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The Constant Stream of Nec�ar oṁ viṣṇupāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja



The Constant Stream of Nec�ar


THE CONSTANT STREAM OF NECTAR The information in this booklet is a compilation of lectures and an excerpt of an article by Çré Çrémad Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Gosvämé Mahäräja. Chapter 1, The True Meaning of Çré Vyäsa-püjä – was spoken by Çréla Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Mahäräja on the evening of Çré Guru-pürëimä and the Disappearance day of Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé in Çré Keçavajé Gauòéya Maöha, Mathurä, 16 July 2008. CC-BY-SA Rays of The Harmonist No.19 (Gaura Pürëimä 2009) Chapter 2, Çré Vyäsa-püja and Çré Gauòéya Vedänta – is an excerpt from an article written by Çréla Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Mahäräja for the appearance day of his beloved gurudeva, oà viñëupäda Çré Çrémad Bhakti Prajïäna Keçava Gosvämé Mahäräja, in 1956. Translated from Çré Bhägavat Patrikä, Year 1, Issue 10, 1956 . CC-BY-SA Rays of The Harmonist No. 21 (Gaura Pürëimä 2010) Chapter 3, Nitya-dharma – was spoken by Çréla Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Mahäräja on the first annual function at Çré Indraprañöha Gauòéya Maöha, Delhi, a branch of Çré Gauòéya Saìgha founded by Çré Çrémad Bhakti-säraìga Gosvämé Mahäräja which was held on 29th and 30th January 1964, with great celebration. On this occasion, an assembly of learned religious scholars gathered in the evening of January 30th under the presidency of the Chief Commissioner of Delhi, Çré Dharmavirajé. After brief speeches by the founder-äcärya of Çré Gauòéya Saìgha and Çré Dharmavirajé, the following tridaëòi-sannyäsés and scholars made their respective speeches: (1) Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhakti-saurabha Bhaktisära Mahäräja, (2) Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhaktivedänta Svämé Mahäräja, (3) Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhaktivedänta Näräyaëa Mahäräja, (4) Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhakti-kamala Parvata Mahäräja, (5) Dr. Çré R.V. Joshé M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt. (Paris), (6) Dr. Çré K.D. Bhardawaja M.A., Ph.D., Çästré-puräëäcärya Vidyäsägara. Translated from Çré Bhägavata-patrikä 9/9. Rays of The Harmonist No. 12 (Gaura Pürëimä 2003) First Edition 500 copies. ISBN: 978-0-6450973-0-6 © 2021 ÇRÉ GIRIRÄJA GOVARDHANA GAUÒÉYA MAÖHA - MURWILLUMBAH AUSTRALIA SOME RIGHTS RESERVED. EXCEPT WHERE OTHERWISE NOTED, CONTENT ON THIS BOOK IS LICENSED UNDER THE CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NO DERIVATIVES 4.0 INTERNATIONAL LICENSE.

To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/ Website: www.purebhakti.org.au For digital publications visit: https://issuu.com/purebhaktisocietyaustralia


The Constant Stream of Nec�ar

This publication is a humble offering to Çréla Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Gosvämé Mahäräja for the 100th anniversary of his divine appearance in this world. Presented to His Divine Grace on the occasion of his centenary Vyäsa-püjä festival 12-14 February, 2021.

oṁ viṣṇupāda paramahaṁsa parivrājakācārya

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Çré Giriräja Govardhana Gauòéya Maöha Murwillumbah Australia


Table of Contents The True Meaning of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā

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The Mood of Selfless Surrender 2 Secure the Shelter of the Lotus Feet of a Genuine Guru 2 The First Vyāsa-pūjā 3 Mahāprabhu Inspired this Doctrine In the Heart of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī 4 What Is the Purpose of the Gauḍīya Maṭha? 5 Practise Bhajana in its Purest Form 5 Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta — The Main Foundation of All the Scriptures 6 The Considerations of Guru-tattva 6 The Effort of All Brahmacārīs and Sannyāsīs 7 The Sole Cherished Aspiration for All Our Previous Guru-varga 7

Śrī Vyāsa-pūja and Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta The Path of Hearing First Be Established in the Self Apart from Bhakti - There Is No Way to Become Pure We Have Never Forgotten the Original Author The Perfect Philosophy Factual Worship of Vyāsadeva

Nitya-dharma The Story of Indra and Virocana The Soul’s True and Acquired Natures

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The Nature of the Infinitesimal Jīva The Relationship Between Kṛṣṇa and the Jīva Divisions of Dharma The Nature and Science of Bhakti The Glories of Saṅkīrtana The Development from Śraddhā to Prema True Dharma and Cheating Religions

31 34 35 39 40 41 42


nitya-lélä praviñöa-paramahaàsa-añöottara-çata

Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda


nitya-lélä praviñöa-paramahaàsa-añöottara-çata

Çré Çrémad Bhakti Prajïäna Keçava Mahäräja


nitya-lélä praviñöa-paramahaàsa-añöottara-çata

Çré Çrémad Bhaktivedanta Näräyaëa Gosvämé Mahäräja


Chapter One

The True Meaning of Śrī Vyāsa-pūjā

Ç

réla Vyäsadeva, who is an incarnation of Lord Näräyaëa, was born on the full moon day of the month of Äñäòha. In India, everyone worships their spiritual master on this day, which is celebrated with great honour and reverence as Çré Vyäsa-püjä, or Çré Guru-püjä. It is essential, however, that we understand the true significance of Çré Vyäsa-püjä. Merely placing a garland on the neck of çré guru or offering at his feet a few flowers and fruits, some money, sweets or cloth does not mean that real worship of the guru has been performed. The real vyäsa-püjä is to surrender oneself completely at the lotus feet of Çréla Gurudeva and to fulfil his desires. This means that one should completely offer one’s independence at the lotus feet of çré guru in the mood of surrender: “O Çréla Gurudeva, I am offering everything that belongs to me at your lotus feet.” At the time of His initiation from Çré Éçvara Purépäda, Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu said: saàsära-samudra haite uddhäraha more ei ämi deha samarpiläìa tomäre kåñëa-päda-padmera amåta-rasa päna ämäre karäo tumi’—ei cähi däna Çré Caitanya-bhägavata (Ädi-khaëòa 17.54–55)

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“O Gurudeva, I have surrendered My body and everything that is Mine at your lotus feet. I shall follow your every instruction. My only wish is to receive your merciful benediction by which you kindly make Me drink the transcendental nectar of Çré Kåñëa’s lotus feet.”

The Mood of Selfless Surrender If a person can selflessly surrender in this way, it does not matter whether or not he worships his Gurudeva with flowers and so forth, for such worship is just a symbolic act meant to instruct the common people. Real guru-püjä cannot be performed until the mood of selfless surrender at the lotus feet of çré guru appears in one’s heart. Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé relinquished not only his home but also his post as prime minister, his abundant opulence, his servants and so on, specifically so he could fulfil the desire of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu. He approached Çréman Mahäprabhu empty-handed, and feeling “Now I am Yours” he completely surrendered himself to Him. This alone is real vyäsapüjä.

Secure the Shelter of the Lotus Feet of a Genuine Guru What is truly the most desired goal in the world? It is service unto the lotus feet of the Divine Couple, Çré Çré Rädhä-Kåñëa. Serving their lotus feet is undoubtedly our only purpose in life. Although it is extremely rare to achieve this, if one secures the shelter of the lotus feet of a genuine guru, this otherwise almost unattainable goal can be attained. In other words, if we surrender unto the lotus feet of the bona fide guru and practise serving the Divine Couple according to his teachings, instructions etc., we

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can attain the transcendental loving service of Çré Çré RädhäKåñëa, very soon. Although Çré Kåñëa Himself is the origin of bhakti, çré guru is His incarnation, or manifestation. Therefore, unless a person sincerely and selflessly serves he will not attain bhakti even if he makes millions of endeavours and even if Bhagavän Himself bestows mercy upon him. It should be understood that çré guru is non-different from Bhagavän: yasya deve parä bhaktir yathä deve tathä gurau tasyaite kathitä hy arthäù prakäçante mahätmanaù Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad (6.23) The true import of the scriptures (çrutis) is revealed in the hearts of those great souls who have equally the same unflinching bhakti for their guru and the Supreme Lord.

The First Vyāsa-pūjā The people of Bhäratvarña (India) are indebted to Çréla Vyäsadeva. Çréla Vyäsadeva first divided the Vedas and thereafter compiled their essence in Vedänta-sütra. After that he manifested the Puräëas and the Mahäbhärata, yet his heart still remained dissatisfied. Later, in Çré Bhägavat Puräëa (ÇrémadBhägavatam), by the mercy of Çré Närada Muni, he described the pastimes of Çré Kåñëa and narrated them to Çré Sukadeva Gosvämé. Çréla Sukadeva Gosvämé’s worship of Çréla Vyäsadeva, his father and spiritual master, was the first vyäsa-püjä. Çré Sukadeva Gosvämé was later worshipped by Çréla Suta Gosvämé. This was the second vyäsa-püjä. In this way, the tradition of vyäsa-püjä began. Therefore, vyäsa-püjä, or guru-püjä, has been

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practised since ancient times. Worship of the guru is performed even before the worship, or püjä, of Çré Kåñëa. Our great fortune is that we are coming in that very paramparä, or succession of bona fide gurus, that is comprised of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu Himself, Çré Svarüpa Dämodara, Çré Rämänanda Räya, Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé, Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé, Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja Gosvämé, Çréla Narottama däsa Öhäkura, Çréla Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura, Çréla Jagannätha däsa Bäbäjé Mahäräja, Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura, Çréla Prabhupäda and my Gurudeva [Çréla Bhakti Prajïäna Keçava Gosvämé Mahäräja] and his god-brothers. Only in this succession of bona fide gurus is the conception of service to Çré Çré Rädhä Kåñëa, especially as a maidservant of Çrématé Rädhikä, acknowledged as the topmost goal.

Mahāprabhu Inspired this Doctrine In the Heart of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī The son of Çaci-devé, Gaurahari Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, who is none other than Çré Kåñëa but with the mood and complexion of Çré Rädhä, appeared in this world to bestow this most auspicious gift. Çréman Mahäprabhu Himself did not preach this doctrine but inspired it in the heart of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé and manifested it in this world through him. Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu’s gift is service to the Divine Couple, Çré Çré Rädhä-Kåñëa, in pursuance of the moods of Çré Rüpa Maïjaré is solely what He came to give. Although we are so fortunate to be in this paramparä, to truly imbibe the concepts of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé requires sincere and honest effort.

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What Is the Purpose of the Gauḍīya Maṭha? Many people who come forward to perform sädhanabhajana, to lead a life of devotional service, become trapped by the illusory potency of the Lord and become attached to mäyä in her feature as a woman. In this way they entrench their life in misery. We should be ever alert to this. The Gauòéya Maöha is not an establishment intended to facilitate this. What is the purpose of the Gauòéya Maöha? It is to sincerely and purely follow the teachings of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé. The Gauòéya Maöha’s very existence is based on one objective alone: to follow the instructions of Çréman Mahäprabhu and Çré Rüpa Gosvämé by becoming acquainted with their teachings and performing bhajana accordingly.

Practise Bhajana in its Purest Form One who leads such a life by remaining under the shelter of a genuine guru actually performs vyäsa-püjä. Such conduct alone signifies fitting worship of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé and our entire guru-paramparä. If one wishes to perform sädhana-bhajana by following such rules and regulations then one may stay in the maöha, but there is no place in the maöha for those nurturing worldly (asat) propensities. You all should clearly understand that the maöha is not a place for arranging and celebrating marriages. If one wants to practise bhajana in its purest form, then one should reside in the maöha and serve Çré Guru and the Vaiñëavas, even though one may receive chastisement from them. Çré Närada’s curse upon Nalaküvara and Maëigréva proved to be extremely beneficial for them. In the same manner, the chastisement of Çré Guru and Vaiñëavas is also highly auspicious. If a person tolerates

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their chastisement and continues to reside in the maöha, then he alone can truly understand their mercy.

Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛta The Main Foundation of All the Scriptures This Äñäòhé Pürëimä also celebrates the disappearance day of Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé. For us, Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé is like an incarnation of Çré Vyäsadeva because he has written a commentary on Çrémad-Bhägavatam and has manifested the great gem-like scripture, Çré Båhad-bhägavatämåta. Çré Båhadbhägavatämåta alone is the main foundation of all the scriptures written by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé, Çréla Räghunätha däsa Gosvämé and so on. In other words, all the other books of our Gosvämés manifested from this one book alone.

The Considerations of Guru-tattva That is why Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé is even the guru of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé. On the other hand, Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé has accepted Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé as his guru. Such are the considerations of guru-tattva. If someone feels proud, thinking, “I have become guru,” then he is not a guru at all. A guru never makes disciples; rather, he transforms others into guru. One who is a real guru does not even try to become a guru. bhärata-bhümite haila manuñya-janma yära janma särthaka kari’ kara para-upakära Çré Caitanya-caritämåta (Ädi-lélä 9.41) One who has taken his birth as a human being in the holy land of India (Bhäratvarña) should make his life successful

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The Constant Stre am o f Ne c t a r and work for the benefit of all other people. In other words, he should himself perform the sädhana of çuddha-bhakti by accepting the shelter of the lotus feet of Çré Guru and inspire others to do the same. This alone is the highest form of benevolence.

The Effort of All Brahmacārīs and Sannyāsīs All of the sädhakas, or practitioners of bhakti, coming in the line of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu should first become acquainted with the teachings of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé and the principles of guru-paramparä, and then they should preach to others. It is necessary to both practise and preach. And for this end, the effort of all brahmacärés and sannyäsés will need to be at least a thousand times greater than the effort a householder makes to maintain his home. Throughout the day, not even a single moment can be spent making any other endeavour. One will have to engage his mind full time in the service of Çré Kåñëa.

The Sole Cherished Aspiration for All Our Previous Guru-varga It is necessary that one understand Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé’s special contribution to our sampradäya and why Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu appeared in this world. In essence, it was to specify our life’s highest and most prominent goal: to become a particle of dust at the lotus feet of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé, to become a maidservant of Çrématé Rädhikä under the guidance of Çréla Rüpa Maïjaré. This is the sole cherished aspiration for all our previous guru-varga. May you all be blessed with this conception in your heart and may your life thus become successful. All those who have

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left their homes to perform devotional service or those who are performing it at home should perform vyäsa-püjä after having become acquainted with these teachings and principles. In this way, one should try to please Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé and Çréla Gurudeva, and under their guidance try to please Çré Kåñëa, or Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, who is the original Vyäsa. This alone is the true meaning of vyäsa-püjä.

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Chapter Two

Śrī Vyāsa-pūja and Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta

I

n this auspicious land of India, or in fact in the whole world, within the society of those illumined by the light of Vedänta-sütra – a society connected to the ancient culture, conduct, conceptions and dharma of India – we will find very few people who have not heard the name Kåñëa-dvaipäyana Vedavyäsa. Yet, despite having heard the name Vyäsa-deva, there are many who are completely unaware of the procedure for performing vyäsa-püjä1, of its purpose, or even what vyäsapüjä is. They seem to have never even heard of the term vyäsapüjä before. Çré Vyäsadeva was an äçraya-jätéya-bhägavat-avatära – that is, he belonged to the class of incarnations of Godhead who are the haven of service to God, and in that form, he was the embodiment of kértana (divine eulogy). Thus, from the lotus mouth of personified kértana emanated a constant stream of nectar, which manifested in this earthly sphere as ÇrémadBhägavatam. Çrémad-Bhägavatam, which is also the embodiment of kértana, is an avatära in the form of words (çabda-avatära). 1. Literal meanings of the word vyäsa include diameter, dividing line, a detailed account, distributor, diffuser, arranger, compiler and so on. Literal meanings of the word püjä include honour, worship, respect, reverence, homage to superiors or adoration of the gods, devotion and so on. – Monier Williams Sanskrit Dictionary

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That is to say, it is the written incarnation of Godhead (granthabhägavata). Çrémad-Bhägavatam offers the astonishingly wonderful solution to all problems everywhere, for all souls, throughout all time. The dharma of every soul is to render service to Kåñëa. This alone is called sanätana-dharma (the eternal occupation of the soul), vaiñëava-dharma (the religion of true theism), or jaivadharma (the inherent calling of all living beings). This very sanätana-dharma has been broadly and elaborately explained in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Our previous äcäryas saw that as time went on, the instructions of Çrémad-Bhägavatam were variously employed in ordinary, mundane ways, in a perverted form. So, to preserve the confidential realities and conclusive truths of Çrémad-Bhägavatam in a way that is easily understandable to ordinary people, our äcäryas have taken shelter of the process of vyäsa-püjä, throughout the ages. First, Süta Gosvämé heard the divine message of Godhead (çrauta-väëi)2 directly from the lips of Çré Çukadeva, who was the first one to have heard it from Vyäsadeva. That message brings happiness to the clan of Lord Hari. So, in the arena where time stands still – the deep forests of Naimiñäraëya – Süta Gosvämé accomplished vyäsa-püjä through kértana of that message (çrauta-väëi) in the presence of Çaunaka and the other åñis. Later on, in Badarikäçrama, the äcärya of the Çré MädhvaGauòéya sampradäya, Çré Mädhvapäda, accomplished vyäsapüjä by extolling the sublime words of Vyäsadeva. Through his commentary on Bhagavad-gétä called Gétä-bhäñya, he thus performed the uninterrupted and auspicious ärati of Vyäsadeva. 2. The term çrauta-väëé specifically refers to the message of Godhead that is transmitted through the succession of authentic spiritual masters.

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After that, vyäsa-püjä was performed in Çré Dhäma Mäyäpura, the heart of Navadvépa. There, in the epicentre of kértana at Çréväsa-aìgana nearby the banks of patita-pävané3 Gaìgä, Çré Nityänanda Prabhu – who is Baladeva Prabhu Himself, the spiritual master of the entire universe – accomplished vyäsapüjä by performing kértana of the very same message of Godhead (çrauta-väëé). Then, in recent times, from the same stage in Çré Dhäma Mäyäpura, our parama-gurudeva, paramahaàsa parivräjakäcärya oà viñëupäda Çré Çrémad Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Mahäräja preached the message of Çrémad-Bhägavatam throughout the entire world, demonstrating the perfect ideal of çré vyäsa-püjä. It is said in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (12.3.52): kåte yad dhyäyato viñëuà tretäyäà yajato makhaiù dväpare paricaryäyäà kalau tad dhari-kértanät That which could only be attained in Satya-yuga by meditating upon Viñëu without interruption, in Tretä-yuga by perfect ceremonial fire-sacrifices, and in Dväpara-yuga by extravagant, ritual worship of the deity form of the Lord, is all attainable in Kali-yuga by performing çré hari-kértana.

By adopting the process of viñëu-püjä explained by Çré Vyäsadeva in this verse – that is, by performing kértana of the message of Godhead (çrauta-väëé) – Çré Süta Gosvämé, Çré Mädhvapäda, Çréman Nityänanda Prabhu and Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé have all instructed us on the process of vyäsa-püjä. 3. She who purifies the fallen souls.

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Following the path of hearing the authentic message delivered by çré guru (çrauta-patha) and rejecting any path wherein that message is not heard from an authentic source (açrauta-patha) is the factual meaning of vyäsa-püjä. And preparing oneself for service to Çré Hari under the guidance of guru and Vaiñëavas is the purpose of vyäsa-püjä.

The Path of Hearing What is that çrauta-patha – the path of hearing the authentic message of the guru-paramparä? Mahäräja Parikñit knew very well that life is temporary, something certain to perish after a few moments, and he realized that the highest perfection of human life would certainly be to spend the last few moments of his life hearing the message of Çré Hari flow from the lips of a mahä-bhagavata (a devotee of the highest class). So, after renouncing his entire kingdom, he arrived on the bank of the supremely purifying Çré Gaìgäjé. Present there were many, many divine seers (åñis), thoughtful sages (munis), preceptors of dharma, spiritually enlightened men (brahmajïa), deeply learned scholars, brilliant sophists, adherents to the path of proper action, mystic yogés, powerful ascetics, and those who were observing severe vows. But who actually resolved all the deep concerns of that sincere inquirer? Who bestowed upon him divine vision of true reality? None but Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé – the best of the mahäbhagavatas and the disciple of personified kértana, Çré Vyäsadeva. Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé had heard from Çré Vyäsadeva through çrauta-paramparä – the descent of the message of Godhead from the authentic and realized speaker to the qualified hearer. He had thus heard discourses on bhagavad-bhakti and he had also heard the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, within which is the sublime

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message of the transcendental kingdom that exists far above the realm of mundane sense perception. Later, Çré Süta Gosvämé appeared in that very same current of the message of Godhead (çrauta-paramparä). In Naimiñäraëya, amidst the åñis and munis, who were all frightened by the onset of the age of Kali, he was able to effectively and concisely deliver the purport of the Vedas in direct and simple language. Even within this age of Kali, Çré Gaurasundara manifested His eternal pastimes and, in the shelter of the perpetual flow of that same message of Godhead – that is, in the shelter of kértana – He has delivered all the living beings ensnared by Kali. And recently, in pursuit of Çréla Bhaktivinoda Öhäkura’s innermost desire, oà viñëupäda Çré Çrémad Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura Prabhupäda has actualized the welfare of the entire world through that same message of Godhead (çrauta-väëé) – through hari-saìkértana. And today, by performing kértana of the message of Godhead in accordance with the guidelines he set, his dedicated followers celebrate vyäsa-püjä every year.

First Be Established in the Self Performance of vyäsa-püjä is not meant to be carried out by just one particular individual or by one particular sect (sampradäya); rather it is meant for all souls. In Mahäbhärata, Çré Vyäsadeva has said “sarve varëa brähmaëä brahmajäç ca.” In other words, all castes are brähmaëa because they are born of Brahmä. Therefore, everyone has the right to perform vyäsapüjä. However, qualification to do so is also essential. For example, all men or women have the right to become a father or mother, but, due to lacking the qualification of sufficient age, a five-year-old boy or girl cannot attain the condition of

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parenthood. Similarly, without acquiring the qualification for vyäsa-püjä, one cannot perform vyäsa-püjä. Bhagavän is the totality of consciousness and the embodiment of all transcendental humours. Guru-tattva, the existential principle of guru, is also transcendental, and another name for guru-püjä is vyäsa-püjä. Furthermore, Vyäsadeva was an empowered incarnation of Bhagavän’s potency, a çaktyäveçaavatära; hence, vyäsa-püjä is also a transcendental form of worship (püjä). Therefore, in order to perform this vyäsa-püjä, or before entering into the realm of Absolute Reality, one must first be established in the constitutional function of one’s soul (ätma-dharma). Among all the äcäryas in the universe, who are like stars in the heavens, Çré Gaurasundara is the pole-star. He has given the instruction to first of all become completely established in ätma-dharma. And, in Çré Gétä, Çré Kåñëa’s first teachings to Arjuna were that he is the superior soul beyond the inert body and mind: apareyam itas tv anyäà prakåtià viddhi me paräm jéva-bhütäà mahä-bäho yayedaà dhäryate jagat Bhagavad-gétä (7.5) O warrior, know that My material nature is inferior. I possess another, superior nature comprised of the living beings, who are occupied with this material universe.

Therefore, to become established in the soul’s ätma-dharma verily means to attain the qualification to engage in vyäsa-püjä, and only this constitutes the beautiful stage upon which vyäsa-

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püjä is performed. It is said in çästra, “nädevo devam arcayet – an ordinary mortal can never worship a divine being.” Worship of an incorporeal entity cannot be accomplished through a corporeal entity. Worship of a conscious entity cannot be accomplished through an inert object. Cognizance is incomprehensible to incognizance. So, the worshipful and the worshipper should be of the same class. Otherwise the worship will be mundane. It will not be worship at all, but rather a completely fictitious show of worship like an actor on a stage.

Apart from Bhakti - There Is No Way to Become Pure The technical name for becoming established in ätmadharma is bhüta-çuddhi – purification of one’s existence. The gross and subtle bodies are the soul’s two provisional coverings. So, while the functioning, or dharma, of the body and mind is provisional and mundane, the functions of the soul are, inversely, eternal and spiritual. Those who believe that some external, formal processes can in fact be equated with purification of one’s existence, or bhüta-çuddhi, pursue the path of fruitive actions. Just as repeatedly washing a wine pot with water can never rid it of the smell of wine, karmic endeavours – that is, actions performed through the functioning of the gross body – can never give one the qualification to worship conscious entities. parékñya lokän karma-citän brähmaëa nirvedam äyän nästy akåtaù kåtena tad-vijïänärthaà sa gurum eväbhigacchet samit-päëiù çrotriyaà brahma-niñöham Muëòaka Upaniñad (1.2.12)

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Ś r ī V yāsa-pūjā and Śrī Gauḍī y a Ve d ā n t a A brähmaëa who has exhaustively and carefully studied the scriptures will realize the extreme insignificance of the branch of the Vedas that prescribes the performance of worldly karma. Especially he will realize that it does absolutely nothing to help a person achieve spiritual welfare. Accordingly, he will become completely disinterested in the performance of karma.

On the other hand, when he fully realises that in order to gain superior, or spiritual, knowledge, which is attainable only through the çrauta-patha, he must exclusively and in every respect dedicate himself to guru, who knows the Absolute Truth and who has seen it directly. Thus, dedicating his life to serving Bhagavän, being sincerely inquisitive and full of yearning to know the Absolute Truth, he should take a vow to spend his life following the path of çüddha-bhakti under the guidance of that guru. As such, since the path of karma is dispensable, a man next endeavours for bhüta-çuddhi – purification of one’s existence – through mental purity. He thus subscribes to the path of jïäna. This class of man equates mäyä with the master of mäyä – Çré Hari. Such men claim, “Bhagavän is just another name for mäyä” and outwardly they abandon karma, or fruitive activity. Superficial renunciation and impersonal brahma is the ultimate aim of their meditation. Although the topics of regulated sense enjoyment and renunciation have been described in scripture as a preparatory step in the practice of bhakti in order to gradually deliver us from our addiction to karma – an addiction that stems from ignorance – these people consider the superficial aspect of these statements to be the ultimate ideal and thus remain deprived of the eternal truth.

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It has therefore been said in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (10.14.4): çreyaù-såtià bhaktim udasya te vibho kliçyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhaye teñäm asau kleçala eva çiñyate nänyad yathä sthüla-tuñävaghätinäm This verse means that those who give up the higher path (çreyaù) and accept difficulties just to acquire dry knowledge can be compared to a man who struggles to retrieve rice from empty husks; he obtains tribulation and tribulation alone. They thus remain deprived. sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù Bhagavad-gétä (18.66) Completely abandoning all bodily and mental dharma, such as varëa and äçrama, fully surrender to Me alone. I shall liberate you from all reactions to your sins. Do not grieve.

daivé hy eñä guëamayé mama mäyä duratyayä mäm eva ye prapadyante mäyäm etäà taranti te Bhagavad-gétä (7.14) This external energy of Mine, which consists of the three guëas and which bewilders the jévas, is certainly very difficult to overcome. But those who take exclusive shelter of Me can easily transcend this mäyä.

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man-manä bhava mad-bhakto mad-yäjé mäà namaskuru mäm evaiñyasi satyaà te pratijäne priyo ’si me Bhagavad-gétä (18.65) Offer your mind to Me; become My bhakta by hearing, chanting and remembering My names, forms, qualities and pastimes; worship Me and offer obeisances to Me. In this way you will verily come to Me. I promise you this, for you are so dear to Me.

Hence in these verses from Bhagavad-gétä, which emanated from the lotus lips of Çré Bhagavän, comes the unarguable affirmation that apart from service to Bhagavän, apart from bhakti, there is no real destination for the living entities. Bhakti is the topmost dharma of the soul. Being established in bhakti is bhüta-çuddhi, and it is the eligibility, and the ability itself, to perform vyäsa-püjä. Another way to describe vyäsa-püjä is ätma-samarpaëa (full self-surrender) at the lotus feet of çré guru. To carry out the innermost desire of çré guru, which is to serve Bhagavän in a beautiful way, or to act in accordance with that desire, is alone the highest dharma. Therefore, the farther we proceed along the path of fulfilling çré guru’s innermost desire, the centre of which is Çré Vyäsadeva and Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the more we will achieve success and perfection in our performance of vyäsapüjä. The followers of mäyäväda4 also perform vyäsa-püjä. By misinterpreting certain statements of çruti such as “ahaà brahmäsmi – I am spirit” and “tat tvam asi – you are that”, the 4. The compound word mäyä-väda literally means “the doctrine of illusion”. It is so called because the followers of mäyäväda claim that the world is an illusion.

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mäyävädés accept the conception or state of impersonal oneness as their topmost goal; but in Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the genuine commentary on Vedänta5, these interpretations are rejected. Moreover, Çaìkaräcärya directly clashed with the original Vedänta-sütra in some parts of his own commentary. Wherever he did so, he claimed that his gurudeva, Çré Vyäsadeva, had been mistaken. Hence, the readers will contemplate to what extent the mäyavädés’ performance of vyäsa-püjä is actual worship, or to what extent it is but a duplicitous scandal.

We Have Never Forgotten the Original Author Vyäsa-püjä takes place in many sampradäyas. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries many great personalities appeared who preached the message of Vyäsadeva in various provinces throughout India. They rendered the message into different languages, making it easily understandable for the masses. Tulasé däsa’s Rämäyaëa in North India, Guru Nanak’s Ädi Grantha in Punjab, Çré Jagannätha däsa’s Oriyä Bhägavat in Orissa, Çaìkaradeva’s Kértana Ghoñä in Assam, and many other devotional literatures were composed during that time. Nowadays, the members of these sampradäyas have all but forgotten the original revealed scripture, Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and its original author, Çré Vyäsadeva. These people worship their own contemporary scriptures in place of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and they worship the modern authors of those scriptures in place of Vedavyäsa. Yet, even today, such forgetfulness has not occurred in the Gauòéya sampradäya. 5. Çré Vyäsadeva, the original author of Vedänta-sütra, provided his own explanation in the form of Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Çrémad-Bhägavatam is therefore referred to as the natural commentary on Vedänta. C.f. Tattva-sandarbha (21.1) and Hari-bhakti-viläsa (10.394): “artho ‘yaà brahmasüträëäà bhäratärthavinirëayaù”, quoted from Garuòa Puräëa.

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The devotional compositions of the great contemporary authors of the Gauòéya sampradäya – compositions like Caitanya-maìgala by Çréla Locana däsa Öhäkura, Caitanyabhägavata by Çréla Våndävana däsa Öhäkura and Caitanyacaritämåta by Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja – contain in them invaluable treasures for the Gauòéya sampradäya. Despite the availability of these devotional compositions, the Gauòéya sampradäya has not forgotten the original scripture, ÇrémadBhägavatam, and its original author, Vyäsadeva. Indeed, to date, the primary obligation of the Gauòéya sampradäya is to daily discuss Vedänta-sütra, Çrémad-Bhägavatam and Çré Bhagavadgétä. The behaviour and conceptions (äcära-vicära) presented in Çrémad-Bhägavatam alone constitute the behaviour and conceptions accepted by the Gauòéya sampradäya.

The Perfect Philosophy Äcarya Çaìkara propagated kevala advaitaväda; Çréman Mädhväcärya propagated çuddha-dvaitaväda; Çré Rämänujäcärya propagated viçiñöa-advaitaväda, wherein the soul and matter are understood as distinctive adjectives of brahma; Çré Nimbäditya Svämé propagated the philosophy of simultaneous difference and non-difference between the minute living entity and the Supreme Lord in dvaitädvaitaväda; and Çré Viñëusvämé propagated çuddha-advaitaväda.6 But none of these doctrines bear the all-encompassing conception of the Vedas. In all of them we find only a partially developed conception of siddhänta (perfect philosophical conclusions). 6. The literal definitions of these doctrines are as follows: Kevala advaita-väda: exclusive non-dualism Çuddha-dvaita-väda: pure dualism Viçiñöa-advaita-väda: particularized or distinctive non-dualism Dvaita-advaita-väda: simultaneous dualism and non-dualism Çuddha-advaita-väda: purified non-dualism

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Proceeding all of them, Çré Caitanyacandra personally appeared on the scene of great äcäryas and manifested His eternal pastimes. He filled any missing facets in the doctrines of these äcäryas, and from the unprecedented synthesis of all of them, He established the perfect doctrine. While filling in any gaps, He accepted the philosophical conclusions of Çré Mädhväcärya regarding the Lord as the concentrated essence and embodiment of eternality, knowledge and bliss (sac-cid-änanda vigraha siddhänta), the philosophical conclusions of Çré Rämänuja regarding the Lord’s potency (çakti-siddhänta), Çré Viñëusvämé’s philosophy of purified non-dualism (çuddha-advaita siddhänta) and Çré Nimbäditya’s philosophy of simultaneous dualism and non-dualism between the Lord and the living entity (dvaitaadvaita siddhänta), and thus propagated one all-encompassing, perfect conclusion called acintya-bheda-abheda siddhänta – inconceivable, simultaneous separateness and oneness. The pristine, eternal dharma, the very substance of the entirety of the Vedas, has been established in this siddhänta. Those who have accepted this perfect philosophy – acintyabheda-abheda siddhänta – and follow Çré Gaurasundara constitute the Gauòéya sampradäya7. The performance of vyäsa-püjä in a particular sampradäya will verily remain incomplete to the extent that the philosophy of that sampradäya is incomplete. So, herein lies the difference between the vyäsa-püjä of the Gauòéya sampradäya and the vyäsa-püjä of other sampradäyas. To revive the sound of kértana of paramahaàsa cakravarté Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé’s divinely penetrating treatise8, Çrémad7. Çré Brahma-Mädhva-Gauòéya sampradäya. 8. The original phrase is haàsé-saàhitä – a treatise by or for swan-like personalities. The metaphor of the swan is used in connection with the swan’s ability to extract pure milk even after it is diluted with water. In other words, Çréla Çukadeva Gosvämé has extracted the purest and deepest essence from the vast ocean of the Vedas and presented it in the form of Çrémad-Bhägavatam.

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Bhägavatam, which had been all but lost, and to drown the whole world in the flood of that saìkértana, paramahaàsa Çré Çrémad Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Gosvämé Mahäräja appeared in this world as gaura-çakti (the potency of Çré Gauräìga-deva). As such, to proceed along the current of his heart’s deepest wish is to truly accomplish vyäsa-püjä. And this is factually in accordance with the current of the message of Godhead that has descended through the succession of bona fide gurus (çrautadhära). Pursuing any other current will result in antipathy toward guru and Bhagavän. Presently, even within the Gauòéya sampradäya, some people have challenged this line of thought. Among them, some pretend to be on the platform of bhajana (transcendent, internal service) through dramatic imitation, some claim that näma-saìkértana of the hare-kåñëa mahä-mantra in this age of Kali is neither legitimate nor prescribed by scripture, some try to engage Lord Çré Hari in gratifying their mundane senses, and others are drowning in their desire for wealth, women and fame. It is clear that their performance of vyäsa-püjä is not real vyäsapüjä but merely a masquerade.

Factual Worship of Vyāsadeva Some people think that discussion of vedänta çästra never takes place in the Gauòéya sampradäya. Of course, they are mistaken. Certainly, these days many antithetical sampradäyas such as Äula, Baula, Karttäbhajä, Neòä, Sahajiyä, Sakhébheké, Smärta and Jäti-Gosäéì have forced their way into Çré Caitanya’s sampradäya. But their main purpose is to amass wealth, women and prestige, and their main occupation is simply to entice the common people. They are perpetually at odds with the philosophical truths (siddhäntas) of revealed scripture.

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There can be no comparison between them and the Gauòéya sampradäya. The cultivation and study of Vedänta-darçana takes place in the Gauòéya sampradäya more than in any other sampradäya. Vedänta-sütra and its authentic commentary, ÇrémadBhägavatam, which were both authored by Vedavyäsa, are the very wealth of Gauòéya Vaiñëavas. In these two scriptures the famous philosophies of ancient times – Kapila’s säìkya philosophy, Kaëäda’s vaiçeñika philosophy, Pataïjali’s yoga philosophy, Gautama’s nyäya philosophy, and Jaiminé’s pürvamémäàsä philosophy, along with the more recent philosophies of Cärväka, Arhat, Bauddha and Päçupat-nakuliça – have all been soundly refuted. At the same time, these two scriptures have established the Supreme Absolute Truth (parabrahma) Çré Kåñëa as the object of relationship (sambandha), kåñëa-bhakti as the way (abhidheya) and kåñëa-prema as ultimate goal of life (prayojana). To establish the philosophical conclusive truth of acintyabhedäbheda, the äcäryas of this Gauòéya sampradäya have composed commentaries on the three canonical Vedantic texts – Brahma-sütra, Bhagavad-gétä and the Upaniñhads.9 These commentaries will always preside in the sky of the philosophical world as brilliant as the sun, and Çréla Jéva Gosvämé’s Six Sandarbhas10 are the most extraordinary and invaluable treatises 9. These three texts are often collectively referred to as prasthäna-trayé – literally, the three points of departure (on the path of spiritual knowledge). The three points of departure refer to Brahma-sütra as the course of nyäya (logic), Bhagavad-gétä as the course of småti (memorized truth) and the twelve Upaniñads as the course of çruti (authentic, divine revelation). 10. The Six Sandarbhas, or six treatises, comprise an exhaustive and systematic expose of the philosophy of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu, through scriptural evidence. The six treatises are Tattva-sandarbha, Bhägavata-sandarbha, Paramätmä-sandarbha, Kåñëa-sandarbha, Bhakti-sandarbha and Préti-sandarbha. A final treatise, Kramasandarbha, which is a commentary on the Tenth Canto of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, is usually included along with the other six.

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therein. They are the living and resplendent proof of Vedantic scholarship and cultivation in the Gauòéya sampradäya. And apart from these, other Gauòéya literatures completely encompass all subjects – literatures such as Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé’s Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nélamaëi in the realm of bhakti-rasa-çästra; his Lalita-mädhava and Vidagdha-mädhava in the realm of dramas; Çréla Jéva Gosvämé’s Harinämämåtavyakäraëa in the realm of grammar; Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé’s Padyävalé, Haàsadüta and Uddhava-saìdeça and Çréla Kåñëadäsa Kaviräja Gosvämé’s Caitanya-caritämåta in the realm of poetry; Çréla Sanätana Gosvämé’s Hari-bhakti-viläsa in the realm of småtiçästra (codes of conduct, or law-books). These literatures even encompass the subjects of astronomical calculations, jyotiña (vedic astrology) and history. The fundamental subject established in all these literatures is threefold: Kåñëa, kåñëa-bhakti and kåñëa-prema. Therefore, after thorough deliberation, one can see that the Gauòéya sampradäya is the only true Vaiyäsaké sampradäya, that is, it is the only sampradäya that completely follows Çré Çukadeva Gosvämé, the son of Çré Vyäsadeva, in every respect. For this reason, the present branch of the Gauòéya sampradäya was named Çré Gauòéya Vedänta Samiti11 so that, rather than accepting Çaìkaräcärya’s mäyäväda or nirviçeñaväda as the authentic conclusions of Vedänta due to ignorance, people will recognize Çré Gauòéya Vaiñëavas as genuine followers of Vedänta – for they exclusively follow Çrémad-Bhägavatam, the natural commentary on Vedänta. Çré Kåñëa-dvaipäyana Vedavyäsa is he who divided the Vedas and composed Vedänta-sütra. When one 11. The word samiti means “society, assembly, association or committee”.

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states that “the Vaiñëavas are followers of Vedaväysa”, it refers exclusively to the Vaiñëavas of this very Gauòéya sampradäya. So, within the sampradäya that follows Vyäsadeva, worship of a guru who acts as äcärya by practising and preaching bhägavata-dharma is factual worship of Vyäsadeva. To perform vyäsa-püjä of such an äcärya-guru is to truly fulfil the innermost desire of Çré Caitanyadeva. Accomplishing vyäsa-püjä through this process is the only way to resolve the unlimited problems of this world. This form of vyäsa-püjä is the perfect ideal of worshipping the message of Godhead, as it descends through the succession of authentic gurus (çrauta püjä). There is a great personality who has organized so many festivals to arouse hari-bhakti in our hearts, who has arranged spiritual assemblies, published spiritual journals and books in various languages, opened schools and training centres for spiritual studies, established maöhas for the purpose of propagating hari-kathä far and wide, who has preached the immortal message of Çré Caitanyadeva by spreading the sublime and powerful message of Çréla Bhaktisiddhänta Sarasvaté Öhäkura, and who has refuted and subdued the doctrines of anyone who subscribed to some deformed philosophical conclusion. That great personality has restored youth to the waning presence of sanätana-dharma in this world and has made new vitality flow through the Gauòéya sampradäya when it was on the brink of its demise. Today is the püjä of that Çré Gurudeva. Today, the devotees of Çré Gauòéya Vedänta Samiti, with a faith that is richly imbued with the moods of sublime service, are offering an arrangement of fresh, soft, delicate flowers, kuàkuma, incense, candana and various auspicious items at the

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beautiful lotus feet of paramahaàsa parivräjakäcärya añöottaraçata Çré Çrémad Bhakti Prajïäna Keçava Gosvämé Mahäräja. Today, at the divine lotus feet of our gurudeva, we offer our obeisances millions and millions of times, and with millions of voices we eulogize his divine passion for fulfilling the deepest heart’s desire (mano-’bhéñöa) of his own gurudeva.

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Chapter Three

Nitya-dharma

The Story of Indra and Virocana

T

he words nitya-dharma (eternal religion) automatically presuppose the inherent and unavoidable object of that nitya-dharma, he who performs it. This is due to the inseparable connection between dharma and dharmé (the practitioner of religion). The example is given of the inseparable relationship between water and liquidity or between fire and warmth. Before considering the dharma of any entity, it is essential to first reflect on the tattva of that entity. Thus, first we consider what tattva “I” actually is. The Chändogya Upaniñad narrates the story of Indra and Virocana by which this tattva of the soul can easily be understood. At the beginning of Satya-yuga, the entire universe was divided into two camps, the demigods and the demons. The head of the demon party was King Virocana, and the leader of the demigods was Devaräja Indra. They rivalled for the attainment of unparalleled happiness and enjoyment. Thus, bearing envy and spite towards each other, they approached Prajäpati Brahmä, the father of the universe, and asked him how they could fulfill their desires.

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Prajäpati Brahmä said: “One is able to easily attain all the enjoyment available in all the worlds and to satisfy one’s every desire when one knows the soul. That soul is free from sin, old age, death, lamentation, hunger and desire, and he is satyakama and satyasaìkalpa – that is, his every endeavour and resolve is truthful and just.” To realize the soul both Indra and Virocana resided with Brahmä and practised celibacy for thirty-two years. They then prayed to Prajäpati to tell them about the soul. Prajäpati said, “That person (self) you are now seeing with your eyes is the soul, and he is fearless and immortal.” They enquired further, “Is the soul that person (self) seen in water or in a mirror?” Prajäpati told them to look into separate clay pots filled with water. He asked them, “What do you see?” Upon seeing their reflections in the water, they said, “O Lord, we see the whole soul just as it is, from the hair on his head down to his toenails.” Prajäpati then asked them to cut their nails and hair and decorate themselves with ornaments. He again requested them to look into the clay pots. “Now what do you see?” “We see that the two persons in these reflections have also been cleaned and decorated in very beautiful clothes and ornaments, just as we have; and thus they resemble us perfectly.” Prajäpati said, “This is the soul and he is fearless and immortal.” Hearing this Indra and Virocana departed with satisfied hearts. Upon reaching the abode of the demons, Virocana, who now understood the body to be the soul and the object of worship and service, declared: “O demons, he who worships his

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body as the soul attains this world as well as the upper planets. All his desires are fulfilled and he attains full enjoyment.” But Indra deliberated upon this on his journey home. “This body takes birth, dies, undergoes transformations, is subject to disease and so forth. How, then, can this be the immortal soul who is without birth, death, distress and fear?” Although halfway home, Indra now returned to Prajäpati and told him about his doubt. Prajäpati made Indra live in celibacy for another thirty-two years and then said to him, “That person who is understood to be “I” within a dream is the soul, and he is fearless and immortal.” Hearing this, Indra left with a peaceful heart; but upon his journey home he again began to reflect. He thought: “When someone is awake his body may be blind, yet in a dream his body will not be blind. Someone’s body may be diseased, yet in a dream that person may remain free from disease. But suppose that within a dream the person identified with as the self is beaten or killed. He still fears and cries, and upon awakening that ‘self’ ceases to exist. Thus, the form seen in a dream cannot in fact be the soul.” Thinking like this Indra returned to Prajäpati. After practising celibacy for another thirty-two years, Prajäpati instructed him as follows: “The soul lies in that state of deep sleep where there is no vision or even the experience of dreaming.” But as before, Indra began to contemplate Prajäpati’s words on his way home. “In the condition of deep sleep,” he thought, “there is no understanding of who one is, nor is anyone else being perceived. This condition is therefore a type of destruction.”

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Thinking like this, Indra returned to Prajäpati once again. This time, after five years of celibacy, Prajäpati instructed him anew. “Indra, the physical body, which is naturally subject to death, is only the abode of the soul. The ätmä is attached to the body, just as a horse or bull remains harnessed to a cart. In reality it is the person who has desires – such as “I shall look” – who is the soul. For this task there are senses, like the eyes. He who desires “I shall speak” is the soul, and for the act of speaking there is the tongue. He who wills “I shall hear” is the soul, and for the act of hearing there are ears. He who desires to think is the soul, and the mind carries out that thinking for him. From this tale it is clear that the soul has three abodes, just as a peanut has three elements (the shell, the skin and the nut itself). The soul’s abodes are (1) the gross body consisting of five mundane elements; (2) the subtle body which possesses a semblance of consciousness; and beyond these, (3) the pure body of the soul. Each of these bodies has its own separate dharma. The gross and subtle bodies are both impermanent. Thus, their respective dharmas are also temporary. The soul, however, is eternal and everlasting. This is the established doctrine of Veda, Vedänta, the Upaniñads and the Puräëas. Therefore, the dharma of this soul is indeed nitya-dharma or sanätana dharma (eternal function). It is also called Vedic dharma or bhagavat-dharma.

The Soul’s True and Acquired Natures

That which is called dharma should be understood. The word dharma is formed from the root syllable dhå, which means dhäraëa, ‘to retain’. Therefore, dharma means “that which is retained”. The permanent nature or quality that is retained by a being is that being’s nitya-dharma. When, by the desire of the

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Lord, any being is created, that being’s eternal nature (svabhäva) also becomes evident simultaneously. This nature or quality is that being’s nitya-dharma. If a transformation later takes place within that entity, incidentally or because of any connection with another object, then that entity’s eternally present nature becomes transformed or distorted. Gradually the distorted nature becomes steady and it appears to be eternal and pure like his previous nature. Yet this transformed nature is not his actual nature. This nature is called nisarga (‘acquired nature’), and it is temporary. This acquired nature takes prominence over a person’s true nature, and begins to assert its own identity as the ‘real’ nature. Water is a substance whose dharma is fluidity; but when water solidifies into ice its dharma, or nature (i.e. fluidity), also transforms and becomes hardness. This quality of hardness has become the nisarga, distorted nature, of the water and it now acts in place of the water’s true nature of fluidity. Nisarga, however, is not permanent; it is temporary. Because it has come about by some cause or force, when this force is removed the nisarga itself is removed and the true nature manifests once more, just as ice again becomes liquid when placed near heat.

The Nature of the Infinitesimal Jīva

To understand this subject of the soul properly it is essential to understand the tattva and eternal nature of the jéva. By this knowledge one can very easily understand nitya-dharma (the living entities’ eternal function) and naimittika-dharma (the living entities’ temporary function). 31


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Bhagavän Çré Kåñëa – the creator, maintainer and annihilator of the universe, the origin of all and the cause of all causes – is the undifferentiated Absolute Truth. He is not formless (niräkära) or devoid of features (nirviçeña); these are only his partial manifestations (äàçika-bhäva). In reality He possesses a transcendental form. He is the inconceivable possessor of all power and He is endowed with six opulences. By the influence of His inconceivable aghaöana-ghaöanaçakti, the potency that makes the impossible possible, the supreme tattva, Çré Kåñëa, manifests in four aspects as svarüpa, tad-rüpa-vaibhava, the jéva and pradhäna. To help us understand this, these four can be compared to the sun, the surface of the sun globe, the atomic particles within the sun’s rays, and a reflection of the sun, respectively. Çréla Jéva Gosvämé states: ekam eva parama-tattvaà sväbhavävikäcintya-çaktyä sarvadaiva svarüpa-tad-rüpa-vaibhava-jéva-pradhäna-rüpeëa caturdhävatiñöhate süryäntar-maëòala-stha-teja iva maëòala tad-bahirgata-tad-raçmi-tat-praticchavi-rüpeëa The Absolute Truth is one. His unique characteristic is that He is endowed with inconceivable potency, through which He always manifests in four ways: (1) svarüpa (as His original form), (2) tad-rüpa-vaibhava (as His personal splendour, including His abode and His eternal associates, expansions and avatäras), (3) the jévas (as individual spirit souls), and (4) pradhäna (as the material energy). These four features are likened to the interior of the sun planet, the surface of the sun, the sunrays emanating from this surface, and a remotely situated reflection, respectively.

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Çréla Jéva Gosvämé further states that if we liken Kåñëa, the complete conscious entity (purna-cit-tattva), to the sun, the jévas may be compared to the localized particles of the sun’s rays. The description of the jéva’s svarüpa is found in Bhagavad-gétä (15.7): “mamaiväàço jéva-loke jéva bhütaù sanätanaù – the eternal jévas in this material world are certainly My separated parts and parcels.” It is found in the Båhadäraëyaka Upaniñad (2.1.20): “yathägneù kñudrä visphuliìgä vyuccarnti – innumerable jévas emanate from parabrahma just as tiny sparks emanate from a fire.” It is found in the Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad (5.9): “bälägraçata- bhägasya çatadhä kalpitasya ca, bhägo jévaù sa vijïeyaù sa cänantyäya kalpate – one should know that the jéva is the size of one tenthousandth of the tip of a hair.” It is also found in Çré Caitanyacaritämåta (Madhya 20.109): “süryäàça-kiraëa, yena agnijväläcaya – like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire.” These quotes confirm that the jéva is the separated part of the transformation of sarva-saktimän Çré Kåñëa’s marginal potency. The Çvetäçvatara Upaniñad (6.8) states: “paräsya çaktir vividhaiva çrüyate – a single supreme potency of Çré Kåñëa manifests as numerous powers (çaktis), of which three are prominent – namely, cit, jéva and mäyä.” By the Lord’s desire, the jéva-çakti, being situated between the cit- and mäyäçaktis, manifests innumerable insignificant, atomically conscious jévas. These jévas are spiritual entities (cidvastu) by nature and are capable of wandering throughout the spiritual or the material worlds. For this reason the jéva-çakti is also known as the tatañöhä- çakti, or marginal potency, and the jévas themselves are called tatañöhä-dharmé-jévas, “jévas who are neutral by nature”. 33


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The Relationship Between Kṛṣṇa and the Jīva

Çakti-çaktimat or abhedaù. According to this aphorism from Vedänta-sütra, Kåñëa and Kåñëa’s çakti are non-different from each other. Therefore, Kåñëa and the transformation of His çakti, the jévas, are also non-different. But this oneness is only from the perspective of their being equal as spiritually conscious beings (cid-vastu). Kåñëa, however, is the complete conscious being and the master of mäyä, while the jévas are atomically conscious. Because of their marginal nature, the jévas are capable of becoming subject to mäyä even in their pure state. Kåñëa is the possessor of all power and the jévas are devoid of power. Thus, there is an eternal difference between Kåñëa and the jévas. From the philosophical perspective this difference and non-difference is beyond human intelligence, and is therefore called the doctrine of acintya-bhedäbhedatattva, the science of inconceivable difference and nondifference. Çré Kåñëa Caitanya Mahäprabhu, who is Svayam Bhagavän, completely harmonised the contextual doctrines of the Vedas with those of the previous Vaiñëava äcäryas. He took Çré Rämänuja Äcärya’s viçiñöädvaita doctrine, Çré Madhväcärya’s çuddhadvaita doctrine, Çré Viñëusvämé’s çuddhädvaita doctrine and Çré Nimbäditya Äcärya’s bhedäbheda doctrine and revealed their synthesis – the acintya-bhedäbheda doctrine, which is the universal, absolute understanding of the Vedas. Thus, Kåñëa is aàçi, the source of all expansions, and the jévas are His vibhinnäàça-tattva, or separated parts and parcels. Kåñëa is the attractor and the jévas are the attracted. Kåñëa is the object of service and the jévas are the performers of service. Service to the completely conscious being, Çré Kåñëa,

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is the real nature (svabhäva) of the atomically conscious jévas. This service is indeed called aprakåta prema-dharma, the transcendental religion of unalloyed love for Çré Kåñëa. Thus, this service to Kåñëa, this kåñëa-prema, is the constitutional nature (nitya-dharma) of the jéva. “Jévera svarüpa haya kåñëera nitya däsa – the constitutional nature of the jéva is to be an eternal servant of Çré Kåñëa (Çré Caitanya-caritämåta, Madhya 20.108).” But if that jéva, whose nature is marginal, and who is atomically conscious, becomes adverse to the service of Kåñëa, then Kåñëa’s mäyä-çakti covers that pure jéva’s atomic, conscious nature with the subtle and gross material bodies. Mäyä thus causes these jévas to habitually wander throughout the 8,400,000 species of life. When the jévas are reinstated in their service to Kåñëa, they are released from their bodies imposed by mäyä. As long as the jéva fails in his inclination to serve Kåñëa he will continue to be scorched by the threefold miseries. At this time the jéva’s pure svarüpa is covered by the curtains of mäyä, and his nitya-dharma, eternal nature, is also covered or perverted. This perverted nature is the jéva’s occasional function (naimittikadharma), just as water becomes solid when transformed into ice. This temporary dharma is of many types according to the time, place and recipient.

Divisions of Dharma

All the varieties of dharma in this world can be divided into three general categories: nitya-dharma, naimittikadharma and anitya-dharma. Anitya-dharma is that dharma which

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does not accept the existence of the Lord and the eternality of the soul. Naimittika-dharma is that dharma which accepts the eternality of the Lord and the jévas, but only prescribes temporary means to attain the Lord’s mercy. And nityadharma is that dharma which endeavours by the means of pure love to obtain the servitorship of Kåñëa. This nitya-dharma is one, although different countries, castes and languages identify it by various names. This is the supreme occupation of all jévas. In India this dharma is presented as vaiñëavadharma. Vaiñëava-dharma is eternal and the highest ideal of supreme dharma. In the performance of occasionally prescribed duties there is no direct execution of nitya-dharma. Rather it indirectly aims at nitya-dharma. Thus it is of very little use. Those processes that make up anitya-dharma are devoid of nityadharma and are described as the function of animals. They are fit to be rejected. ähära-nidrä-bhaya-maithunaà ca sämänyam etat paçubhir naräëäm dharmo hi teñäm adhiko viçeño dharmeëa hénäù paçubhiù samäna Hitopadeça (25) Human beings are equal to animals in the matter of eating, sleeping, fearing and mating. Yet the quality of religion is unique to human beings. Without religion, they are no better than animals.

That dharma in which the nature of the self (the soul) is not cultivated; in which endeavours are made to increase eating, sleeping, mating and defending; and in which enjoyment of the temporary sense objects is supported as the ultimate objective of 36


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human life, is the dharma of animals. In this so-called dharma, it is in fact completely impossible to escape all sorrow and attain pure happiness, which is the goal of human life. Therefore, it has been stated in the Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.3.18): karmäëy ärabhamäëänäà duùkha-hatyai sukhäya ca paçyet päka-viparyäsaà mithuné-cäriëäà nåëäm All men in this world are inclined to perform karma for the purpose of becoming liberated from sorrow and attaining happiness. But the opposite results are seen. In other words, sorrow is not dispelled and happiness is not attained.

For this reason, Çrémad-Bhägavatam gives the highest instruction for all people of the world: labdhvä su-durlabham idaà bahu-sambhavänte mänuñyam artha-dam anityam apéha dhéraù türëaà yateta na pated anu-måtyu yävan niùçreyasäya viñayaù khalu sarvataù syät Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.9.29) After wandering throughout 8,400,000 species of life one achieves the rare human form of life, which, although temporary, affords one the opportunity to attain the highest perfection. Thus, a sober human being, without wasting even a moment, should endeavour for the ultimate welfare of life as long as his body, which is always subject to death, has not fallen down and died.

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Some persons accept karma, while others accept jïäna or yoga to be the means to attain ultimate prosperity. But this is refuted in Çrémad-Bhägavatam (1.5.12): naiñkarmyam apy acyuta-bhäva-varjitaà na çobhate jïänam alaà niraïjanam Knowledge of self-realization, even though free from all material affinity, does not look well if devoid of a conception of the Supreme Lord.

Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.14.20) further states: na sädhayati mäà yogo na säìkhyaà dharma uddhava na svädhyäyas tapas tyägo yathä bhaktir mamorjitä

O Uddhava, yoga, säìkhya, study of the Vedas, austerity and giving in charity cannot overpower Me as does the intense bhakti performed solely for Me.

The meaning of this verse is that bhagavad-bhakti is the only means by which one can attain his ultimate benefit. This instruction is also given in the çrutis: “bhaktirevainaà nayati bhaktiraàvainaà darñayati bhaktirvaçoù puruño bhaktireva bhüyasé – It is bhakti that reveals Bhagavän to the jévas. That Supreme Person is controlled by this bhakti only.” Therefore, bhakti is superior to all other practices and is the nityadharma of the jéva. In Çrémad-Bhägavatam (11.14.21) Kåñëa also says: “bhaktyäham ekayä gräùya – I can be attained by bhakti alone.” 38


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The Nature and Science of Bhakti

What is the svarüpa of bhakti? Çaëòilya-sütra states: “sä paränuraktiréçvare – bhakti is supreme attachment or love for the Lord; moreover, since it has the propensity to control the supreme controller, its nature is immortal.” Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé describes the intrinsic nature of bhakti as follows: anyäbhiläñitä çünyaà jïäna-karmädy-anävåtam änukülyena kåñëänuçélanam bhakir uttama Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (1.1.11) Uttamä-bhakti, pure devotional service, is the cultivation of activities that are meant exclusively for the pleasure of Çré Kåñëa – in other words, the uninterrupted flow of service to Çré Kåñëa performed through all endeavours of body, mind and speech, and through the expression of various spiritual sentiments (bhävas). It is not covered by jïäna (knowledge aimed at impersonal liberation) and karma (reward seeking activity), yoga or austerities; and it is completely free from all desires other than the aspiration to bring happiness to Çré Kåñëa.

Bhakti has two stages: the stage of practice and the stage of perfection. The stage of practice is called sädhana-bhakti and the stage of perfection is called sädhya-bhakti or premabhakti. Eternally perfect love for Kåñëa is sädhya-bhakti, and it is the jéva’s only eternal religion (nitya-dharma or svarüpadharma). This sädhya-bhakti, although eternally perfect, remains covered in those jévas who have fallen into materialism. When a person in this state attempts to uncover this kåñëa-prema by the practice of bhakti through his present senses, it is called sädhanabhakti. This sädhana-bhakti is also nitya-dharma. It is the

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immature state of nitya-dharma, whereas sädhya-bhakti is said to be the fully matured and ripened state of nitya-dharma. Thus, although nitya-dharma is one, it has two stages. Sädhana-bhakti is also of two types: vaidhé and rägänugä. Until a spontaneous attachment and taste for Kåñëa appears in the heart of a sädhaka, he follows the regulative activities and rules prescribed in çästra. In this way, by observing the discipline of çästra, he engages in kåñëa-bhakti. Performance of such sädhana-bhakti is called vaidhé-sädhana-bhakti. By contrast, one is engaged in rägänugä-sädhana when a spontaneous attachment (räga) and taste arises in the heart; when, without regard to the rules and regulations of çästra, one becomes intensely eager to possess the moods of the vrajaväsés, which are full of attachment for Kåñëa; and when one performs sädhana to follow those vrajaväsés.

The Glories of Saṅkīrtana

Generally, there are sixty-four limbs of this sädhanabhakti. After taking shelter of the lotus feet of çré guru (gurupädäsraya) the prominent limbs are hearing (çravaëam), chanting (kértanam), remembering (smaranam), offering prayers (vandanam), worshipping (arcanam), rendering service (däsyam), friendship (sakhyam) and offering one’s very self (ätma-nivedanam). Of these nine limbs, the three limbs of hearing, chanting and remembering are superior to the others; and of these three, hari-kértana is supreme. All the limbs of bhakti are fully included in harinäma-saìkértana. According to tattva, Kåñëa and Kåñëa’s names are nondifferent from each other. The glories of hari-näma are found in profusion throughout çästra. Especially in Kali-yuga, harinäma-kértana is the sole dharma or refuge:

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harer näma harer näma harer nämaiva kevalam kalau nästy eva nästy eva nästy eva gatir anyathä Båhan-näradéya Puräëa

In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way.

Çrémad-Bhägavatam (6.3.22) also states that harinämasaìkértana is the only supreme dharma of the living beings: etävän eva loke ’smin puàsäà dharmaù paraù småtaù bhakti-yogo bhagavati tan-näma-grahaëädibhiù Devotional service, beginning with the chanting of the holy name of the Lord, is the ultimate religious principle for the living entity in human society.

The Development from Śraddhā to Prema

The sequential progression of the cultivation of nityadharma as revealed by Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé is surely unparalleled and most wonderful in this world: ädau çraddha tata sädhu-saìgo ’tha bhajana-kriya tato ’nartha-nivåtti syattato niñöhä rucistataù athäsaktis tataù bhävstataù premabhyudaïcati sädhakänämaya premnaù prädurbhave bhavet kramaù Bhakti-rasämåta-sindhu (Eastern Division 4.11) 41


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In the beginning, faith in bhakti will arise in a very fortunate person due to the accumulated result of sukåti, previous transcendental pious activities. This faith is the seed of the bhakti creeper. Thereafter comes the association of sädhus and guru, and under their guidance one performs bhajana. As a result of performing bhajana, anarthas are destroyed. One thus attains niñöhä and then ruci, äsakti and bhäva. Bhäva is said to be the sprout of prema. When the fully matured state of bhäva becomes condensed it is called prema. This prema alone is the nitya-dharma of the jévas. This is also the advice of the Supreme Lord Himself, Çré Kåñëa Caitanya Mahäprabhu. It is the most confidential, established subject matter of Veda, Vedänta, çästra, the Upaniñads and the Puräëas.

True Dharma and Cheating Religions

In the world today the majority of dharmas are, in the words of Çrémad-Bhägavatam, kaitava-dharma, ‘cheating religion’. Çré Caitanya-bhägavat also states: “påthivéte dharma näme yata kathä cale, bhägavata kahe tähä paripürëa chale – all worldly ideas that go by the name of religion are, according to Çrémad-Bhägavatam, nothing more than a deception.” Anitya-dharma is that dharma in which prayer for bread and butter is the highest form of worship of the Lord; in which one changes his moral conduct from that of a Hindu to that of a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Christian and a Hindu once again; and in which one attempts to rid oneself of bodily diseases, considering his body to be his soul (self) and his soul to be the Lord. Feeding the people kicharé with the misconception that they are poor; constructing hospitals and godless educational centres believing this to be the topmost service to God; thinking

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that nitya-dharma, anitya-dharma and all other varieties of dharma are one; neglecting nitya-dharma and propagating secularism; sacrificing harmless animals and birds in the name of love for the world; and serving man and nation, are all anityadharma. None of these activities ever brings permanent welfare to the world. However, if we consider nitya-dharma to be like a temple – in other words, to be our highest objective – we may accept these other dharmas partially, but only as steps to reach this temple of nitya-dharma. Wherever these other dharmas contradict, cover or dominate nitya-dharma, they should be completely abandoned. Morality, humanity or worldly love that are devoid of nitya-dharma are meaningless and unworthy of any glorification. The real objective and only purpose of humanity and morality is to attain kåñëa-prema, love for Kåñëa. If there is just one true performer of this nitya-dharma who keeps the fire of hari-saìkértana ablaze, then his nation, caste and society can never be ruined – even after that nation is oppressed and kept dependent by another country and has its treasures looted, its scriptures burned to ashes, and its culture and prosperity destroyed. This saìkértana makes possible the eternal welfare of the world and of one’s country, society, caste and self. I complete my lecture by repeating the final instruction of Çré Kåñëa, the founder of dharma, as found in the Gitopaniñad (18.66): sarva-dharmän parityajya mäm ekaà çaraëaà vraja ahaà tväà sarva-päpebhyo mokñayiñyämi mä çucaù

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Completely abandon all varieties of dharma relating to your body and mind, and just surrender fully unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.

The first annual function at Çré Indraprañöha Gauòéya Maöha, (30th January, 1964) Delhi, a branch of Çré Gauòéya Saìgha founded by Çré Çrémad Bhakti-säraìga Gosvämé Mahäräja. Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhaktivedänta Näräyaëa Mahäräja (speaking), Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhakti-saurabha Bhaktisära Mahäräja (seated on left side), Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhaktivedänta Svämé Mahäräja (seated in the center), Tridaëòi Svämé Çrémad Bhakti-säraìga Gosvämé Mahäräja (seated on right side).

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1921 - 2021 1 0 0 t h A n n i v e r sa ry of His Divine Appearance in this World

d

The Constant Stream of Nec�ar

“W

ithin the sampradāya that follows Vyāsadeva, worship of a guru who acts as ācārya by practising and preaching bhāgavata-dharma is factual worship of Vyāsadeva. To perform vyāsa-pūjā of such an ācārya-guru is to truly fulfil the innermost desire of Śrī Caitanyadeva. Accomplishing vyāsa-pūjā through this process is the only way to resolve the unlimited problems of this world. This form of vyāsa-pūjā is the perfect ideal of worshipping the message of Godhead, as it descends through the succession of authentic gurus (śrauta pūjā).” — Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Excerpt from Chapter 2 - Śrī Vyāsa-pūja and Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta

Çré Giriräja Govardhana Gauòéya Maöha - Murwillumbah Australia


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