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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Cleansing the Heart / Ceto-darpana-marjanam

Nectar of Devotion Lectures 1972 Vrindavan

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…Kṛṣṇa consciousness is a fact in everyone’s heart. It is already there. Otherwise how these Europeans and Americans, they’re taking to Kṛṣṇa consciousness very seriously? So it is to be understood that Kṛṣṇa consciousness was there already. By the process of hearing… As Caitanya Mahāprabhu has recommended: ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ paraṁ vijayate śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtanam is so auspicious that the chanting of this mantra awakens the dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more you hear Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, the more your heart becomes cleansed. These are the statements given by Caitanya Mahāprabhu. There cannot be any defect. My statement may be defective, but Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s statement cannot be defective, because He is in the transcendental platform. He is transcendence Himself. Kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne. Kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmine. He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, but He has appeared in the form of Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. Therefore, whatever He says, that is fact. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam. The more we hear the vibration, the transcendental vibration, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare, without any offense… Even with, mixed with offense… There are three stages of chanting this vibration: offensive chanting, and almost offenseless chanting, and offenseless chanting. Offensive chanting may give you material pains and pleasures, and almost offenseless will give you liberation, will place you in the transcendental platform. And when it is offenseless, then immediately you’ll invoke love of God, Kṛṣṇa-prema. So even in offensive stage, if you go on chanting and try to be, try to become safe from offensive condition… Daśa-vidhā-nāma, ten kinds of offenses, if we avoid, that is the process of auspicity. But even we are not in the platform of offenseless chanting, still, we must go on chanting. It will gradually make our heart cleansed and we’ll be offenseless. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness, awakening of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is required. That is called ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanam.

So here, Rūpa Gosvāmī says auspicity means that which spreads for everyone, in all parts of the world. That is auspicity. Not partial. In politics or sociology or humanitarian activities, there is partiality for a certain section of human being, or certain section of living beings. But this chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, awakening Kṛṣṇa consc…, dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness, is meant for all living entities. Even birds, beasts, insects, they can also awaken. This is the recommendation of Haridāsa Ṭhākura, that if we chant loudly, the trees will hear, the birds will hear, the insect will hear, and they will be liberated. That is the statement of Nāmācārya Haridāsa Ṭhākura. Therefore chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and awakening of dormant Kṛṣṇa consciousness is the auspicious activities, welfare activities, for every living entity all over the world.

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