All glory to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga


Revelation Not Speculation

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj



Bhagavat Darshan


I offer my dandavat pranam to the feet of the readers, who are like innumerable streams of sweet and fresh water flowing from that enormous lake of mercy which is our most beloved spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj, who is in this way inundating the world.

I actually have no capacity to chant the glories of our Gurudev and of his faithful disciples. I feel so fortunate that I have received his mercy, his affection, and his love, and I know that it is only because of his grace that I also have the mercy, affection, and love of his followers. I will never be able to reciprocate what they are giving to me. It is really amazing to see what a warm and beautiful family we have.

vipadah santu tah sasvat tatra tatra jagad-guro
bhavato darsanam yat syad apunar bhava-darsanam

Queen Kunti is praying, inviting danger to come, because in dangerous situations Krishna is coming to her. Danger is a sign that Krishna is coming to help her and the Pandavas; it is bringing the Lord closer, into a more intimate relationship. This is a very beautiful sloka, and this is also my experience. This disease, this danger, has drawn all the affection of Sri Gurudev and his devotees to me, in a very intense way. I am actually shocked to see the infinite capacity of our Guru Maharaj to give—to freely give, to everyone, especially the most needy.

By the grace of Sri Gurudev we have received this knowledge of the immortality of the soul, of our eternal relationship with God, so we have no fear of death. I remember when I was a teenager I was looking at the world around me, always thinking how short is this life—we can die at any time—and I was very disappointed because in my heart I knew that I was not utilising my time properly. I had the desire to do good for myself, to give my life for a good cause, but I was very frustrated because I could not find anything that I considered to be good enough, to be worth living for, so I was running here and there, vainly trying to find fulfilment. Then, when I had just about given up, suddenly my Gurudev appeared in front of me, and my life changed completely!

Here is what I was looking for! Here is the cause that I was looking for: the absolute cause, the perfect cause, the fulfilment of my life. What a relief! Where have I been all this time? How could I live? What a waste of time!

So, now I am here, imperfectly trying to follow the perfect path, through the help of the perfect master. What more can I ask from life? Only that by the mercy of the Vaisnavas my attempt will become perfect. Please, help me to become a perfect servant of my Gurudev. This is my prayer to you all forever.

Krishna Kanta Devi Dasi

Krishna Kanta Devi Dasi, an accomplished artist, has translated and published many of Srila Govinda Maharaj’s books in Italian, and has established branches of Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math throughout Italy.

Bhagavat Darshan

Revelation Not Speculation

dharmah svanusthitah pumsam visvaksena-kathasu yah
notpadayed yadi ratim srama eva hi kevalam

The Srimad Bhagavatam has very directly described the practice of religion in this sloka: without developing attraction to the Lord, all our endeavours are useless. In the scriptures—the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanisads, Puranas, Itihasas—religion, as well as the practice of religion, is described.

The Srimad Bhagavatam was revealed after Narad Goswami instructed Vedavyas, who, by the divine inspiration of Lord Krishna, is the author of all the Vedic scriptures. Vedavyas compiled all the scriptures in order to rescue the conditioned souls, and ultimately, to give them a chance to enter into the service of the Lord.

Bhagavan Vedavyas, who has all the opulence of scriptural wealth, gave this knowledge to the conditioned souls, but afterwards was not satisfied and felt deficient: “I have given everything to this world to satisfy Lord Krishna. Even what Krishna Himself gave directly through the knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita and other scriptures, I have given that for the ultimate benefit of the conditioned souls’ spiritual life; still I am not satisfied. Why am I not feeling peace in my mind?”

At that time he saw that Narad Goswami, his Gurudev, had come to see him. Seeing Narad Goswami he thought, “Now my Lord understands I am suffering.” Krishna Dvaipayan Vedavyas worshipped Narad and asked, “Prabhu, why am I suffering from this problem?” Narad Goswami said, “Because of your despondency I have come to you. Although you have given the religion of the conditioned jiva-soul to this world, which is medicine for sick men, you have not given a prescription for healthy persons.”

jugupsitam dharma-krte ’nusasatah
svabhava-raktasya mahan vyatikramah
yad-vakyato dharma ititarah sthito
na manyate tasya nivaranam janah

“Who will give anything better than you in this material world? No one can. But what you have given is not sufficient for everyone. The conditioned souls can practise their own religion by the law of the Vedic scriptures, but if that will not give life to everyone, what is the value of that?

“You have blasted so many big bombs in the form of your Vedic mantras, but no positive reaction will take place in the hearts of the jiva-souls because they will not be following the proper process of religion.

Dharma-krte ’nusasatah, even if religion is properly performed, simply by following the law of the Vedas, the jiva-souls will not get the ultimate benefit of their spiritual lives. Through sravan and kirtan (hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord) the liberated souls and the practitioners of Krishna consciousness will find the satisfaction of their whole existence and real life. Practicing the general religion of the Vedas is useless if one does not become more and more attached to sravan and kirtan. Through the Vedic scriptures souls may get liberation, but after liberation what is the sustenance of their life? What is the activity of their life? What is the duty of their life? You have not given details of that.”

A clear example of this is given when Ramananda Ray expressed to Mahaprabhu the principle of sva-dharma-tyag with this sloka from the Bhagavad-gita:

sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja
aham tvam sarva-papebhyo moksayisyami ma suchah

“Totally abandoning all kinds of religion, surrender exclusively unto Me. I will liberate you from all kinds of sins, so do not despair.”

Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu said, “Yes, but it is external. It is not eternal. Tell me what is eternal religion.”

After leaving all religious methods, when the jiva-soul fully surrenders to Lord Krishna, Krishna will take charge of his spiritual life, but still that is not sufficient. It is stated in this sloka, Mam ekam saranam vraja: ”Come and take exclusive shelter of Me. I shall take charge of your spiritual life.” Krishna Himself said it, but Mahaprabhu said it is not sufficient.

I asked my Guru Maharaj, “Why did Mahaprabhu say that it was not sufficient?” He answered, “Because there is no service to the Lord; no service to the Lord is described.”

Narad Goswami is like Lord Krishna, so he came to Vedavyas and said, “What you have given, Krishna has given, but that is not sufficient for healthy persons. No doubt it is a good prescription and medicine for the conditioned souls, because they will get liberation easily, but after liberation they can have a new, glorious life, and that description is not given here. Therefore it is not sufficient.”

Narad Goswami is fully exalted with pure Krishna consciousness. He can go anywhere. Even though a rsi cursed him, “You cannot stay more than five minutes in one place,” the curse is not effective, because that curse does not work in Dvaraka, which is in the spiritual world.

Narad is such a powerful devotee, and he wants to distribute powerful devotion to everyone through Vedavyas. Thus he told Vedavyas, whose word is law, who is vage-bhak, that if he did not give the highest conception, no one else would; people would not hear it from anyone else. In this way he chastised him:

jugupsitam dharma-krte ’nusasatah
svabhava-raktasya mahan vyatikramah
yad-vakyato dharma ititarah sthito
na manyate tasya nivaranam janah

“You have given the wrong prescription. You have given insufficient knowledge and nourishment for the liberated souls, so you must give that now.”

Then Vedavyas, with folded hands, asked Narad Goswami: “Prabhu, tell me, how shall I correct it? How shall I give full, ecstatic Krishna consciousness to everyone?”

Narad Goswami advised him: “I am giving this knowledge to you. You meditate on it. It will reveal itself to you and then you can give full Krishna consciousness to others. Through bhakti-yoga it will be realised.”

bhakti-yogena manasi samyak pranihite ’male
apasyat purusam purnam mayam cha tad-apasrayam

yaya sammohito jiva atmanam tri-gunatmakam
paro ’pi manute ’nartham tat-krtam chabhipadyate

In meditation Vedavyas saw Krishna, His illusory potency, and His chit-sakti, by which He performs His Pastimes.

anandamse ‘hladini,’ sad-amse ‘sandhini’
chid-amse ‘samvit’, jare jnana kori mani

He saw Krishna and His potencies—eternity, knowledge, and ecstasy—and saw that by these powers Krishna’s Pastimes are going on with the Vraja-vasis, the gopis, and others. He also saw the illusory energy existing behind Krishna. His meditation was in full Krishna consciousness, and he gave us that knowledge of full, ecstatic joy and happiness through Srimad Bhagavatam.

There he declared, “Now I am in full-fledged Krishna consciousness and I am giving that knowledge to you. What I gave before in Vedanta-darsana (Vedanta-sutra) and other scriptures, I am not cancelling that, but I am rectifying it through this scripture, Srimad Bhagavatam. I gave the gist of the Vedas in Vedanta-darsana in a very condensed way, but I am now explaining that extensively in this Srimad Bhagavatam.”

artho ’yam brahma-sutranam bharatartha-vinirnayah
gayatri-bhasya-rupo ’sau vedartha-paribrmhitah

Srimad Bhagavatam is the natural commentary on the Vedanta-darsana as well as the Mahabharata and the Brahma-gayatri. It contains the full-fledged theistic conception.

Vedavyas then gave his own description of Srimad Bhagavatam:

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

“O intelligent devotees accustomed to drinking transcendental nectar, please drink again and again the nectar of this Bhagavatam, which has been made even sweeter because it has emanated from the mouth of Sri Sukadev Goswami. This nectar is vastly superior to the nectar of the heavenly planets, so please relish it again and again.”

Vedavyas began Vedanta-darsana with athato Brahma jijnasa, janmady asya Yatah, and tat tu samanvayat. These kinds of sutras are in Vedanta-darsana. Athato Brahma jijnasa, search for Sri Krishna. Then janmady asya Yatah, who is Sri Krishna?

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

“Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, and He is the prime cause of all causes.”

With this ultimate conclusion Vedavyas started Srimad Bhagavatam. Satyam Param dhimahi, we will meditate on the meaning of the gayatri-mantram. On what shall we meditate? That inspiration is coming from the divine plane: the lotus feet of Sri Krishna and their service. If you want to make yourself a good servitor of Lord Krishna, Nanda Nandan Krishna who is playing sweetly and performing His Divine Pastimes with the Vraja-vasis, and if you want to enter into the abode of that Krishna for service under the guidance of His associates, you must start from this point:

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyam

Hear from the divine servitors of Lord Krishna, the sadhus, and give your full attention to kirtan, the glorification of Krishna, and spreading Krishna consciousness. Ajita jitah api, you can control the mind of the Supreme Controller if you proceed in this way with the association of the divine servitors, and if you give your whole existence, then you will be directed by the sadhus in sravan and kirtan.

You can find different types of manifestations of Lord Krishna in the Vedas, but Vedavyas was not satisfied with that. Vedavyas now described in Srimad Bhagavatam what Narad Goswami gave him, and that same conception is found in Sri Brahma-samhita:

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

He has chosen Govinda, not being satisfied with other manifestations of Krishna. Mahaprabhu, Narad Goswami, and Vedavyas have all directed us to go to the origin. The origin is Krishna in Vrndavan, and that Krishna never leaves Vrndavan. He is always in Vrndavan Dham, playing with the gopas and gopis as a cowherd boy. That is His divine identity. He is the creator of all the creation and He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. We can describe Him in various ways, but that cannot limit Him or His abode, Vrndavan, where He is playing.

Vedavyas’ beginning of Srimad Bhagavatam was even more impressive. When Pariksit Maharaj was cursed by a brahman boy that within seven days he would die, there were so many rsis, munis, and dignitaries assembled to do good for Maharaj Pariksit. Because he was an extremely good king, everyone wanted to show their affection, and they joined that meeting—Atri, Chyavan, Saradvan, Aristanemi, Bhrgu, Vasistha, Parasar, Visvamitra, Angira, and all the big rsis. Parasuram, Vedavyas, and Narad Rsi were also present there. Everyone wanted to do good for Pariksit Maharaj. Because of their affection for him, they came to support him and to try to help him in that assembly.

According to their various realisations, they advised Maharaj Pariksit:

tapasvino dana-para yasasvino
manasvino mantra-vidah sumangalah

“Maharaj do this. Maharaj do that. Maharaj do this.”

Then by the grace of Lord Krishna, and by previous arrangement from the transcendental abode, the son of Vedavyas, Sukadev Goswami, a sixteen-year-old naked boy, arrived in the assembly of Maharaj Pariksit. All the expert and dignified sadhus were there, and seeing him from afar they could recognise him as the son of Vedavyas. His divine movements opened the eyes of the rsis there and they could recognise that he must be Sukadev.

“You need his mercy,” they advised Pariksit Maharaj. “This boy who is coming is the holder of supreme knowledge. Therefore you can ask him your questions. He will give you the solution, and we all will be satisfied with his gift.”

Everyone welcomed him, but Sukadev Goswami had no external awareness. He is not living in the material world, and does not see anything mundane. He came directly by the will of Lord Krishna, and Pariksit Maharaj gave him the presidential seat and worshipped him. Sukadev Goswami had no material attachment. He was seated there and he asked Maharaj Pariksit, “Do you have any questions for me?” Maharaj Pariksit replied, “Yes Prabhu, I am in the midst of this problem. Please give me advice, which will bring peace to my mind.”

Sukadev replied, “I have received inspiration from above, therefore I came to your assembly, but you must give your full attention to what I shall explain to you and believe it with full faith. The subject matter I am going to discuss with you has no connection with this material world or the liberated world; it exists beyond the liberated world. I was situated on the liberated plane, but I was attracted by this conception and I learned it from my father, Vedavyas.”

parinisthito ’pi nairgunya uttama-sloka-lilaya
grhita-cheta rajarse akhyanam yad adhitavan

“I learned this matter from my father, and thus I became attracted by the Pastimes of Lord Krishna—the play of the Divine Couple that is continuously going on in Goloka Vrndavan. This is uttama-sloka—the description of the eternal Pastimes of Radha and Krishna. I heard it from my father, and I am explaining that for the ultimate benefit of your spiritual life.

“Everyone knows me as a Brahma-jnani and I can accept their opinion that I know Brahma, and who is Brahma. That was my position. I was living within my own beauty, charm, affection, love—everything—but I was attracted by the Pastimes of Lord Sri Krishna. My father taught me those Pastimes, and I will teach them to you for your ultimate benefit.”

jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva
jivanti san-mukharitam bhavadiya-vartam
sthane sthitah sruti-gatam tanu-van-manobhir
ye prayaso ’jita jito ’py asi tais tri-lokyam

Jnane prayasam udapasya namanta eva jivanti, first throw away the bucket of knowledge that you are holding in your head, and be fully surrendered to the sadhus. Engage yourself with these sadhus in hearing the glories of Lord Krishna, His Pastimes, and so on, and propagate them. You can distribute everything—what you have understood, as well as what you have not understood—to anyone who is a sincere seeker. That is called proper sravan and kirtan. You have heard these words, sravan and kirtan—hearing the glories of the Lord and distributing the glories of the Lord to everyone. The real property of everyone exists in a very hidden way in the heart, and it is exposed by this process of sravan and kirtan.

A Ganges river full of knowledge of the scriptures cannot rescue you. Knowledge has its final destination in Satyaloka. It will not give you a divine connection from there to the transcendental plane. Knowledge devoid of devotion is useless for you. Real knowledge is given in Srimad Bhagavatam, and Mahaprabhu Himself recognised that:

srimad bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaisnavanam priyam
yasmin paramahamsyam ekam amalam jnanam param giyate
tatra jnana-viraga-bhakti-sahitam naiskarmyam aviskrtam
tach chhrnvan supathan vicharana-paro bhaktya vimuchyen narah

Srimad Bhagavatam Puranam amalam, it is the spotless Purana. In the Puranas we read so many things, but here in Srimad Bhagavatam there is nothing external, nothing extra to throw out. Therefore it is very dear to those who are wholeheartedly serving Lord Krishna. Ecstatic knowledge with service to the Lord which develops up to bhava and mahabhava is given by Vedavyas. In Srimad Bhagavatam we find only the service of Lord Krishna, and that is the ultimate knowledge; it is not mixed with anything material.

Beyond this material world Brahmaloka exists. Brahma-samhita has given a description of Brahmaloka:

yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti-
kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam
tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahma mentioned in the Upanisads. Being differentiated from the infinity of glories of the mundane universe, the Lord’s effulgence appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless truth.”

The light, effulgence, that comes from Krishnaloka and permeates the spiritual world is Brahmaloka, the entire area of spiritual existence. We must try to take the knowledge that Sukadev Goswami, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and Srimad Bhagavatam have given us and dive deep into that reality.

Preaching comes automatically, but this subject matter is not for preaching—it is a transcendental fuse that connects the mundane to the transcendental world. Two waves are flowing: one is this material world, which flows by a cyclic system, and the other is the free-flowing transcendental world. Vedavyas said,

tatra jnana-viraga-bhakti-sahitam naiskarmyam aviskrtam
tach chhrnvan supathan vicharana-paro bhaktya vimuchyen narah

Tatra jnana-viraga-bhakti-sahitam, this is neither ordinary knowledge nor an ordinary renounced mentality. It is enriched with the devotion and service to Lord Krishna. Everything is done for Krishna, not for ourselves. That type of devotional spirit exists within the real devotees.

Everything is going on happily in the nirguna bhumika, the transcendental world. If you are living with a sadhu from that plane and you hear this sloka, tat srnvan supathan, read it, vicharana-paro, and try to discuss and consider the meaning of it, easily liberation will come to you. Then you can refuse that liberation and proceed to Goloka Vrndavan, crossing the specific gravity of the illusory environment. First attempt to engage yourself in hearing and glorifying the Lord’s Pastimes, and serving of the members of that divine abode.

We are living in Bhuloka, the earth planet, and all the lokas—Bhu, Bhuva, Sva, Maha, Jana, Tapa, and Satya—exist within this universe. But beyond this universe is Brahmaloka, the spiritual world, and at its centre there is the transcendental abode of Lord Krishna. You can cross everything very easily through bhakti-yoga. All spiritual practices will help you to direct yourself to that abode through bhakti-yoga. Therefore, practise bhakti-yoga and be happy.

How many days are in our hand? Can we say? No. We do not know. In the future how many days can I enjoy this illusory environment? In my previous life I cannot say who I was. I have got, as a reaction, this human body, which has a fine brain. I have willing, feeling, and thinking power within this body, but I must try to discover something that will give me eternity, and that which is very important for me: love, beauty, affection, and dedication. Various qualities will come to me for the service of that transcendental abode of Lord Sri Krishna.

We want many things for our pleasure and enjoyment, but everything exists eternally with its transcendental form within the qualities of Krishna. Therefore if we try to get them through bhakti-yoga we can easily attain that property.

We are so fortunate that we have received everything from Vedavyas: the description of that transcendental abode of Lord Krishna and the process to attain that abode through the channel of bhakti-yoga.

Vedavyas heard many things from Narad Goswami, but Narad said, “Now meditate through bhakti-yoga, then you will feel everything and you will see everything. You will see there the full form of the Divine Couple and Their Pastimes, and you will join within those Pastimes.

That chance will come to you very easily through this process given by the Srimad Bhagavatam.

There is no end to our desires. Even if we get what we want, we will not be satisfied. Some satisfaction may come, but that is only temporary. How can one who has a little consciousness be satisfied with this material world? Because we have no divine connection, we are trying to enjoy in this material world by thinking, feeling, and willing so many things.

sarva-vedanta-saram hi sri-bhagavatam isyate
tad-rasamrta-trptasya nanyatra syad ratih kvachit

Srimad Bhagavatam is the essence of all philosophy. One who has tasted this essence will never be attracted to any other conception.” From here we cannot understand how much ecstasy exists in the divine service of the Lord. First it is necessary to purify ourselves, be surrendered, and join the servitors of that transcendental abode in sravan, kirtan, and all nine kinds of devotional activity. Then gradually we will be easily promoted.

My good fortune, and I feel the good fortune of you all, is that herein we have attempted to glorify the Lord. We can preserve this moment eternally, and from here we can progress on to our transcendental destination. Krishna has given a chance to us all, so we cannot lose this property. By the order of my Guru Maharaj, I am going from country to country with this news, with this divine knowledge about Krishna consciousness. Seeing the successful results I feel more enthusiasm, and because of that I do not care about my health. Sometimes I am suffering, but I pray to you all to give me strength so that I will not stop preaching Krishna consciousness.

ayur harati vai pumsam udyann astam cha yann asau
tasyarte yat-ksano nita uttama-sloka-vartaya

The sun is rising and setting, taking one day from my life’s account. For one who is sixteen years and one day old, sixteen years have passed from his life. In this way we are losing our life. Day by day we are losing our life, and life is not certain. Therefore do not delay for one moment to get an opportunity for spiritual life.

Back cover

Satyam Param dhimahi, we will meditate on the meaning of the gayatri-mantram. On what shall we meditate? That inspiration is coming from the divine plane: the lotus feet of Sri Krishna and their service.