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On the disappearance day of Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji

An enlightening discourse by Giriraj Swami on the disappearance day celebration of Srila Jagannatha dasa babaji:

“Today is Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja’s disappearance day. He comes in the Gaudiya Vaishnava disciplic succession after Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura and Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana. He was a renounced ascetic, fully engaged in chanting the holy names of Krishna and meditating on His pastimes. For some time, he made his residence at Surya-kunda in Vraja-dhama, near the temple of Suryadeva, where Srimati Radharani used to come and worship the sun-god—or, I should say, where She used to come to meet Krishna on the pretext of coming to worship the sun-god.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who comes in the disciplic succession after Jagannatha dasa Babaji, accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja as his main guru, his siksa-guru. Once, some of Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s disciples in Vraja approached the Thakura. They complained that although they had come to Vraja to live like Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja, fully absorbed in chanting the holy names and meditating on Sri Sri Radha-Krishna’s astakaliya-lila, Babaji Maharaja had refused to instruct them in such esoteric topics and had instead engaged them in cultivating tulasi plants, flowers, and vegetables to offer to the Lord. So these disciples requested Bhaktivinoda Thakura to appeal to their guru maharaja to instruct them in the esoteric practices of Krishna consciousness.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura told them, “Actually, your gurudeva’s instructions are right for you. Because you still have anarthas, for you to try to sit and do nirjana-bhajana [solitary worship] and practice asta-kaliya-lila-smarana [meditation on the Lord’s eightfold daily pastimes] would be artificial, and you would just become degraded. So you should follow your gurudeva’s instructions with full faith and work hard in Krishna’s service. Then, in time, you may be able to chant the holy names purely.”

Eventually, Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja moved to Mayapur, where he lived by the banks of the Ganges, fully absorbed in chanting the holy names. He had the greatest reverence for the holy land of Navadvipa. Although he was so renounced and so absorbed in Krishna consciousness, as his reputation spread, gentlemen would come to him and give him donations. Once, Babaji Maharaja asked one of his servants to take the donations he had received, which he kept in an old burlap bag, and purchase a large pot of rasagullas. All the devotees were surprised, because Jagannatha dasa Babaji was so renounced and lived so simply. He would eat just the most simple rice and dal. Anyway, the servant brought the sweets, and Jagannatha dasa Babaji offered them to his Deities and then distributed them to the cows and dogs in the dhama. He said the creatures of the dhama were elevated souls and worthy of service.

Later, Babaji Maharaja would not accept prasada until he had shared his food with ten newborn puppies. He would wait until they came, and he would count them with his hands. (In his old age, Babaji Maharaja’s eyelids drooped over his eyes and prevented him from seeing.) So, he would count them with his hands, and only after they had begun to eat would he also partake. He would say, “They are puppies of the dhama. They are not ordinary living entities.” He had so much faith in and affection for the dhama.

He had less affection for Mayavadi impersonalists. He used to say, “Let the dogs come in for darsana, but the impersonalists—kick them out!”

Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji lived to a very old age. In fact, some Vaishnavas say he was just waiting for Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura to come—someone to whom he could impart his special knowledge and realization, for the benefit of humanity. Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura had requested to be transferred from his post in Orissa to Bengal so he could be near Navadvipa-dhama. And eventually, he was posted at Krishnanagar, near Navadvipa.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura did extensive research to determine the actual birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. He studied various old maps, consulted the local people, and visited the different places. Eventually he found a mound where many tulasi trees were growing. He got the intuition that this was the actual birthplace of Lord Chaitanya, but still he wanted his intuition to be confirmed. At the time, Jagannatha dasa Babaji was the most renowned Vaishnava, and he was Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura’s siksa-guru. Thus, Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s disciples carried him to the place with the mound and tulasi plants. He was so old (over a hundred and forty years old, some say) that his disciples had to carry him in a basket. And his eyelids were so heavy that he had to open them with his hands to be able to see. So, the disciples brought him, but they didn’t tell him that it was the site Bhaktivinoda Thakura had determined to be the birthplace. Still, when Babaji Maharaja arrived there, he spontaneously jumped out of his basket and began to dance in ecstasy, singing the holy names. Thus he confirmed the location of Mahaprabhu’s birthplace.

Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s bhajana-kutira and samadhi are there in Navadvipa-dhama, in Koladvipa. Devotees who perform Navadvipa-parikrama visit there and get his mercy. We also pray to him for his mercy, that we may be instrumental in fulfilling the desires of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura, and the other acaryas in the line of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu coming to us through Srila Prabhupada and his disciples.

Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji Maharaja ki jaya!
Srila Prabhpada ki jaya!”

[A talk by Giriraj Swami on Jagannatha dasa Babaji’s disappearance day, February 20, 2004, Carpinteria, California]

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King Of The Zulu Nation

Today, myself and several devotees met with His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini, the reigning King of the Zulu Nation in South Africa. Ruling over 11 million people King Goodwill plays an important part in South African politics and culture. We had a long discussion about social cohesion and how to unite the diverse ethnic peoples of the country. We agreed that the ultimate solution is a spiritual one, where the people of South Africa understand their common bond is that they are all children of one God, who has many names. The King and I felt a strong bond from our previous encounters together.

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In Memoriam

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Dear Gopinatha Acarya,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

It was with great sadness that I learned of your sudden departure the day before yesterday. Though we never served together, we had a number of nice exchanges over the years whenever I would visit Australia and New Govardhana in particular.

In your long career as a devotee, two contributions stand out in my mind. The first is your dedication to book distribution in the early days of the Australian yatra, and the second is your service to Lord Krsna’s cows over many years. In these two valuable services you acted as a proper brahmana: you distributed transcendental knowledge and you gave great pleasure to the Lord by protecting and maintaining his dear-most cows. Through such service you exemplified what is most dear to the Lord as explained in the following verse from the Visnu Purana:

namo brahmanya-devaya
go-brahmana-hitaya ca
jagad-dhitaya krsnaya
govindaya namo namah

“My Lord, You are the well-wisher of the cows and the brahmanas, and You are the benefactor of the entire human society.” ( Visnu Purana 1.19.65 )

In this connection, Srila Prabhupada writes:

“Without protection of cows, brahminical culture cannot be maintained, and without brahminical culture the aim of life cannot be fulfilled.”

[ Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.24.5 Purport ]

Thank you for being the perfect example of fulfilling this purport written by our spiritual master.

As a vaisnava, you illuminated this world of darkness by sharing transcendental knowledge and rendering service to the sacred cow. Thus, unbeknownst to most people, the world became a little darker the day before yesterday because the light of your seva was extinguished.

But our loss was others’ gain, for upon your demise you were no doubt greeted by joyful devotees eager to have your association on your next assignment in service to our beloved lord and master, Srila Prabhupada, be it in this world or the world of transcendence. Either way, you are blessed. When our godbrother Visnujana Maharaja passed away early in his devotional life, HH Tamal Krsna Goswami asked Srila Prabhupada where he was and how he was doing. Srila Prabhupada sat back and smiled. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he is doing very nicely.”

The many devotees who loved and appreciated you may lament they didn’t have the opportunity to be with you at the time of your death. Leaving this body is never easy and can be a great challenge. But as devotees we have no need to worry. Once Ramanujacarya asked the famous Ranganatha deity, “My Lord, what happens if Your devotee cannot remember You at the moment of death?”

Lord Ranganatha replied, “If My devotee cannot remember Me at the moment of death then I shall remember My devotee!”.

No doubt the Lord remembered you, surrounded as you were by so many cows. And we will also remember you. You were a pioneer in the history of the Australian yatra. We should remember and discuss your sustained service for many years to come, lest we forget.

Though you are no longer amongst us I know this message will reach you through the transcendental medium of our guru parampara. We wish you well on your path back to the spiritual world. And if you have attained that goal please look down lovingly upon those of us who remain behind. In reality we are the ones to be lamented, for we remain within this world of birth and death, whereas you are now safely on the other shore by the side of Srila Prabhupada, serving him to your heart’s content.

Your servant,
Indradyumna Swami

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The Path to Attaining the Mercy of Lord Nityananda / Путь обретения милости Господа Нитьянанды

“Нитьянанду Прабху могли оскорбить, однако Он приблизился к Джагаю и Мадхаю и, конечно же, освободил их. Мир полон джагаями и мадхаями – пьяницами, охотниками за женщинами, мясоедами и картежниками – и мы должны будем приближаться к ним, рискуя быть в награду оскорбленными, побитыми или еще что-нибудь эдакое. Сталкиваться с такими превратностями жизни и терпеть результаты действий считается величайшей аскезой и епитимьей в деле духовного продвижения общества”.

[ письмо Шрилы Прабхупады от 27 января 1970 ]

 

“Nityananda Prabhu approached Jagai and Madhai at the risk of being personally injured and still He definitely delivered them. The world is full of Jagai’s and Madhai’s; namely drunkards, women-hunters, meat eaters, and gamblers, and we will have to approach them at the risk of insult, injury, and similar other rewards. To face such reverse conditions of life and to suffer thereby the results of actions is considered as the greatest penance and austerity in the matter of spiritual advancement of life.”
[ Srila Prabhupada letter, January 27, 1970 ]

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The Varaha-Nrsimha mantra / Вараха-Нрисимха мантра

чакраштака-дхарам девам
три-нетрам когра-виграхам
вишварупам аджам саумйам
вараха-нрихарим бхадже

“Всевышнему, Три-глазому, Кто держит
восемь чакр; Самой драчливости, чья Рупа –
Универсум; Тому, кто нерожден, Ему, кто добр, –
Варахе-Нрихари мое служенье”.

[ Шри-панчаратра Бхагавачшастра, “Шеша-самхита”, под ред. Лакшмипурам Шринивасачарйи.
Напечатано в “Rajakiya-sakha-mudranalaya”, Майсур, 1935. Найдено Шриманом Хари Паршад дасом ]

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cakrastaka-dharam devam
tri-netram cogra-vigraham
visvarupam ajam saumyam
varaha-nrharim bhaje

“To the wielder of eight chakras, to the Supreme Lord; to the one who has three eyes; to the fierce form; to Him who has a gigantic universal form; to the unborn; to the one who has a gentle form; to Varaha Narahari, I offer my worship and service.”

[ Sri-pancaratre Bhagavacchastre “Sesa-samhita”. Edited by Laksmipuram Srinivasacarya.
Printed in Rajakiya-sakha-mudranalaya, Mysore, 1935. Researched by Sriman Hari Parshad dasa]

 

 

 

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Wisdom Gained – Number Four / Стяжание мудрости – 4

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“My dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, You are the Supreme Soul. If one meditates upon Your transcendental body, You naturally protect him from all sources of fear, even the imminent danger of death.” [ Srimad Bhagavatam 7.10.29 ]

Purport by Srila Prabhupada:
“Everyone is sure to die, for no one is excused from the hands of death, which is but a feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When one becomes a devotee, however, he is not destined to die according to a limited duration of life. Everyone has a limited duration of life, but a devotee’s lifetime can be extended by the mercy of the Supreme Lord, who is able to nullify the results of one’s karma. A devotee is not under the laws of karma. Therefore even a devotee’s scheduled death can be avoided by the causeless mercy of the Supreme Lord. God protects the devotee even from the extreme danger of death”.

 

Дорогой Господь, о Верховная Личность Бога, Ты — Высшая Душа. Тех, кто медитирует на Твое трансцендентное тело, Ты непременно защищаешь от любых страхов и даже от нависшей над ними угрозы смерти. [ Шримад-Бхагаватам 7.10.29 ]

Комментарий Шрилы Прабхупады :

Каждому предстоит умереть, ибо смерть — это одно из проявлений Верховной Личности Бога и никто не способен ее избежать. Однако, если человек становится преданным, он может прожить дольше, чем ему предначертано судьбой. Жизнь любого существа ограничена определенным сроком, но для преданного она может быть продлена, ибо Верховный Господь по Своей милости способен аннулировать последствия его кармы. Законы кармы не властны над преданным. По беспричинной милости Верховного Господа преданный может даже прожить дольше, чем ему предписано. Бог защищает преданных даже от самой грозной опасности, смерти.