Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas

Songs of the Vaisnava Acharyas

If I had to pick one book that inspired me the most throughout my devotional life, I guess I would have to say it is “Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas”. I recently went to open it the other day, and it fell open to the Introduction. I took a moment to re-read it. We share it with you here today.

Introduction
by Acyutananda Swami

It was my good fortune to be in the service of Srila Prabhupada at Sri Mayapur, the birthplace of Lord Caitanya, in setting up the groundwork of our Society’s international center there. That year (1971) there was a terrible flood, but although for many days the water was rising, it was diverted from floodinging the Society’s property solely due to the embankment created by a road constructed by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, our Parama Guru Maharaja. I wrote a letter to His Divine Grace explaining the situation and I mentioned, “The water has not entered our property. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road has saved us.” Srila Prabhupada, however, wrote back in answer in a different tone: “Yes”, we are always saved by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta’s road, so go on glorifying the disciplic succession, and your life will be a great success.” Later on, when I suggested writing down the songs of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and Narottama Dasa Thakura in English translations, His Divine Grace said, “Yes, we must push on this mission of Bhaktivinoda.” So here in this book, which is the first of a series of translations of the complete works of the Vaisnava acaryas in the line of succession coming after Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I have also included a short life sketch of Thakura Bhaktivinoda. In the following volumes, the lives of Srila Narottama Dasa Thakura, Srinivasa Acarya, and other Vaisnava acaryas will appear.

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Because He Has Got A Little Independence

Srila Prabhupada

The following is a very famous room conversation that took place in 1976. It contains some very important lessons.

Acyutānanda: What prompts the soul to misuse his independence or improperly use…?

Prabhupāda: Because he has got little independence. Yathecchasi tathā, he has got this.

Acyutānanda: Why do some misuse it and some never misuse it?

Prabhupāda: That depends on him. If one is determined that “I shall only act according to the advice of my Guru Mahārāja,” then he’s perfect. One has to submit like Arjuna said, śiṣyas te ‘haṁ śādhi māṁ prapannam [Bg. 2.7]. Otherwise he’ll argue….

Devotee: Even nitya-siddha has guru.

Yaśomatīnandana: Even the liberated soul, nitya-siddha.

Prabhupāda: Liberated soul never says that “I am liberated.” As soon as he says “liberated,” he’s a rascal. A liberated soul will never say that “I am liberated.” That is liberated. Caitanya Mahāprabhu, He is God—guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan [Cc. Ādi 7.71]. “My Guru Mahārāja saw Me a fool number one, and he has chastised Me.” He’s God. This is the example. If one remains always a servant ever-lastingly of guru, then he is liberated. And as soon as he thinks that he is liberated, he’s a rascal. That is the teaching of Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Guru more mūrkha dekhi’. Caitanya Mahāprabhu is mūrkha? Why He’s posing Himself that mūrkha? “I am fool number one.” That means that is liberation. You must be ready always to be chastised by guru. Then he’s liberated. And as soon as he thinks that “I am beyond this chastisement, I am liberated,” he’s a rascal. Why Caitanya Mahāprabhu says guru more mūrkha dekhi’ karila śāsan? This is sahajiyā-vāda. He is thinking, “Oh I have become liberated. I don’t require any direction of my guru. I’m liberated.” Then he’s rascal. Why this Gauḍīya Maṭha failed? Because they tried to become more than guru. He, before passing away, he gave all direction and never said that “This man should be the next ācārya.” But these people, just after his passing away they began to fight, who shall be ācārya. That is the failure. They never thought, “Why Guru Mahārāja gave us instruction so many things, why he did not say that this man should be ācārya?” They wanted to create artificially somebody ācārya and everything failed. They did not consider even with common sense that if Guru Mahārāja wanted to appoint somebody as ācārya, why did he not say? He said so many things, and this point he missed? The real point? And they insist upon it. They declared some unfit person to become ācārya. Then another man came, then another, ācārya, another ācārya. So better remain a foolish person perpetually to be directed by Guru Mahārāja. That is perfection. And as soon as he learns the Guru Mahārāja is dead, “Now I am so advanced that I can kill my guru and I become guru.” Then he’s finished. (from room conversation August 16, 1976)

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Gopinatha, Lord of the Gopis

080_-_BTG_Year-1973_Volume-01_Number-51_Page_01

Gopinatha
by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
translated from Bengali by Acyutananda Svami

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura is one of the most important spiritual masters in the Krsna consciousness line of disciplic succession. His devotional songs and poems express the perfectional emotions of a pure devotee of Lord Krsna (Gopinatha).

O Gopinatha, Lord of the gopis, please hear my prayer. I am a materialistic rascal, always full of lust. I have no good qualifications.

O Gopinatha! You are my only resort. As Your eternal servant, I take shelter of Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! How can I uplift myself? I don’t know anything regarding devotional service. I am weak-minded and have fallen into a pit of illusion.

O Gopinatha! Everything here is but Your illusory energy. I have no power or pure knowledge, and and I am bound by a material body.

O Gopinatha! I desire to remain always at Your lotus feet. Please take this sinner, weeping and weeping, and show me Your mercy.

O Gopinatha! You can do anything. You have purified the most wicked by Your power, but who is more wicked than me?

O Gopinatha! You are the vessel of kindness. You enter into this mundane world and display Your sublime pastimes for the sake of the fallen souls.

O Gopinatha! I am the sinner of sinners. Yet I sit waiting for You to take me, for many demons have attained Your lotus feet.

O Gopinatha! Destroy the miseries of this world! I am strung on a necklace of births and deaths and cannot bear the kicking of maya.

O Gopinatha! I am a servant of lust, entangled in the net of material desire which has sprung up in my heart.

O Gopinatha! When will I wake up and cast this enemy of lust far from me? Then only will You be revealed to me in my heart.

O Gopinatha! I am Your own. By leaving Your lotus feet, forgetting Your treasures, I have served only maya.

O Gopinatha! You know everything. Take me to Your lotus feet and punish Your servant.

O Gopinatha! Is it to Your liking to reject me and not show me Your kindness?

O Gopinatha! I am the greatest fool. I don’t at all know what is good for me. I cannot understand anything. This is my fate.

O Gopinatha! You are the greatest intellect. Not considering that I am Your servant, judge me without bias.

O Gopinatha! I have no means of benefiting myself. By Your mercy and kindness, please pick me up from this miserable world and take me to You.

O Gopinatha! I have fallen into this dark world. Bound by wealth, wife and sons, I am feeling the pain of lust.

O Gopinatha! I am going mad! Never caring for spiritual practices, I am always unconscious and deeply sunk in the muck of sense gratification.

O Gopinatha! I surrender unto You. All my endeavors are a useless waste of time. Now I surrender unto You.

O Gopinatha! How shall I reach the goal? My mind is overwhelmed by the powerful senses. I cannot shake off attachment to worldly pleasures.

O Gopinatha! Please reside in my heart. Destroy these dangerous obstacles, correct my mind and guide me to Your own true path.

O Gopinatha! Please let Your glance fall on me. I am helpless, but You are Hrsikesa, the Lord of the senses. Please control my senses and pull me out of this world of dangers.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays: O Gopinatha! My voice is faltering. I must throw off these shackles and catch hold of Your mercy.

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Blazing Sadhus or Never Trust A Holy Man Who Can’t Dance

Blazing Sadhus

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Blazing Sadhus
or
Never Trust A Holy Man Who Can’t Dance

by Achyutananda Das

We are now offering this extraordinary book for sale on our web page www.theharekrishnamovement.com. We liked it so much we are offering Free Shipping. Highly Recomended!

Excerpt from back cover;

“Do you know what just happened in there? Do you know what he just did? He gave me the answers to the most cosmic, theological, universal, eternal questions ever asked! And like it was just matter-of-fact! Then he thanks me for asking! I gotta tell people about this.” (-from Chapter Two)

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The Singing Sadhu

Acyutananda das

It was my good fortune to finally meet one of my singing mentors, and God-brother, the legendary Acyutananda das, at the Festival of Inspiration held annually at the New Vrindavan farm community in West Virginia. He was a very likable character and willingly signed my 1974 copy of the Songs of the Vaisnava Acaryas. He opened the Festival of Inspiration with a Question and Answer session, answering all kinds of questions on the “Early Days”, “India”, “Life with Srila Prabhupada”, “Spiritual Life” etc., etc. with his own blend of sarcastic humor, wit, and intellectual powers. It was quite enjoyable and enlightening. He is a very ‘real’, unpretentious fellow, and as I said very likable.

In honor of our visit with him we are posting the Foreword from the Songs of the Vaisnava Acarays, wherein Srila Prabhupada is giving his thanks and blessings:

…I confer all my blessings upon Acyutananda Swami for his genuine attempt to advance in Krishna consciousness. I hope he will attempt to advance more and more and never be hampered my maya. We should always remember the danger of maya’s influence and endeavor to save ourselves from her great power. We must therefore always merge in the transcendental mellow of kirtana-rasa, for kirtana-rasa is the safest situation within this material world. Hare Krishna.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami

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