave a run down in Hindi. Brahmadev came down to Antardvip and he was chanting Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! Gauranga! And Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared before Him. Caitanyadev manifests two leelas – prakat leela and aprakat leela. Prakat leela is what everyone can see. And aprakat leela is something that cannot be seen. But if someone calls out to the Lord with devotion, the Lord if He so desires, can appear before them. The Lord is eternally present in His eternal abode. And if any special devotee calls for Him, He gives darshan. If you go, maybe He will give you darshan!! I had said that today I will talk of some more about the leelas of Haridas Thakur. Haridas Thakur used to chant every day 3 lac names of Krsna. Besides that he used to do Krsna kirtan. One time some of the children were teasing Haridas Thakur and saying Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Hare Hare. Haridas Thakur hearing the mocking way in which the children were chanting Hare Krsna, put his hands to his ears and expressed sadness. But Haridas Thakur wanted that somehow the children chant and do Krsna kirtan. But seeing the mischievous children chanting that way, Haridas Thakur showed sadness. The children seeing this, all the more did Hare Krsna kirtan. This way Haridas Thakur kept going around places. At another place, in a bazar, there was a vaisnava and he was a snake charmer. Seeing this Haridas Thakur was reminded of the Kaliya leela. The snake charmer was singing the Kaliya leela song. Seeing this Haridas Thakur was greatly pleased and started dancing! And he started singing even more loudly singing the Kaliya daman leela. Haridas Thakur was thinking of Krsna and fell unconscious, in great bhava, ecstasy. Seeing this people around paid obeisances to Haridas Thakur. There was a brahmana there in the bazar, who was a parrot reading astrologer. He was feeling jealous of Haridas Thakur as he was receiving so much prayer and respect. He thought, I will also do this and get recognition. So he got up and started dancing. He also fell down. And he thought everyone would come and pay him obeisances as they did to Haridas Thakur. But the snake charmer who saw this person, he knew he was a bogus person. He did not have any real ecstasy and did not have feeling for Krsna. If he is genuinely feeling then if I hit him with my stick, he should not get affected, the snake charmer thought. But as soon the stick touched him the brahmana cried aahhhh and he ran away! After some time Haridas Thakur got up and walked away.
There was a Nawab who heard that even though Haridas Thakur was a Muslim, he was chanting Harinam. He instructed that Haridas Thakur be caught and brought before him. He asked Haridas Thakur, why are you, even though a Muslim, chanting Harinam? Haridas Thakur said, that we have heard that there are many Hindus who chant Allah’s names and become Muslims? If I like the names of Krsna, then what is the problem if I chant Krsna’s names? The Nawab was convinced by this. But the Nawab had a mullah, a priest. He said, Haram, haram! This won’t work! If he chants Harinam there will be a great problem! He should be jailed and controlled. So they put Haridas Thakur in a jail. There, all the prisoners who were there, saw that Haridas Thakur was very peacefully chanting Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare! They asked him what happened to you? He said, you are all very fortunate, that you are in the jail. Has the Lord read the Bhagavatam in our jail? Haridas Thakur said, everyone is in the jail of birth, death, disease and old age, but they think they are free. But all of you know we are all conditioned in this material world. But if you chant the names of Krsna, your lives will be perfected. Now we will all start chanting in kirtan. Hare Krsna Hare Krsna Krsna Krsna Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare! The mullah got the message that the prisoners were all very happy, dancing and chanting. What is this? We have to torture them. Why should they meditate, dance and chant? Are they getting to be happy? This will not do! We have to torture them. Then Haridas Thakur came. Because you were chanting Harinam I had ordered you to be put in jail. To that Haridas Thakur replied, I am used to chanting the holy names of the Lord. This will not do! You have to stop chanting Harinam. Haridas Thakur said, I cannot stop chanting Harinam! Even if I am cut into pieces, even one piece of me will chant Harinam! The mullah said, this will not do. We have to give such an example punishment, that chanting Harinaam, being a Muslim, is not done. Haridas Thakur said, that there are different forms of the Lord and if someone wants to pray in some way or other I have no problem but I like to chant the names of Krsna and I am not harming anyone that way, what is the problem if I chant the names of Krsna. But the mullah said, no, this will not do, punish him! He was taken to 22 bazars and was punished to be beaten there. One would normally die even after having been beaten in two or three bazars but 22 bazars, impossible! They took Haridas Thakur and started beating him. The local people watching said, there is no fault of his, he is only chanting the name of the Lord. What is the problem? What is the use of punishing him so? There are so many robbers and thieves who are not punished, why should you punish this poor man who is just chanting the names of the Lord? But the executioner, he told those people to move on. Haridas Thakur was praying to the Lord, these people do not know what they are doing, please forgive them! Caitanyadev in His Maha Prakash lila saw that His devotee was calling for Him. He told Haridas Thakur that I have come to finish those people who are hurting you. But you are praying to Me that I should forgive them! But I cannot tolerate that My devotee is tortured like this He said. Then He on His back bore the whips of the executioner. And Bhagavan Caitanyadev turned and showed Haridas Thakur the marks of the whips on His back. And Haridas Thakur fainted and fell down. So even after being beaten in 22 market places, nothing happened to Haridas Thakur. The executioner was very sad. Haridas Thakur asked him why are you so sad? Because you are alive, I am sad he said. Haridas Thakur said, what is your problem if I am alive? The executioner said, this king hearing that you are still alive even after being beaten in 22 market places, will be unhappy and will kill me! Haridas Thakur said, so will you be happy if I die? The executioner said, YES, YES, VERY HAPPY! Ok, I will die now said Haridas Thakur and he went off to sleep. Then he went into samadhi. (Guru maharaj said, to give happiness to the devotees here, this class is being telecast live on Facebook Live JPS Bangla page). Haribol! Haribol! Haribol! Gauranga! Nityananda! Haribol! In that state of samadhi, Haridas Thakur’s breathing also ceased. The executioner was very happy and told the Nawab he had died. The Nawab saw and told that he be thrown in fire. The Ayatollah said, that no, he should not be burnt or buried, he should be thrown in the river. So the fish, birds all will eat his body and he will get no peace. So the Nawab said okay do that. But two executioners could not lift the body of Haridas Thakur. They called for five other people but still could not carry him! They brought elephants! Even they could not move him. They were all scared, what is going on? Then on his own desire, Haridas Thakur became very light. Then they took him and threw him in the river. The breeze took his body from this side to the other. He reached the shore. Then Haridas Thakur woke up out of his samadhi and got on to that shore! Haribol! Then Nawab heard that Haridas Thakur had walked on out on the other shore. Then he went up to Haridas Thakur and fell at his feet. Please forgive me! I have done many offences! I could not understand it! He told the Ayatollah, I will not listen to your advice! Then he also fell at Haridas Thakur’s feet and asked for forgiveness. The mullah, Ayatollah all asked for forgiveness. Haridas Thakur I will forgive you, but you should instruct that there is no restriction for anyone to chant the holy names of the Lord in your kingdom. The Nawab agreed, yes I will order this. Then Haridas Thakur said, I forgive you! Haribol! Haridas Thakur ki jai!
Then Haridas went to Chakpur. There he stayed in the home of Balaram Acarya’s home. He was the priest of Hiranya and Govardhan Mazumdar’s purohit. Hiranya and Govardhan Mazumdar were very wealthy zamindars. Every year they would give 12 lac gold coins as tax to the king. Every day they had a dharma sabha, court. Many brahmanas, gentlemen attended the court. One day Balaram Acarya requested Haridas Thakur to kindly come to the court. He brought Haridas Thakur. As soon as Haridas Thakur came to the court, all the brahmanas with five faces started praising Haridas Thakur that Haridas Thakur chanted 3 lac times the name of the Lord. Haridas Thakur got this name and knew the importance and glories of Harinam. And by chanting this Harinam all sins are vanquished. Another brahmana said that chanting Harinam gives one liberation. But Haridas Thakur requested if he could say something. Haridas Thakur said there are two results – that sins are vanquished and we get liberation, they can be attained even if we do not chant purely – in namabhas. Can be got by namabhas. Clearance stage. Shuddha nam the pure name i.e. love for Krsna, like when the sun comes out during the day, then darkness of the night disappears. When the sun rises, people start going about their daily activities, like prayer etc. At the time of dawn, before sunrise, the bad elements like robbers, thieves all run away. In the same way, chanting the name of Krsna before the pure name, shuddha nam, then we get all the facilities. Like Ajamila, he called his son Narayana and he called the name of his son Narayana at the time of death. And because of this the Visnudutas saved him and he did not get birth again. This way, if anyone with devotion and sincerity chants the holy name, at the time of death, what will their result be? So unintentionally Ajamila was chanting the name of the Lord. Accidentally, he was chanting the name. But even then he was liberated. Then just think, if one chants purely, with dedication and sincerely, what will happen? This way, he showed various proofs. Haridas Thakur showed that the Hare Krsna name will give perfection to all the living entities. There was a tax collector, his responsibility was to give 12 thousand gold coins to the king’s treasury. But he was Gopal Cakravarty, a brahmana. He was however from the Sankaracarya’s mayawadi matt. He told the people that what are you are all listening, this is all an emotional gimmick. All sastras say that only after thousands and thousands of life times is one able to get liberation. And he says that even with namabhas chanting of the name, one can get liberation. He challenged that if one does not get mukti, liberation by chanting in namabhas stage, I will cut Haridas Thakur’s nose! I curse him! Haridas Thakur said, that if by chanting in namabhas one does not get liberation, I will cut my nose myself! Ha! Ha! Chi chi! You are decrying a mahabhaagavat, what is this Govardhan Mazumdar said. You are no longer in my employment he told Gopal Cakravarty. He asked him to go away. Then all the vaisnavas paid obeisances to Haridas Thakur and asked for forgiveness. Whatever offences that were committed, please forgive us for all that. If any time a vaisnava is offended, if they don’t get forgiven, then those who hear this, they will also get the result and those who are doing, for them it is extremely bad. Haridas Thakur said, it is not your fault. Actually, it is not Gopal Cakravarty’s fault either. This is because of their incomplete knowledge. But that is why they have to learn the knowledge from a pure spiritual master, the pure knowledge. But they don’t have that facility. So it is not their fault. Haridas Thakur then he asked to be excused and went back to the home of Balaram Acarya. But within the next three days, Gopal Cakravarty got leprosy and his nose fell off. His beautiful hands melted because of leprosy. But Haridas Thakur was not happy hearing this, because he was para dukkha dukhi. This is the attitude of a vaisnava. That is why even if someone insults him or says ill of him, he does not mind. When we go to preach, such things happen. But the Lord, He cannot tolerate if His pure devotee is insulted. Prahlad maharaj was tortured so much by his father. The Lord as a result came in the form of Nrsinga and He saved Prahlad and killed Hiranyakasipu. The Lord’s nature is such that He cannot tolerate the insult of His pure devotee. But the mood of the devotee is tranad api suni cena, taror api sahisnunam. After this leela, Haridas Thakur went to Advaita Gosain’s home.
I have to say something before the question answer session.
This Kolkata, you are all very fortunate to be here. There are four GBCs here. Bhakti Caru Swami, Radhanath Swami, Bhakti Purushottam Maharaj and me. These four are doing very great service. The three of them being god brothers, there is a lot of unity among them. When Prabhupada was on this planet, in 1970 or so, I don’t remember. Then Bhakti Caru swami was a bhakta. And I understood that he had a lot of potential – a thorough gentleman and well educated. And I knew that if he left, Srila Prabhupada would be very unhappy. I came from Mayapur to Kolkata and went three times to his house. But every time his people at home said that he was not at home, and that he had gone to some friends’ place. Three times I went and failed. Then Bhakti Caru Swami came and we met in the Iskcon temple and then he came back to Mayapur.
I had a stroke in 2008, in Mumbai. The doctors said, the chances of survival were zero! But if he survives, by a rare chance, he will be like a vegetable. But with Krsna’s mercy and all the devotees’ prayers, I survived! Then Bhakti Caru Swami came and said, you are my elder god brother, you have to stay! The children said you should stay. Radhanath Swami maharaj had a yatra then and all the devotees in that yatra prayed for my wellbeing. This way I was saved. This way I could slowly start speaking. In the Hinduja hospital in Mumbai, the owner of that hospital came and said that all the doctors said, I was a miracle case! I told the doctor that please do something on ‘fast track’ so that I can quickly go back to the temple! The doctor said, that no, I will not get you on the fast track. You got saved and I will keep you on the ‘slow track’ so you recoup better. Then afterwards they checked and found that I had Hepatitis B. I had probably contracted this when I was in Europe in Spain. In 1989, I had gone to Spain and there I was attacked in the airport. One mad person wanted to kill me and slashed my neck. He cut my jugular vein and I lost a lot of blood. Then that doctor gave me blood. But at that time there was no check of the blood for Hepatitis B before blood transfusion. That examination started three years later. That is how I think I contracted Hepatitis B. Then in Delhi I went to a doctor who was the most reputed liver specialist in India. Four or five years ago for my Hepatitis B there was a medicine available but the price of the medicine was very high. 45000 dollars for a month. 34 lac rupees per month. Now it is available in India for 1.5 lacs. Then it was 34 lacs or so. So that way the doctors said that I had been cured of the Hepatitis B but my liver was very delicate. After three or four years, the doctor said that I would need a liver transplant. Then suddenly about one and half years ago they said it had to be done in the next five to six months. My body had like 15 or 16 kilos of fluid. Then the Delhi doctor who treated me was not a surgeon. So I went to a surgeon in Delhi, who said that your case is very complicated, and I will not take it up. Then my doctor said that the best surgeon is Dr. Raila in Chennai. Then I went to Chennai and there I stayed in the home of my disciple, Ajita Gopinath das for over a year. Then the doctor said, that if you pass all the tests I will do the surgery. Many things happened. I passed the tests but could not find a liver useful for me. Not my blood type. August 15, I got a new liver and kidney. In all this my kidney failed! And no one knew if I would survive or not. But then Bhakti Caru Maharaj came and saw me a couple of times, Radhanath Swami came and saw me, Bhakti Purushottam maharaj was there with me. All of us wish that Kolkata rises to be one of the best preaching centres! As we get together for Ratha Yatra every year, as we get together as god brothers as co GBCs to help each other and work together, I hope that all you devotees, whoever be your guru, this Kolkata is Srila Prabhupada’s birthplace, work together! Haribol! I am very indebted to Bhakti Caru maharaj, Radhanath Swami maharaj and Bhakti Purushottam swami, and other devotees who prayed for me. The doctors have told me to be very careful, the first six months then a year, now it is past six months. One year will be on August 15. After me, there were two liver transplants in the hospital. One person was from Singapore and the other from Kolkata. But both of them did not survive! If one has a sickness and is suffering, then there is always a doubt if they will survive or not. Since I have a new liver and kidney, we have to make sure the body does not reject them. That is why I am having immunorepressant medicines. That is why I wear mask when I go out. And my caretakers they come close and talk they have to wear mask and stay away. I don’t like this, I want to embrace all the devotees! Want to get the blessings of all the vaisnavas, But I cannot do this. If I try to do this and I get some infection, then goodbye! The doctor said, that I need to be in seclusion. But I said, how is that possible, my work is being in the midst of all the people! That is why many people give cash, I cannot take it as there are lot of germs in them. That is why I ask for your forgiveness. If any of my caretakers speak unbecomingly with you also I ask for forgiveness. Questions?
The mediator said: Guru maharaj was the first president of Iskcon Kolkata and was 11 times president. Ratha Yatra, guru maharaj has not missed even a single one. Even in his unfit condition, he has always come. There are four GBCs and they come and give seminars. We also want that guru maharaj also come for a seminar once for three days to give us association. Request Mahavaraha prabhu that guru maharaj come for three days besides his visit for the Ratha yatra every year.
Question: Normally we are eager to advance in devotional service, how to also be eager to progress in preaching?
Guru maharaj: I wanted to say a lot more of Haridas Thakur’s leelas. One leela I will now tell, as an answer to your question. Caitanyadev asked Haridas Thakur, how will all the people, like Muslims etc. be delivered? Caitanya Mahaprabhu wished to liberate all. Haridas Thakur wanted to clear Lord Caitanya’s worry. He and Caitanyadev wanted all the people to be delivered. If the Muslims, they chant HA RAM HA RAM. If a pig attacks them they will say, HA RAM HA RAM. So they are saying RAM RAM, HA RAM, Oh my beloved Rama! But they are thinking something else. But since they uttered the word RAMA, they got the blessings from above! Saying the name of RAMA in namabhas stage they can get liberation. This way if we think Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu wants that all the living entities get liberated. So if we think that way and preach, then we will preach even more. Mahaprabhu had visited all of South India. He went to a new house every day. And in that house, the lady would offer water and the husband would wash His feet and massage Them. The lady would offer the water and the husband would wash the feet. The lady of the house would cook and the husband would offer the prasad. Caitanyadev would sit and then address the family members and the people of the village. Krsnadas Kaviraj says that Caitanyadev gave this instruction that yare dhako tare kaho Krsna upadesh, amara agya guru hoya tara ei desh. He gave this instruction to all. Some will become siksa guru, some patha pradharsa guru (one who leads the way to the guru), and maybe in the future some will be come diksa guru. Caitanyadev asked that we should say this instruction to all. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupada said pran ace jaar seie hetu pracar. If you have a devotional life, then you will have the desire to preach. Pran nai to pracar nai. No life, no preaching!
Question: Hare Krsna! You told yesterday that this Gaura Mandala Bhumi is live Braja bhumi, Vrndavan. How can we take this city of Kolkata as part of Vrndavan?
Guru maharaj: Should I answer in English or Bengali? Gave the question in English. We see Kolkata as part of the leela land of Gaura Mandal Bhumi, then Kolkata is this way Gaura mandala bhumi jebo jane chintamani, tara hoi vraya bhumi vas. In this way you can see Kolkata as Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s holy place. When we have ratha yatra, how many lakhs of people come and see the ratha yatra. And how many lakhs of people attend the festival for nine days. How can you say this is not like Vrndavan? In fact, you should make every house a temple!
Question: Somehow when I see the very senior devotees who are specially good in preaching, they get discouraged because of misunderstanding with others, what kind of principles should we follow to deal with this situation and go ahead?
Gur maharaj: You see we have to be attached to serving guru and Krsna. Tamal Krsna maharaj was preaching in North America and some of the presidents became disturbed. So Prabhupada, he said that you should not preach this way in America. So then Tamal Krsna Maharaj said, where shall I preach – in China? Krsna has spoken through you, Prabhupada said. Yes, you should preach in China! Because Tamal Krsna maharaj is so surrendered to Prabhupada, he did it! And now we have many Chinese devotees! Tamal Krsna maharaj ki jai! So people, if you see someone who is discouraged we should know that maybe Krsna has some other plan. I was in Calcutta as president, then Prabhupada sent me to Mayapur. And I went there, we were five devotees. We had a 35 rupees a week budget! But now we have more than 5 thousand devotees and budge is huge!! Next question.
Question: PAMHO, this year on Rama Navami evening class in the context of Manthara giving bad plans to Kaikeyi, you said that we should take association of good devotees only. My question is how to differentiate between good devotees and bad devotees? Second question is will we be doing vaisnava aparadh if we differentiate between good devotees and bad devotees?
Guru maharaj: I did not say select, who is a bad devotee. Bhakta means there is no question of bad. But who you would like to associate or follow whose example, you associate with such devotees. And whose example you don’t think to be very good, don’t associate with them but don’t think they are bad. Next question.
Question: How can we be humble while serving with other devotees?
Guru maharaj: We can be humble if someone praises us for our service and we think that this is all the guru’s mercy. If I have any good qualities that is the mercy of my guru and if I have any bad qualities, that is my fault.
Question: In devotional service, even after surrendering, maya devi keeps testing us. Your servant Maya! (question in Hindi)
Guru maharaj: Till the time you go back to Vaikunta, till then Maya devi will test you! Maya devi’s job is to test you. Very nice servant she is. You have to pass as many tests and then you will go back to God. My Hindi – I have very little practice, forgive me! (Guru maharaj answered this in Hindi)
Question: After taking vows during initiation if one is not able to follow the instructions of the guru, how to be saved from that offence?
Guru maharaj: If you follow all the instructions, then no offence. But if you do commit some offence then you should go to the guru and ask for forgiveness and try not to commit these offences. There is no other way.
Transcribed by Jayaraseshwari devi dasi
28 April 2019