by Tridandisvami Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] When you leave Vrndavana, you should develop all your thoughts to be of the nature of raganuga-bhakti – the thoughts you have taken from here. Read all the scriptures of the Gosvamis. If you have any questions you can write to me, or you can ask them when you return to Vrndavana. Increase your thoughts in this direction.
[Question:] Can I read the Ujjvala-nilamani?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Yes, but very carefully.
[Question:] What do you mean by “carefully”?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] With great sraddha, faith, leaving behind all your worldly emotions and mental speculations.
[Question:] How should I do that? By praying to be able to?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Praying, and knowing that the topics explained in Ujjvala-nilamani are not of this world. All these topics belong to transcendental Goloka Vrndavana. Pray to Ujjvala-nilamani, because it is the embodiment of the bhava (mood) of samvit and hladini (the Lord’s potencies of spiritual knowledge and bliss), given by Srila Rupa Gosvami – Rupa Manjari. Pray to the Gosvamis, Sri Rupa Manjari and the personalities discussed in Ujjvala-Nilamani – that all of the bhavas in Ujjvala-nilamani will manifest in your heart. Leave all worldly emotions and considerations, so that these spiritual moods and thoughts will manifest in your heart. If any worldly thoughts come when you are reading, then pray to Rupa Gosvami, Lord Krsna, Srimati Radhika, Lalita, Visakha and Yogamaya, that those thoughts should be stopped.
[Question:] I have a question about offering foodstuffs. In vaidhi-bhakti we learn that the prayers for offering are: “nama om visnu padaya krsna presthaya bhutale...” then “namas te sarasvate deve gaura vani pracarine…, then “namo maha vadanyaya…,” then “namo brahmanya-devaya...” What are the prayers for making an offering if we want to enter raganuga-bhajana?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] The mantras uttered in vaidhi-bhakti and raganuga-bhakti, and also the system for offering, are the same, but the bhava, the mood, is quite different. Try to pray for that transcendental bhava. Try to bring that transcendental bhava to your offerings.
When a person in raganuga-bhakti is performing arati, he utters all the mantras and offers the same paraphernalia. However, he will not think that Yasoda-maiyi is performing arati, but rather that Lalita and Visakha are doing so. In vaidhi-bhakti we think we are doing arati, but when we will be coming to raganuga-bhakti, we will meditate that Lalita is doing it and we are inviting her and watching her. She is seeing the face of Krsna, searching to see if it has any scratches or other marks; so that if it does, the gopis will hide them to prevent mother Yasoda and all elderly gopis and gopas from seeing them. If there are any cuts on Krsna’s face, or any spots here and there, they will hide them.
They worship Him with their affectionate glances, and pastimes such as this have been explained in Sri Krsna-bhavanamrta. We should follow the principles therein, only as far as we are qualified.
There are nine types of bhakti, like sravana (hearing), kirtana (chanting), and smarana (remembering). In vaidhi-bhakti the hearing is about the character and teachings of Sri Prahlada Maharaja, the analogies and histories of king Puranjana, the history of Ajamila and all others like them. In raganuga-bhakti, hearing means only the bhavas or transcendental moods of the gopis, who are oceans of the mood of our own svarupa and for which we aspire. When lobha, transcendental greed, has manifested, we should try to think and hear about these topics – what services the sakhis perform to Sri Radha-Sri Krsna. This is the meaning of sravanam and kirtanam in raganuga-bhakti, whereas in vaidhi-bhakti we do kirtana and offer prayers so that our connection with the illusory maya may be cut.
In raganuga-bhakti we sing, “Yasomati nandana, vraja vara nagara, gokula ranjana kana.” This is a very high class of kirtana, as is “Vibhavari sesa…” “Kadamba kanana, rasa parayana, vrnda vipina nivasi….yamuna jivana, keli parayana, manasa candra cakora.” Do you know the meanings? These are very elevated kirtanas. We should perform all these kirtanas, and for general persons we should chant the maha-mantra, and “Hari haraye namah krsna yadavaya namah….”
Sravanam, kirtanam and smaranam are present in both. Some will think in relation to vaidhi-bhakti and others in relation to raganuga bhakti. All processes of devotional service in vaidhi-bhakti will be performed in raganuga, but the bhava will be changed.
[Question:] At present we say the prayer, “Namo maha vadanyaya,” when we offer the foodstuffs, but you said that we give the bhoga to the Guru, and the Guru gives it directly to Krsna. So where does Lord Caitanya fit in there?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] What do you offer by this mantra?
[Question:] Our prasadam.
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] No, no. Perhaps you don’t know. When you offer anything to the Deities, you should utter, “etat nivedyam sa tulasi paniya jalam klim gauraya svaha.” This is the mantra for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and for Sri Sri Radha-Krsna it is “srim klim radha-krsnabhyam svaha,” Only this is – not “namo maha vadanyaya.” That is an ordinary prayer, a prayer for offering obeisances, and cannot be used when you are making an offering of bhoga.
[Question:] If I am making an offering in a home or a hospital, where there is no installed Deity, do I still say the mantra that you just said?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] Anywhere, if you give maha-prasada to Thakura, (the Deity) then say, “etat naivedyam.” You should give an asana (seat), offer puspanjali (flowers) and then svagatam (welcome Them). Call Them like this: “Please come, please come, please come. Svagatam, Svagatam, Svagatam.” Welcome Sri Krsna and Srimati Radhika, or Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and invite Then to sit down. Then utter, “etat naivedyam klim gauraya svaha” and so on.
We are offering this to Gurudeva to offer on our behalf, then guru-sakhi is giving it to Radhika, and Radhika is giving it to Krsna. You should offer bhoga by using these mantras. The mantra you were using before is a pranama-mantra, not an offering mantra. Proper mantras are, “Etat nivedyam sa tulasi paniya jalam klim gauraya svaha, shrim klim radha-krsnabhyam namah", “Esah puspanjalih klim gauraya svah.”, "Etat snaniya-jalam klim gauraya svaha, srim klim radha-krsnabhyahm namah. These are offering mantras for those who have received second initiation. We utter the mantras, but we should think that our Gurudeva is making the offering.
[Question:] You once said that after Lalita devi distributes the prasadam to the other sakhis, then all jivas get it. How is that?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] If you offer it to Krsna, Krsna distributes it to all.
[Question:] This morning when you were putting on tilaka, you told us that you say the names of Radhika. We say, “Om Narayana namah, Om Kesavaya namah…” Should I continue in the same way, chanting these same mantras?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should utter, “Om Kesavaya namah, Om Narayanaya namah.” And then think, “Om Radhikaye namah…” Everywhere, in every place, Radhika’s names should be remembered, thinking, “I’m always the dasi of Srimati Radhika.”
[Question:] We should not say any particular names of Radha?
[Srila Narayana Maharaja:] You should follow the regulations. “Om Kesavaya namah, Om Narayana namah” – yet thinking, “Om Radhikaye namah…”
Editorial advisors: Sripad Madhava Maharaja and Sripad Brajanatha dasa
Transcriber: Sulata dasi
Typist: Lalita-kisore dasi
Editor: Syamarani dasi
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