Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja Recalls His Early Years, Also Separation and meeting Excerpts from his Lectures
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By his own life’s example, Srila Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja reveals the stages acquired in the gradual development of pure devotion to Sri Krsna. He teaches us what to do, and what not to do, in order to advance in bhakti. He also teach us the importance of acquiring sukrti, spiritual credits accrued by knowingly or unknowingly engaging in acts of devotion, and samskaras, impressions on the heart attained from the sukrti of this and previous lives.
Srila Gurudeva, nitya-lila-pravista Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, is an eternal associate of Sri Sri Radha-Krsna and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We read in sastra that such associates are tri-kala-jña and sarva-jña, meaning that in the past, present, and future, nothing in the Lord’s material or spiritual creation remains unknown to them. We read in SrimadBhagavatam (1.5.6, purport by Srila Bhaktivedanta Svami Maharaja Prabhupada): “A person who is cent-percent engaged in the service of the Lord is the emblem of all knowledge. Such a devotee of the Lord in full perfection of devotional service is also perfect by the qualification of the Personality of Godhead. As such, the eightfold perfections of mystic power (asta-siddhis) constitute very little in his godly opulence.”
By their own life’s example, such pure devotees reveal the stages acquired in the gradual development of pure devotion to Sri Krsna. They teach us what to do, and what not to do, in order to advance in bhakti. They also teach us the importance of acquiring sukrti, spiritual credits accrued by knowingly or unknowingly engaging in acts of devotion, and saṁskaras, impressions on the heart attained from the sukrti of this and previous lives.
We can understand the divine nature of Srila Gurudeva’s pastimes from the words of his own guru maharaja, nitya-lilapravista Sri Srimad Bhakti Prajñana Kesava Gosvami Maharaja (quoted from Rays of The Harmonist, No. 23, 2011): “The eternal form of the acaryadeva is composed of knowledge and bliss and remains constitutionally unchangeable, just like a dramatic performer who appears to go through various transformations during his performance but remains the same unaltered person. On the stage of this world, the acaryadeva merely acts out birth, death, and so forth, all of which we can perceive using our knowledge-acquiring senses.”
I arrived at the Navadvipa-dhama railway station at twelve midnight, and wondered, “How will I be able to find the asrama in Navadvipa? I don’t even know the address. Who can I ask at this late hour?”
I didn’t know how Guruji knew I would be coming that day, but he knew and Narottamananda Brahmacariji also knew; so they had sent pujyapada Vamana Gosvami Maharaja, lantern in hand and accompanied by another brahmacari, to find me. The sight of the two of them approaching made me very happy. Together with them I arrived at the matha easily, where I saw Narottamananda Brahmacariji, my guruji, and many other Vaisnavas. That day was the eve of Navadvipa-dhama parikrama.
The person in charge of the matha at that time was Sri Narahari Thakuraji, a god-brother of my guruji and an extremely dear disciple of his gurudeva, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Srila
Sarasvati Prabhupada. Because Sri Narahari Thakuraji took care of everyone in the matha, especially the children, he was affectionately called 'mother of the matha.' He would
chant harinama throughout the day and night, binding his sikha to a ceiling beam at night so that he would not fall asleep while chanting. Wherever he would go during the day, he continuously chanted harinama. I was a recipient of his abundant love and affection.
Without anyone's instruction or awareness, I began sweeping the floors in the matha, cleaning the cooking pots, and performing a variety of other services. Shortly after Navadvipa-dhama parikrama was completed, I received both harinama and diksa initiations.
Guruji soon became satisfied with my seva and saw my taste for hari-katha, and thus he began to keep me with him and engage me in his personal service. I then started to cook for him and wash his clothes, and I listened to his hari-katha. That I had previously been a police officer was a distant memory. Everything from the past was left behind. [ EXCERPT ]
TITLE: Impressions of Bhakti - English
AUTHOR: Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Goswami Maharaja
PUBLISHER: Gaudiya Vedanta Publications
ISBNs: 9781935428367 978-1-93542-836-7 1935428365 1-935428-36-5
EDITION: First, 2014
PAGES: 28, Illustrated
SHIPPING WEIGHT: 150 grams
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