Published On: Wed, Nov 25th, 2020

An Era Not To Be Forgotten

goura-kisora

Srila Gaurakisora Still Lives in Our Hearts

Translated by Vyankata dasa Brahmacari
Edited by Kesava Bharati dasa Vanacari
Dedicated to my spiritual master and eternal guide His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

(Excerpt)

NAMO GAURA-KISORAYA SAKSAD-VAIRAGYA-MURTAYE VIPRALAMBHA-RASAMBUDHE PADAMBUJAYA TE NAMAH

I offer my respectful obeisances unto Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja (the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati), who is renunciation personified. He is always merged in a feeling of separation and intense love of Krsna.

“ALL GLORIES TO GURU AND GOURANGA”

“SRI SRI GURU GOURANGA JAYATAH”

Preface

The following descriptions of the most highly renounced acarya (spiritual teacher), Om Visnupada Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji documents a significant part of the history of our Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession. These wonderful, mind-attracting stories and instructions vividly illustrate that the problems we face in our march against maya (illusion) are not new manifestations of her manifold trickery, but are eternal displays. Moreover, a deeper insight into the relationships among our previous acaryas strengthens the faith of the inquisitive and intelligent disciple. And to those narrow-minded persons who entertain doubts about the teachings of the acaryas in the last century, this work will present a challenge based on actual facts, quotes and historical records now at our disposal.

The following articles appeared in the Sajjana Tosani monthly magazine in the year 1917. The articles, entitled Anaran Prabhura katha or “The Instructions of My Spiritual Master” appeared in the nineteenth volume, numbers five and six. The editors of the Caitanya Matha corrected these magazine articles by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura and compiled them into a small book. The headings of the stories were given by the editorial staff to depict their specific instructions. The original articles can be found in the Devananda Gaudiya Matha in Navadwip, West Bengal as well as in their branch in Mathura, Utar Pradesh.

The Real Spiritual Master and Disciple

The articles by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura describe the unearthly character of Srila Gaurakisora das Babaji Maharaja. The descriptions of spiritual leaders by historians and ordinary authors cannot compare to these unique presentations, which preserve the transcendental qualities of Srila Gaurakisora and simultaneously reveal the path by which the rare character of such an immortal personality can be followed.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura brings to light how we pretentiously approach the spiritual master, feigning advancement, pregnant with arrogance, and intoxicated by desires for sense gratification. The neophyte devotee is always in a precarious situation. Due to a poor fund of knowledge and lack of faith, he has the tendency to imitate. By studying the instructions of Srila Gaurakisora one can learn how to escape the jaws of false renunciation and offensive mockery. In other words, the present level of our spiritual advancement is made obvious upon hearing the highly renounced example of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur describes himself before his meeting Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji: “I have been busy within this material world trying to bring sense gratification within the grasp of my hand. I have often thought that by obtaining the object of sense gratification, all my shortcomings will be fulfilled. I often attained different assets that were indeed very rare, but my own personal shortcomings were never mitigated. In this material world I have had the association of very high-class, aristocratic persons. However, seeing their various deficiencies, I could not offer them praise. The most merciful Supreme Lord, Sri Gourasundara, seeing me in such a lamentable condition at such a time of diversity, gave permission to His two dearmost devotees to grant their blessings to me. Because I was always intoxicated with a worldly false ego, wanting again and again self-aggrandizement, I deprived myself of my own real benefit. But because of the influence of my previous births’ activities in devotional service, I came into the association of Srila Bhativinode Thakura, who was the form of my spiritual well wisher.

“My spiritual master would go and visit Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura and many times would reside with him. Srila Bhaktivinode, out of his compassion for other living entities, pointed out my spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji. Upon seeing my spiritual master, the extent of my worldly false ego diminished. I know that all the other living entities who have taken the human form of life were also fallen and low like myself. But by gradually observing the spiritual character of my master, I realized that only a Vaisnava could reside in this material world and be of exemplary character.”

The External and Internal Identity of Srila Gaurakisora

Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji appeared almost one hundred years ago in the district of Pharidapura next to the place called Tepakhola in the village of Vagyana. In that village, which is situated on the shore of the Padma River, he was born as the son of a Vaisya named Vamsi das. During his boyhood his mother and father arranged his marriage and he remained in household life for almost twenty-nine years, working as a grain broker.

After the death of his wife, he left his business and approached Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji, requesting from him the traditional paramahamsa Vaisnava Babaji dress. After accepting Babaji initiation from Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji, who was a disciple of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, Srila Gaurkisora travelled from village to village in Vrndavana, continually performing his worship to Lord Krsna for approximately thirty years. During this time he would sometimes travel to the holy places of pilgrimage in northern and western India. He associated with Sri Svarupa dasa Babaji in Jagannatha Puri, Srila Bhagavan dasa Babaji in Kalina, and Sri Caitanya dasa Babaji in Khulia. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji became famous among the great devotees of Vrndavana and was given the appropriate name bhajananandi . Even though Srila Gaurakisora received such exalted honor, he never secretly endeavored for even a drop of material sense gratification. He was totally indifferent to material enjoyment. Self-satisfied and alone, he performed his his pure, unalloyed devotional pastimes in a deep devotional mood.

In the year 1897, during the month of Phalguna (March), when the Yoga Pith (the exact birth-place of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu) in Sri Mayapura Dhama was revealed, Srila Gaurakisora came to Sri Navadwipa Dhama from Vrndavana. From this time until his disappearance, Srila Gaurakisora lived in different villages in the area of Sri Navadwipa Dhama, realizing them as nondifferent from Vrndavana. He begged dry foodstuffs from the householders of the holy dhama, sometimes offering the food in his hand to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. To cook, he would often collect dry wood from the paths and he would wash used earthen pots that people had discarded along the roadside near the River Ganga. To clothe himself, he would go to the shore of the Ganga and collect and wash discarded cloth that had been used to cover corpses in the burning ghats . In this way, always remaining independent from the support of others, he fulfilled his practical necessities by using items that had no value for anyone.

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura would often cite the behavior of Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji to explain the meaning of nirapeksa, “indifference.” He often discussed the unequaled renunciation, pure devotion, and attachment to Krsna that Babaji Maharaja displayed. Babaji Maharaja frequently visited Svananda Kunja, a place within Godrumadwipa (one of the nine islands of Navadwipa), where Bhaktivinode Thakura spent his last days in retirement. Srila Gaurakisora would come to hear Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura discourse on Srimad Bhagavatam and other topics concerning the intimate conclusions of devotional service. Babaji Maharaja would display fervent enthusiasm upon hearing these discourses.

His only possessions were the Tulasi mala he wore around his neck and the set of Tulasi mala he kept in his hand for counting. He also kept a few books, such as Narottama dasa Thakura’s works, Prarthana and Prema Bhakti Chandrika . Sometimes Gaurakisora dasa Babaji would wear no Tulasi mala around his neck and he would hold a torn knotted cloth in his hand for chanting his rounds. Sometimes, he would wear his kopin open and sometimes, he would wear no kopin at all. Sometimes Srila Gaurakisora would utter harsh sounds of disgust for no apparent reason.

Even though Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was not learned in Sanskrit grammatical rules, still the purport and conclusions of all scriptures were luminous in his heart and character. No one could ever find an opportunity to serve him because he refused to accept any kind of service from anyone. Whenever anyone saw his unearthly state of renunciation, they could only remember the topics of Srila Raghunatha das Goswami. Every kind of opulence, such as omniscience, was always waiting with folded hands to serve him. He was able to reveal the deceitful nature lying within the heart of any pretender. Even if someone was not residing in his vicinity, Babaji Maharaja could elaborately and scrutinizingly reveal that person’s cheating nature, because he was in contact with the Supersoul in the heart. This opulence was not, however, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji’s principal virtue. He exhibited the highest standard of devotion to the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, and because of his exemplary character, he was renowned as the embodiment of the deepest degree of separation from Lord Sri Krsna. His pure devotion distinguished him from all other Vaisnavas and eternally spread the luster of his lotus feet.

The Vaisnava Imposter

Many people–young, old, learned, foolish, proud, and reasonable–came into contact with Srila Gaurakisora without realizing his real identity. The devotees of Lord Krsna have this mystic opulence. Coming to consult with Srila Gaurakisora about their insignificant desires, many persons would get suggestions that were usually a cause of disappointment. Innumerable persons accepted the babaji dress, acting as devotees of the Lord. Far from being sadhus (saintly persons), they were actually imposters. Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji never accepted such a way of life. The sincerity in his activities was self-evident. His loving attitude was such that even when he obtained an opulent offering, his renunciation predominated.

Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji never displayed any distaste for persons opposed to him. Nor did he ever manifest special affection for those very dear to him. He would often say, “In this material world I am all alone in my service to Lord Krsna. Everyone is worshipable by me.” Many materialistic, foolish persons masquerading as devotees would surround him. They would consider themselves as objects of his affection; mean while, their minds were engaged in so many worldly sense objects. Srila Gaurakisora never showed any intention of driving them away or of compromising with them.

In Svananda Kunja

In 1898, soon after Svananda Sukhada Kunja was built in Godrumadvipa, Navadwipa Dhama, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati first met his spiritual master, Srila Gaurakisora. On that day, the embodiment of the highest boon in the succession of the Rupanuga Sampradaya, Om Paramahamsa Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, in deep humility, following the direct instruction of Sri Varsabhanavi devi (Radharani) and singing in a plaintive voice, arrived in Svananda Kunja. The transcendental crest jewel of the highest renounced order, avadhuta, was wearing a cap made of tiger skin and carrying a basket of various items and materials for executing his service. He offered Srila Bhaktisiddhanta four or five pieces of rope for chanting rounds, a stamp for tilaka with the initials Hare Krsna, the tiger skin cap, and paraphernalia for worship. Srila Gaurakisora had received the basket and cap from his spiritual master, Srila Bhagavat dasa Babaji. In January, 1900, Srila Gaurakisora initiated Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati

The great devotee, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, frequently came to Svananda Kunja to hear Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura’s explanations of the Srimad Bhagavatam . He would usually arrive at about three o’clock in the afternoon and leave around five o’clock. On several occasions, he would spend the night in a corner of Svananda Kunja in a small hut. At times he would stay at a place called Amalajoda next to Svananda Kunja in the district of Parddhamana. At other times he would stay at Pradyumna Kunja at the residence of Sri Ksetranath Bhaktinidhi and Sri Vipina Bihari. He would collect dry wood and old, discarded clay containers and would place these on the verandas there. Another devotee, Cattopadhyaya Bhakti Bhrnga would also regularly come to Navadwipaa Dhama to hear Bhaktivinode Thakura’s lectures. Occasionally Srila Gaurakisora would accept prasada from Svananda Kunja and then again he would fast and under no circumstances accept prasada . In this way he would either fast, accept prasadam, or cook for himself. At times Babaji Maharaja would act as if afflicted by a disease called siroroga, or insanity and blindness. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakuta arranged a proper diet for him, but to the Thakura’s dismay Babaji Maharaja continued enacting his intense renunciation. He never paid any attention to the diet Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura arranged. He enacted this pastime to such a degree that eventually he almost lost sight in both eyes.

In 1908 Srila Gaurakisora lost his external vision completely. The following year he stopped all traveling and began to reside in Navadwipa. He built a kutir for performing bhajan at Pradyumna Kunja, which was previously owned by the deceased Saraccandra Vasu of South Calcutta. There he would chant japa and perform his worship of Lord Krsna. Now and then, having lost external bodily consciousness, Srila Gaura Kisora would act as if he could not recognize whether he was dressed or not. In that condition he would often go to swim in the Sarasvati River with all his cloth open. Afterwards, he would enter into his small bhajan kutir and in a deep voice he would begin calling the gopis of Vrndavana.

The Material Universe

During the time Gaurakisora dasa Babaji was acting as if he was losing his eyesight, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested him to go to Calcutta for proper treatment. Bhaktivinode Thakura also requested him many times to go there, but Srila Gaurakisora would say, “I will never go to the material universe, Calcutta.” Srila Bhaktivinode Thakura told Babaji Maharaja that his servant, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, would be in Calcutta and so Srila Gaurakisora would not have to undergo any inconvenience. “I will never accept his service,” replied Srila Gaurakisora. “I will drown myself first in the Sarasvati River. If I drown myself in the Sarasvati River, then perhaps I can take birth as a ghost.” Then Srila Gaurakisora left very quickly, proceeding toward the Sarasvati River, which flowed in front of Svananda Kunja. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, running behind him, humbly requested again and again that he come back. From that day, Srila Babaji Maharaja was seen nor heard for about forty-five days. Then, suddenly, after forty-five days, he arrived at Svananda Kunja and declared, “By killing myself I will not obtain Sri Krsna. Nevertheless, I cannot tolerate anyone serving me directly.” Although requested hundreds of times to take medicine, Srila Gaurakisora never consented. He always followed Ekadasi without accepting water. On days other than Ekadasi he would eat dried, cracked rice and dried pepper that had been soaked in Ganges water. His renunciation was not false, but was that which gave pleasure to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Sri Krsna.

Sri Mayapura Dhama

From 1907 to 1908. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta lived in Mayapur at the Yoga Pith. Here the Adhoksaja Visnu Deity, found during the digging of the Caitanya Matha, later manifested. Before the construction of the temple the place was called Kanatala. Srila Gaurakisora spent much of his time there. At this time, Babaji Maharaja gave instructions to Bhaktisiddhanta about the mystery of the disciple’s service to his guru and the example of proper behavior for Vaisnavas. Once, although completely blind, Babaji Maharaja arrived alone in Sri Dhama Mayapura at the Yoga Pith, at two o’clock in the morning. Later in the morning, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, amazed to see Srila Gaurakisora, inquired, “When did you arrive?” “I arrived at about two in the morning,” replied Babaji Maharaja. Completely astonished, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati then asked, “What is it that brought you here last night, and how was it possible to acquire light to see the path?”

“One person showed me the proper way,” answered Srila Gaurakisora. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati replied, “We can see by our external vision, but you cannot see. Who would bring you such a long distance by hand? And then, upon arriving here, who would suddenly leave in the middle of the night? How is it that you were able to come? It must have been Sri Krsna who personaly brought you here.” Hearing this supposition by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, Srila Babaji Maharaja began to laugh slightly. The fact was that in those days one could not walk from Kulia to Mayapura because there were no footpaths and no boat landings. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati again inquired, “Who brought you accross the river?” Again Srila Gaurakisora laughingly answered, “One person took me accross the river.” His disciple could then understand that this person was none other then Vrajanandana, Sri Krsna.

The Real and Pretender Bhajananandi

Once, while Srila Gaurakisora was residing in the dharmsala in Kulia, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati asked him many questions about the residents of Vrndavana and the various devotees who were performing solitary worship there. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta especially asked about the bhananandis, who were reputed to be perfect, realized souls. Srila Gaurakisora laughed again and again upon hearing this question, finally stating, “They are all imposters.”

One babaji residing at Kusama Sarova was renowned as a great bhajananandi . He had a few disciples who were also reputed to be perfectly realized persons. But Srila Gaura Kisora did not even slightly agree to the authenticity of their worship. After some time, these “great souls” were afflicted with leprosy of the throat and left their bodies after extreme suffering. They had resided in the Holy Dhama with their intelligence bent on sense gratification and thus they would behave offensively toward Srila Gaura Kisora.

Deception and Actual Residence in the Holy Dhama

One day a young devotee, very anxiously desiring to serve and reside in the Holy Dhama of Navadwipa, came and revealed his intentions to Srila Gaurakisora. The young man had made arrangements to remain in the Holy Dhama and as a doctor treat sick persons. He planned to beg from the residents of the Dhama and sell his medicine on the side. Then, with the profits he could maintain himself and give free medical treatment to sick patients. He considered that in this way he could perform his bhajan and at the same time perform the highest welfare activity. To confirm his plans he came to get the advice of Srila Gaurakisora. When he arrived and presented his proposal, he quoted the following verses from Caitanya Caritamrta (Adi Lila 10:50-51):

pratigraha nahi kare, na laya kara dhana
atma-vrtti kari kare kutumbe bharana

cikitsa karena yare hoiya sadaya
deha-roga bhava-roga, dui tara ksaya

“Srila Murari Gupta never accepted charity from his friends, nor did he accept money from anyone. He practiced being a physician and maintained his family with his earnings. As Murari Gupta treated his patients, by his mercy, both their bodily and spiritual diseases ceased.”

Srila Gaurakisora could understand the restlessness of the doctor and his pretensions of wanting to live in the Holy Dhama for his so-called devotional service. Srila Gaurakisora made this evident when he explained, “Murari Gupta is an eternal associate of Lord Caitanya and is always residing in the Holy Dhama. He never suggested any intentions of residing in the Supreme Lord’s Holy Dhama by supporting himself through unjust means to enjoy sense gratification. He never, at the expense of any temple, supported his family, nor was he ever solely interested in earning money to maintain a full stomach. He would never accept charity from his friends or any other persons. He was the direct form of the storehouse of love of Godhead. By his mercy, persons would obtain the mercy of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Whomever he would treat would become completely free from disease and obtain loving affection unto the Supreme Lord. If one does not follow the example of his character, one must suffer the distressed-filled results of his past misdeeds, becaue of one’s false pretensions of seemingly performing devotional service while actually supporting sense gratification. You are a patient yourself of this material world. How will you properly treat others? You must incessantly and seriously pray for the mercy of Srila Murari Gupta. Then you will be able to understand what is actual benefit. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed that one must have no false pretentions in his intelligence when chanting Hare Krsna. Those who have such intentions are considered less intelligent. You should give up your bad intelligence and begin the process of chanting the glories of the Supreme Lord. If anyone performs devotional service with your false intentions, then one’s devotion becomes a product of lust and everything is lost. The administering of free medical treatment for the purpose of self-prestige and the desire to reside in the Holy Dhama have no point of unity. A person desirous of the fruits of his activities can never live in the Holy Dhama.”

Hearing the instructions of Babaji Maharaja, the doctor inquired, “Therefore, what should I do?” Srila Gaurakisora replied, “If your actually want the result of residing in the Holy Dhama, then you should first give up all relationships with the idea you are entertaining. Abandon this misconception of benefitting materialistic persons by distributing free medical treatment. Those who are resolute in performing worship unto the Supreme Lord, Hari, will never discharge any activities unfavorable to the Supreme Lord, and they will only perform favorable activities. Other then this, all activities performed will be the cause of deep conditioning. If you want to support yourself in the way you have planned, then you should return to your own residence outside the Holy Dhama, but do not live within the Supreme Abode of the Absolute Truth, Sri Krsna, and deceptively maintain your livelihood.”

The New Babaji

A new practitioner who had taken the dress of babaji would ofter come and converse with Srila Gaurakisora. Once his decided he would become a resident of the Holy Dhama. In Kulia he approached the estate of a landowner (who was at that time a queen) to purchase three-quarters of an acre of land. Upon hearing this, Srila Gaurakisora commented, “The Supreme Abode of the Lord is transcendental. How is it that this queen has become a landowner of the Holy Dhama? How is it that this person is entitled to sell that new Baba a portion of the land of the Holy Dhama? Even all the jewels found within the universe are not valuable enough to buy even one spec of dust of the Holy Dhama. Therefore, how can any landowner amass enough wealth to become the owner of a plot of the transcendental abode of Sri Navadwipa Dhama? Has this new Baba, for the exchange of the practice of devotional service, become entitled to a portion of land in Navadwipa Dhama? Anyone who has such materially tinged intelligence is very offensive and far away from actually residing within the Holy Dhama. Those persons whose attitude is tinged with such material intelligence, thinking the Holy Dhama is of material nature, are considered by the devotees of the Supreme Lord to be sahajiyas or cheap imposters”

Deception and Devotional Service

One day a resident of Banladesh who was a very wealthy landlord, a scholar, a brahmana, and a famous great devotee of the Lord came along with his friend to see Srila Gaurakisora. The landowner was so deeply absorbed in devotional ecstacies that his friend had to assist him by holding his hand when he walked. His friend would hold the shoulder of the wealthy landowner because his body was trembling so much. When the two arrived before Srila Gaurakisora, two other persons present immediately recognized the wealthy landowner and received him as an advanced devotee of the Lord. They very carefully offered their obeisances to him and arranged a seating place, praying to him to pleased be seated. At that time Srila Gaurakisora, enacting his pastime of a blind person, said, “Who has come?” The friend of the landowner introduced his companion by glorifying the landowner’s eruditon. devotion, and detachment from material sense gratification although he possessed unlimited wealth. He then described how, just one fortnight before, a thief had come and stolen forty-five thousand Rupees from the landowner’s house. Although suffering such a setback, the lanowner, knowing devotion to be the main attachment, had come to obtain Srila Gaurakisora’s transcendental darsan . The friend added, “I am his friend. He has left all material sense gratification and keeps only my association. You will be able to realize his greatness by conversing with him. He once asked me a question about a confidential exchange between Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Ramananda Raya from the Caitanya Caritamrta . I told him that only Gaurakisora dasa Babaji could properly answer his question and certainly no one else. We have already been to see many learned persons in this area and yet we cannot come to an agreement about the meaning of this conversation. We think that only you are able to explain it properly.”

After the friend of the great devotee completed his introduction, Srila Gaurakisora replied, “I will tell you a process by which you can understand the conclusion of this conversaton. But before trying to understand these confidential topics between Lord Caitanya and Ramananda Raya, you should renounce the association of this other rascal imposter and take shelter of a pure devotee of the Lord. You should hear the Caitanya Caritamrta one humdred times in the association of real devotees of the Lord. In this way, being absorbed in devotional ecstasy, you wil be able to realize the purport of these conversations. At the present moment all the devotees here want to perform congregational chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord. We don’t have time to discuss any other topics.” Then Srila Gaurakisora very loudly requested everyone to perform Hari Nama Sankirtana. Evryone then began to congregationally chant the Lord’s Holy Name. After hearing the statement by Srila Gaurakisora, the proud landowner and his friend immediately left that place. Later in the evening, when almost everyone had left, some persons told Srila Gaurakisora, “That very learned landowner was absorbed in devotional ecstasy. We could not see any manifestation of material consciousness in him. He was devoid of any worldly consciousness.” Another person sitting nearby, who had always heard that Srila Gaurakisora was very open with everyone, said, “That person was so immersed in various loving devotional ecstasies that he could not even walk by his own efforts. How is it that you can say he was not on the highest level of bhava bhakti ?”

Gaurakisora dasa Babaji then replied, “After speaking with him a few moments, I could understand that he had no good intentions in his performance of devotional service. One cannot measure the amount of devotion a person possesses by the approval of the general people. If a person is not serious in his devotional practice, then even if he has the symptoms of renunciation, detachment, and many ecstasies, still he should not be considered to have real renunciation or detachent. As soon as a difficult test comes, then that false renunciation will cease. Detachment searches out the shelter of those who are actually fixed in their intentions for devotional service. In our practical devotional service, we should never show anyone our devotional ecstasies. One should perform devotional service in such a way that his deep attachment to the Lord will increase within his heart. Even if one displays hundreds and hundreds of exhibitions of external attachment, he will not be blessed by the Lord if he does not develop an internal loving attachment. If there is actually a deep loving attitude, then Krsna Himself will approach and overtake the advanced devotee. Whoever is not enticed by the fragrance of unflinching devotional service and whose heart is filled with material desires will wear different types of external bodily dress. Krsna is proportionately aloof or available to the degree of one’s surrender. If one is deeply emmersed in devotional attachment to Lord Hari, then even while suffering distressing diseases or other material miseries, still he will remain absorbed in transcendental loving service to the Lord. If you can fast and chant Hare Krsna both day and night, and when you can always cry out in desire for the service of Vrsabhanu Radharani, without displaying this to others, then Sri Krsna, who is very dear to Srimati Radharani, will call out for you to take his shelter.”

The Grains of the Materialist

A lawyer came to visit Srila Gaurakisora. He was living in the nearby vicinity and had contracted a certain Goswami on a monthly basis to arrange for his food. When the lawyer, Bhattacarya, approached Srila Gaurakisora, he was asked, “What arrangements do you have for your foodstuffs?” The lawyer replied, “I have arranged to receive my foodstuffs in the house of certain Vaisnavas and brahmanas .” Srila Gaurakisora answered, “Give up eating their cooked rice. You should cook yourself and accept that. Those persons from whom you are accepting food grains eat meat and maintain their service to Lord Caitanya by various deceptive ways. Their activity is most offensive because they are in knowledge of what they are doing. Those persons who have no fear of offenses that they may perform to the Supreme Lord should never be spoken to. Otherwise, one’s devotional sevice will be destroyed.”

After sometime the lawyer brought several sweets and offered them to Srila Gaurakisora. He especially prayed to Srila Gaurakisora to accept his sweet offering. Srila Gaurakisora then told him, “Never accept sweetmeats.” Then Bhattacarya replied, “There is nothing higher than accepting food that the Lord has directly accepted.” Babaji Maharaja said, “Whoever eats fish is like a prostitute. If someone has perverted desires and offers foodstuffs unto Lord Caitanya, those preparations can never be accepted as the prasada of the Supreme Lord because the Lord does not partake of them. Whoever is not actually a sincere devotee of the Lord cannot understand what a nondevotee is. Even if one offers foodstuffs to the Supreme Lord, if one has perverted intentions then the offering is never accepted. If one offers the covering of the banana flowers because he himself likes its taste, the offering is not accepted by the Supreme Lord. Offering foodstuffs to the Supreme Lord that have been contaminated by one’s lusty desires should be considered a great offense. If preparations favored by the great devotees of the Lord are offered, then the offering is considered proper. Krsna tastes foodstuffs that have been tasted by the lips of His pure devotees. If one accepts the grains of a sinful person, then his mind becomes impure. One should think, ‘My worship to the Lord has not fructified yet–how can I obtain the service of a pure devotee of the Lord?’ In this way, with heart full of grief, if one takes banana peels and the discarded skin of an eggplant and boils them without salt, this attitude of full surrender will cause those foodstuffs to become mahaprasada . ‘My worship to the Lord has not yet come about.’ one should think. ‘The pure devotee of the Lord accepts nice foodstuffs, but my doing so would only impede my devotion. What will happen to me if I continue eating nicely and wearing nice clothes?”

To be continued…