The realistic approach.

By Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj


We are not going to Vrndavan for business. We are going for our bhajan, our practising life, and for remembering so many places there with love and affection. But in our line we do not remember the lila of Radha-Krishna. I do not know what impression comes to other Vaishnavas, but if I go to Vrndavan, I must remember Srila Gaura Kisor Das Babaji Maharaj, where he stayed, and how he worshipped his Lord, where Srila Guru Maharaj stayed, and where Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati stayed and how he expressed his heart’s desire. That is within my jurisdiction.

I knew from my childhood the whole environment of Vrndavan, but I left that idea. I do not want to remember that, and whether that will come in the future or not depends on the will of Krishna. Immediately what is fruitful for me, what is good for me, is to remember my Guru-varga: Srila Guru Maharaj, Saraswati Thakur, Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj, Jagannath Das Babaji Maharaj, Madhavendra Puri, Rupa-Sanatan, and how they have seen Vrndavan. That is within my jurisdiction. Radha-Krishna-lila is very far from us.

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur says,

na uthiya vrksopari tanatani phala dhari’
dusta-phala karile arjana
(Kalyāṇa-kalpa-taru: Upadeśa, 18.4)

[“If you do not climb the tree and pick its fruits, then you will only acquire rotten fruit.”]

mukhe bala prema prema vastutaḥ tyajiyā hema 
śūnya-grantha añchale bandhana
(Kalyāṇa-kalpa-taru: Upadeśa, 18.1)

[“You say aloud, ‘Prema prema’, but in reality you throw away gold and tie an empty knot in your cloth.”]

“Prema, prema, prema, prema”—we are crying that prema will come to us, but it is not possible. Srila Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj gave a very clear example, that without marriage, if a woman shows labour pain, it is not possible for a child to come. Before that many things are necessary. Communication, marriage, then family life, then pregnancy, then the child will grow, and then labour pain. Before that we can try in a room, but a child will not come. Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj’s expression is very hard but it is truth. We do not know what is Radharani, what is Krishna, what is Their lila, what is the transcendental world—nothing, and from here we are saying, “Prema, prema, prema, prema” showing some crying, and thinking, “I have Krishna-prema.” It is not possible.


Spoken on 16 December 1990.

Listen to the original audio recording here.


Upadesa by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur.